The Taint and Other Novellas

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Prior to the first American publication of Brian Lumley’s ground-breaking, dead-waking, best-selling Necroscope in 1988 – the first novel in a long-lived, much-loved series – this British author had for 20 years been earning himself something of a reputation writing short stories, novellas, and a series of novels set against H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic Cthulhu Mythos backdrop

. A soldier in 1967, serving in Berlin with the Royal Military Police, Lumley jump-started his literary career by writing to August Derleth, the then-dean of macabre publishers at his home in Sauk City, Wisconsin, telling of his fascination with the Mythos, and purchasing books by the Old Gentleman of Providence, RI. In addition, he sent a page or two of written work allegedly culled from the various forbidden or black books of the Mythos. Suitably impressed, the master of Arkham House invited Lumley to write something solid in the Mythos as a possible contribution to a new volume he was currently contemplating, to be titled – what else but? – Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.

And as might well be imagined, that set everything in motion. Forty years have passed since then and a good many words of Mythos fiction written, including critically acclaimed and award-nominated work, stories that have appeared in prestigious magazines such as Fantasy & Science Fiction, and hardcover volumes from publishers all over the world from the USA to China and the United Kingdom to Russia. But while Lumley’s novels are all currently available, many of them in hardcover format, his Mythos short stories and novellas have until now remained uncollected.

Here in this volume are found the novellas; the future companion volume will contain the short stories. And thus the very best of Brian Lumley’s works in this sub-genre, including such recent tales as “The Hymn” and “The Taint”, are collected and presented for the first time in audio format…

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