Most Peculiar Mummy

Whispers (1977) edited by Stuart David Schiff, containing the following stories:

“Sticks” by Karl Edward Wagner: One of Wagner’s four greatest stories, “Sticks” is a terrific piece of Cthulhu Mythology, with an absolutely riveting first half.

“The Barrow Troll” by David Drake: Typically tough-minded piece of revisionist historical fantasy from Drake.

“The Glove” by Fritz Leiber: Blackly humourous San Francisco-era piece from Leiber, set in a familiar apartment building for Leiber fans.

“The Closer of the Way” by Robert Bloch: Droll bit of meta-fiction from the creator of Psycho.

“Dark Winner” by William F. Nolan: Fascinating bit of Bradbury-tinged horror-nostalgia that would have been right at home on The Twilight Zone.

“Ladies in Waiting” by Hugh B. Cave: Solid haunted-house riff.

“White Moon Rising” by Dennis Etchison: A non-supernatural psychological thriller from Etchison. Stylistically precise, thematically mysterious.

“Graduation” by Richard Christian Matheson: Epistolary creep-out.

“Mirror, Mirror” by Ray Russell: Fun, minor piece.

The House of Cthulhu by Brian Lumley: Lovecraftian sword-and-sorcery.

“Antiquities” by John Crowley: Mummies wreak havoc in England in a most peculiar way.

“A Weather Report from the Top of the Stairs” by James Sallis and David Lunde: Adaptation of a famous Gahan Wilson cartoon (“And then we’ll get him!”) with two different endings.

“The Scallion Stone” by Basil A. Smith: A very M.R. Jamesian horror story from a writer who avoided publication until after his death.

“The Inglorious Rise of the Catsmeat Man” by Robin Smyth: Very much an Ambrose Bierce/Roald Dahl-like exercise in gross-out horror-comedy.

“The Pawnshop” by Charles E. Fritch: Entertaining deal-with-the-devil story.

Le Miroir“by Robert Aickman: An even-more-ambiguous-than-usual story from the eternally ambiguous Aickman.

“The Willow Platform” by Joseph Payne Brennan: Nice bit of regional Maine Lovecraft-tinged cosmic horror in the backwoods.

“The Dakwa” by Manly Wade Wellman: The Southeast backwoods play host to a particularly gruesome Native-American monster.

“Goat” by David Campton: Really solid, evocative piece of particularly British small-town horror.

“The Chimney” by Ramsey Campbell: Award-winning story of childhood horrors that may or may not be real.

The first anthology of stories from Schiff’s semi-prozine Whispers really almost bursts with heady goodness. In all: Highly recommended.

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