T.E.D. (Theodore Eibon Donald) Klein was born on July 15, 1947.
In 1986, Klein won the World Fantasy Award for his Novella “Nadelman’s God” and also won the August Derleth Fantasy Award for his novel The Ceremonies. In 2012, World Horror Con named Klein a Grand Master. He was a two-time nominee for the coveted Balrog Award and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award seven times.
Klein’s first story was “The Events at Poroth Farm,” originally published in the fanzine From Beyond the Dark, edited by Edward P. Berglund in December 1972. Despite its fannish origins, the story was picked up by Richard Davis for The Year’s Best Horror Stories No. 3 and was translated into German for publication in that anthology. The story was also nominated for the World Fantasy Award and Gahan Wilson included it in First World Fantasy Awards. In 1984, Klein expanded the story to novel length and published it as The Ceremonies. The novella was published as a chap book in 1990. David Drake and Martin H. Greenberg reprinted it in A Century of Horror: 1970-1979 and Scott David Aniolowski included it in Return to Lovecraft Country. The story was also included in Eternal Lovecraft : The Persistence of H. P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture, edited by Jim Turner. Klein used it in his collection Reassuring Tales and S.T. Joshi used it in the anthology American Supernatural Tales. Peter Straub used it in American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now. Klein revised the story in 2012 for inclusion in the e-book The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack.
“The Events at Poroth Farm” is a Lovecraftian tale told as a series of diary entries bookended by a prologue and epilogue by the diary’s author, who has managed to survive the horror on the isolated farm where he rented a room for three months.
The prologue is overwritten as is much Lovecraftian style fiction and descriptive of the community in which the narrator has found himself, a secluded place to read Gothic novels in preparation for teaching a class on it in the Fall. His entries detail his growing relationship with his landlords, Sarr and Deborah Porath, as well as their clowder of cats.
The horror begins when the narrator finds one of the cats dead, a hole in its side apparently made from inside the cat. Before he can tell his hosts about their cat, the creature shows up, alive, and begins a reign of terror, not only of the other cats and chickens, but eventually of the humans living on Poroth Farm.
Perhaps due to the narrator’s interest in Gothic literature, he begins to entertain ideas of some sort of demonic possession, although his suppositions come too late for him to act on them to save the farm’s inhabitants. Although Klein provides a conclusion, a continuation of the story as the mundane world reasserts itself on the terror would have been a worthwhile addition, further setting “The Events at Poroth Farm” apart from the traditional horror story.
Reprint reviewed in the anthology Eternal Lovecraft: The Persistence of H.P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture, edited by Jim Turner, Golden Gryphon Press 2010.
Steven H Silver is a sixteen-time Hugo Award nominee and was the publisher of the Hugo-nominated fanzine Argentus as well as the editor and publisher of ISFiC Press for 8 years. He has also edited books for DAW and NESFA Press. He began publishing short fiction in 2008 and his most recently published story is “Doing Business at Hodputt’s Emporium” in Galaxy’s Edge. Steven has chaired the first Midwest Construction, Windycon three times, and the SFWA Nebula Conference 6 times, as well as serving as the Event Coordinator for SFWA. He was programming chair for Chicon 2000 and Vice Chair of Chicon 7. He has been the news editor for SF Site since 2002.