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The Women of Weird Tales

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Launched in 1923, the pulp magazine Weird Tales quickly became one of the most important outlets for horror and fantasy fiction and is often associated with writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert Bloch, all of whose work appeared in the magazine. But often overlooked is the fact that much of Weird Tales’ content was by women writers, some of whom numb Launched in 1923, the pulp magazine Weird Tales quickly became one of the most important outlets for horror and fantasy fiction and is often associated with writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert Bloch, all of whose work appeared in the magazine. But often overlooked is the fact that much of Weird Tales’ content was by women writers, some of whom numbered among the magazine’s most popular contributors. This volume includes thirteen fantastic tales originally published between 1925 and 1949, written by four of Weird Tales’ most prolific female contributors: Greye La Spina, Everil Worrell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman and Eli Colter. Ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror, these classic tales of mad scientists, deadly curses, ghosts, vampires, and the risen dead remain as thrilling and sensational as when first published.


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Launched in 1923, the pulp magazine Weird Tales quickly became one of the most important outlets for horror and fantasy fiction and is often associated with writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert Bloch, all of whose work appeared in the magazine. But often overlooked is the fact that much of Weird Tales’ content was by women writers, some of whom numb Launched in 1923, the pulp magazine Weird Tales quickly became one of the most important outlets for horror and fantasy fiction and is often associated with writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert Bloch, all of whose work appeared in the magazine. But often overlooked is the fact that much of Weird Tales’ content was by women writers, some of whom numbered among the magazine’s most popular contributors. This volume includes thirteen fantastic tales originally published between 1925 and 1949, written by four of Weird Tales’ most prolific female contributors: Greye La Spina, Everil Worrell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman and Eli Colter. Ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror, these classic tales of mad scientists, deadly curses, ghosts, vampires, and the risen dead remain as thrilling and sensational as when first published.

