THE DEEP ONES
Just back from a few days in Devon, where me and the girls have been been holed up in a backwoods hut, fighting an occult guerilla war against dustmites, damp and the Spawn of Dagon.
Not much to report, except that I found a fabulous 2nd-hand bookshop in Dartmouth wh/ def. wasn't there last time I looked. Full of dusty dark alcoves and a back-room full of hidden goodies and an old transistor radio playing Radio 3...now that's what I call a bookshop! I felt my entire body start to relax while I was in there...places like this have an almost soporific effect on me. Manned by a middle-aged woman sat in an ancient (but comfortable-looking) chair w/ a sandwhich box, radio, bar-fire, battered old PC and a cup of coffee from the pub directly opposite...she looked up, catching both my eye and my mood, and said to me, suddenly and unexpectedly: "God, I love my job."
To which I replied: "God, I love your bookshop."
Anyway, rewiiiind to the day before, first day of holiday...in a generic bookchain in Torquay, I found this (sorry, embossed cover didn't scan v. well: it's Brian Lumley's Mythos Omnibus featuring a trilogy of interlocking novels The Burrowers Beneath, The Transition of Titus Crow, The Clock of Dreams):
Lumley is someone I'd been aware of, but never read; only recently found out that he's been writing books based around and expanding on Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos off and on since the 70s, so grabbed this cheap-ish comp. as a holiday book (and really great fun it is too!).
Went up to pay and the guy behind the counter said: "Did you know that's a signed copy?" I looked down, and found to my bemusement it was. Bookshop guy continues: "Yeah, Lumley lives locally. He doesn't do conventions or signings, but sometimes he just comes in and signs some of our copies..." What, he just comes in and signs them?...bookshop guy just shrugs, as if to say: well, hey, he's a writer; they're all a bit eccentric..."Enjoy," he says, remembering his sales script.
Two nights and a couple hundred pages later, an icy finger runs up my spine as I spot this at the bottom of the foreword to novel #2:
Yes, you guessed it: we were staying in Brixham.
(Cue strange splashing sounds outside and inhuman gruntings in an arcane froglike language...)