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Linda Lovecraft – More Devil’s Kisses

Posted by demonik on September 2, 2007

Linda Lovecraft [Michel Parry] (ed.) – More Devil’s Kisses (Corgi, 1977)

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Introduction – Linda Lovecraft

Mary E. Counselman – Something Old
Maurice Level – The Last Kiss
H. R. Wakefield – Monstrous Regiment
May Sinclair – The Nature of the Evidence
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Fly-by-Night
Jerome Bixby – The Best Lover In Hell
Erika Johansson – Some Like It Cold
Angela Carter – Master
Ramsey Campbell – Loveman’s Comeback
Joseph F. Pumilia – Toad
Steven Utley – Sidhe
David Drake – Smokie Joe
Chris Miller – The Magic Show

Famously withdrawn and existing stock pulped after Scotland Yard took an interest in Chris Miller’s story.

Maurice Level – The Last Kiss: A husband, blinded and hideously deformed when his wife through vitriol in his face after he threatened to leave her, intervenes on her behalf when the case comes to court, preventing her from receiving a long jail sentence. At his request she pays him an emotional visit in which she begs his forgiveness and somehow even manages to kiss him, whereupon … Well, not for nothing is Level feted as a master practitioner of the conte cruel.

Jerome Bixby – The Best Lover In Hell: Jim Maddock, sinner, seducer, adulterer and all round fornicator, encounters the Devil in the SW corner of Gehenna. “The lava had burned most of the skin off his torso – raw patches of flesh showed – his lips were cracked, his hair was gone, and his earlobes were crackly black husks. But he laughed.” Jim offers the Devil a challenge, namely to prove which of them is the better lover. Jim has a lot of fun – with Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Madame Bovary & co. – in coming off second best and earns himself the coveted position of special honorary demon who must guard the corridor wherein lie these beauties for all eternity. And “satisfy utterly their every demand”.

Angela Carter – Master: “…had first exercised a propensity for savagery in the acrid lavatories of a minor English Public School where he used to press the heads of the new boys into the ceramic bowl and then pull the flush upon them to drown their gurgling protests. After puberty, he turned his indefinable but exacerbated rage upon the pale, flinching bodies of young women whose flesh he lacerated with his teeth, fingernails and sometimes his leather belt in the beds of cheap hotels near London’s great rail terminus.

It is in Africa he meets his match in the form of a native girl he buys and systematically brutalises. Syphilitic and insane, he leaves a trail of innumerable jaguar corpses across the continent until she, by now quite as degenerate as her master, metamorphosises into a jaguar-woman ….

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Fly-By-Night: Tobias the cat is forever leaving presents on the carpet for owners Newton Hatfield and his daughter Celia. One evening they return home to find an odd creature, ‘pretty’, fanged and leathery of wing which Celia adopts although Newton is far from keen. The Fly-by-night feeds on extreme human emotion of the darkest hue, and when Newton comes close to murdering his daughter in an argument, he realises it’s time to destroy it. Problem is, the creature has grown considerably by now and he’s also gotten around to ravishing Celia.

Joseph F. Pumilia – Toad: An ugly teenager, despised by his contemporaries, Toad is so called because of his facial resemblance to that warty creature. So how comes he’s so popular with the women teachers?

Erika Johansson – Some Like It Cold: Bo Rosenkwist wants to be the first man to have sex at the North Pole and persuades Barbro, a trainee gym instructor, to partner him. Barbro frets about the Ice Giants “said to keep up their numbers by taking over the bodies of travellers frozen in the snow”, but Bo has too much on his mind to pay her any heed. On their first night at the Pole, Barbro wanders naked from their tent and Bo has his first and last encounter with frosty the snowman and his mates.

Chris Miller – The Magic Show: As mentioned (many times) above, the story that lead to the book being trashed after an intervention from Scotland Yard’s finest. Mrs. Levine hires a magic show for son Ira’s seventh birthday party. While the parents congratulate her on such a marvellous idea, Dr. Fun and Mr. Frog organise a drug fuelled, infant orgy next door. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, a pony is introduced into the proceedings …

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