30 review for The Women of Weird Tales

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    If I were to ask you to name some of the famous writers who had work published in the pages of the legendary pulp magazine "Weird Tales," odds are that you might reply with some of the following: H. P. Lovecraft, whose Cthulhu stories sprung up in "Weird Tales"; Robert E. Howard, who placed his Conan stories therein; Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, perhaps Clark Ashton Smith. Readers who are a bit more familiar with the so-called "Unique Magazine" might confidently respond with Seabury Quinn, the a If I were to ask you to name some of the famous writers who had work published in the pages of the legendary pulp magazine "Weird Tales," odds are that you might reply with some of the following: H. P. Lovecraft, whose Cthulhu stories sprung up in "Weird Tales"; Robert E. Howard, who placed his Conan stories therein; Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, perhaps Clark Ashton Smith. Readers who are a bit more familiar with the so-called "Unique Magazine" might confidently respond with Seabury Quinn, the author who appeared in "Weird Tales" more times than any other...a remarkable 165 appearances in the 279 issues that the magazine came out with during its initial incarnation, from 1923 - 1954. All male authors, you will notice, although several readers may happily be aware of C. L. (Catherine Lucille) Moore, whose 1933 story "Shambleau" so amazed "Weird Tales" readers, and for good reason. Thus, it comes as something of an eye-opener to learn that no fewer than 114 women had their work printed in the pages of "Weird Tales" before 1933 alone, a fact revealed by Melanie R. Anderson in her introduction to Valancourt Books' beautiful new release "The Women of Weird Tales." The year 2020, may I interject here, might have been a lousy one for planet Earth, but it sure was a good year for several of the female writers of "Weird Tales," who, via three releases over the last few months, have at long last been given the recognition they deserve. I have already written here of Armchair Fiction's "Allison V. Harding: The Forgotten Queen of Horror," which came out last June and shone a spotlight on one of "Weird Tales'" most popular authors of the '40s and '50s, in the first anthology given over to her work. This past October, Everil Worrell was given a similar treatment, with the first anthology of her stories, "Call Not Their Names." And in November, this Valancourt book was released, dealing with four women who were all frequent contributors to the magazine: Worrell, Greye La Spina, Mary Elizabeth Counselman and Eli Colter. Something of a renaissance for the distaff side of "The Unique Magazine," thus. The Valancourt book gives us a baker's dozen from these four authors; tales ranging from 1925 - 1949. Most of them are pretty wonderful, and cover a wide range of subject matter. Many of the stories are quite ghastly, even grisly and ghoulish, to the point that the reader may at times be surprised that such macabre doings have sprung from a woman author. The tales are presented in strict chronological order, meaning that the anthology often jumps from one writer to the next, but for the sake of this review, I would like to deal with one author at a time, so that we might get a sense of her combined efforts here. Let's begin with Massachusetts-born Greye La Spina (1880 - 1969), who had 15 stories printed in "Weird Tales" (including one series) and is here represented by five. "The Remorse of Professor Panebianco" (from the 1/25 "Weird Tales") is the earliest story chronologically here, and thus kicks off this collection...somewhat weakly, I'm afraid. Here, an obsessed scientist believes that he can trap the vaporous soul essence of a person after death, utilizing his specially constructed glass bell, but tragedy looms when his unloved wife volunteers for the experiment. It is an interesting tale, albeit too superficially presented. Much better is La Spina's "The Dead-Wagon" (from the 9/27 issue), in which we meet the accursed family of Lord Malverson. When the wooden carving on the portal of Malverson Abbey, depicting a wagonload of the deceased during the Great Plague of 1664, suddenly sports a red cross one day, the current head of the house, Lord Malverson himself, knows that one of his heirs will soon come to his demise. And matters become even more dire when Malverson's soon-to-be son-in-law sees a wagon of the dead in the estate's courtyard, and later, when his own infant son suffers a traumatic head injury and hovers at death's door. It is a marvelous story, and the origin of the family curse a fascinating one. In the author's next tale here, "The Deadly Theory" (5/42), an artist relates a very strange story about his lady love, Marzha; the woman's younger sister, Idell; and their father, Elisha, a modern-day alchemist of sorts. When Marzha is poisoned by her jealous sibling and is found newly dead, Elisha vows to bring her back to life for her fiancé, utilizing a process involving cremation, the elixir known as Primum Ens Sanguinis, occult rites, and incantations. And soon enough, Marzha does indeed return from the dead...but that is only the beginning of this truly bizarre story, culminating with not one, but two surprise endings. Some very fine work here from Ms. La Spina! In "Great Pan Is Here" (11/43), a young man and his future fiancée are stunned when the Greek nature god Himself arrives at his house and declares that He wishes to take possession of the backyard for His festive rites and gatherings. In this truly charming fantasy, La Spina throws in a love story, a nymph statue that comes to mystical life, an enchanted night of dancing with the dryads and nymphs of the so-called "Old World," and a seemingly magical transformation, as that prim and decorous fiancée is awakened as to her true nature. Finally, in "The Antimacassar" (5/49), a young career woman, Lucy Butterfield, goes off in search of her missing coworker, and winds up at the boardinghouse of one Mrs. Renner, who also gives sewing lessons. Before long, Lucy is unnerved by the nighttime cries of 12-year-old Kathy Renner, beseeching her mother with cries of "Mom! I'm hungry!" This is the only La Spina story that I had encountered previously, and without giving away too much, let me just say that it was in the pages of the 1992 anthology "Weird Vampire Tales." Anyway, these five stories by La Spina have only strengthened my resolve to one day read her werewolf novel "Invaders from the Dark," originally serialized in the April - June 1925 issues of "Weird