on August 20, 2012
New Tales of the Yellow Sign is a collection of short stories by Robin D. Laws inspired by the King in Yellow, a play that induces madness and despair, created by the late Robert W. Chamber. Robin Laws is known mostly as a RPG designer but with this book, Robin shows why he should be considered an author first and foremost. I should point out that I am usually not a fan of stories inspired by the great works because they almost always fail to recreate the fantasy and wonder of the originals. With these stories, I was pleasantly proven wrong. Though they use the play as a device to tell the story, they benefit from just simply being amazing stories. They are all well written and though connected by their relation to the King in Yellow, they all stand separately. All the stories are written in different literary styles and different time periods, but are all wonderfully crafted stories.
I acquired my copy, signed from GenCon, but have spent the last two nights staying up late just letting myself happily enter into despair and madness as I let Robin D. Laws take me on a fantastic literary journey.
If you love, weird fiction or supernatural horror, you need to purchase this book. It is cheap on the Kindle or you can wait for a paperback copy in September, but just get it. You will not be disappointed.
on December 4, 2012
I would not call these horror stories, but use H.P. Lovecraft's term and call them "weird tales". After reading them, I was left feeling disturbed and creeped-out. I looked at the ordinary and normal around me and it seemed to hide something sinister. Sort of how you feel when, as Stephen King wrote, you come home and everything you own has been replaced by an exact duplicate. It's the same but somehow different in a way one cannot determine.
Each story is different from all the others in voice and style, but is thematically linked by the notion of the play The King In Yellow and that the publication of this play in the late 19th Century has somehow thrown the world out of its normal course. That the characters in these stories are living in the wrong world, a world which should never have come into existence. It's a very, very creepy idea and it works very well.
on April 8, 2014
The author does a superb job creating stories from Chambers' world. But they are more than pastiches because a lot of them are great stories whether you're an habitue of The King in Yellow or not. He does a great job also with making the stories speak in their own unique voices as well.
The first five are my favorites with 'Distressing Notification' being at the top. The only one I really did not care for was the last story. It didn't seem to connect at all with the other stories or the source material. It's possible that I just missed the connection.
All in all, great stories at a great price.