Praise

“Some writers one admirers and others make one want to do as they do, or try. For me, Joe Pulver is of the latter type. His imagination is so vile so much of the time that it makes me giggle with amazement. And the prose so deadly visionary. I’m grateful that the pieces in this collection are those of a fellow horror writer who has raised the ante on what it means to be such a creature.”
– Thomas Ligotti, author of The Consipiracy Against The Human Race

“. . . I’m gawping in amazement, shaken by Pulver’s eviscerating vision. He wields language as a scalpel, a Thompson submachine gun, an axe . . . Joe Pulver calls down the fire. Joe Pulver’s the Man. He’s got the Power.”
– Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence

“Blood Will Have Its Season is an ambitious debut […] obviously influenced by H.P. Lovecradt and Robert W. Chambers, for the most part Pulver uses their influences to create potent tales of his own. A writer to keep an eye on.”
– Ellen Datlow, Multi award winning editor

“There’s a mighty storm coming to rip up the world you know and tear a hole in all you believe. That storm’s name is Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., and I pity anyone who dares stands in his way.”
– Simon Strantzas, author of Nightingale Songs and Beneath the Surface

“[Pulver] is typically compared to a Lovecraftian version of the Beats, but A House of Hollow Wounds is in my opinion closer in style and emotional tone to French Decadent writers such as Baudelaire, Huysmans, and Rodenbach. It’s both wildly modern and original, and yet evokes those unsettling gothic and classical ‘vast chthonic wilderness pressing agaisnt the slender marble columns of civilization’ themes that are like heroin to me. Dark, poetic, sexual, obsessive, and exquisitely hallucinatory.”
– Livia Llewellyn, author of Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & Other Horrors

“How to describe this novel by Joe Pulver? Pulver-izing! Joe really puts the Mythos through all its paces across what amounts to a cosmic chart of Lovecraft-land.”
– Brian Lumley, author of Necroscope

PRAISE for the JOSEPH S. PULVER

“. . . I’m gawping in amazement, shaken by Pulver’s eviscerating vision. He wields language as a scalpel, a Thompson submachine gun, an axe . . . Joe Pulver calls down the fire. Joe Pulver’s the Man. He’s got the Power.”

“Joe Pulver is that rare artist who wears his influences on his sleeve yet is wholly original. He infuses his mellifluous prose with a raw, intellectual swagger that is sorely lacking in genre fiction. There are many writers of dark fantasy and horror, but after Joe Pulver the gods broke the mold.”

“No one does the darker side of surreal better than this man.”
– Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence

“Joe Pulver is like the answer to some arcane riddle: What do you get when you cross one of Plato’s Muse-maddened poets with a Lovecraftian lunatic, and then give their offspring to be raised by Raymond Chandler and a band of Beats? His work caters to a literary hunger you didn’t even know you had, and does it darkly and deliciously.”
– Matt Cardin, author of Dark Awakenings

“I welcome this opportunity to commend Joe Pulver as a generous and hard-working individual and as a writer who has distinguished himself for his protean talents which meld a variety of styles and subjects. Given that my own ambitions have focused on supernatural literature, I feel most qualified to comment on Joe’s achievements in this genre. For some time I have admired Joe for the inventiveness of his writing and his aspirations to make his mark among the classic authors in the field of horror fiction—a pantheon that includes H. P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers—as well as integrating his wide reading of works traditionally comprising the myriad canon’s of world literature.”

“I am proud to regard myself as a peer of Joe’s in our mutual endeavors as practitioners of supernatural writing, or whatever one cares to designate as fiction of unconstrained imagination, especially as we share a like objective to expand the parameters of our chosen mode of artistic expression. In addition, I envy Joe’s unrelenting industrious in this aim. Both in the novel and in the short story form, Joe has demonstrated his mastery, and he stands as one of the few figures among contemporary imaginative writers with a genuine fervor to elevate the standards of what is usually perceived as a strictly popular genre.”

