Ancient Astronauts, the Thing in the Pond, and the Cobweb Queen: The Weirdbook Annual #2: Cthulhu

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 | Posted by John ONeill

Weirdbook Annual 2 Cthulhu-smallWeirdbook‘s editor Doug Draa explains the rationale behind the magazine’s new line of Annuals in his editorial this issue.

We here at Weirdbook decided to do a yearly themed fifth issue. An annual if you will.

Last year’s theme was “Witches” and it turned out to be one of our most popular issues to date. After much soul searching it was decided that this year’s theme would be the ever popular “Cthulhu Mythos”… even after more than 9 decades, Mr. Lovecraft’s literary universe still continues to fire the imaginations of both writers and readers alike. It’s not an overstatement to say that Mr. Lovecraft’s fans and those of his Mythos are truly legion and beyond numbering.

I think that you, the reader will find this a highly enjoyable issue full of eldritch, unspeakable, and nameless horrors. I decided that this issue should contain stories by the finest of Weirdbook‘s regular contributors. This list includes such luminaries as Lucy A. Snyder, Ann K. Schwader, Leanna Falconer, Cynthia Ward, Darrell Schweitzer, Adrian Cole, and John R. Fultz to name just a few. I’m also very proud to have a brand new story from Mr. Robert M. Price which marks his very first appearance in this incarnation of Weirdbook! I can honestly call this Weirdbook‘s very first All Star Issue!

That’s an impressive list of contributors, and it includes at least two names well known to our readers: John R. Fultz, who published four stories in Black Gate, and Darrell Schweitzer, who appeared in BG 3 and BG 15.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents for the Weirdbook Annual #2: Cthulhu.

Short Stories

“The Shining Trapezohedron,” by Robert M. Price
“A Noble Endeavor,” by Lucy A. Snyder
“Ancient Astronauts,” by Cynthia Ward
“The Thing in the Pond,” by John R. Fultz

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A Year of Weirdbook

Monday, December 17th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

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Not all that long ago, Douglass Draa was the Online Editor for Weird Tales, maintaining a lively Facebook presence and posting numerous highly readable articles on the website (which, sadly, have now been removed.) Although the magazine has essentially been dead since 2014, Doug kept the Weird Tales name alive as best he could, and I frequently found myself wondering what someone with that much energy could do with more editorial control.

We found out in 2015 when the much-loved magazine Weirdbook returned to print with Doug at the helm. The first issue, #31, was a generous 160 pages of brand new weird fiction and sword & sorcery from many familiar names, packaged between gorgeous covers by Dusan Kostic and Stephen E. Fabian. Over the next three years Doug has produced no less than 10 issues — a staggering 2,000+ pages of new content — plus the very first Weirdbook Annual in 2017. Issues arrive like clockwork, and the magazine only seems to get better and better.

2018 was a great year for Weirdbook, with three huge issues. It seems to have settled into a comfortable 256-pages, and readers of this blog will be pleased, as I was, to see several Black Gate writers among the contributors — including John C. Hocking, John R. Fultz, and the prolific Darrell Schweitzer, with no less than three stories. I was especially pleased to see Doug’s use of quality interior art, which I think greatly enhances the look of the magazine. The latest issue, which just arrived last week, includes moody and effective spot art by the great Allen Koszowski, who also graced the pages of Black Gate back in the day.

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Weirdbook #37 Now Available

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Weirdbook 37-small Weirdbook 37 Table of Contents-small

Weirdbook published a total of five issues this year — that’s roughly 1,000 pages of brand new weird fantasy. That’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Issues continue to get better as well. Issue #37 was released this week, and just look at the awesome cover by João Florêncio. This issue is a special treat, as it features four Black Gate authors — Darrell Schweitzer, Michael Canfield, Jackson Kuhl, and John R. Fultz — and 20 other contributors. Click the image above right for the complete Table of Contents. John provides more detail on his story at his blog:

