Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Ten retold tales featuring figures from classic Victorian horror

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, Meghan Ball tagged ten retold tales featuring the figures of classic Victorian horror, including:
A Night in the Lonesome October, by Roger Zelazny

This is the crown jewel of retold classics, the standard by which all others should be measured. Zelazny’s short novel is pitch perfect in every way and is obviously tailor made for fall reading (too bad we just missed recommending it for Halloween). In 31 chapters, one for each day of the month, Snuff the dog draws us into a deadly Game between openers and closers trying to bring about the end of the world via monsters from the Lovecraftian mythos. Snuff’s master is an urbane gentleman named Jack, who carries with him a very special knife. The other players include a foreign vampire count, a mad Russian monk, a sinister vicar, Sherlock Holmes, and an odd man named Larry Talbot who has a certain…full moon affliction. This novel is a true delight, and, increasingly, a hidden gem worth rediscovering (even though it won a Hugo, it has gone in and out of print). I go back to it it every October, one chapter per night, and it’s always a highlight of my reading year. The mystery is laid out slowly, keeping you guessing, even when all the clues are in plain sight. If you want the gold standard of Victorian literature mash ups, this is it.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue