A Night in the Lonesome October

A Night in the Lonesome October is a novel by American writer Roger Zelazny published in 1993, near the end of his life. It was his last book, and one of his five personal favorites.[1]

The book is divided in 32 chapters, each representing one "night" in the month of October (plus one "introductory" chapter). The story is told in the first-person, akin to journal entries. Throughout, 33 full-page illustrations by Gahan Wilson (one per chapter, plus one on the inside back cover) punctuate a tale heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft. The title is a line from Edgar Allan Poe's "Ulalume" and Zelazny thanks him as well as others – Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Bloch and Albert Payson Terhune – whose most famous characters appear in the book.

A Night in the Lonesome October was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1994.[2] A similar theme of conflict surrounding the opening of a gate to another world exists in Zelazny's novel Madwand.

A Night in the Lonesome October
ANightInTheLonesomeOctober(1stEd)
First edition (hardcover)
AuthorRoger Zelazny
IllustratorGahan Wilson
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreFantasy
PublisherWilliam Morrow and Company
Publication date
1993
Media typePrint (hardback and paperback)
Pages280
ISBN0-688-12508-5
OCLC27640649
813/.54 20
LC ClassPS3576.E43 N5 1993

Plot summary

A Night in the Lonesome October is narrated from the point-of-view of Snuff, a dog who is Jack the Ripper's companion. The bulk of the story takes place in London and its environs, though at one point the story detours through the dream-world described by Lovecraft in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Though never explicitly stated, various contextual clues within the story (the most obvious of which being the appearance of Sherlock Holmes or "The Great Detective") imply that it takes place during the late Victorian period.

The story reveals that once every few decades when the moon is full on the night of Halloween, the fabric of reality thins and doors may be opened between this world and the realm of the Great Old Ones. When these conditions are right, men and women with occult knowledge may gather at a specific ritual site to hold the doors closed, or to help fling them open. Should the Closers win, then the world will remain as it is until the next turning... but should the Openers succeed, then the Great Old Ones will come to Earth, to remake the world in their own image (enslaving or slaughtering the human race in the process). The Openers have never yet won. These meetings are often referred to as "The Game" or "The Great Game" by the participants, who try to keep the goings-on secret from the mundane population.

The various "Players" during the Game depicted in the book are archetypal characters from Victorian Era gothic fiction – Jack the Ripper (only ever referred to as "Jack"), Dracula ("The Count"), Victor Frankenstein ("The Good Doctor"), and the Wolf Man (known as "Larry Talbot", the film character's name) all make appearances. In addition, there is a Witch ("Crazy Jill"), a Clergyman (Vicar Roberts), a Druid ("Owen"), a "Mad Monk" ("Rastov" – apparently modeled after Rasputin), and Hermetic occultists ("Morris and McCab" – often mentioned as a reference to a real hermetic of the time, MacGregor Mathers).

Each Player has a familiar – a bestial companion with near-human intelligence that helps complete the numerous preparations for the ritual. The majority of the story describes the interactions and discussions of these familiars, all from Snuff's point of view.

Throughout the book, the Players slowly take sides, form alliances, make deals, oppose one another, and even kill off their enemies. The plot accelerates until the night of October 31, when the rite takes place and the fate of the world is decided.

References

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20080216071439/http://zelazny.corrupt.net/phlog44rzint.txt
  2. ^ "1994 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-27.

External links

1993 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1993.

Crossover (fiction)

A crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, unauthorized efforts by fans or common corporate ownership.

Gahan Wilson

Gahan Wilson (born February 18, 1930) is an American author, cartoonist and illustrator known for his cartoons depicting horror-fantasy situations.

Wilson was born in Evanston, Illinois. He has been married to author Nancy Winters (née Nancy Dee Midyette) since 1966.

I, Ripper

I, Ripper is 2015 American novel by Stephen Hunter.

Jack the Ripper in fiction

Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer who terrorized Whitechapel in 1888, features in works of fiction ranging from gothic novels published at the time of the murders to modern motion pictures, televised dramas and video games.

Important influences on the depiction of the Ripper include Marie Belloc Lowndes' 1913 novel The Lodger, which has been adapted for the stage and film, and Stephen Knight's 1976 work Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, which expanded on a conspiracy theory involving freemasons and royalty. The literature of the late Victorian era, including Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes stories and Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, has provided inspiration for story-makers who have fused these fictional worlds with the Ripper.

The Ripper makes appearances throughout the science fiction and horror genres and is internationally recognised as an evil character. The association of the Ripper with death and sex is particularly appealing to heavy metal and rock musicians, who have incorporated the Ripper murders into their work.

Larry Talbot

Lawrence Stewart "Larry" Talbot, also known as The Wolf Man, is a title character of the 1941 Universal film The Wolf Man and its sequels. He was portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr. In the 2010 remake of the film, he is portrayed by Academy Award-winner Benicio del Toro. The Wolf Man was part of the Universal Monsters ensemble.

List of fantasy novels (I–R)

This page lists notable fantasy novels (and novel series). The books appear in alphabetical order by title (beginning with I to R) (ignoring "A", "An", and "The"); series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is no such, some reasonable designation. Science-fiction novels and short-story collections are not included here.

List of fictional dogs in prose and poetry

This is a list of fictional dogs in prose and poetry and is a subsidiary to the list of fictional dogs. It is a collection of various dogs in prose literature and poetry.