“Some writers one admirers and others make one want to do as they do, or try. For me, Joe Pulver is of the latter type. His imagination is so vile so much of the time that it makes me giggle with amazement. And the prose so deadly visionary. I’m grateful that the pieces in this collection are those of a fellow horror writer who has raised the ante on what it means to be such a creature.”
– Thomas Ligotti, author of The Consipiracy Against The Human Race

“Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. — one of today’s truly original and effective artists, before whom we bow, hypnotized.”

“Joe Pulver is a dark star is the merciless cosmos of weird fiction. His work is as brutal as it is beautiful.”
– Wilum H. Pugmire, author of The Tangled Muse

“If you like your prose (and poetry) haunting, hallucinatory, and full of heart, read Joe Pulver.”
– Robin Spriggs, author of Diary of a Gentleman Diabolist

“There’s a mighty storm coming to rip up the world you know and tear a hole in all you believe. That storm’s name is Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., and I pity anyone who dares stands in his way.”
– Simon Strantzas, author of Nightingale Songs and Beneath the Surface

 

PRAISE for BLOOD WILL HAVE ITS SEASON

“A collection of stories ranging from the darkly poetical to the grittily gruesome. This is — along with the anthology Lovecraft Unbound and two Sesqua Valley books by W. H. Pugmire — the best horror book that I’ve read in 2009. In Blood Will Have Its Season, Joe Pulver fulfills the promise he gave a decade ago in his novel, Nightmare’s Disciple, displaying to the fullest his many facets as a writer. Highly recommended — and do watch out for future tales from this man.”
Martin Anderson

“Joe Pulver’s BLOOD WILL HAVE IT’S SEASON. Is it Joe’s work or is it the characters within the work that are speaking out, using Joe’s pen as their voice? I’m inclined to believe the latter. To the point, I wasn’t reading someone else’s material as a detached casual outside observer seated in a chair with coffee or wine and pipe (alright, coffee or wine: I no longer smoke). I found myself a part of the narrative, ducking the knife wielding maniacs, chasing the old woman down the alleys, on the beat with the Chandler/Queen/Spillane investigators, albeit, with a coloring of the supernatural.
Yes, the characters contained in these pages have a life of their own. They have chosen Joe Pulver to tell THEIR story. He’s done them justice, and that’s a good thing for his sake. Else I wonder his fate should he NOT have told their story in a manner satisfactory to them. Perhaps a messenger of the King, if not the King himself, would have come calling.
So, an excellent voice given to a diverse collection of characters. Pull their masks off and read the stories etched on their faces. And should you feel the pain of a twisting knife blade, or a veil of madness begin to settle over you, then you too are a part of the narrative and perhaps in time you will be called home to far dim Carcosa. I know the inhabitants are awaiting Joe. And so is the King.”
– Ran Cartwright

“Blood Will Have Its Season is an ambitious debut […] obviously influenced by H.P. Lovecradt and Robert W. Chambers, for the most part Pulver uses their influences to create potent tales of his own. A writer to keep an eye on.”
– Ellen Datlow, Multi award winning editor

“The prose of Joe Pulver can take its place with that of the masters of our genre – E.A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti – while his imaginative reach is something uniquely his own.”
– S.T. Joshi

“In an earlier day I feel sure Joe Pulver would have been arrested for writing some of the stuff in this collection. Maybe he will be yet! How can he write, with such intricate delicacy, thunderous prose that fairly rips up the pages it is printed on? I wish I knew!”
– Robert M. Price, author of Blasphemies and Revelations, editor of Crypt of Cthulhu

“Joe gave me this book in electric form at last year’s H. P. LOVECRAFT FILM FESTIVAL — and I read half of it, wanting to save the rest so as to read it in actual book form. Joe’s readings at the Lovecraft Film Festival have left people stunned by the beauty and power of his work — and this collection, long-overdo, is a firm and solid testimony of a writer with rare vision, dark visions laced with brutality and blood. S. T. Joshi, who is not easily pleased, has been stunned by this writer’s new work. I sat next to S. T. as we listened to Joe reading last year, and S. T. murmured, “Remarkable, remarkable.” I look forward to seeing Joe next month in Portland, Oregon at the next Lovecraft Film Festival, at which he and I will exchange new books of our weird fiction. If I seem to vanish during the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival this year, you can pretty well assume that I am locked in my hotel room — reading BLOOD WILL HAVE ITS SEASON, or cowering from the visions it has provoked. A fantastic talent of outstanding grace and power!”
– Wilum H. Pugmire, author of The Tangled Muse

