New Tales of the Yellow Sign by Robin Laws #BookReview

Title: New Tales of the Yellow Sign | Author: Robin Laws | Publisher: Robin Laws | Pub. Date: 08/14/2012 | Pages: 172 | ASIN: B008XLOPXG | Genre: Horror/Dark Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: Child death (offscreen) | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-Purchased

New Tales of the Yellow Sign

In the dying years of the 19th century, a book changed the world—or worlds. A slim, sinister text called The King in Yellow drove those who read it to madness. Despite suppression by anxious authorities, it spread through global culture, and history itself, like a virus. Now the contagion bears hideous fruit.

New Tales of the Yellow Sign expands the classic horror mythos of weird tales pioneer and Lovecraft precursor Robert W. Chambers into new vistas of unease and imagination. Over the course of eight troubling stories, writer and visionary game designer Robin D. Laws lures you into diseased timelines, impossible pasts, and the all-too-terrifying present.

Sterilize your suicide chamber, harken to the remorseless clicking of your black box, and whistle for the monstrous creature that lives in your basement. The pallid mask awaits.

New Tales of the Yellow Sign

It is interesting to me that some stories that are written based on classics can sometimes be more interesting than the source material itself. This always seems more likely with stories based on The King in Yellow seem to follow this pattern. While the original stories are good (particularly The Yellow Sign) most of the stories based on them are even better.

This wasn’t one that was sent to us but it seems to have an undeservedly low rating count on Goodreads. The stories are varied, interesting and not derivative at all.  They also share a light thread of interconnections that make them interesting.

Full Bleed seems to be based a bit on Repairer of Reputations but with a modern day update. The narrator is chilling in their madness.

Gaps is full of jagged, horrifying memories that seem to be missing after the narrator has been “yellow-rolled” into clicking on a link directing him to the fatal play.

The Blood on the Wall in the Fortress details “The War” that always seems to be ubiquitous throughout Chambers’ stories.

A Boat Full of Popes takes a close look at an alien race, Hasturites, that feed on the self-loathing of humans.

Distressing Notification is an app that gives you news throughout the day. Distressing news that could be likened to depressing fortune cookies but in app form. But the app may be controlled by more than is at first apparent. This is by far my favorite story.

Pendulous describes the drastic (and potentially horrifying) steps a woman takes to make sure a skyscraper never gets built because it blocks the view of the Night Gaunts and grey skies.

A revolution is brewing in The Dog that is being undermined by within by a mole. But Walker has a secret weapon in his basement.

F*** You, You’re Not Getting Out of This Car is, to me, the weakest story in the bunch. It just seems like generic psycho guy horror. I didn’t feel a connection to the other stories or even the source material. Really, if this story had been left off it very well would have been a 5 Skull read for me.

Some readers might shy away from specifically titled books like this. Sometimes they wonder if they’ll even enjoy it if they haven’t read the source material but in this case, it’s not a problem. If you’ve read The King in Yellow stories you might get a little more from it. However, if you haven’t read it, it’s not a problem. The stories are strong, well-written and stand completely on their own.

4 out of 5 Skulls


4 thoughts on “New Tales of the Yellow Sign by Robin Laws #BookReview

  1. Momma Kat is happy you took the time to answer!! I think your site is awesome because it has the best of both worlds!! I love sci-fi and love horror..I am spreading the news everywhere I can.!!

  2. I love your review!!! Very professional,to the caught my eye!! Especially the skull rating…I love the skull!! It looks sooo familiar……keep up the awesome work

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! You may have perhaps seen the skull on my former blog since I used it there but I can’t really think of anywhere else as I took the picture myself.

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