Thirteen Conjurations by Jonathan Thomas




2013: ISBN: 978-1-61498-067-4: 278 pages
Foreword by Barton Levi St. Armand
Cover art by Jason C. Eckhardt


Review by Hellnotes

With the release on Jonathan Thomas’s third collection, Thirteen Conjurations, from Hippocampus Press, it becomes obvious that Jonathan Thomas, as suspected from his first two collections, Midnight Call (2008) and Tempting Providence (2010),  could not write bad story on a bet.

Review by Don D'Ammassa

This collection of original short fiction opens with a series of Mythos related stories. I've read two previous collections by this author and have noted his gift for evoking an ominous atmosphere, which is particularly useful in Lovecraft pastiches. There are also moments of humorous satire scattered through the stories, which are reasonably varied although sometimes thematically similar. I particularly liked three of the four HPL related stories, "The Copper God's Treat," "A Retouch in Camonics," and the three loosely related stories that tie up the collection. It's been a while since I read the previous two books, but it seems to me that Thomas has shown a steady development in both the mechanics of writing and in the inventiveness of his imagination.


In this third short story collection, following up on Midnight Call (2008) and Tempting Providence (2010), Jonathan Thomas continues to demonstrate the skill and emotive power that have made him a dynamic new voice in contemporary weird fiction. This volume opens with a quartet of tales elaborating upon Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, including “Mobymart After Midnight” (a delightful skewering of Walmart culture) and “King of Cat Swamp,” an ingenious riff on “The Call of Cthulhu.” Other stories treat a variety of weird themes: “Way Up When,” about a man who has remarkable precognitive powers; “The Comeuppance Hour,” in which the makers of a skeptical TV show about occult phenomena find more than they bargain for; and “A Retouch in Camonica,” about strange happenings in an Italian archaeological site. The volume concludes with a “Swedish-American Triptych,” in which various protagonists encounter the bizarre in a far Baltic land. Each tale is crafted meticulously and enlivened by a wit and mordant satire that renders them unique in recent weird writing.

“Jonathan Thomas pushes us toward . . . fresh hells, as in his pages we recognize the still startling twenty-first-century disjunction between our own fragmentary human skull and our own residual ape-like jaw.”—From Barton L. St. Armand’s Foreword

“Jonathan Thomas has an enviably impressive range—from the gentle to the gruesome, from science fiction through fantasy to the spectral and horrific—but his wit is reliable, and so is the clarity of his eye, and the precision of his prose. He’s an asset to all his fields.”—Ramsey Campbell

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 04 July, 2013.