The Queen of Spades

Night travelers step from the train. I’m freezing. Footsteps hammer the street, shaking white droplets loose. The gutters are streaming. Mice are nibbling on cobwebs. Cows moo in the mist. Everywhere, without speaking a word, they fear the Queen of Spades. She is a woman, a monster, some claim; others maintain she is a gigantic insect; the truth is […]

Zelenka

Anne-Sylvie Salzman is a French writer and the co-editor of the magazine Le visage vert. As a translator, her many authors include Kris Saknussemm, Lord Dunsany, Fritz Leiber, Arthur Machen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Sax Rohmer, Iain M. Banks, Jim Shepard, Robert Crais, L. Frank Baum, Herman Melville, Henry Darger, and Willa Cather. Prior publications in […]

The Ghoul

Belgian fabulist Jean Muno was earlier profiled in these pages. We are pleased to present “The Ghoul,” a phantasmagorical tale from his first collection, Histoires singulières. He stops. Turns around. A man of middle age, graying, in a hunting vest and fishing boots. Watchful, no doubt worried. He’s alone, and sees no one. No one behind him. […]

Jean Muno’s Unusual Tales: The Silver Age of the Belgian School of the Strange

If the gods of Golden Age of the Belgian School of the Strange are Jean Ray, Thomas Owen, and Franz Hellens, its Silver Age hero is surely Jean Muno. The only child of writer parents, Muno was born Robert Burniaux in a Brussels suburb in 1924 — the year André Breton published the first Surrealist Manifesto, as Muno […]

Noël Devaulx: The Secret Master

Noël Devaulx is the secret master of the 20th century French fantastic,” I wrote in 2009. And by that I meant in letters, in essays, in interviews, in conversation, he was the name on everyone’s lips, everyone I was reading and researching. Scratch a French fantasist, find a reference to the former Breton engineer, René Forgeot, whose pseudonym had been […]

Marguerite Cassan: Develop in Darkness

We must refuse madness,” writes Marguerite Cassan at the end of “On the Line,” one of nine stories in Develop in Darkness (À développer dans l’obscurité, Laffont, 1967), and this tension between refusal and embrace, suspicion and abandon, fuels much of the book’s conflict, dividing those whom darkness touches from those who tell their tales. […]

The Weird: What Is It?…and Is It Watching You? (Give Us Your Picks)

  WFR Interrogatory: Dear Readers: –Who are some of your favorite writers of weird fiction, especially those who tend to be overlooked or are underrated in your opinion? Your answers will  help WFR determine who and what to cover in the coming months. Sincerely, Oddkin, Weirdie, & Old Peculiar Clarkesworld Magazine has hosted a roundtable with just […]

Kavar the Rat

Translated by Edward Gauvin Thomas Owen (1910−2002) is the one name regularly cited with Jean Ray as a pillar of Belgian supernatural horror, and the nom de plume of Gérald Bertot: criminal lawyer, art critic, mystery writer, and career manager of a flour plant. Thomas Ligotti has praised Owen’s “meditative and intimate prose works” as part of […]