“In this innovative, hypnotic collection, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. has proven himself to be a perversely masterful sculptor of our dreams.”
– Jeffrey Thomas, author of Punktown

“While some may find scholar S.T. Joshi’s claim in his introduction that Pulver “can take his place with that of the masters of our genre” (including Poe and Lovecraft) a trifle hyperbolic, all will agree that Pulver is a writer to watch. (Dec.)”
– Publisher’s Weekly

“Whatever your expectations may be, check them at the door. Pulver has a truly unique style for the horror genre, and this collection of short stories is a perfect vehicle for this sort of style . . . Pulver is an original.”
– The Agony Column (Rick Kleffel)

 

PRAISE for CASSILDA’S SONG

“An anthology dedicated to the King in Yellow. Pulver’s third major tribute anthology in recent days and probably the best. Selena Chambers, Maura McHugh, and S.P. Miskowski set the pace for a sleeper anthology of 2015.”
– Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence

2015 was a good year for horror and weird fiction anthologies. Cassilda’s Song is an able demonstration of why. It’s also a pleasant, if macabre, signal that the field is flourishing. […] … this is top shelf stuff.”
Laird Barron in his review for “Locus”

“This whole book will become a historic hive of Chambers whence these sometimes scarred but stinging Queens of Carcosa arc and soar…”
– Des Lewis

“For years, Chamber’s King in Yellow tales have been assimilated into the Lovecraftian Mythos as a “sub-mythos” of Cthulhu. However, over the last 8-10 years Joe Pulver has practically single handedly pulled the Yellow out of the Lovecraftian Universe and place it into its own reality.
The tales assembled in this tome are all written by women and vary in quality from fairly good to excellent. Some delicately skim the dark waters of the Lake of Hali while other are well rooted into the King in Yellow Mythos.”
– Fred S. Lubnow

“I have read many anthologies either of or containing King in Yellow stories, but have never read an anthology where the overall effect is so wonderfully unsettling. Each morning after reading one story, the dreamlike effect has lingered and now having finished the last last story and considering the book in its entirety, I half expect to see the Yellow Sign.”
– Ian Welke


PRAISE for A HOUSE OF HOLLOW WOUNDS

“Pulver’s skills as a post-Beat visionary are in rare form.A House of Hollow Wounds is a thrilling foray into the dark frontier of the weird.”
– Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence

“The pieces assembled in A House of Hollow Wounds demonstrate the range of Joe Pulver’s considerable talent. . . . Like Picasso, Pulver moves restlessly, relentlessly from style to style, never content with what he has accomplished, chasing after some fabulous and deadly beast half-glimpsed around the corners of a maze. Dizzying, exhilarating stuff.”
– John Langan, author of The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies

“[Pulver] is typically compared to a Lovecraftian version of the Beats, but A House of Hollow Wounds is in my opinion closer in style and emotional tone to French Decadent writers such as Baudelaire, Huysmans, and Rodenbach. It’s both wildly modern and original, and yet evokes those unsettling gothic and classical ‘vast chthonic wilderness pressing agaisnt the slender marble columns of civilization’ themes that are like heroin to me. Dark, poetic, sexual, obsessive, and exquisitely hallucinatory.”
– Livia Llewellyn, author of Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & Other Horrors

“From somewhere in the outlands, Pulver crafts stylistically unique and emotionally powerful word bombs and heaves them across borders, into the territories of horror, weird fiction, crime/noir and poetry. Readers who value an uncompromising and truly personal approach to wordcraft will find Pulver’s work unlike any other. It’s poetic, expressive art of the highest order.”
– Michael Griffin, author of  The Lure of Devouring Light

“My appreciation of the beauty and horror in this stellar collection is unbounded. I love to dip in, read a tale (a few paragraphs, a sparkling sentence), and step back, my brain reeling, my imagination on fire. Joseph S. Pulver is a marvel!”
– John Claude Smith, author of The Dark Is Light Enough For Me

