September 06, 2012

Full Bleed

New Tales of the Yellow Sign, my anthology of weird tales conjuring Robert W. Chambers’ classic King in Yellow mythos, is in print as of September from Atomic Overmind Press, and in ebook form from vendors including Amazon/Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple iTunes, and Paizo.

This post is first in a series looking at the individual stories.

In “Repairer of Reputations”, Robert Chambers writes one of the canon’s earliest tales from the point of view of an unreliable narrator. The reading experience trains us to accept the words presented to us by the author—without that trust, we are unmoored, disoriented. What device could be more appropriate to a cycle of stories about a book—a collection of untrustworthy words—that spreads madness and perhaps even reshapes reality itself?

“Full Bleed” plays with both ideas by siting them in the present day, through the action report of an agent determined to stamp out new eruptions of the Yellow Sign in print—in this case, by tracking the activities of an indie comics artist.

In his introduction to New Tales of the Yellow Sign, Kenneth Hite says of “Full Bleed”:

Full Bleed” riffs off “The Repairer of Reputations,” through a procedural tenor recalling both Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled fictions and the first-person “fantasy of competence” that fearful 21st-century readers crave from their security romances.

Secret hint: downloading the free sample on the Kindle page and elsewhere gets you all of “Full Bleed,” and Ken’s intro in its entirety.