Finally broke the novel barrier this weekend. Read Robert B. Parker's latest Spencer book, Now and Then. While a definite improvement over the last entry in the series, Hundred Dollar Baby, it's still nothing to write home about. Basically it seems like parts of a lot of other Spenser novels rearranged and stitched together to make this years commitment to his publisher. The dialog still sparkles and Parker has lost none of his trademark wit, but there's nothing to really make this one stand out.
I read several horror short stories by Ramsey Campbell, including 'Call First' which had been recommended as a particularly creepy one. It did have a nice, EC comics type jolt right at the end. Also read one of Campbell's completions of a Robert E. Howard Solomon Kane stories, Hawk of Bashti. I thought he did a pretty nice job with it.
I re-read Karl Edward Wagner's 'The Gothic Touch' and related material so I could write the rather lengthy essay that appears below. Karl's longtime friend John Mayer has put the essay up at the official KEW website, which is pretty cool.
I've begun Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford novel 'End In Tears' and it's off to a good start. More about that later. Cliff called to tell me that the second volume of the Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard has finally arrived so I'll be reading that soon. That's pretty much the reading report for now.