Three recently obtained books promising all manner of blood tingling terror and mind numbing horror within their musty, age-speckled pages.
Terror in the Modern Vein edited by Donald A. Wollheim
You will not find a single ghost, werewolf or vampire in these pages. Instead you will find something of that which haunts our times now. You will meet the unnamed which is amongst us today.
A decent collection of ‘modern horror stories’ published by Digit books in 1955 which, contrary to the claim that there are no vampires to found within its pages contains a rather good tale of psychic vampirism by Fritz Leiber. The final story, Dave Grinnell’s hilarious The Rag Thing is enjoyable hokum featuring a killer rag… obviously. The cover art is uncredited in the book but is identified as the work of William Rainey. Contents are as follows;
Robert Heinlein – They
Fritzchen – Charles Beaumont
Friz Leiber Jnr. – The Girl With The Hungry Eyes
Robert Sheckley – The Fishing Season
Ray Bradbury – The Crowd
H. P. Lovecraft – HE
Philip M. Fisher Jnr. – The Strange Case of Lemuel Jenkins
David Grinnell – The Rag Thing
Cry Horror! By H. P. Lovecraft
Nothing in heaven or hell – and certainly not on earth – can equal the detailed spectres of horror and terror portrayed in these pages by H. P. Lovecraft.
Curiously retitled collection of short stories by the master of cosmic horror which originally appeared as The Lurking Fear. I’ve become a little obsessed with Lovecraft reprints of late as I replace my four volume Grafton collection from 1988, all of which have spectacularly ugly covers. This volume was published by WDL Books in 1959 and features a marvellous cover painting by Richard Powers. Contents are as follows;
The Lurking Fear
The Colour Out of Space
The Nameless City
The Call of Cthulhu
The Moon Bog
The Shunned House
Science Fiction Terror Tales edited by Groff Conklin
In this collection of terrifying tales, you will read about what is perhaps the greatest terror of all… the hidden truth about yourself.
This great compilation of science fiction horror shorts by noted anthologist Groff Conklin contains the work of several big hitters (Bradbury, Sheckley, Sturgeon, Asimov) and also shares Heinlein’s They with Terror in a Modern Vein. It’s perhaps also notable for its inclusion of Philip K. Dick’s early tale of android impostors from 1953. My copy is the 1969 reprint published by Pocket Books and has a fantastic cover which is sadly uncredited.
Contents are as follows;
Introduction – Groff Conklin
Punishment Without Crime – Ray Bradbury
Arena – Frederic Brown
The Leech – Robert Sheckley
Through Channels – Richard Matheson
Lost Memory – Peter Phillips
Memorial – Theodore Sturgeon
Prott – Margaret St. Clair
Flies – Isaac Asimov
The Microscopic Giants – Paul Ernst
The Other Inauguration – Anthony Boucher
Nightmare Bother – Alan E. Nourse
Pipeline to Pluto – Murray Leinster
Impostor – Philip K. Dick
They – Robert A. Heinlein
Let Me Live in a House – Chad Oliver