Back in July, I did a Vintage Treasures article on The Best of Robert Bloch, the second in my series on Lester Del Rey’s Classics of Science Fiction. In doing the research for that article, I came across references to Bloch’s book of Lovecraftian fiction, Strange Eons, first published in 1979.
My curiosity was piqued. It took a while to track down a copy, but this is the age of the Internet, when all things are possible. I settled in to read it this morning and I was surprised to find it’s a novel, not a collection, as I assumed. Given the big Doctor Who news today, I was also amused to find the last page given over to a house ad for Pinnacle’s Doctor Who novelizations, with a banner quote from Harlan Ellison: “Incomparable… extraordinary… my hero, Doctor Who!”
The book is dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft — at least that wasn’t a surprise. As the publisher notes on the back of Strange Eons, Bloch was a protégé of Lovecraft and, at the age of fifteen, the youngest member of the “Lovecraft Circle” of writers. The novel builds unabashedly on the work of the master, starting with the premise that the creatures he wrote of are real, and his books form a dire warning for mankind:
What men know is called science; what they have not yet learned they call magic. But both are real….
In the world of today and the near future, three people inexorably linked by a common interest in the work of H. P. Lovecraft, discover: that the legendary creatures he created in his fantasies have hideous counterparts in reality… that his fiction is incredible fact… that his message is a warning…
Spooky stuff. I’ll see if the execution lives up to the promise. Strange Eons was published by Pinnacle Books in June 1979, with cover art by David Hada. It is 249 pages, priced at $1.95 in paperback. I paid $5.50 for a fine condition copy on eBay.
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