 

PRAISE for THE KING IN YELLOW TALES, VOL. 1

“‘The King In Yellow’ reigns over the labyrinthine crossroads between the grand indifference of the cosmic Outside, and the inner wasteland of the tormented mind, so it’s no surprise to find Joe Pulver’s saturnine face so frequently behind the Pallid Mask. Joe plies the fathomless depths of existential nightmare breathing music and poetry, and brings back strangely beautiful salvage. That he has so lovingly and deeply explored Chambers’ bizarre pocket universe without destroying the merest scintilla of its mystery is ample testament to his painfully sharp craftsmanship and terrible wisdom.”
– Cody Goodfellow, author of Radiant Dawn

“In summary, the collection of tales about the King in Yellow, Camilla, Carcosa, the lake of Hali, and the Phantom of Truth are beautiful and haunting. What impresses me the most about Mr. Pulver’s writing is how he can get you to care about characters with the use of only a few words. In one tale I felt so bad for what was happening to the female protagonist I had to put the book down for a bit (of course I picked it back up). That demonstrates the power of Mr. Pulver’s writing.”
– Fred S. Lubnow

“Joseph S. Pulver is a legend in the horror community and the master of those tales that hearken to the dark shores of Lake Hali and the jeweled cities of Carcosa. Now he’s back, with another volume, one that any fan of the King and Yellow will feel compelled to add to the collection.”
– Brett J. Talley, author 0f That Which Should Not Be

PRAISE for THE MADNESS OF DR. CALIGARI

“Not least, “The Madness of Dr. Caligari,” edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. (Fedogan & Bremer), brings together shockers — by Gemma Files, Richard Gavin, Paul Tremblay, Michael Cisco and others — inspired by silent film’s expressionist masterpiece “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.”
– Michael Dirda’s Halloween book picks, The Washington Post (October 19th, 2016)

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” is nearly 100 years old, but the psychological thriller, about a hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to murder people, remains a landmark in cinema. Pulver says the German expressionist film’s historical context, particularly its release during the Weimar era, make it such a fascinating subject. “Mind control and the various states, causes, and effects of madness, also make the film a rich well for today’s weird fiction writers,” he adds. Esteemed horror writer Ramsey Campbell kicks off the anthology with his story “The Words Between.”
6 New Literary Horror Collections for the Spooky Season (The Wall Street Journal, October 14th 2016)


PRAISE for THE MADNESS OF DR. CALIGARI

“Not least, “The Madness of Dr. Caligari,” edited by Joseph S. Pulver Sr. (Fedogan & Bremer), brings together shockers — by Gemma Files, Richard Gavin, Paul Tremblay, Michael Cisco and others — inspired by silent film’s expressionist masterpiece “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.”
–  Michael Dirda’s Halloween book picks in (The Washington Post, October 19th 2016)

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” is nearly 100 years old, but the psychological thriller, about a hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to murder people, remains a landmark in cinema. Pulver says the German expressionist film’s historical context, particularly its release during the Weimar era, make it such a fascinating subject. “Mind control and the various states, causes, and effects of madness, also make the film a rich well for today’s weird fiction writers,” he adds. Esteemed horror writer Ramsey Campbell kicks off the anthology with his story “The Words Between.”
Michael Calia’s 6 New Literary Horror Collections for the Spooky Season (The Wall Street Journal, October 14th 2016)

 

PRAISE for NIGHTMARE’S DISCIPLE

“How to describe this novel by Joe Pulver? Pulver-izing! Joe really puts the Mythos through all its paces across what amounts to a cosmic chart of Lovecraft-land.”
– Brian Lumley, author of Necroscope

“I have been a fan or Mr. Pulver’s writing for many years, having had the treat of reading his novel Nightmare’s Disciple in manuscript, whereupon I immediately contacted my colleagues at Chaosium to insist they publish it. They did. It was a remarkable work, simultaneously destroying and exploiting many cliches one often encounters in Cthulhu Mythos (and/or Lovecraftian) fiction. I often paused to reflect that Pulver’s competitors would never dare try a certain trick again, since Pulver’s performance was an act impossible to follow, and/or since they’d wonder why it never occurred to them to do it this well. I can only ascribe the occasional bad reviews of Nightmare’s Disciple to a misguided distaste (almost theological in nature) for the genre which Pulver fulfilled and transformed. But even these critics seem to have caught up with me in my celebration of this author’s talents on display in his new short story collection, Blood Will Have Its Season.

