The dark, forbidding alleys of our ruined cityscapes; the hopeless lives of brutalized whores, amoral hit-men, and vengeful victims of violence-these are the landscapes and characters that fill the stories, poems, and prose-poems of Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. in his first collection. And yet, there is a strange and intoxicating beauty to Pulver’s creations, for they transport the reader out of the mundane and into the unearthly by the effortless stroke of a dazzling metaphor. Many of Pulver’s stories are innovative riffs on the enigmatic mythology of The King in Yellow, pregnant with the demonic witchery of the original. With this collection, Pulver has placed himself in the forefront of contemporary fantasy and horror literature.
Excerpt from – Blood Will Have Its Season
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Praise for Blood Will Have Its Season
“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
“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.”
– by Ran Cartwright
“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 Hopfrog Pugmire, author of The Tangled Muse
“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.
– Robert M. Price
“The prose of Joe Pulver can take its place with that of the masters of our genre-Poe, Lovecraft, Campbell, Ligotti-while his imaginative reach is something uniquely his own.”
– From S. T. Joshi’s Foreword
“Blood Will Have Its Season is an ambitious debut […] obviously influenced by H.P. Lovecraft 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
“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
“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
“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”
“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.”
– Rick Kleffel’s The Agony Column
“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
“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
“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
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Table of Contents
Introduction by S.T. Joshi
Carl Lee and Cassilda
Line of Questions
I, Like the Coyote
Blood Will Have Its Season
mr wind sits
An American Tango Ending in Madness
The Songs Cassilda Shall Sing, Where Flap the Tatters of the King
The Night Music of Oakdeene
Dogs Begin to Bark All Over My Neighborhood
But The Day Is A Tomb of Claws
In This Desert Even The Air Burns
And She Walks Into The Room . . .
a certain Mr. Hopfrog, Esq., Nightwalker
The Black Litany of Nug and Yeb
An Engagement of Hearts
An Event Without Knives or Rope
One Side’s Ice, One’s Fire
A Spider in the Distance
A Night of Moon and Blood, Then Holstenwall
Under The Mask Another Mask
W a t e r l i l i e s
Yvrain’s “Black Dancer”
No Exit Sign
Midnight on a Dead End Street in Noir City
The Master and Margeritha
Hello Is A Yellow Kiss
The Faces Of She
Good Night And Good Luck
Patti Smith, Lovecraft & I
The Collector And The Hand Puppet
The Only Thing We Have To Fear . . .
Stone Cold Fever
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Reviews for Blood Will Have Its Season
Blood Will Have Its Season is a collection of 41 short stories and poetry by acclaimed author Joseph S. Pulver. The book begins with a forward from editor and Lovecraft Scholar S.T. Joshi. He informs us that Joe has finally found his voice in short story form… and I agree. I was impressed with what I heard and read of Mr. Pulver’s work prior to BWHIS — but now I am simply in awe.
Some short story collections read a little like a portfolio of the author’s work. Each story is different in style and often genre as well. This collection was cohesive and although each story was very different, I didn’t feel like I ever stepped outside of the universe Mr. Pulver created.
Joe incorporates the mythos of other strange tale authors – like Lovecraft or Chambers – into his universe, but you never feel as if he is rehashing the same tales. These are new and wholly different. Currently my favorite stories in the collection are “PITCH nothing…” – a cautionary tale about the power of books and “Lovecraft’s Sentence” – a story about a hack and his meeting with a certain specter. Both are examples of everything I love about the strange tale genre.
Pulver has a way of immediately drawing you into his world – and holding you prisoner as you go (willingly) into the dark abyss of his imagination. I was captivated by the haunting poetry of his prose. There are few who can write horror in such a way that you become enamored with the beauty – Lovecraft, Chambers, Poe… I will now be adding Pulver to this list. Thank you for the beautiful nightmares sir.
This is the best short story collection I have read in a very long time. I recommend this book to anyone who likes Strange Tales, Horror, Short Stories or Dark Poetry – it is a wonderful, spellbinding trip (that I have taken twice already) through the darkest reaches. I give this book a 5 out of 5!
– She Never Slept – Thoughts on “Blood Will Have Its Season”, September 10, 2010
I have just finished rereading Blood Will Have Its Season by Joseph S. Pulver,Sr. and experienced ,again,what got to me the first time: the internal soundtrack that comes out when reading his prose.To compliment a writer in this way may seem strange, but for a rock and jazz fan such as myself this is the best vocabulary that I can come up with in describing this collection of scenarios. I can hear Alice Cooper, for example, when reading “A Night of Moon and Blood, then Holstenwall”. He named cats after Robert Fripp and Grace Jones in “Lovecraft’s Sentence”. He writes raw and blood rare, and I bet the next reader will also hear music of their own score come together the further in they go.
– by Green Deva, via http://www.amazon.com