NACKLES: A CHRISTMAS STORY

by Donald Westlake. Originally Published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction January 1964. If Man creates his gods, then it follows that Man must create devils, too! Did God create men, or does Man create gods? I dont know, and if it hadnt been for my rotten brother-in-law, the question would never have come up. My late brother-in-law? Nackles knows. It all depends, you see, like the chicken and the egg, on which came first. Did God exist before Man first thought of Him, or didnt He? If not, if Man creates his gods, then it follows that Man must create the devils, too. Nearly every Continue reading

THE SAND-MAN

by Ernst T. W. Hoffman . from The Night Pieces, January 1817. A young man is haunted by the nightmarish visage of the Sand-Man. NATHANAEL TO LOTHAlR I KNOW you are all very uneasy because I have not written for such a long, long time. Mother, to be sure, is angry, and Clara, I dare say, believes I am living here in riot and revelry, and quite forgetting my sweet angel, whose image is so deeply engraved upon my heart and mind. But that is not so; daily and hourly do I think of you all, and my lovely Clara's form comes to gladden me in my dreams, and smiles upon me with her bright eyes, as Continue reading

CARGO OF DOOM

by Kenneth Robeson. Originally published in Clues Detective VOL. XLVII NO. 1, May 1943. A child's voice appeals to The Avenger, and leads him to the deadly trail of the CARGO OF DOOM! CHAPTER I. DON'T CALL THE POLICE! Smitty was away in Washington when the phone call came in at Justice, Inc., and the other members of The Avenger's staff were dispersed over the four parts of the world, so that only Benson himself and Nellie Gray were on hand. The voice over the phone was that of a child. Benson, as he answered the call, estimated that she was barely more than nine or ten. She talked with a Continue reading

CASTING THE RUNES

by M.R. James . from More Ghost Stories, 1911. An ages old horror awakens from its sleep! April 15th, 190-      Dear Sir, - I am requested by the Council of the ___ Association to return to you the draft of a paper on The Truth of Alchemy, which you have been good enough to offer to read at our forthcoming meeting, and to inform you that the Council do not see their way to including it in the programme.I am,                         Yours Continue reading

THE ANACONDA

by Matthew Gregory Lewis. Originally Published in Gothic Tales of Terror, 1972. They called us madmen for wishing to expose ourselves to the fury of the anaconda! 'The Lord in heaven forbid!' exclaimed the old man, while every limb was convulsed with horror, the blood forsook his cheeks, and he clasped his hands in agony; 'but the thing is impossible!' he resumed, after a few moments passed in reflection, 'absolutely impossible! What! Everard? a boy, whose childhood was passed under my own roof, under my very eye? whose manners are so mild, who was ever so gentle, so grateful, so kind; whose Continue reading

OFFICIAL REPORT

by Manly Bannister. from Slant #4, Autumn 1950. The aliens have landed! Classification: TOP SECRET From: The Commanding Officer, Project Saucer To: The Commanding General, XVth Corps Area. Via: CO, Rocket Experimental Base. Subject: Landing of aerial object hitherto referred to as 'Flying Saucer', investigation and report. Reference: Ltr of Instr 319C. CGO.Gen Reg XVIII, 2/C/Y 32. Object first sighted over Experimental Rocket Range, Project Headquarters, eight hours, morning. Weather clear, sunny. Visibility excellent. Our radar screens picked up object at altitude 50,000 feet, azimuth 30 Continue reading

THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLUE CARBUNCLE

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Originally Published in The Strand Magazine January 1892. The stolen Blue Carbuncle gem inexplicably lands in the hands of Sherlock Holmes and the game is on! VII.  THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLUE CARBUNCLE I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes upon the second morning after Christmas, with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season. He was lounging upon the sofa in a purple dressing-gown, a pipe-rack within his reach upon the right, and a pile of crumpled morning papers, evidently newly studied, near at hand. Beside the couch was a wooden chair, Continue reading

MONSTER OF THE MOON

by Ray Cummings. From Super Science Stories, Volume 3, Number 2, Nov. 1941. Betrothed to mortal, promised to the Moon Master, Cylvia Kane goes to her last dread rendezvous with the creature who had fled the world, cry ing--"I go--but I will come back to claim my bride!" THE small bungalow which was Cylvia Kane's home stood dark and silent on the declivity of the Canadian hillside. Trees of the lonely neighborhood arched somberly over it. From his seat at the controls of the little air-roller, with Cylvia, his fiancee, beside him, young John Deering gazed down, puzzled. It was now past Continue reading

VALLEY OF DREAMS

by Stanley G. Weinbaum. Originally Published in Wonder Stories November, 1934. While traveling to retrieve the film Jarvis took before his rocket crashed into the Thyle highlands of Mars, the men find a strange, deserted city thousands of years old! Captain Harrison of the Ares expedition turned away from the little telescope in the bow of the rocket. "Two weeks more, at the most," he remarked. "Mars only retrogrades for seventy days in all, relative to the earth, and we've got to be homeward bound during that period, or wait a year and a half for old Mother Earth to go around the sun and Continue reading

CARMILLA

by J. Sheridan LeFanu. from from In A Glass Darkly, 1871. A girl is bewitched by visitations of an evil seductress. PROLOGUE Upon a paper attached to the Narrative which follows, Doctor Hesselius has written a rather elaborate note, which he accompanies with a reference to his Essay on the strange subject which the MS. illuminates. This mysterious subject he treats, in that Essay, with his usual learning and acumen, and with remarkable directness and condensation. It will form but one volume of the series of that extraordinary man's collected papers. As I publish the case, in this volume, Continue reading