“Tell me more about Carcosa,” the police investigators questioned the members of the Nightmare Factory book club one by one, “and this Yellow King.”
Joe, absentmindedly crafting voodoo dolls from empty cans of Lone Star, took a perfunctory drag from his ubiquitous Camel Light and quid pro quoed, “I don’t reckon you’ve got the right outlook to comprehend the answers to your questions,” peering superciliously across the timeworn tabletop, he continued, “much less the answers to the questions you should be asking.” He had won.
Confused, but undeterred, the police soldiered on. “We have it on record that you view time as a flat circle. How does that affect your participation in the activities, perverse or otherwise, of your book club?”
Propelling himself backward from his accuser, Joe smoldered, “Join us at the cafe in BookPeople on Tuesday April 15th at 8:00 p.m. to discuss The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers, fellas, and maybe you’ll find out.” Rising to leave, “The Nightmare Factory’ll show you the Yellow Sign. We’re done here, gentlemen.”
Striding confidently from the interrogation chamber, Joe collected Steven, still visibly shaken, from the police bench outside, and the two left the precinct to face the unspeakable horrors wrought by the monstrosity of Hastur. Neither were seen alive again.
The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is a remarkably influential work of weird fiction first published in the late nineteenth century, the footprints of which are indelibly ingrained in works as diverse as H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and HBO’s True Detective. The book itself is a nightmarish collection of short stories tied together by the apocryphal play of the title. Art, war, doom, and crypt keepers are chillingly committed to page and memory in this midnight thunderclap of supernatural poetry and prose.
Come by BookPeople on Tuesday April 15th at 8:00 p.m. to dish decadently with the Nightmare Factory book club about what turn-of-the-century Parisians thought the future would hold, the strange man outside your window that you’re secretly convinced is a grave worm, or anything else that made you gasp, shriek, or chuckle this month. The Nightmare Factory book club meets on the third Tuesday of every month in BookPeople’s sinister cafe to chatter incessantly over literary (or not) horror fiction, scary movies, and especially memorable sandwiches. Join us this Tuesday to speculate over the lasting impact of Robert W. Chambers’s masterfully grim The King In Yellow. Grab yourself a book and a beverage and help us to banish the darkness from the night sky.