Tales." If only I could find it at a decent price. Up next for our delectation is Nebraska-born Everil Worrell (1893 - 1969), who is also represented by five of her 19 "Weird Tales" stories. In "Leonora" (1/27), a possible homage to Edgar Allan Poe, a 16-year-old girl meets, on the occasions of several full moons, a mysterious man who urges her to hop into his car and go for a ride. And after several months, she finally accedes, only to find that the stranger has a skeletal hand, and their destination is...a cemetery. This is a simply written yet highly atmospheric tale, one that grows increasingly grisly as it proceeds. And yes, Poe himself did write a poem named "Lenore," as well as a short story called "Eleonora"...on different themes, however. "The Canal" (12/27) is a story that I had somehow forgotten about, despite having encountered it previously in that same "Weird Vampire Tales" anthology. How could this wonderful story have slipped my mind? In it, a reclusive oddball, a young man of night owlish habits, encounters a young woman who sits on a half-submerged barge in the middle of a desolate canal. The man immediately falls in love with this nocturnal maiden, who tells him that she will only come to him when the canal becomes stagnant, as she cannot cross running water. This deliciously creepy tale concludes with an ending that borders on the apocalyptic. Wonderful stuff! In the pulp wonder known as "Vulture Crag" (8/28), the reader is introduced to the evil mastermind Count Zolani, who has devised a machine that will enable a man's soul/essence to become separated from his body and then propelled into space, to explore distant worlds. On the top of a vulture-plagued eminence on the desolate Maryland coast, he converts a crumbling mansion into a scientific installation, and in time invites our narrator and his girlfriend, as well as 18 others, to be his first subjects. Into this outlandish conceit Worrell throws a hulking and tongueless servant, a love triangle, poisoning, a conflagration, death by vulture, and some truly bizarre scientific concepts, to make for one way-out mélange. And "The Rays of the Moon" (9/28) might be even stranger! Here, a young man of science--and an occasional grave robber--enters a cemetery one night to dig up a fresh new subject for experimentation. On this evening, however, his chosen subject, the freshly interred corpse of a young woman, comes to life, and in a flash, our young body snatcher--or his spectral self, anyway--and the young deceased are standing beneath the mountains of the moon, having been drawn there by some mysterious agency! This tale concludes with a surprise ending that only the slowest of readers will fail to see coming; an ending so telegraphed, actually, that perhaps it was not meant to come as a surprise at all. Still, a terrific bit of writing here. And finally, Worrell gives us what is perhaps her best--and certainly most outrageous--tale in this collection, "The Gray Killer" (11/29). In this one, a woman lies in the hospital with an injured foot, writing in her diary about all the strange things going on around her. A hopeless cancer case has made a miraculous recovery, and so has a train-wreck victim. A young boy is found dead, harpooned to the skylight in the operating room (!), and an infant child is kidnapped. Meanwhile, our narrator becomes ever more frightened of her night doctor, a strange-looking man of evil aspect. And ultimately, Worrell throws some leprosy-loving space alien cannibals, as well as a tentacled Lovecraftian monstrosity, into this truly flabbergasting mix. Bottom line: I cannot imagine anyone who reads these five mind-boggling tales not desiring to read the 14-story Worrell collection that has just been released. I know I do! As for Alabama-born Mary Elizabeth Counselman (1911 - 1995), I was fairly familiar with this master of the Southern Gothic, having recently read Arkham House's famed 1978 collection of her work entitled "Half in Shadow." Counselman is here represented by two of her 30 "Weird Tales" stories. In "The Black Stone Statue" (12/37, and also to be found in the Arkham House collection), a Brazilian explorer brings back to the U.S. a star-shaped glob of alien jelly that has the power to turn anything it touches to stone. A sculptor of his acquaintance decides that this might be of use in his work...with dreadful results. In "The Web of Silence" (11/39), a person unknown, one "Dr. Ubique," demands $250,000 from a small town's mayor, with the threat that if the money is not paid, something terrible will happen. And when this mailed-in extortion threat is ignored, a force is lowered over the entire valley, preventing all sounds from being heard, and resulting in days of panic and economic calamity. Counselman obviously gave a great deal of thought as to what a world without sound would entail for its residents, in this wonderfully clever tale. Finally, as for Oregon-born Eli Colter (1890 - 1984), she only has one tale here out of the dozen she placed in "Weird Tales," but at least it is one of the collection's longest...and best. "The Curse of a Song" (3/28) is a straightforward ghost story largely set in the Portland that the author knew so well...the Portland of the 1880s, however. Here, a man who believes his fiancée has been unfaithful to him grows into a madman, and before he dies lays a curse on his successive generations...a curse tied to the song his fiancée had been playing on the piano when he'd caught her, the 1884 chestnut "Love's Old Sweet Song." And now, as his niece prepares to get married herself, the specter of this madman returns to cause further mischief. This is a fantastic tale, truly, at once scary and suspenseful, in which Colter gives us a nice history of her hometown of Portland as well. So there you have it: 13 fascinating stories from the pages of "Weird Tales" magazine, written by four female authors who may now be getting an introduction to a new generation, courtesy of this fine collection from Valancourt. To read this book is to hope that both Greye La Spina and Eli Colter may themselves someday soon be given their own anthologies, perhaps from Armchair Fiction or Valancourt. It is also to be hoped that this volume is just the first of many to offer us selections written by the lady contributors to "Weird Tales," ladies who--as is amply demonstrated here--could get every bit as grisly, outrageous and fantastic as their male colleagues.... (By the way, this review originally appeared on the FanLit website at http://www.fantasyliterature.com/ ... a most ideal destination for all fans of "Weird Tales" magazine....)