Nebula Award for Best Novel

The Nebula Award for Best Novel is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) for science fiction or fantasy novels. A work of fiction is defined by the organization as a novel if it is 40,000 words or longer; awards are also given out for pieces of shorter lengths in the categories of short story, novelette, and novella. To be eligible for Nebula Award consideration a novel must be published in English in the United States. Works published in English elsewhere in the world are also eligible provided they are released on either a website or in an electronic edition. The Nebula Award for Best Novel has been awarded annually since 1966. Novels which were expanded forms of previously published short stories are eligible, as are novellas published by themselves if the author requests them to be considered as a novel. The award has been described as one of "the most important of the American science fiction awards" and "the science-fiction and fantasy equivalent" of the Emmy Awards.Nebula Award nominees and winners are chosen by members of the SFWA, though the authors of the nominees do not need to be members. Works are nominated each year between November 15 and February 15 by published authors who are members of the organization, and the six works that receive the most nominations then form the final ballot, with additional nominees possible in the case of ties. Members may then vote on the ballot throughout March, and the final results are presented at the Nebula Awards ceremony in May. Authors are not permitted to nominate their own works, and ties in the final vote are broken, if possible, by the number of nominations the works received. Beginning with the 2009 awards, the rules were changed to the current format. Prior to then, the eligibility period for nominations was defined as one year after the publication date of the work, which allowed the possibility for works to be nominated in the calendar year after their publication and then be awarded in the calendar year after that. Works were added to a preliminary list for the year if they had ten or more nominations, which were then voted on to create a final ballot, to which the SFWA organizing panel was also allowed to add an additional work.During the 53 nomination years, 183 authors have had works nominated; 40 of these have won, including co-authors and ties. Ursula K. Le Guin has received the most Nebula Awards for Best Novel with four wins out of six nominations. Joe Haldeman has received three awards out of four nominations, while nine other authors have won twice. Jack McDevitt has the most nominations at twelve, with one win, while Poul Anderson and Philip K. Dick have the most nominations without winning an award at five.

Neil Gaiman's Only the End of the World Again

Neil Gaiman's Only The End of the World Again is a 2000 compilation of a serialized fantasy story published by Oni Press and originally appearing in Oni Double Feature #6–8 during 1998. The story was created and written by Neil Gaiman, adapted to comic by P. Craig Russell, illustrated by Troy Nixey and was colored for the collection by Matthew Hollingsworth.The story concerns the character of Lawrence Talbot, a claims adjustor and werewolf who finds himself in Innsmouth on a cold winter's night with the townspeople trying to bring about the return of the Elder Gods. It was written as a tribute to Roger Zelazny, and inspired by his novel A Night in the Lonesome October.

Owain Glyndŵr

Owain Glyndŵr (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈoʊain ɡlɨ̞nˈduːr]; c. 1359 – c. 1415), or Owain Glyn Dŵr, was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru). He instigated a fierce and long-running, yet ultimately unsuccessful war of independence with the aim of ending English rule in Wales. The traditional spelling in English is Owen Glendower (Latin: Oenus de Glendor(dee)).

Glyndŵr was a descendant of the Princes of Powys through his father Gruffudd Fychan II, hereditary Tywysog of Powys Fadog and Lord of Glyndyfrdwy, and of those of Deheubarth through his mother Elen ferch Tomas ap Llywelyn ab Owen.

On 16 September 1400, Glyndŵr instigated the Welsh Revolt against the rule of Henry IV of England. The uprising was initially very successful and rapidly gained control of large areas of Wales, but it suffered from key weaknesses – particularly a lack of artillery, which made capturing defended fortresses difficult, and of ships, which made their coastlands vulnerable. The uprising was eventually suppressed by the superior resources of the English. Glyndŵr was driven from his last strongholds in 1409, but he avoided capture and the last documented sighting of him was in 1412. He twice ignored offers of a pardon from his military nemesis, the new king Henry V of England, and despite the large rewards offered, Glyndŵr was never betrayed to the English. His death was recorded by a former follower in the year 1415.

In William Shakespeare's play Henry IV, Part 1, the character of Owen Glendower is a wild and exotic king ruled by magic and emotion.With his death Owain acquired a mythical status along with Cadwaladr, Cynan and Arthur as the hero awaiting the call to return and liberate his people. In the late 19th century, the Cymru Fydd movement recreated him as the father of Welsh nationalism.

Roger Zelazny

Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber. He won the Nebula award three times (out of 14 nominations) and the Hugo award six times (also out of 14 nominations), including two Hugos for novels: the serialized novel ...And Call Me Conrad (1965), subsequently published under the title This Immortal (1966) and then the novel Lord of Light (1967).

Roger Zelazny bibliography

This is a partial bibliography of American science fiction and fantasy author Roger Zelazny (missing several individual short stories published in collections).

Ulalume

"Ulalume" () is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1847. Much like a few of Poe's other poems (such as "The Raven", "Annabel Lee", and "Lenore"), "Ulalume" focuses on the narrator's loss of his beloved due to her death. Poe originally wrote the poem as an elocution piece and, as such, the poem is known for its focus on sound. Additionally, it makes many allusions, especially to mythology, and the identity of Ulalume herself, if a real person, has been a subject of debate.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.