Nyarlathotep

by H.P. Lovecraft

Nyarlathotep… the crawling chaos… I am the last… I will tell the audient void…

I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night. I recall that the people …

IFPNyarlathotep

Hallowe’en in a Suburb

by H.P.Lovecraft

The steeples are white in the wild moonlight,
And the trees have a silver glare;
Past the chimneys high see the vampires fly,
And the harpies of upper air,
That flutter and laugh and stare.

For the village dead to the moon outspread
Never shone in the sunset’s gleam,
But grew out of the deep that the dead years keep
Where the rivers of madness stream
Down the gulfs to a pit of dream.

A chill wind weaves …

IFPHallowe’en in a Suburb

Fall 2009 Fiction Issue

Editorial

Women seldom appear in Lovecraft’s fiction. His world is a male world, with few female characters dotting the edges of the story. There is Asenath Waite, but she is possessed by the spirit of her father; Lavinia Whateley gives birth to Wilbur and quickly exits the story. The female realm holds little interest to Lovecraft.

That is why six of the seven stories in this issue of Innsmouth Free Press look at women, and not just any kind of …

IFPFall 2009 Fiction Issue

Prayer at Dark River

by Mary Robinette Kowal

Dear Lord in Heaven, O Merciful Father.

Always I have turned to You in prayer when frightened and my first instinct tonight was to kneel upon these old flagstones and beseech you for guidance. My other choice would be to commune with Professor Webb as we wait to see if his sorcery has had effect. Should I pray the American sorcerer has succeeded, so that Guðrun is safe, or should I pray that he fails?

If …

IFPPrayer at Dark River

What’s in a Shell?

By Nathalie Boisard-Beudin

I remember the whole thing.

It all started by Auntie Alice saying that she had brought us back something special from her trip in Russia. Now, considering her history of gift hunting, I’d rather deducted that something “special” was most likely to turn out being a hugely discounted trinket bought from a dingy store, or something she might have been bartering from an illegal street vendor.

Nonetheless, the set of Russian dolls she deposited on Jonathan’s bed …

IFPWhat’s in a Shell?

Fiction: The Stones at Spurn Point

by Rafe McGregor

I was thinking about drowning when the child stepped out from behind the ‘enforcement cameras’ sign.

I slammed on the brakes.

Even though I was only crawling along, the car sluiced across the motorway-turned-river, straight for him.

I closed my eyes at the last instant, but when the impact came it was from behind, not in front. As I’d expected – or hoped.

I should be used to this shit by now.

I pulled over to the …

IFPFiction: The Stones at Spurn Point

Beneath the Red City

by Matthew Bey

The Red City began calling to me that winter. It became like a canker that you probe with your tongue: a constant nuisance and ache in my mind. You who would judge me and condemn my betrayal, you have no idea how it pulled me into Her spidery influence. Yes, I knew about Her from the beginning: that queen arachnid crouching hidden within a net of a city; that web of monoliths, avenues and temples far below …

IFPBeneath the Red City

Partum

By Lori M. Myers

Marlene watched from her living room window as lightning flashed in the distance. She rested her arms on her bulging belly and felt a slight kick that made her flinch. Thunder rumbled. Silence. Then thunder again. She tried to remember that grade-school lesson, the one about how long it takes for a storm to reach its next stop. Then she heard hailstones pinging against the roof.

“I don’t like this, Rob.” Her voice sounded as though …

IFPPartum

What Appollonius Rhodius Didn’t Say

By Berrien C. Henderson

Drowning. Refracted light and the waves wreathe his body, borne away on the susurrus of a fading heartbeat. He’d fallen overboard, pushed by invisible hands drawn by some faint tinnitus, his equilibrium shot. His life, now, too.

Gasp! A sledgehammer of light in his eyes (the pupils shrivel to pinpoints, and for a moment relief blossoms in the waking part of his mind – I live).

Shade, blessed shade. Some graceful, svelte body, feathered by …

IFPWhat Appollonius Rhodius Didn’t Say

Scream Saver

By Ann K. Schwader

The fractal on Halpin’s screen writhed through a dozen color shifts in as many seconds. One flowed into many, many into one – and the gaps between were jagged mouths, gnawing at a void blacker than imagination.

Susan backed away from her colleague’s desk. “Where did you download this thing?”

“It’s a distributed computing project. Strictly volunteer.”

He tapped one corner of the screen, where translucent spikes stabbed in counterpoint to the fractal’s movements.

“That’s got …

IFPScream Saver

Dagon

by H.P. Lovecraft

I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more. Penniless, and at the end of my supply of the drug which alone, makes life endurable, I can bear the torture no longer; and shall cast myself from this garret window into the squalid street below. Do not think from my slavery to morphine that I am a weakling or a degenerate. When you have read these hastily scrawled pages …

IFPDagon

Beyond the Wall of Sleep

by H.P. Lovecraft

I have often wondered if the majority of mankind ever pause to reflect upon the occasionally titanic significance of dreams, and of the obscure world to which they belong. Whilst the greater number of our nocturnal visions are perhaps no more than faint and fantastic reflections of our waking experiences — Freud to the contrary with his puerile symbolism — there are still a certain remainder whose immundane and ethereal character permit of no ordinary interpretation, and …

IFPBeyond the Wall of Sleep