The Bloody Tugboat


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The Bloody Tugboat and Other Witcheries by Robert H. Waugh

Tradepaperback – Hippocampus Press – Jun2015 – page 268

Robert H. Waugh, a leading critic and scholar of weird, fantasy, and science fiction, has in the past decade quietly demonstrated his skill as a weird fictionist of luminous prose and powerful supernatural concepts. This first collection of his tales exhibits the wide range of his talents, containing such gems as “The Hot Tub Horror,” telling of the bizarreries a man finds in a jacuzzi; “Yet Here’s a Spot,” where anomalous and ever-moving spots appear on a man’s body; “Mr. Hoffman’s Cat,” about a mysterious feline and its even more mysterious owner; “Playing with Fire,” a story of psychological aberration about a pyromaniac; and the title story, a riveting tale of sea horror.

Waugh is particularly adept at evoking the terror inherent in towns weighted down by centuries of tradition (as in “The Churches on the Hill,” evoking the strangeness of the upstate New York town of New Paltz, where Waugh long resided), and he is just as skilled at fusing horror and pathos, as in the plangent narratives “The Wind of His Passing” and “The Violinist.”

In all the twenty-five stories in this volume, we find a sensitivity to fine shades of human emotion, a deftness in introducing the supernatural into a mundane setting, and a supple, richly textured prose that bespeak a literary craftsman of the highest order. But Waugh never forgets that weirdness lies at the heart of the weird tale.

Twenty three stories are original to this collection.

The Portrait of Miss Constance

Iceboy – from Weird Fiction Review No. 2 2011

In Her Eye – from Weird Fiction Review No. 3 2012

The Hot Tub Horror

The Bloody Tugboat – from Weird Fiction Review No. 5 2014

The Bright Thin Room

Yet Here’s a Spot

The Churches on the Hill

The Narcissus Anchors in the Caribees

The Puzzle in the Cellar Pantry

The Black Plastic Rag

Alice by the Beautiful Sea

Mr. Hoffman’s Cat

Playing with Fire

Punch Stands Alone

The Broker and His Pet

Down by the Alyscamps, Up on the Hill

The Violinist

Johnny’s Tin Toy

Her Crooked Mouth

The Wind of His Passing

Nancy’s Dreams

The Infected Land

The Creature from the Zodiacal Club




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