Emil Petaja (1915 - 2000) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer whose career spanned seven decades. He was the author of 13 published novels, nearly 150 short stories, numerous poems, and a handful of books and articles on various subjects. Though he wrote science fiction, fantasy, horror stories, detective fiction, and poetry, Petaja considered his work partEmil Petaja (1915 - 2000) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer whose career spanned seven decades. He was the author of 13 published novels, nearly 150 short stories, numerous poems, and a handful of books and articles on various subjects. Though he wrote science fiction, fantasy, horror stories, detective fiction, and poetry, Petaja considered his work part of an older tradition of "weird fiction." You can find echoes not only of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard in his work, but previous generations of weird authors such as Poe, Blackwood, and E.F. Benson. This volume includes 10 stories and a poem:MONSIEUR BLUEBEARDLIVE EVILSKYDRIFTTHE DARK BALCONYTHE HUNGRY GHOSTTHE INSISTENT GHOSTTHE JONAHTHE MUSIC-BOX FROM HELLVOTARESSTHE INTRUDERMARMOK (poem)If you enjoy this ebook, don't forget to search your favorite ebook store for "Wildside Press Megapack" to see more of the 190+ volumes in this series, covering adventure, historical fiction, mysteries, westerns, ghost stories, science fiction -- and much, much more!...
|Title||:||The Golden Age of Weird Fiction MEGAPACK ™, Vol. 3: Emil Petaja|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||135 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Golden Age of Weird Fiction MEGAPACK ™, Vol. 3: Emil Petaja Reviews
I edited and assembled this collection of pulp-era author Emil Petaja's work. There is a companion volume coming containing an assortment of his other writing in the science-fiction, crime/mystery and related genres (along with 2 other "weird" pieces that were not available when this went through the door - "The Mist", which is basically an ode to Lovecraft on his death and "The Answer", which is mostly a crime/murder obsession story with an implied "weird" ending - look for them in THE GOLDEN AGE OF PULP FICTION - EMIL PETAJA).Petaja wrote his weird fiction mostly for WEIRD TALES magazine and he was a friend and devotee of Lovecraft. Interestingly, though, not much here could be considered straight-up Lovecraft pastiche in the "Lovecraft Circle" sense - that is to say, traditional horror stories with Old Ones inserted in the place of demons, etc. - instead, Lovecraft's sense of "cosmic horror" infested a few, but only a few, stories presented here. Petaja had an amiable, breezy style well-suited for the pulps and pretty much everything here is solid.The inessentials: "Marmok" is a short poem (in the amateur, Lovecraft/Ashton Smith mode) on themes of cosmic evil and essentially its points get reiterated in "The Intruder", more on which later. "The Insistent Ghost" is a trifle about a widow who runs an antique shop at the beach and how she misdirects the vengeful (but near-sighted) ghost of her murdered husband. Fantasy-humor in a dark vein but nothing special. Along similar lines is "The Music Box From Hell", the titular object of which a young man intends to incorporate into his plans for bumping off his wealthy aunt. Except he overlooked a detail in his rush to greed. In the end, cute and forgettable."Live Evil" turns on a scientist's invention of a machine that can disperse evil vibrations (see also Richard Matheson's Hell House) and his desire to find a suitable haunted place in which to test it - but neither of his two backers are happy with how he's spent their money and demand to come along to the spooky old mansion with a black history. Not bad. "The Hungry Ghost" has a man inherit a fortune but also the lifelong personal care of his mentally retarded, invalid relative - who he contrives to starve to death by manufacturing an "accident" of neglect. But know he's haunted by the leering, slobbering figure whenever he attempts to eat. This is a rather grim piece, surprisingly so for the time period, with a focus on mental illness. "The Intruder" and "Skydrift" both show Lovecraft's influence (with an additional touch of Charles Fort in the latter, who even gets name-checked!). "Intruder" has a man confront a weird stranger at the seaside who tells him the terrible secrets of the universe - not really a story but effectively evocative of the Lovecraftian vibe, if mostly just exposition. "Skydrift" has two hobo ex-cons stumble across a strange object on the beach - the submissive one, thanks to some reading, believes the thing comes from somewhere outside this earth and should be worshiped, while his violent, dominant friend mocks and derides the suggestion. Pretty good."The Jonah" is an enjoyable weird sea-tale which not only gives us the classic figure of the cursed seaman, but also works in towering, inhuman storm-frauen from quasi-Norse (or is it Finnish?) folklore. Again, predictable for the time but not a bad read - the imagery of the female storm-giantesses is well done. "Votaress" is another predictable but, for all that, quite solid little read as a nosey old biddy dislikes the cat-loving gypsy woman who lives next door with such passion that she decides to teach her a lesson that ends badly... for everyone."Monsieur Bluebeard" is essentially a variant (but a quite enjoyable one) of Robert Bloch's seminal "Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper" (published just a year before) wherein the publisher of GHOULISH SHOCKERS, a horror fiction mag, faces sales-depleting competition from newspaper coverage of real-world macabre crimes and so advertises to interview the current psychotic serial-killer butchering women. And the strange man who shows up at the office seems to fit the bill - in fact he claims to be the actual, historical Bluebeard (here, one presumes by reading between the lines, implying notorious figure Gilles de Rais), eternally killing his way around the globe! But, more twists await. This has a nice, knowing, almost meta-fictional aspect (but to say how would ruin the story) and I liked it.The best piece here, and really worth rediscovery, is "The Dark Balcony". In a sense, it follows a traditional trajectory of the pulp weird tale at the time - young man's wealthy, dying San Francisco aunt has a dark secret (ensconced you-know-where in her mansion) to pass on to him when she goes. But you can also tell Petaja is putting a bit *more* into the story. The main character has a charmingly decadent, sardonic and blase narrative voice and his dialogues and interactions with his scandalous, wicked aunt are very well written indeed - and this pays off nicely in the last line. I really dug this story.So there you are - for .99 cents you can pick up a bunch of pulp-era weird fiction from someone rarely mentioned nowadays. Enjoy!
Truly GoldenThis book is a treasure of stories that I never would have had the pleasure of reading if not for my Kindle. I overlook any scientific flaws and give the stories extra credit just because of their age.