More than a hundred years have passed since the The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers was written, an important early landmark 'in 'weird fiction'. The opening stories of the book concentrate upon the aforementioned mysterious, horrifying play and those that fall victim to it, and hence to the titular entity that seems to stalk its pages and maybe the world the characters inhabit too. Although Chambers was American writer, most of the stories are set in and around France, particularly Paris, where he had spent many years as an artist: this served as the inspiration for some of the tales, and those directly linking to the play vary in theme and content, but arguably touch on subjects related to the play. The King In Yellow forms what has come to be known as the Yellow Mythos. Not least among these are those authors who have co-opted many of its features into the Cthulhu Mythos, the latter based upon the writings of celebrated 20th-century horror maestro H.P. Lovecraft. Chambers' writing style hinted at a great mythology behind his handful of tales: at shadowy figures, alien places, strange artefacts and terrible gods; at clouded lakes and dark stars; at death reanimated, an ancient, implacable evil and madness pushing in through the walls of the world. The pontos fathom edition includes a preface by August Moldenhauer.
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av David Nicholls