My [literal] first impression of the Miskatonic River Press's Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology: The Grimscribe's Puppets

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Summary: New Weird Fiction has a dozen different flavors and one common issue: trying to anchor the current with the rhythm and flow and of the past. Take Grimscribe's Puppets, where writers try and tap into the unique flavor of Thomas Ligotti, and in at least one case, go for a power hit home run...

BLOT: (06 Jul 2013 - 03:08:23 PM)

My [literal] first impression of the Miskatonic River Press's Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology: The Grimscribe's Puppets

When I heard that Miskatonic River Press had a Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology, edited by Joseph Pulver, called The Grimscribe's Puppets, I was of mixed emotions. I like the idea, most definitely, but had found their previous author-tribute anthology, also edited by Pulver but focusing on Robert Chambers' Yellow Mythos, to be a mixed bag. Some great writing and good ideas hindered by what I can only describe as pandering to the demographic. I was sure that Puppets would have the same problem, but after watching a video of Wilum Pugmire talking it up, figured that I already had all of MRP's other books, might as well get this one.

How much does it pander? I don't know, since I have just gotten back with the post office with it, but literally the first bit I read after opening it up and flipping around until I found the start of a story was this [from Michael Kelly's "Pieces of Blackness" (page 103)]:

He watched the night sky. It was black and alien, churning darkly, expanding, living and growing, like the pain that coursed through him. He watched and waited. It was a dark sky, but he could see another darkness, pieces of tainted blackness, tumours, coiling, forming a greater blackness. One day, he knew, it would open up, all of it: the sky, him, and the entire world.
Every time he watched the sky, he was reminded of the boy.
Peter never told anyone about the boy. He kept it all inside of him, a cancerous darkness, pieces of a blacker blackness, living and growing. He could taste it, a rancid foulness, a murky mass twisting inside him, expanding and solidifying, like black stones tumbling and pulverising his insides, a dark pain that doubled him over and made Peter vomit gobs of brown mucous.

Oh man.

[Note: I postponed posting this until I read the whole story. It is actually pretty good, and appropriately Ligotti-esque with a confused dream/wake-state, a dark sense of impotence, and a terror of things being even more out of place than the story's horror dwells upon. Just as a first impression of the I'll try and review the whole thing after I have a more complete view.]

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