THE DEEP ONES: "The Bells of Horror" by Henry Kuttner

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THE DEEP ONES: "The Bells of Horror" by Henry Kuttner

2RandyStafford
maig 8, 2020, 6:03pm

3elenchus
maig 8, 2020, 6:06pm

Kuttner had two stories in that issue of Amazing? The cover lists also the "novelet", "Cursed Be The City".

Impressive wrapping job on that mummy, incidentally.

4KentonSem
Editat: maig 8, 2020, 9:44pm

Terror in the House: The Early Kuttner, Volume One for me.

>3 elenchus:

I'm not sure what's actually happening on that cover, but it must have something to do with inhuman bondage. By the way, here is the even more frightening back cover:

5paradoxosalpha
Editat: maig 13, 2020, 11:12pm

"Something in the vibration of those bells is blanketing the sun's light-waves. For light's a vibration, you know."
This surmise from Denton wasn't exactly "nonsense" (as Todd called it), but it's certainly a "scientific" explanation more suited to the 19th century than 1939.

I thought the little scene with the toad was pretty ghastly, and I liked the whole eye-compulsion thing. But Todd's fate was in no way surprising, and the italicization in the final sentence made it even more underwhelming.

Zushakon was a pleasantly novel Old One; I've never encountered it before.

6RandyStafford
maig 13, 2020, 7:20pm

The one uses the typical Lovecraft story. Kuttner fails to pull off the surprise ending (Lovecraft failed in his concluding "surprises" sometimes too).

I liked a couple of things about this story.

I also liked the bit with the toad rubbing its eyes out and Zushakon's urging people to gouge their eyes out. I wondered if it was some kind of homage to Clark Ashton Smith's earlier "The Dweller in the Gulf".

I also liked the way Kuttner used his dark and cold. A lot of stories will mention gloom and chilly air as a way to create a particular atmosphere. Here, those two things are brought into the world by Zushakon. They are not atmospheric background but foregrounded as crucial elements of hte plot.

7housefulofpaper
maig 13, 2020, 7:31pm

Unlike the gentlemen adventurers of last week's story, the characters here had a reason to be involved in the action. The eye/blindness motif running through was effective (Especially now. With unusually low relative humidity and a high pollen count, I was experiencing the same symptoms!). The cold too, in contrast to the usual Califiornian climate.

On the downside, if it had these features of a professional piece of work, it also lacked any real feeling of individual wayward genius or a strikingly individual voice.

I can imagine it working well as a '30s or '40s radio drama.

8KentonSem
maig 14, 2020, 1:18pm

I agree that it has its moments. The sequence with the toad is especially macabre and unnatural. Interesting also that Zushakon is a kind of hometown Old One, in that its origin is strictly planet Earth-based.

This is early Kuttner, so I'm willing to cut him some slack as far as the pacing and lack of much surprise in the latter half. Even so, I can't remember reading a Kuttner tale that was a real knockout. I was hoping that this one would have become even crazier, with massive eye casualties and more and bigger bells being created. Make it a worldwide event!