Dark Gods by T.E.D. Klein
Requirements: Epub|MOBI Reader, 1.1MB
Overview: T.E.D. Klein was one of the most talented and least known horror fiction writers of the twentieth century. Although Mr. Klein is still living, I use the past tense because he unfortunately has not published any new material in nearly two decades. His corpus even then was slim with only one novel and two short story collections (this and a limited printing of some early stories) to his name. What he did produce, however, exceeds in quality most contemporary horror writers and he can rightly be called a peer to his inspirations Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and, most importantly, H.P. Lovecraft.
There are four stories in this collection: "Children of the Kingdom," "Petey," "Man With a Black Horn," and "Nadelman’s God." "Children of the Kingdom" is a tale of a mythic, subterranean race of malevolent creatures that emerge from the legends of Mesoamerica to occasionally still away human women to propagate their species; the protagonist in 1977 New York soon experiences the blackout of that year and encounters some of the creatures up-close. Although most of the story is of decent quality, the last five pages (and particularly the last paragraph) still occaisonally bother me late at night. "Petey" is something of a social satire at a boring upstate Connecticut dinner party in a newly purchased mansion; the former owner seemed to have an interest in sorcery, and may have drawn some inspiration from a fable in his library of "un petit diable" to help with the household chores. The ending is one left ambiguous and up to the reader’s imagination. "Man With a Black Horn" involves an old friend of H.P. Lovecraft’s who feels he is doomed to forever live in his long dead friend’s shadow; in his dotage, a dangerous tribe from Malaysia may have arrived to say hello. The final story, "Nadelman’s God," involves a frustrated writer who teenage scribblings invest him with a benefit that slowly becomes a destructive burden.
Genre: Horror|Dark Fantasy|Lovecratian|Classics
1 · Children of the Kingdom – Dark Forces, ed. Kirby McCauley, Viking, 1980
73 · Petey ·Shadows #2, ed. Charles L. Grant, Doubleday, 1979
129 · Black Man with a Horn – New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, Arkham, 1980
175 · Nadelman’s God