  2. 5 out of 5

    SylvainL

    Inégal, comme pas mal tout les recueils de nouvelles, mais j'étais très content de découvrir une telle anthologie, recueillant des textes d'autrices écrivant dans la revue Weird Tales, dans les années 1920-30. C'est généralement excellent, malgré une tendance à trop expliquer qui gêne les finales, et il y a quelques nouvelles très prenantes (The Gray Doctor, entre autres, mais là aussi la finale déçoit), et une, The Web of Silence, qui m'a rappelé un des meilleurs épisodes de Buffy (avec une aut Inégal, comme pas mal tout les recueils de nouvelles, mais j'étais très content de découvrir une telle anthologie, recueillant des textes d'autrices écrivant dans la revue Weird Tales, dans les années 1920-30. C'est généralement excellent, malgré une tendance à trop expliquer qui gêne les finales, et il y a quelques nouvelles très prenantes (The Gray Doctor, entre autres, mais là aussi la finale déçoit), et une, The Web of Silence, qui m'a rappelé un des meilleurs épisodes de Buffy (avec une autre finale décevante - la nouvelle, pas l'épisode, la fin est géniale dans l'épisode). Je suis assez enthousiaste pour avoir commandé d'autres livres de la même série, parce que ça s'appelle Monster, She Wrote, et c'est quand même irrésistible (plus les éditrices rééditent un Ann Radcliffe cet été, c'est parfait).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    4 stars. This was a lot of fun and I'm always down to discover older women who paved the way in horror. Everil Worrell was by far my favorite of the authors. Review to come. 4 stars. This was a lot of fun and I'm always down to discover older women who paved the way in horror. Everil Worrell was by far my favorite of the authors. Review to come.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Randy Money

    This is entertaining pulp. Nothing quite on the level of Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury or C. L. Moore in terms of exuberant prose stylings -- and I understand for some that will be a recommendation rather than a criticism. The anthology hits several of the horror tropes associated with WT, still most of the stories show a perspective distinct from the male writers, and an interesting essay could be spun just out of Greye La Spina's "Great Pan is Here" on views of nature and sexuali This is entertaining pulp. Nothing quite on the level of Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury or C. L. Moore in terms of exuberant prose stylings -- and I understand for some that will be a recommendation rather than a criticism. The anthology hits several of the horror tropes associated with WT, still most of the stories show a perspective distinct from the male writers, and an interesting essay could be spun just out of Greye La Spina's "Great Pan is Here" on views of nature and sexuality, as well as male vs. female perspective on love in "The Remorse of Professor Panebianco."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    This beautiful volume -- introduced by Melanie R. Anderson, co-author of Monster, She Wrote, the book that inspired this new series by Valancourt Books -- includes thirteen stories originally published between 1925 and 1949, written by four of Weird Tales’ most prolific women contributors: Greye La Spina, Everil Worrell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman and Eli Colter. The official description goes like this: "Ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror, these classic tales of mad scientists, dea This beautiful volume -- introduced by Melanie R. Anderson, co-author of Monster, She Wrote, the book that inspired this new series by Valancourt Books -- includes thirteen stories originally published between 1925 and 1949, written by four of Weird Tales’ most prolific women contributors: Greye La Spina, Everil Worrell, Mary Elizabeth Counselman and Eli Colter. The official description goes like this: "Ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror, these classic tales of mad scientists, deadly curses, ghosts, vampires, and the risen dead remain as thrilling and sensational as when first published." These stories are uniformly excellent while being very different in tone and style and genre from each other, which makes this anthology a great joy to read. I was particularly struck by how effectively Everil Worrell creates dread and despair in Gothic tales such as "Leonora" and "The Canal" and Greye La Spina a kind of liberated joy in "Great Pan Is Here." Anyone who loves speculative and weird fiction will find something to appreciate here. Hats off to Valancourt Books for creating this Monster, She Wrote series to make these great works of pioneering SF by women available again. The gorgeously thematic and complementary covers are an extra bonus! I plan to read the entire series!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen Kohoutek

