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Black Gate Online Fiction: “Tsathoggua” by Michael Shea

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 | Posted by John ONeill

Michael Shea-smallMichael Shea, one of the most acclaimed sword & sorcery and horror writers working today, brings us a chilling novelette of Lovecraftian horror.

Maureen had fallen asleep in her barcalounger, snug in quilts with the clicker at hand and Muffin curled on her lap. It was Muffin’s gentle movements in her lap that awakened her. She had a vague sensation of small, light forms dispersing across her thighs…

Her wakening was hazy and slow, for she’d had one of her nice pills before she and Muffin settled down. She raised her head, so comfy and heavy. Yes, there he was in her lap, his adorable little muzzle thrust up inquiringly towards Maureen’s face, and his little fawn-colored flanks so fluffy. But…

Maureen hoisted herself a little higher. Muffin blinked calmly back at her. But Muffy had no legs. No legs at all. Muffin was only his head, his fat fluffy little torso, and his tail. He looked perfectly sleek, like he’d never had legs… !

Maureen was utterly, albeit groggily, astonished.

And just then she felt a delicate movement across the slipper on her right foot.

Michael Shea is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of A Quest for SimbilisThe Color Out Of TimeNifft the LeanIn YanaThe Extra, and the new Assault on Sunrise, among other novels. His collections include Polyphemus (1987), The Autopsy and Other Tales (2008), and Copping Squid and Other Mythos Tales (2010).

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Ryan Harvey, Peadar Ó Guilín, Dave Gross, Mike Allen, Vaughn Heppner, Aaron Bradford Starr, Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, E.E. Knight, C.S.E. Cooney, Howard Andrew Jones, and many others, is here.

“Tsathoggua” is a complete 12,000-word novelette of weird horror. It is offered at no cost.

Warning: This story involves mature themes. Reader discretion is advised.

Read the complete story here.


  1. I really wish they would make eBook versions of Nift the Lean. Specifically Kindle versions. :(

    Comment by kid_greg - September 24, 2013 8:53 am

  2. Kid,

    I hadn’t realized that digital versions weren’t available. You’re right, that’s a crime against literature.

    Comment by John ONeill - September 24, 2013 10:33 am

  3. And let’s not forget In Yana, as long as we’re talking about it.

    Comment by Joe H. - September 25, 2013 3:02 pm

  4. […] an original novelette of Lovecraftian horror by Michael in my inbox. I was proud to publish “Tsathoggua” as part of the Black Gate Online Fiction […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Michael Shea, July 3, 1946 – February 16, 2014 - March 18, 2014 11:09 am

  5. […] Browning Spencer, Holly Phillips — and even Michael Shea’s chilling novelette “Tsathoggua,” published online here at Black Gate. Here’s the book […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » New Treasures: New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird edited by Paula Guran - June 7, 2014 8:07 pm

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