Weird Tales 291 (Summer 1988) - Darrell Schweitzer (Editor),  Stephen Fabian (Illustrator),  Contribution by Nancy Springer,  Contribution by Morgan Llywelyn,  Cont
So I about five of these in the clearance section of Half-Price, and what was I to do but take them home before they got pulped and made into copies of Fifty Shades of Grey?

I was especially lucky to get this copy in the lot, because this one signaled the return of the magazine from the grave.

The cover art is not from any story in the magazine - which is a shame, because in retrospect, I really would have liked to have seen some more art from Lumley's "Fruiting Bodies", but instead we get some rather random, albeit pretty, art from artist Stephen Fabian (who, by the way, did the rather beautiful artwork for everything in this issue as well).

The magazine kicks off with The Eyrie, a sort of note from the editor, submission guidelines for the magazine and some Q & A for selected mail from readers. It's done well, and I like the art as well as the unobtrusive, black-and-white ads that add a fun feeling of reliving a piece of the late 80's. I only wish that I could have been a member of the Weird Tales club, but oh well...

Afterwards, we reach the "Den", a review piece written by John G. Betancourt, whose header is a particularly demonic shadowcat reading a book - I almost want to have it as a tattoo, it looks so cool. I dunno how I feel about reviewing reviews, so I think that I'll gloss over the quality of these reviews, so that I don't cause some sort of a looping effect, wherein some reviewer reviews my review of a series of reviews. The pieces reviewed in the Den seem as though they would fit rather cozily with the collected stories in Weird Tales themselves - strange tales, horror, sci-fi or some fantasy. I realized that I had an anthology that the reviewer reviewed, which he basically referred to, well, I'll let him speak for himself on this one,

"*The Dark Descent* is a must-read for all readers newly come to horror. It provides an overview of past and contemporary horror that's unmatched in any other collection."

Seeing as I have not yet gotten to reading it yet, this guy's glowing review of it has made me grateful to have plucked it out of the same discount area that I saved seven of these issues from the paws of some hoarder (and I don't hoard, it's only hoarding if you don't plan on READING it!).

After all of this quality and build-up to the meat of these magazines - the fiction - we get to the show piece of this collection, a story by the much-loved Tanith Lee.


Can I be blunt? Either I don't like Tanith Lee, won't like his (her?) writing, or this story was just an all-around bad decision. I admit to my own bias - I don't really feel much empathy to the playboy-rich type of people. I am sure you people DO have souls; even though Sante Kimes and her mongoloid son make me want to believe otherwise, but when these sort of characters who make their own misery star in a story - and, especially, when it is told from this sort of weird view point like a sort of omniscient Nick Carraway. - I immediatally want to step slowly away from what I had formerly been reading so that nobody can see what I had been reading.

It bothers me, alright? If this sort of thing floats your boat, then by all means, don't give me any of your recommendations for what I should read. I'm sure I'll love it like poison.

The idea of revenge over a perceived wrong is tired, and pretty awful when paired with this just... dumb as all hell writing. When Lee describes the main character's car as, "an ice cream colored car," all I can see is this jackass driving around in an ice cream truck, that pedo weirdo.

Everything is needlessly confusing, written with some of the most stilted and tired dialogue that I have ever read in a PUBLISHED work of fiction that is supposed to sound like some asshole trust fund twats attempting to do anything except lather on their tapas and fruity drinks and sigh dramatically. Seriously, tell a working class girl here the truth - NO human being, alive around the 80's or the 90's, must have communicated primarily in sighs, eyerolls or sarcasm, right?

The scary part of the story? Well, buried under the tired, pancake-flat characters is some sort of tension that Lee wants us to feel for the boring-ass prick dickhole of a main character as he is tormented...

By a lacy, mauve glove.


Well, at least the artwork of the scawwy lacy ladyperson's glove is done wonderfully.



I don't know what to say here - the follow up interview with the author of the mediocre story before this interview is as badly handled and answered as the story had been written. Boring, cliche and really just damn pretentious. Jesus, no wonder horror got tossed down the garbage in 2000, following the pompous attitude that some of these assholes treated the genre - the scary thing is that this attitude is slowly choking the Graphic Literature medium, this fear of calling comic books or comic book anthologies as Graphic Novels when they just aren't.

This shitty, hipster-y attitude is what's making so many people afraid to even attempt to make reading books their hobby, and I am glad the weight of these asshole's egos collapsed on themselves and DESTROYED the legacy that they had hoped would be left behind.

Where am I going with this? I am fucking glad I and barely anyone else knows who the fuck Tanith Lee is, and his/her assertions that horror should be scary. REALLY? No shit, I had no clue that that's one of the PREREQUISITES of writing horror! Please, impart some more of your knowledge on the poor and retarded masses!

0/0/0/0 You get NOTHING!

Next we're treated to two pieces of poetry by Robert Frazier which feels just a step or two above Vogon poetry. The meter, the choice of words and the subject matter could hardly have been chosen with worse taste. Did he even bother to edit these, let alone read the pieces aloud to himself?

Somewhere aroung nine cigarettes burns in your eyes and three in your left ear.

Next is a selected biography by a friend/editor of Tanith Lee, who, I finally learn, is not just a female, but a "lady," if we are to believe the words of her gushing would-be biographer. Tanith is apparently a goddess or a queen of writing, and gosh, aren't we foolish to even aspire to the Great One's level of talent?

Oh, blow me.

20 centipedes out of 999

More to come shortly!