The Age of Decayed Futurity: The Best of Mark Samuels by Mark Samuels
Trade Paperback – Hippocampus Press – 2020 – 268 pages
For the past two decades, British author Mark Samuels has written some of the most vibrant and challenging weird fiction of any contemporary writer. But his work—collected in such volumes as The White Hands and Other Weird Tales (2003), The Man Who Collected Machen (2010), and Written in Darkness (2014)—has by and large appeared in limited editions not widely distributed in the United States.
This volume features seventeen of Samuels’s best weird stories. Several display his fascination with technology, advertising, and urban horror, as in “Apartment 205” and the title story. Other tales speak of the writing of weird fiction itself as a potentially hazardous and supernatural enterprise, as in “The White Hands” and “Vrolyck.”
In several of his lengthier narratives—notably “The Gentleman from Mexico” and “The Crimson Fog”—Samuels draws upon H. P. Lovecraft’s pseudomythology to venture into realms of cosmic horror. “The Black Mould” and “My World Has No Memories” are distinctively existential tales of undeniable potency.