02 April 2013

"We Obey Some Secret Command; We Sail Under Sealed Orders"

Okay for my money Vincent O'Sullivan's 1921 story "Master of Fallen Years" is pretty much what you want in a weird tale. It's weird: the central problem in the story is not quite a haunting, but more like a reincarnation glitch / possession? The central problem goes unexplained / underexplained, which offers a maximization of the heebie-jeebie effect. In terms of execution, it is gloriously consistent with itself and with certain cognitive experiences that we all have on a regular basis, but which may have sinister explanations. This is probably saying too much about my personality, but the ending also made me lol.

If you're a slowish reader like me it will probably take you 20 minutes to read it? Go now go. I hope you like it.

(p.s. I found this story via the exquisite Century's Best Horror Fiction, edited by John Pelan. I've written about it before, but I can't recommend it enough. Ask your Sugar Daddy / Sugar Mama / Dark Lord Who Rules You to buy you a copy.)

Source


8 comments:

Mark Means said...

I love those old stories. They always seemed to be so rich in imagery and didn't just assume you knew what they were talking about.

I'll bookmark it and put it on my TBR list...thanks for showcasing it and thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog :)

Andrew Leon said...

I would go read it right now if it wasn't so late and I wasn't so behind...:(

Elizabeth Twist said...

@Mark: welcome! Hope you get some time to read the story, if not during A to Z, then later.

@Andrew: I know that feeling.

caitstuff said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing. And yes, the ending...

Mina Lobo said...

I'll happilly check this out/report back here once I've done all my A to Z duties for the day.

Meanwhile, reading the "Dark Lord Who Rules you" bit sent a thrum of W00F! through my veins...which I'll not examine too closely, at present. :-)

Deborah Walker said...

Loved it! Lummy.

Georgina Morales said...

Thanks so much for that link! I can't wait to read it. I want that antho for mother's day and if my husband wants to keep having ironed shirts and warm meals, he better deliver...

Thanks again!

Elizabeth Twist said...

@caitstuff: Glad you liked it!

@Mina: Maybe I should be writing naughty dark lord porn.

@Debs: Good good!

@Georgina: You will love the antho especially if you're like me and you love to broaden your understanding of the horror field.

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