    Excellent collection featuring ghost and other spooky stories (a vampire here, a mad scientist there) from four women who published in Weird Tales. At first I wondered why there weren't more authors represented, but this is a good showcase for writers who are lesser known, allowing a little bit of a deeper dive into their works, except for Eli Colter, who only has the one story. In the end, I was happy with that decision. I particularly liked Everil Worrell, and especially "Leonora" and "The Gra Excellent collection featuring ghost and other spooky stories (a vampire here, a mad scientist there) from four women who published in Weird Tales. At first I wondered why there weren't more authors represented, but this is a good showcase for writers who are lesser known, allowing a little bit of a deeper dive into their works, except for Eli Colter, who only has the one story. In the end, I was happy with that decision. I particularly liked Everil Worrell, and especially "Leonora" and "The Gray Killer," but they were all good. And Mary Elizabeth Counselman's two stories, predating the show by a few decades, could totally be Twilight Zone episodes. Another beautiful edition from Valancourt Books!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena

    Move over H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, H. G. Wells, and make some room for these wonderful ladies of Weird Tales! This collection is fantastic! The stories have vampires, ghosts, mad scientists and crazy professors, weird creatures from outer space and more. They're genuinely spooky and fascinating. It's rare for stories in a collection by various authors to be almost equally good, but believe me - these are all excellent! Move over H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, H. G. Wells, and make some room for these wonderful ladies of Weird Tales! This collection is fantastic! The stories have vampires, ghosts, mad scientists and crazy professors, weird creatures from outer space and more. They're genuinely spooky and fascinating. It's rare for stories in a collection by various authors to be almost equally good, but believe me - these are all excellent!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nikki in Niagara

    A fantastic collection of short tales by women published in the early years of the Weird Tales magazine. There were only two stories I didn't like. The rest I loved. A definite 5 star short story collection. A fantastic collection of short tales by women published in the early years of the Weird Tales magazine. There were only two stories I didn't like. The rest I loved. A definite 5 star short story collection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Landen Celano