From the earlier book I already recognized Pulver’s genius in his ability to shape-shift stylistically between Raymond Chandler and Thomas Ligotti–without your even noticing! Like the gospel demon, his name ought to be Legion, since he assumes a new voice and persona as every particular chapter or sequence requires. In the new book, Pulver’s polyphonic gifts mutate to a new and even more powerful pitch. The short scope of these many works allows him to write less leisurely, more rapid-fire. The author possesses another unique gift. The only way I know to describe it is to say that he combines the headlong, violent pace and savage sensibilities of Robert E. Howard with the refined and baleful mood of Robert W. Chambers and Tom Ligotti, and all this in an intricate, almost blank verse poetic diction. There is nothing like it! It sounds, indeed reads, like a living contradiction in terms! The result is a deep dark forest of wonders, containing both monsters and molesters, both angels and devils.”

“Joseph Pulver manages to pull off a fine bit of alchemy in interweaving what seems a this-worldly serial murderer crime novel with the cosmic-scope Lovecraftian epic. So deftly does he balance focal characters and their very different frames of reference that the reader is kept off balance: is the strong, apparent supernaturalism just part of the killer’s delusion? Or is it real, and much more terrible than the killer himself? I have never seen anyone maintain the narrative tension of such a juggling act so well. Those familiar with the horror fandom scene will find that this book’s many references to it ring true. They will readily see themselves in it. And yet the book never becomes self-indulgent fan-fiction, an excuse for in-jokes. Also noteworthy is Pulver’s near-multiple personality syndrome when it comes to literary voices appropriate to a variety of moods and characters. How can he sound like Dashiell Hammett on one page and Thomas Ligotti on the next, and you don’t even notice any transition? Pulver is a wonderful writer, and one can only look forward to more of his excellent fiction!”

“Joe Pulver’s Nightmare’s Disciple comes as a total surprise! It takes for granted a trick which no one else has, for my money, ever able to play, namely, making the Lovecraft Mythos seem dauntingly real, even within a narrative universe in which people like you and me are reading Lovecraft, Carter, and Campbell … You will at once feel completely at home and isolated in a strange land, dropped off by the Celestial Omnibus in the wrong part of town.”
– Robert M. Price, author of Blasphemies and Revelations, editor of Crypt of Cthulhu

“I have read this novel three times, and enjoyed it more with each new reading. There simply are not enough well-written Cthulhu Mythos novels to be read, and this one is so unusual and well done that it makes one wish that Joseph Pulver would try his hand at a new Cthulhu Mythos novel every two or three years. His imagination is unique, and there are many voices in this book — each voice coming across as strange yet authentic. Nothing is cliche, and the novel enhances the genres that spawned it.
I’ve always considered it a problem when writers include both the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and the lore of that fiction as equally existing in the “real” world. With Pulver, there is no problem whatsoever. This novel is written by a true fan, yet it never comes across as “fannish” in any way. The prose style is rich and strange, at times poetic and at other times sounding like it comes from a straight detective novel. Pulver’s imagination is at times extremely brutal — we never forget that this is a book about an extremely violent psycho-killer, n’est-ce pas. The book’s one critical error comes on page 108, where Edgar Poe’s middle name is misspelled. The characters in this book are fascinating, and each one is extremely well developed and believable, strange as they may be. There are also portions of humor that are quite delightful. There’s wisdom about buying Arkham House books such as Gary Myers’ sensational THE HOUSE OF THE WORM.
There simply aren’t enough really good Cthulhu Mythos novels around these days, and for the wee price being charged here at Amazon, you would be an eldritch fool to pass this one up. Buy it, and be amazed! Those who say the book is badly written are proved wrong here at Amazon, for the first six or seven pages of the novel may be read by clicking on the book’s cover — and they are extremely WELL-written! Ia!”
– Wilum H. Pugmire, author of The Tangled Muse

