Sordid Spheres!

Sphere Horror In The Seventies

Archive for August 5th, 2007

Peter Haining – Weird Tales

Posted by demonik on August 5, 2007

Peter Haining (ed.) – Weird Tales (Sphere, 1978)

Peter Haining - Weird Tales

Introduction – Peter Haining

Edmund Hamilton – The Man Who Returned
Robert E Howard – Black Hound of Death
August W Derleth – The Shuttered House
Seabury Quinn – Frozen Beauty
Robert E Howard – Haunting Columns
H. P. Lovecraft – Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Clark Ashton Smith – The Garden of Adompha
Vincent Starrett – Cordelia’s Song
Henry Kuttner – Beyond the Phoenix
G. G. Pendarves – The Black Monk
Henry S Whitehead – The Passing of a God
Leah Bodine Drake – They Run Again

The Eyrie – Readers’ Letters

Edmond Hamilton – The Man Who Returned: John Woodward awakens to find himself encoffined in the family vault. Buried alive! Terrified, he struggles and scrapes until he eventually frees himself, and staggers off home to tell his wife the good news. A lot has changed in the time he’s been away …

Robert E. Howard – Black Hound Of Death: Egypt. The psychotic Tope Braxton breaks jail, killing two men in the process. Kirby Garfield, the narrator, goes to warn the reclusive Richard Brent of the escape. Passing through the woods he meets a dying negro, hideously mutilated, who looks as though a pack of dogs have torn him apart, although he insists with his last breath that a white man he was guiding to Brent’s hideout performed these abominations.

Garfield is soon attacked himself, but escapes to alert Brent, who obviously knows more than he’s letting on about the murder and comes on all terrified at mention of the word “hounds”.It transpires that, some years earlier, Brent had left his friend Adam Grimm to be tortured by the Devil Monks of Mongolia while he made a run for it, and these fiends had transformed Grimm into a werewolf. Sworn to vengeance, he has teamed up with Braxton and together they cut a bloody swathe through the land as they hones in on their target. They’ve also lured Brent’s neice, Gloria, from New York for the purpose of skinning her alive.

The ‘bloke who get’s tortured in the jungle and goes all surly about it’ theme is also used to good effect in Seabury Quinn’s Suicide Chapel (a far better De Grandin than the average Frozen Beauty, IMO).

Seabury Quinn – Frozen Beauty:  Dr. Paviovitch is assassinated by Tsarists before he can revive Nikokova, the girl he froze when illness prevented her fleeing the country with he and her lover. De Grandin releases the girl from her twenty-year suspended animation and takes out the entire evil death squad.

Posted in Anthologies, Peter Haining | 2 Comments »

Angus Hall – Madhouse

Posted by demonik on August 5, 2007

Angus Hall - Madhouse

Angus Hall – Madhouse (Sphere, 1970)“Could you tell us what your mission in England is?”
“Why, I’ve come to play the devil!”

Paul Havard Toombs, a Hollywood star whose career was ended in the US after he was implicated in an unsolved murder, arrives in England to revive his hit show, The Adventures Of Dr. Dis. Reporter Barry Lambert is hired to keep an eye on him in the capacity of personal assistant, but soon finds himself out of his depth. Toombs’ interests – which include reincarnation, drug abuse and participating in Black Magic Rituals and orgies – lead to murder, but is he really responsible.

The novel is very different to the movie based upon it, and it’s as much a whodunnit? as a horror although there are several Black Magic and supernatural props. The murders are ultra-gruesome, with the police drawing comparisons between the state of one victim and that of Jack the Ripper’s barbaric attack on Mary Kelly.

Pop culture references include namechecks for The Saint, Danger Man, Perry Mason, Bardot, hairy student demonstrators, and Green Shield stamps, and Lambert’s fiance, Julia is, of course a “dolly girl.”

Posted in Angus Hall, Film Tie-in, Novels | Leave a Comment »

Peter Haining – The Wild Night Company

Posted by demonik on August 5, 2007

Peter Haining (ed.) – The Wild Night Company: Irish Tales Of Terror  (Sphere, 1971)

Peter Haining - The Wild Night Company

Foreword – Ray Bradbury
Introduction – Peter Haining

Giraldus Cambrensis – The Man Wolf
Traditional – Teig O’Kane And The Corpse
Daniel Defoe – The Friendly Demon
Charles Maturin – The Parracide’s Tale
T. Crofton Croker – The Soul Cages
J. S. Le Fanu – Wicked Captain Walshawe Of Wauling
Lady Wilde – Legends Of Witches, Fairies And Leprechauns
Oscar Wilde – The Canterville Ghost
Charlotte Riddell – The Banshee’s Warning
William Carleton – The Legend Of Finn M’Coul
George Moore – Julia Cahill’s Curse
W. B. Yeats – The Crucifixion Of The Outcast
A. E. Coppard – The Man From Kilsheelan
F. Marion Crawford – The Dead Smile
James Joyce – Hell Fire
Lord Dunsany – Witch Wood
William Hope Hodgson – The House Among The Laurels
Shane Leslie – The Coonian Ghost
Elliott O’Donnell – The Haunted Spinney
H. P. Lovecraft – The Moon-Bog
Sinead de Valera – The Fairies’ Revenge
Ray Bradbury – A Wild Night In Galway

Posted in Anthologies, Peter Haining | Leave a Comment »

Peter Haining – Ancient Mysteries Reader

Posted by demonik on August 5, 2007

Peter Haining (ed) – The Ancient Mysteries Reader (Gollancz 1975, Sphere (2 vols.) , 1978)



Edgar Allan Poe – MS. Found In A Bottle
Edward Bulwer-Lytton – The Coming Race
H. G. Wells – The Grisley Folk
Lafcadio Hearn – The Mound Builders
Arthur Machen – The Shining Pyramid
H. P. Lovecraft – The Call Of Cthulhu
A. Merritt – The Moon Pool
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle – The Terror Of Blue John Gap


Posted in Anthologies, Peter Haining | Leave a Comment »

George Romero & Susanna Sparrow – Dawn Of The Dead

Posted by demonik on August 5, 2007

George Romero & Susanna Sparrow – Dawn Of The Dead (Sphere, 1979)


‘When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth’

Monsters do exist – in us and among us, they walk in our shadow. They can prey on us more as we fear them less. We should know. We created them. Now we try to tell them to go away. Our new and knowledgeable ways provide a certain freedom the dark creatures …

Posted in Film Tie-in, Novels | Leave a Comment »