Scott Nicolay

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Tag: gerald kersh

Stories from the Borderland #6: “Men Without Bones” by Gerald Kersh

PowersGerald Kersh’s Men Without Bones” presents a virtual case study in the awkward position of midcentury Weird Fiction. A truly—literally—pulpy tale, its original publication in 1954 came not in Weird Tales but in Esquire. By that time the pulps themselves were moribund, while new markets were arising. Michael Kelly and I recently discussed on The Outer Dark how mainstream literary journals are currently publishing some of the best Weird Fiction, but here we find ourselves more than 60 years back with a classic of unfiltered cosmic horror in a magazine whose literary reputation was already established by authors including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Gide. Despite such an auspicious initial placement, regardless of at least two dozen reprints since, or the fact that it remains in print today, I will wager “Men Without Bones” remains unknown to much of The Weird’s contemporary readership. Continue reading

Stories From The Borderland #2: “The Shed” by E. Everett Evans

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Evans didn’t even merit cover credit. The other stories from this issue are entirely forgotten.

A horror story about children can be especially disturbingSomething Wicked This Way Comes, IT, “The Specialist’s Hat.Throwing adults into unnatural peril is one thing—they at least can grasp their options, draw on support, choose to make sacrifices. Children are at once incredibly vulnerable yet charged with potential, so we fear more for them and the immense possibility of their futures than we do for the intrepid polar explorer, the graying antiquary, or the other interchangeable narrators of so many weird and gothic tales. How cruel the author who chooses children as protagonists in a narrative of weirdness and monsters. Continue reading

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