Long-time lurker, sometime CoC contributor, and very occasional poster Bill Walsh here. Just wanted to let you know that a short, fun novel of mine that I wrote to amuse some friends (including four of my original CoC players) was serendipitously picked up by a publisher, and has received some nice notices. It's called Tales from the Black Chamber, and it has more than a few structural similarities to Call of Cthulhu adventures, and might have been distantly and unconsciously inspired a bit by Delta Green, but be warned: it’s much lighter in tone than pretty much anything Pagan Publishing put out, and was written for fun, rather than for a genuine, hard-core horror audience.
I've received some nice reviews on Amazon, including two that very kindly invoked HPL:
Of all the Lovecraftian pastiches that I've read in the last 40 years, this book blew the rest of them away like dust! That's how good it was.
—Fred Phillips, Contributor, Sword & Sorcery Weird Fiction Terminus Amateur Press Association
Abbadon the Destroyer; Ashmodai, King of Demons; Agrat bat-Malat the Dancing Roof- Demon; Shamazai; Azazel; Alukah the Vampire. Why, you’d have to go all the way back to HP Lovecraft to find a more sinister and deliciously mouth-filling set of demonic syllables. And in a few ways (at least), Bill Walsh’s monsters have the edge on the twentieth century’s master of horror.
1. You can pronounce Walsh’s names on the first attempt. Just try Lovecraft’s ((Chthulu, Yomagn’tho, Y’golonac). I mean, how do you pronounce an apostrophe?
2. Lovecraft’s names are made up. Walsh’s are straight out of primordial literature; everything from Babylonian, to Mongolian, to Egyptian, to primeval Hebraic. And what’s more, Walsh doesn’t just appropriate the names, he actually hews to their ancient resumés. (I know; I looked ‘em up!)
Tales from the Black Chamber (title not withstanding, this is not a set of stories, it is a single, well-put-together novel) is not yet another Lovecraftian knock-off. In fact it is not a horror novel at all. I guess I’d call it a puzzle mystery, because an intricate linguistic puzzle is at the heart of it--a sort of “Gold Bug” for modern sensibilities. If you enjoy that kind of thing, you’ll love it. If you don’t enjoy it, just skim over the thorny, intricate deductions and logic, and you’ll love it anyway.
There’s lots of wit and plenty of erudition, and yet it’s a user-friendly story that doesn’t take itself too seriously. No sex, no gory details. A fun read
—Aaron Elkins, author, the Gideon Oliver mysteries (et al.)
Anyhow, should a light romp through shadows and grimoires and the threat of the end of the world sound like fun reading, I'd be flattered if you picked up a copy and intensely gratified if you liked it.