    Like walking on dark and stormy clouds, one story to the next capturing the perfect feeling of reading spooky story on a rainy afternoon.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Been a fan of this series of books ever since I impulse bought Monster, She Wrote which made me aim to read more books by women. Lo & behold, with this book I’d be able to hold myself to that and get to know the writing of women who had their stories told in Weird Tales. I had no idea to what extent women had been featured there! So, if you’re like me and working on getting to know the history and literature by women in horror & spec fiction, you could do a lot worse than this teaser. Summary of Been a fan of this series of books ever since I impulse bought Monster, She Wrote which made me aim to read more books by women. Lo & behold, with this book I’d be able to hold myself to that and get to know the writing of women who had their stories told in Weird Tales. I had no idea to what extent women had been featured there! So, if you’re like me and working on getting to know the history and literature by women in horror & spec fiction, you could do a lot worse than this teaser. Summary of the short stories below: The Remorse of Professor Panebianco (Greye La Spina): A callous professor researching the soul sacrifices what should have been dearest to him in his quest for answers. -Leonora (Everil Worrell): A young woman in a madhouse recounts her story of what led her there. So begins a tale of her full-moon walk home which had Leonora encountering a mysterious stranger in a car. They keep meeting on moonlit nights, she feels an unnatural pull towards him and is eventually talked into taking a ride with him. There seems to be something off with this stranger and she’s unable to really see his face in the dark of the car. Also, just where is he taking her? -The Dead-Wagon (Greye La Spina): A sinister chalk sketching on the door, a family cursed and the first born dies before coming of age and the man who marries into said family. Can the curse be broken before it takes his child as well? -The Canal (Everil Worrell): A man on a late night walk along the canal finds himself enamored with a mysterious girl on a half submerged boat. She was supposedly chased here by the town due to unknown reasons, will only see him at night, refuses him access to the boat and says he’s never to approach during day time (when she sleeps). He inexplicably feels compelled to do her bidding, whatever it might be & they agree that she will join him on the bank as soon as the water stops moving. He’ll soon learn the real reasons for her predicament and inability to cross moving water. (The token vampire story of the collection) -The Curse of a Song (Eli Colter): A family curse with roots in a misunderstanding and madness is tied to a love song. A young woman, the man she wants to marry and their friend decides to fight back and use the song against the ghoul of an uncle haunting her and the family. -Vulture Crag (Everil Worrell): Another mad scientist story. A man is talked into participating in his friend, the count’s experiment: Space travel in which the body is left behind and the spirit explores. He soon learns that his friend has developed more sinister plans. -The Rays of the Moon (Everil Worrell): A grave robbing medical student with a morphine addiction breaks the heart of his fiancé and what follows is a surprisingly trippy story of karma. -The Gray Killer (Everil Worrell): A woman is hospitalized due to sepsis and becomes aware that not all is right during her stay: Children murdered, miraculously cured patients who soon inexplicably develop leprosy and a night doctor with a hypodermic needle containing God knows what.. Probably the most obviously Lovecraftian of the short stories, it greatly suffers from the outlandishly unprofessional doctors and nurses who don’t seem to know what patient confidentiality is, nor what amounts to a proper patient-physician relationship.. -The Black Stone Statue (Mary Elizabeth Counselman): A pair of pilots crashland in the Brazilian jungle. When one of the pilots go missing, the other one goes searching for him. What he finds is a part of the jungle that seems to have been leached out of its color & everything has petrified to a black stone. He learns the reason why and eyes an opportunity. Sadly, so does a struggling artist. -The Web of Silence (Mary Elizabeth Counselman): A town mayor receives a letter threatening with an ‘unusual phenomenon’ if they’re not paid $250 000. Unsurprisingly, the letter is not taken seriously and the entire population find themselves in a completely soundless existence and dealing with the fallout of not being able to hear anything. The most humorous of the short stories in this collection. -The Deadly Theory (Greye La Spina): A story of the dangers of reanimation and hubris told through an artist who fell in love with gentle and kind woman who was then poisoned by her jealous sister. -Great Pan is Here (Greye La Spina): An old God arrives in the US & demands the use of a young man’s garden for Midsummer’s Night. -The Antimacassar (Greye La Spina): A woman goes to a farm for some work weaving, her predecessor having disappeared mysteriously. An antimacassar with strange markings and a bottle with garlic solution, her supervisor’s strong aversion to having honeysuckle indoors at night & a child supposedly suffering from rheumatic fever; these are a few of the threads which make this mystery meets Dracula story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    A decent sampling of stories from Weird Tales Magazine spanning the 20's to the 40's. The narration was hit and miss for me as it is peppered with occasional odd mispronunciations. 'The Remorse Of Professor Panebianco' by Greye La Spina. 1925. 2 stars. A mad scientist who wants to observe the soul as it leaves a body finds a willing sacrifice. Narration, 2 stars. 'Leonora' by Everil Worrell. 1927. 5 stars. Leonora is a spirited teenage girl who has a flirtation with death. Midnight on a lonely cou A decent sampling of stories from Weird Tales Magazine spanning the 20's to the 40's. The narration was hit and miss for me as it is peppered with occasional odd mispronunciations. 'The Remorse Of Professor Panebianco' by Greye La Spina. 1925. 2 stars. A mad scientist who wants to observe the soul as it leaves a body finds a willing sacrifice. Narration, 2 stars. 'Leonora' by Everil Worrell. 1927. 5 stars. Leonora is a spirited teenage girl who has a flirtation with death. Midnight on a lonely country road, a mysterious stranger in an expensive car encounters Leonora walking home on her 16th birthday. Worrell's tone is pitch perfect for a teenage girl. The narrator does this story justice. 'The Dead Wagon' by Greye La Spina. 1927. 3 stars. "Bring out your dead." A curse that goes back to the time of The Black Death continues to haunt a family. A bit predictable. The narration annoyingly contains mispronunciations. 'The Canal' by Everil Worrell. 1927. 4 stars. The story is atmospheric and creepy, as it follows Morton as he becomes enamored of a woman he meets on a barge in the canal. This take on the vampire story is classic old school fun filled with an eerie tone and a slow descent into the weird. The story was adapted as a Night gallery episode in 1973 titled Death on a Barge. The narration is okay. 'The Curse of a Song' by Eli Colter. 1928. 3 stars. A crazy person creates a diabolical curse linked to a song. 'Vulture Crag' by Everil Worrell. 1928. 2.5 stars. A weird tale of a man trying to perfect out of body travel to outer space and the man he enlists to help fund his project. The project takes place in a formerly dilapidated house that has become overrun with the vultures that inhabit the crag upon which the house sits. A bit slow, drags a bit. 'The Rays Of The Moon' by Everil Worrell. 1928. 3 stars. An unusual tale of revenge by the dead, or perhaps a morphine hallucination, or possibly even moon madness. Grave robbing doesn't pay. 'The Gray Killer' by Everil Worrell. 1929. 4 stars. This is one creepy weird story which takes an almost Lovecraftian turn. Marian Wheaton has a horrific experience while hospitalized that is only made worse by the patronizing hospital staff. Don't read while in the hospital. 'The Black Stone Statue' by Mary Elizabeth Counselman. 1937. 3 stars. To what lengths will a would-be artist go to for fame and fortune and is it worth the price? 'The Web of Silence' by Mary Elizabeth Counselman. 1939. 3 stars. A town is plagued by silence. 'The Deadly Theory' by Greye La Spina. 1942. 3 stars. Palingenesis, or necromancy by any other name. Two men meet in a bar and one looks suspiciously familiar. 'The Great Pan is Here' by Greye La Spina. 1943.3 stars. A rather racy tale that revels in paganism. 'The Antimacassar' by Greye La Spina. 1949. 4 stars. This is an atmospheric vampire tale that takes place in a Pennsylvania farmhouse that Lucy is staying at on vacation while trying to find out what happened to her missing co-worker. The ending is a bit weak weak but otherwise it is a credible entry to the vampire lexicon.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Burns