I’ve started a new story-cycle starring Magtone the Poet-Thief, a lyrical lowlife who inherits a gift of ancient sorcery along with a sentient flying carpet. These stories are high fantasy meets sword-and-sorcery, with an ancient-world flavor and a heavy dose of magical weirdness. The saga of Magtone’s wanderings will run mainly in the pages of Weirdbook, but he may show up in a few other publications as well. The first Magtone story is “The Veneration of Evil in the Kingdom of Ancient Lies.” It appears in Weirdbook #37… This inaugural tale introduces Magtone and the fantastic city-state of Karakutas, a metropolitan Babylon built by the power of ruthless wizard-kings. As the Doom of Karakutas approaches, Magtone strikes a deal with the only person that can save him from the coming apocalypse – the same wizard who is about to bring civilization crashing down.

Weirdbook is published by Wildside Press, and edited by Douglas Draa. Issues are 200+ pages, and priced $12 for the print edition, and $3.99 for the digital version. Subscriptions are currently not available, but you can buy individual issues at Amazon.com and Wildside Press. We last covered Weirdbook with issue #35. The magazine’s website is here. Our December Fantasy Magazine Rack is here. See all of our recent fantasy magazine coverage here.


Weirdbook 35 Now Available

Thursday, June 15th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

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Last issue, editor Douglas Draa shared the good news that Weirdbook would produce four issues this year — plus a themed annual. That seemed a little ambitious for a re-launched magazine still getting its sea legs… but the second issue of 2017 arrived right on schedule last month. Weirdbook has fast become one of the most reliable and energetic new fantasy magazines on the market, and with over 80,000 words of fiction (nearly 200 pages) crammed into every issue, its already one of the best values around. I predict great things for this magazine.

In his editorial, Doug reported that the themed issue this October will be dedicated to Witches. A fine choice. A glance at the TOC for this issue reveals a pair of names that will be familiar to Black Gate readers: Darrell Schweitzer (who published two pieces in the print edition of BG) and John R. Fultz, who contributed no less than four (including “When the Glimmer Faire Came to the City of the Lonely Eye,” which you can read in its entirety online as part of our Online Fiction Library.)

Here’s what John had to say about his newest story on his blog.

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Weirdbook 34 Now Available

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

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Weirdbook editor Douglas Draa shares some good news in his editorial in the latest issue.

It’s hard to believe that we started this endeavor over a year ago. If you look closely, you might just spot a trend:

2015: One Issue
2016: Two Issues
2017: Four issues and one themed annual!!

That’s correct, Weirdbook has gone quarterly this year! As a thank-you to all the readers who made this possible, we will be putting out a themed “2017 Annual” special issue this October. Just in time for Halloween! I hope themed Weirdbook Annuals will become a yearly tradition that everyone looks forward to. This year’s theme will be “Witches.”

Good news indeed! Weirdbook — alongside Skelos, Cirsova, and Grimdark — is leading the recent Weird Fantasy wave, developing talented new writers in its pages and providing a center for this thriving new genre. It’s great to see it thriving, and I’m looking forward to that themed Halloween issue.

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Weirdbook 33 Now Available

Saturday, November 26th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

weirdbook-33-smallI was very pleased to finally get my hands on a copy of Weirdbook 33 this week, the third issue of the newly re-launched weird fantasy magazine. It follows issue #32 by just four months, which is lightning fast in the world of small press magazines.

While the last issue contained 25 short stories, this time editor Doug Draa mixes it up a little with a focus on longer fiction. Here’s an excerpt from his editorial.

This issue is going somewhat against the norm in that there are only 9 pieces of long fiction, a single flash piece, from the esteemed James Aquilone, and our talented rouges gallery of poets this time around. The nine stories are all of novelette or novella length.

I was tempted to call this our “Super-duper Occult Detective Halloween Spooktacular,” but feared that that would have been overdoing things a wee bit. To be honest, it’s purely coincidental but this issue contains 3 detective pieces. One of them is a new “Nick Nightmare” story from British Fantasy Award winner Adrian Cole, another one is from rising star John R. Fultz, and the third is a tale of shamanistic detection set in the true north strong and free by the extremely talented Bruno Lombard.