“The potential of Joe “Da Beast” Pulver as an author has been woefully overlooked. Looks like that will soon be changing, however; look for a first collection of short tales by Pulver in 2009.
He’s somewhat self-indulgent in this novel, getting a bit too much into his favorite topics of music, books, films, etc. for some mainstream readers, but there’s no way this drags the book down. With some editing, this could be a bestselling thriller without any problem whatsoever! The bestselling horror authors today write 900 page books one after another, each luring the reader along with the expectation of something great to come; problem is, the climax withers on the vine and leaves the reader pissed at having been tricked into wasting all that reading time for nothing. The other reviews here make it sound as if Pulver’s novel does the same thing, but it doesn’t!
S.T. Joshi didn’t like this book but loves Pulver’s recent short fiction. So look out, folks, Pulver’s up and coming! And he deserves it!”

“Pulver challenges his readers with amazingly bizarre and intriguing versatility as he masterfully and engagingly explores worlds of beautifully mournful fantastic prose, invokes hellish realms of relentless violence, conjures wild homages to his many heroes, and tinkers with conceptual formatting. Can you take it?”
– Stan Sargent, author of Ancient Exhumations

 

PRAISE for THE ORPHAN PALACE

“The Orphan Palace is not a story. With this novel, Joe Pulver wants to press your face right up against the horror, the crime, the sheer madness and absurdity of the cosmos, and rub your nose in it. He wants you to eat it like a dog eats its own vomit; he wants your face to be covered in black-shining stars and rainbow-filth when you’re done; he demands that you be changed by what you have consumed. This is not a novel. It is a unique literary experience.”
– Gary McMahon, author of Pretty Little Dead Things and Pieces of Midnight

“Joe Pulver’s poetic prose is hypnotic and intoxicating, so beautiful and strange that it transports the reader. Yet it does the work of creating fascinating characters and telling story. Story-telling is an art, and none are more accomplished than Pulver. Weird fiction’s primal duty is to fuck [alternative word: debauch] your brain and kiss your sense of wonder. This book has done that for me, as few horror novels have. Absolutely brilliant.”
– Wilum H. Pugmire, author of The Tangled Muse

“Mad, malevolent, and incantatory, The Orphan Palace reads like the hagridden fever dream of one who has not only stared the Abyss in Its black and fathomless face, but welcomed Its gaze in return . . . and become Its living embodiment. It is a journey to be taken by none but the bravest of readers, and by souls with an ardent desire to savor their own damnation.”
– Robin Spriggs, author of Diary of a Gentleman Diabolist

“The Orphan Palace kicks you in the face and doesn’t stop. Pulver’s prose sees the world through a cracked lense of 60’s hedonism and 70’s grit, with a side order of unshakable terror. A serial killer novel that explores the dark side of America via Kerouac in a shell of cosmic horror. What he does is electrifying. I’ve never seen anything like it. My hair is still standing on end.”
– Simon Strantzas, author of Nightingale Songs and Beneath the Surface

“There are occasional books, movies, cds, etc. that are of such a special quality — that resonate with people in such a perfect way — that they seem immune to any strong negative criticism. Movies like FIGHT CLUB, TAXI DRIVER and DRIVE (I’m sure they have the rare haters), books like…oh…THE ORPHAN PALACE…”
– Jeffrey Thomas, author of Punktown

“Chomu Press has published a number of writers who explore this territory– Brendan Connell and Michael Cisco come to mind– but their latest release, Joseph S. Pulver Sr.’s The Orphan Palace, is the most mind-bending hybrid yet. The blurring of the line between prose and poetry is only the beginning; Pulver’s sharp, dark narrative mixes Lovecraftian cosmicism, noir fiction, psychological horror, and urban squalor so seamlessly that it’s hard to remember they ever worked separately. To say a book like this is “not for everyone” is a massive case of stating the obvious, but for the right reader, it’s an awe-inspiring, mind-bending experience.”
– Brendan Moody, filmmaker

 