    4.5/5 stars. This is a fantastic selection of creepy stories from four of the women who frequently delighted readers of the pulp magazine “Weird Tales.” It’s an excellent follow-up to “Monster, She Wrote.” Fans of Margaret St. Clair, Ray Bradbury, and Clark Ashton Smith will enjoy this collection. This assortment of tales includes mad scientists, vampires, curses, gods, occult rituals, cosmic strangeness visiting Earth, and of course—people not heeding warnings or their instincts. My only complain 4.5/5 stars. This is a fantastic selection of creepy stories from four of the women who frequently delighted readers of the pulp magazine “Weird Tales.” It’s an excellent follow-up to “Monster, She Wrote.” Fans of Margaret St. Clair, Ray Bradbury, and Clark Ashton Smith will enjoy this collection. This assortment of tales includes mad scientists, vampires, curses, gods, occult rituals, cosmic strangeness visiting Earth, and of course—people not heeding warnings or their instincts. My only complaint is that the year each piece was published is not listed next to the titles in the table of contents. However, that information is on the copyright page, so it’s a very minor bother. Greye La Spina’s “The Dead-Wagon” (1927) is reminiscent of Bram Stoker’s “The Chain of Destiny” (1875). “Great Pan is Here” (1943) by Greye La Spina features an ancient god in our modern world, much like Margaret St. Clair’s “The Goddess on the Street Corner” (1963) and Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Satyr” (1930). It also reminds me of a short story featuring Loki and set in a bar, but for the life of me I can’t recall who wrote it (I thought Bradbury at first but I can’t find it). Mary Elizabeth Counselman’s “The Web of Silence” (1939) could be a springboard to some important discussions about ableism.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This collection of fifteen short stories took me 77 days to read. I tend to savor stories and take a while to come back to read the next one. This collection includes short stories (only) written in the 1920s and 1930s by five different women for publication in the pulp magazine Weird Tales. All of these stories were fun, interesting, and well worth reading. They certainly varied a great deal in subject matter and writing style, though all were linked by the fact they were written firmly in the f This collection of fifteen short stories took me 77 days to read. I tend to savor stories and take a while to come back to read the next one. This collection includes short stories (only) written in the 1920s and 1930s by five different women for publication in the pulp magazine Weird Tales. All of these stories were fun, interesting, and well worth reading. They certainly varied a great deal in subject matter and writing style, though all were linked by the fact they were written firmly in the fantasy genre, some with aspects of horror and others with some light science fiction thrown in. Some of these were particularly memorable. I liked the two vampire stories the best, and I normally never read vampire stuff. Other choices the editor made left me wondering why she hadn't chosen a different story by that same author. This book was only a small sampling of the stories each author published, even if you only include their Weird Tales stories. I will probably come back and write a more detailed review of the stories and their authors. For now I submit this mini-impression as a placeholder until I do.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wyrd Witch