This issue also sees the return of two genuine masters to the pages of Weirdbook. A powerful, erotic dark fantasy by Jessica Amanda Salmonson and a wonderfully pulpy adventure from the pen of Franklyn Searight himself.

This issue is even larger than the last one, clocking in at an impressive 178 pages. Here’s the complete table of contents.

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Weirdbook 32 Now Available

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

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I was delighted to receive a copy of the latest issue of Weirdbook in the mail. The last one, Weirdbook 31, the first new issue in nearly 20 years, was an unqualified success. This one seems to be packed largely with unknowns, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Best of all, it appears barely 9 months after the previous issue, which is a hopeful sign — and no easy task for a trade-paperback sized magazine that clocks in at 173 pages.

The issue contains no less than 25 tales of dark fantasy and the weird, as well as 9 poems. Here’s the complete table of contents.

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Weirdbook 31 Now on Sale

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Weirdbook 31-smallI am delighted to announce that Weirdbook 31, the latest issue of one of the greatest sword & sorcery and weird fantasy magazines in history, is now on sale.

New editor Doug Draa, the former online editor for Weird Tales, has done an tremendous job resurrecting Paul Ganley’s classic weird fantasy magazine, and dressing it up for the 21st Century. Weirdbook produced thirty annual issues between 1968 and 1997, publishing fiction by Stephen King, Joseph Payne Brennan, H. Warner Munn, Robert E. Howard, Tim Powers, Darrell Schweitzer, Delia Sherman, and countless others. The magazine was also renowned for its gorgeous interior artwork by Gene Day, Allen Koszowski, Stephen E. Fabian, and many others.

This is the first issue since 1997; its new publisher is Wildside Press, publisher of Adventure Tales, Wildside Pulp Classics, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. The cover is by Dusan Kostic, and the back cover is a piece by the great Stephen E. Fabian, who did most of the covers for the original run.

The magazine is a large digest format on book paper, in the same format at Adventure Tales and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. It’s available directly from Wildside, from online distributors, and through Amazon.com.

The new issue includes brand new fiction and poetry from John R. Fultz, Adrian Cole, Paul Dale Anderson, Darrell Schweitzer, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Wade German, and many others. Here’s the complete table of contents.

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Weirdbook Returns in October…

Friday, July 24th, 2015 | Posted by John R. Fultz

WB31

Front Cover of Weirdbook #31

Back Cover

Back Cover of Weirdbook #31

“It’s alive! Alive!!!!!”

Weirdbook is coming back to life. New editor Doug Draa has done an immense job of resurrecting Paul Ganley’s classic weird fantasy mag.

Weirdbook #31 will be the first issue since 1997, and it’s slated for an October release from its new publisher Wildside Press.

On the left is a look at the front cover by Dusan Kostic. Click for a bigger version.

The back cover (right) will be a piece by the great Stephen E. Fabian, who did all the covers for the original WB run.

This issue is sort of a bridge between the magazine’s past and its future.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents for Weirdbook #31.

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Relaunched Weirdbook Scores a Stephen Fabian Cover

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Weirdbook 31-smallEarlier this month I was very pleased to report that one of the greatest of all weird fiction magazines, W. Paul Ganley’s Weirdbook, is relaunching, with David A. Riley as Senior Editor and Publisher, and Douglas Draa, former Online Editor for Weird Tales, as Managing Editor and Fiction editor.

Last week on his blog David Riley revealed the cover for the upcoming Weirdbook 31, with art by none other than the great Stephen Fabian (at right; click for bigger version).

We are very pleased to be able to reveal the cover for issue 31, the first of the new Weirdbooks. It’s the work of Stephen Fabian, whose art often featured on earlier copies of the magazine.

Indeed, Fabian’s cover art was a hallmark of the original Weirdbook, and I’m thrilled to see that David and Doug have managed to secure him for issue 31. I’m certain it will make old-timers like me feel right at home.

You can see more of Fabian’s artwork in our detailed look at Stephen E. Fabian’s Ladies & Legends last year, and read more about Weirdbook (including their recent call for book reviewers) at David’s blog. They expect to have issue 31, the first issue of the relaunched magazine, available by the end of August this year.


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