Reviewer Praise for FEASTS AND SEASONS

Yard Sale of the Mind has a fulsome and flattering review of BOOK OF FEASTS AND SEASONS. I had the odd sensation of wanting to read the stories thus described, they sounded so fascinating.

The reviewer makes the unintentionally funny comment that I might mislike being compared to one of the most famous writers of the century, Flannery O’Conner. I also might mislike being told I am as handsome as Adonis, strong as Sampson, and as logical as Spock, but then again perhaps I might not.

Full disclosure: I know this reviewer. Not only have we been bosom friends for years, and not only do I owe him my life, if not my immortal soul, but the reason why he has adopted the eccentric habit of never appearing in public, indeed, never leaving his dark and windowless room in the Smithsonian, communicating to the outside world only by telephone, eating only sushi and never touching food that has ever touched fire, and walking with his face and hands entirely swathed in bandages, actually is my fault.

Let me explain briefly.

His name is Josiah Moore, and he was born in Cornwall. He and I were together on October 31st in 1952, if I recall correctly, in a small and ruined Churchyard in southeast Europe.

The sanctuary had been burnt by the Communists, and there was no priest present to restore the ancient wards. With pickaxe and shovel, Moore and I hurried to dig up the remnants of a horrifying medieval tyrant whose ferocity in opposing the Turk was, all too often, turned against his own people, and whose name — I dare not write it, even here — is a byword for frightening the children of the parish. On a scrap of paper I had the words indited by Elphais Levi, and Moore was carrying the pyx containing the essential salts.

The moon was soon to rise, and it would be full that night, and, worse, partially occluded by the earth, giving it an unchancy reddish hue the superstitious called a ‘Blood Moon.’ Despite the crucifix given me by the MI-5 black-belt Archibishop out of Canterbury’s ‘Unusual Circumstances’ division known only as Father Z, and the foul concoction given my by the mad Latvian physician named Bogg, I was beginning to feel the circumstances of the change happening to me.

Meanwhile, on the ruined spire, outlined by the erubescent light, a slender and pale but beautiful figure dressed in white cerements was visible. I was sure it was Lenore! But from the figure now were uplifted wings of membrane, and she swooped toward us. Madness seized me!

Shame now clots my throat to speak more of that dread night, but I was overcome with the sickness of my own unnamable transformation, and the pressure of time. Mere minutes were left before the red light of the full moon was to flood the scene — and in the east, in the spot where the moon so soon to appear, I saw the dim and diamond-bright glitter of the strange saucer-shaped craft, nothing of this earth, which the communist government so desperately was trying to hide, and who messages by Gridley wave started this whole labyrinth of horror and deception.

And the silent disk was coming closer!

With my teeth, now elongated to unearthly shape, I tore the crucifix from me, thinking only that I must embrace Lenore once more, and that I dare not  burn her.

Forgive me, I was out of my mind!

Moore, as the last descendant of the famous pirate-turned-parson Christopher Syn,was, of course, dressed like a scarecrow, in order that the hoodoo shadows brought back by Captain Clegg from the so called Fountain of Youth — in truth a well of death! — would serve him, deceived by the scent of his blood into thinking him his own forefather. With their help, Moore had recovered from the clutches of the Si Fan one of the few remaining fragments of the Wold Newton meteor stone. Yes, this was the selfsame stone his martyred ancestor Thomas Moore had recovered from the traveler Raphael Hythloday the island of Utopia — a place that, (heaven save us!) is not a mere literary fiction. This shard of black stone Moore wore on the thong around his neck, his armor against all things from the nocturnal world. Seeing me in my madness and rage, he removed the protective amulet from his own neck and tossed the loop over my head as neatly as a cowboy roping a wild steer.

Immediately the flood of sanity and sense was restored to my fevered brain, and I called upon the mental disciplines taught to me by Ying-Ko of Chinatown, which he had learned in Tibet, and raised my Tommy gun toward the pale lamia stepping softly across the gravestones toward me, smiling with luxurious red lips, her eyes filled with love.

A graveyard is normally sacred ground, and creatures of her species, or, I should say, her order of being, cannot enter. But thanks to the gangersterism of the materialistic Communists, that bulwark was broken!

Her order was something that impersonate human life just as a fiddler crab might impersonate a whelk, by entering its empty shell, and, as such, cannot be slain by mortal weapons. I had been assured by the Vatican armorer that the special blessed bullets of silver mingled with iron from the missing fourth nail of Christ would harm the apparition, but then she whispered the name of our pet puppy, Puddles, that we had bought together in a shop in New England in the fall, when the leaves were as golden as her hair! I curse my weakness, but I could not pull the trigger! The memory of Puddles was too dear to me!

But the ground was heaving and buckling, and a voice spoke, echoing like the strings of a bass viol, from the disk over head, a starvoyaging vessel from darkest Carcosa in the Hyades, uttering the words of judgment on the whole human race, when I saw Moore, now unwarded, now unprotected — saw him for the last time in his fully human and properly three-dimensional form — saw him grabbed about the ankle by a thin and marmoreal hand emerging from the disturbed grave soil!

And, dear heavens! When I tell you of the signet on the ring that glittered there! Yes, the same signet I last saw that dreadful midnight in 1912 in Egypt raised in triumph above the buried and primordial treasure city of Pithom! IT WAS NONE OTHER THAN THE SELF SAME SCARAB RING WHICH ARDETH BEY EMPLOYED TO SUMMON THE TRANSFINITE CHAOS! …. I knew then who had shattered the foundations of Atlantis, and why, and what the haunting hints of famed balloonist William Waterman Sherman as to the fate of Krakatoa implied!

I called out to my doomed friend, Josiah! Josiah! … and then I saw a horror so remarkable, so unearthly, that even to hint at the …!

Wait a moment. That review was written by Joseph Moore, not Josiah Moore.


No, I do not know know the fellow. I know someone else of a similar name. Never mind.