Penumbra #1


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Penumbra: A Journal of Weird Fiction and Criticism #1 edited by S.T. Joshi

Trade Paperback – Hippocampus Press – Sep 2020 – 316 pages

Penumbra is a new annual journal that seeks to present cutting-edge articles on weird fiction as well as original weird fiction by some of the most talented contemporary writers in the field. This first issue contains scintillating new fiction by such veterans as Mark Samuels and Michael Aronovitz, as well as by new and up-and-coming writers such as Curtis M. Lawson, Manuel Arenas, Belicia Rhea, and others. As a “classic reprint,” we present a rare story by Gertrude Atherton.

Among the works of criticism and scholarship, Matt Cardin studies a story by Thomas Ligotti; John Tibbetts supplies a detailed overview of the ghost stories of Edith Wharton; James Goho analyzes the work of Simon Strantzas; Darrell Schweitzer assesses the eccentric tales of John Collier; and Nancy Holder demonstrates the frequency with which Sherlock Holmes has entered weird fiction over the decades. Other essays touch on the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany, China Miéville, Jean Ray, and William Hope Hodgson. Mark Samuels translates a little-known essay on weird fiction by Stefan Grabinski, while Jason V Brock provides an essay on zombie films.

We also feature verse by such leading contemporary as Wade German, Adam Bolivar, John Shirley, Darrell Schweitzer, Nicole Cushing, and Leigh Blackmore.

All told, Penumbra is a rich feast of weird fiction, poetry, and criticism, showing the vibrancy of a genre that is enjoying immense popularity in the present day.


If Destiny Still Reigns / Mark Samuels
The Truth about Vampires / Curtis M. Lawson
Las Llorasangres / Michael Parker
Static / Belicia Rhea
The Slug / Jon Bockes
Counter-Current / Michael Aronovitz
The Crazy Mountains / Dylan Henderson
The Hell of Mirrors / Manuel Arenas
Door Skin / Belicia Rhea

Classic Reprint

The Caves of Death / Gertrude Atherton


Icy Bleakness and Killing Sadness: The Desolating Impact of Thomas Ligotti’s “The Bungalow House” / Matt Cardin
The Cosmic Scale of Elfland / Michael D. Miller
The Idea of the North in the Fiction of Simon Strantzas / James Goho
I Walked with a Zombie: The Tragicomic World of the Firefly Clan / Jason V Brock
“The Terror of Solitude”: The Supernatural Fiction of Edith Wharton / John C. Tibbetts
Finding Sherlock Holmes in Weird Fiction / Nancy Holder
Confessions / Stefan Grabinski
“The Weird Dominions of the Infinite”: Edgar Allan Poe and the Scientific Gothic / Sorina Higgins
The Psychic Sleuth Who Survived / Lee Weinstein
The Resurgence of a Fallen Angel: Echoes of The Ghost Pirates in “The Mainz Psalter” / Hubert Van Calenbergh
Monstrous Tourism: Petromodernity in China Miéville’s “Covehithe” / Rhonda Knight
John Collier: A Weird Fantasist in Jester’s Motley / Darrell Schweitzer



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