PRAISE for PORTRAITS OF RUIN

“Which is all to say that I heartily recommend the book to appropriately equipped readers. Just be prepared for a ride that will upend your sensibilities. Tom and I compared notes after I wrote my intro and he wrote his blurb, and were both amused to see that we had independently invoked the ghost of Ferlinghetti. The more I dwell on it, the more appropriate this seems, because Portraits of Ruin truly is a Coney Island of the Mind. But it’s one where the rides drip with darkness and tilt at non-Euclidean angles, and whirl you into an abyss of strange entity that grins and chitters and babbles in alien tongues (which eventually come to sound like your own voice).”
– Matt Cardin, author of Dark Awakenings

“In this book the spaces matter. Fonts matter. So does all the punctuation. So does every word, no matter how shed like skin cells from aetheria and swept up it might seem. It’s clear that Pulver is not only a perfectionist, but an agonist (isn’t it an undramatised tragedy that this word, a noun even, isn’t represented in dictionaries by meaning #3: ‘one who agonises’— the snobs).”
– Anna Tambour, author of Crandolin

“All writers are influenced and inspired by other writers, and we all know writers who echo those influences, running the gamut from subtly to obviously, but I don’t think I’ve ever read an author who is capable of blending/bending his influences quite like Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. As impacting as a violent train wreck, the resultant explosion of mellifluous ethereality onto the page is something so totally different that it’s almost a completely new art form. Sure, you’ve got your Lovecraft, Robert W. Chambers, Ramsey Campbell, William Burroughs, Richard Brautigan, Raymond Chandler — even T. S. Eliot — but jam them all together into Pulver’s psychotic centrifuge, and the resulting velvet-swathed, running-the-guts spatter pattern ends up as a collection like Portraits of Ruin.”
– Hellbound Times (Walt Hicks)

“Pulver’s poetic prose is frankly awe-inspiring. His plots are vague, to say the least. The underlying power of cosmic horror, as written by Lovecraft and his peers, was always the sense of otherness, of man being an insignificant speck in the vastness of creation. Pulver gets this on an instinctive level and somehow transfers it to the reader by osmosis as they read the words. That’s not to say that the stories in this book are necessarily cosmic horror, or particularly Lovecraftian. His protagonists seem to exist in a universe over which they have little control, or understanding, which is what inspires me to draw that comparison.”
– David L. Brzeski

 

PRAISE for A SEASON IN CARCOSA

“…one of the most consistently excellent anthologies that I have read in the last couple of years.”
– Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence

The King in Yellow was published in 1895. As Hughes suggests, “the central idea is magnificent.” The first four stories in the collection reference The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which inspires madness in those who read it. This same leit-motif appears in A Season in Carcosa, a collection of tales inspired by Chambers and lovingly assembled by one of his greatest champions, Joseph S. Pulver Sr. In the introduction to A Season in Carcosa, Pulver suggests that, with The King in Yellow Chambers created a mythology of sorts, “some even term it a mythos, linked by a king in pallid, tattered robes, the madness-inducing `The King in Yellow’ play, and the Yellow Sign.”
– Jason Rolfe

“Themed short fiction anthologies roll out into the marketplace too quickly for any reader to keep up, but in a given year there are a few standouts worth every genre reader’s time. A Season in Carcosa is one of those few that deserve everyone’s attention.”
– Michael Griffin, author of The Lure of Devouring Light

“To decipher all of the permutations and implications of the icons and themes connecting Chambers’s stories to this anthology, you will want to read The King in Yellow. To wander in a state of dreamlike wonder from one odd room to another, discovering tantalizing literary beauty at every dark turn, simply open the pages of A Season in Carcosa.To decipher all of the permutations and implications of the icons and themes connecting Chambers’s stories to this anthology, you will want to read The King in Yellow. To wander in a state of dreamlike wonder from one odd room to another, discovering tantalizing literary beauty at every dark turn, simply open the pages of A Season in Carcosa.”
– S.P. Miskowski, author of Delphine Dodd and Knock Knock

