It’s always Friday somewhere.
After missing a week on my blog, I’m now back on track — if a little later than my usual Tuesday post. Things have been happening in the last two weeks: I attended Teslacon 4, and thanks to the largesse of my wife’s new job, I attended my first ever college football game! More about those next week; for now, here’s this week’s regular blog post:
Books I Love: Carnacki: Ghost Finder by William H. Hodgson
Carnacki is cut from much the same cloth as the main character (known only as “Time Traveler”) from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. He invites a group of friends over for dinner, and then proceeds to regale them with the tale of his latest adventure, creating a narrative device to link the stories together easily. Carnacki blends mysticism and late Victorian-era pseudo-science to defeat malignant spirits, either banishing them or sending them on to their final rest.
What I like most about the stories is that there are some that are explained through good detective work – once Carnacki has investigated the matter. There are some phenomena that cannot be explained, and there are even a couple of stories where you think things have been cleared up, only to have something happen that adds a new supernatural twist to the proceedings. It’s a well-balanced mix.
More recently, Scottish-born author William Meikle has added some new Carnacki stories to the fold in his anthology Carnacki: Heaven and Hell, and I must say he’s done a cracking good job keeping the tone and feel of the original. My only complaint (and it’s a very small one) with his work is that the mix I enjoyed so much from the original stories is absent; all the Meikle mysteries have a supernatural source. Regardless, Meikle delivers good, original stories, and all of them are chilling tales you may want to read with the lights left on! Carnacki: Heaven and Hell is well worth the time and effort to track down a copy.
The original Carnacki: Ghost Finder is sometimes tough to locate. It’s seen print more frequently in the author’s home country, so obtaining a UK edition is possible, though may be a bit pricey. It is also reprinted regularly in small-ish runs of US editions, so that might be another option. If you like good ghost stories with a garnish of some solid detective work, I highly recommend making the effort to find the original Carnacki.
Potentially less difficult to find is William Meikle’s Carnacki: Heaven and Hell stories. Published within the last two years by Dark Regions Press, they are available in trade paperback only (as far as I can tell) from the publisher’s website.
Note: I’ve just been informed by Mr. Meikle that Carnacki: Heaven and Hell is available in e-book form as well, also from Dark Regions Press. The link to search for the ebook platform of your choice begins HERE.
Happy reading, and take care!