Here at Stinkbug Manor, we’ve passed through second (or third) false summer and are finally into sweater weather in time for Halloween. I read weird and supernatural short fiction all year round, but there are few things as nice as glass of rye and a short tale while the wind howls outside.
Today, I bring you some free audio fiction (and what the heck, a book to read), to supplement your spookytime dog walks. It is free, but you should throw some change at these cats, if you have the means.
Today on the Lstrblg...
On the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, co-host Chad Fifer became enchanted by Clark Ashton Smith’s The Colossus of Ylourgne, a fairly whacked tale about wizards and necromancers in a fictional medieval France. I can’t seem to find the text free online, but you find other CAS stuff here, which I hope is all public domain. Smith was one of the three Colossi of weird fiction, in addition to Lovecraft and Conan-creator Robert E. Howard.
Fifer scripted, directed and scored this truly insane version of the tale.
Two Classic Weird Tales Told Well
Another podcast pleasure of mine is Voluminous, from the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society‘s Andrew Lehman and Sean Branney. Lovecraft was a prolific letter-writer and, each month, Lehman and Branney read/dissect one of his letters.
To celebrate Halloween, HPLHS released two classic weird fiction tales read by Lehman and Branney.
Branney takes on “What Was It” by Fitz-James O’Brien, an Irish-born veteran of the American Civil War. You need to go through the store to download, but it is free. You can also try your own reenactment with the text, which you can find in this collection.
Lehman voices a longer tale, “Seaton’s Aunt” by Walter de la Mare, a British writer and poet known for his children’s stories as much as his supernatural tales. Download it here for a listen. This one I first heard about on the HPL Literary Podcast, and I was quick to grab the entire text. You can find a copy in this collection .
Do It Yourself Horror Tale
While Lovecraft was moodily atmospheric and Smith genuinely strange, Robert E. Howard was truly the pulpiest of the bunch. His stories were all brawn and action, with a lot more thoughtful world building than most folks appreciate. He didn’t write much straight horror fiction, but his best was Pigeons from Hell.
Read it yourself and roll your own audiobook.