“One of the authors who championed Chambers for years is Joseph Pulver Sr. He has written several stories and poems dealing with the King in Yellow, along with promoting other writers that do the same. One of the fruits of his labor is the recently published A Season In Carcosa. This small press anthology, published by Miskatonic River Press, contains twenty short stories and one poem, all dealing with the mythology of Chambers’ stories.”
Anthologies are usually a mixed bag, and a perfect anthology is a rare thing indeed. While this anthology is not perfect, the good manages to far outweigh the bad. Pulver has managed to gather a nice variety of stories, from a very talented group of authors. Madness, decadence, and the King himself are explored in several ways. Some tales are modern and others take place in the past. The one common thread that connects all of them is the link between madness and the color yellow.”
– Justin Steele, editor of The Arkham Digest and Strange Aeons

 

PRAISE for SIN & ashes

“Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. is a fine writer of prose and poetry. His collection SIN & ashes(Hippocampus Press) is a deliciously varied and ambitious collection of mostly new stories and poems of dark fantasy, weird fiction, and horror by a writer who has quickly made a name for himself in his chosen field.”
– Ellen Datlow, Multi award winning editor

“The varied subjects and settings that comprise this book’s vast canvas, coupled with the sheer number of its pieces, make giving a tale-by-tale analysis all but impossible, for Pulver’s work is a gestalt, a tsunami of image and emotion. His words are unfailingly razor-keen, his tone beautiful and horrific at once.
If you are a reader who seeks lulling escapism, this book offers no such creature comfort. Pulver tales are not the kind of stories one slips into like a warm bath. They are splashes of frigid water, which constantly jar and twist rather than flow headlong. This is what makes SIN & ashes such a potent volume. Pulver is a writer who takes risks with each story he fashions, which in turn makes reading them exceptionally rewarding.”
– Richard Gavin, author of Omen and Charnel Wine, in “Dead Reckoning” No.9

While everybody else in horror is still aping the shallow visual palette of cinema, Joe Pulver calls down a storm of psychotronic nightmares charged with the evocative depth and relentless pulse of the Devil’s music. This isn’t a book that wants to be a movie. This is a drug disguised as a book. Spiked with poignant wisdom and poisoned surprises and defiantly shredding expectations of how a story should work, yet SIN & ashes is not experimental. Joe Pulver knows full well what kind of cerebral explosions his ingredients will produce. SIN & ashes is an iconoclastic revolt, and a devastating reminder of the unique, unmatchable power of well-wielded words.”
– Cody Goodfellow, author of Radiant Dawn

Joe Pulver is a one-man literature machine. He writes fiction and poetry, edits, and basically inspires other creative artists to excel. Joe’s SIN & ashes is surely one of the most important fiction collections of the year, and serves to remind us all that greatness is still possible in the field of weird fiction.”
– Gary McMahon, author of Pretty Little Dead Things and Pieces of Midnight

“Joseph S Pulver, Sr. is a thunderous scribe of dark fiction. His poetry slams into you, cracking through flesh and bone to the real meat beneath. SIN & ashes is his mighty hammer, deftly wielded and smithed on Hephaestus’s great anvil. This is no book for the faint of heart. Filled with hard boiled goodness and devastating imagery, Pulver proves his is a talent to be reckoned with, and cements his rightful place as one of the most interesting voices in the genre. I am both awed and humbled by his power.”

“Fearless. Daring. Poetic prose for the unhinged. Each tale in “Portraits of Ruin” packs the sort of mental wallop that leaves the reader reeling. From the scorched deserts to the highest foreign towers, across plains of reality and beneath burning suns, this is no volume for the weak, for the conventional. It is a wake-up call from one of the genre’s most visionary masters. A book for those who see differently, for those not afraid to know the truth no matter how terrible the cost. I envy anyone about to experience Pulver’s horrors for the first time.”
– Simon Strantzas, author of Nightingale Songs and Beneath the Surface

“Joe Pulver’s SIN & ashes is a messed up (and I mean Cronenberg messed up) splicing of William S. Burroughs and Thomas Ligotti. Add a whiskey chaser. After reading these vibrant and weird stories with their assorted devils and down-and-outs, I kinda want to party with Joe. But I think I’m too scared to.”
– Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and In the Mean Time

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