    Out of all the books coming out of Valancourt’s Monster, She Wrote series, The Women of Weird Tales excited me the most. The archival value of the collection is great. I’ve never read a Weird Tales issue before, and, while I’ve read some of the authors of that infamous publication, the only story by a female author in the magazine I’ve ever encountered was “Shambleau.” A new anthology featuring some of the most popular female authors of the magazine’s heyday sounds like exactly the right kind of Out of all the books coming out of Valancourt’s Monster, She Wrote series, The Women of Weird Tales excited me the most. The archival value of the collection is great. I’ve never read a Weird Tales issue before, and, while I’ve read some of the authors of that infamous publication, the only story by a female author in the magazine I’ve ever encountered was “Shambleau.” A new anthology featuring some of the most popular female authors of the magazine’s heyday sounds like exactly the right kind of horror reading. While the stories carry several dated elements in them, The Women of Weird Tales is an excellent window into women’s history in horror, and it has some pretty great gems on its pages. Read the rest of the review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debra Manskey

    An excellent companion to the "Monster, She Wrote" book and podcast. As with all anthologies of this kind, the stories are a mixed bag and some will appeal more than others. But all are brilliant introductions to these writers, shining a much needed light on a neglected area of dark fiction. An excellent companion to the "Monster, She Wrote" book and podcast. As with all anthologies of this kind, the stories are a mixed bag and some will appeal more than others. But all are brilliant introductions to these writers, shining a much needed light on a neglected area of dark fiction.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Taffner

    Absolutely stellar collection from Valancourt that repositions the typically marginalized (women writers in the early to mid 20th century, pulp magazines) to their rightful place among some of the best horror and best short stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rupert

    A solid collection until the two Greye La Spina clunkers at the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dan Carey

    I only got half-way through the book. A little bit of classic pulp goes a long way for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brett Burkhardt

    A fantastic selection of stories. I am loving this series and hope many more books are to follow.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

  22. 4 out of 5

    Art the Bookworm

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hugo

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandee Ferman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jean

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob Gillie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Josh Kushins

  30. 4 out of 5

    Buck Weiss

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