The story was a funny and a light read, which was nice for a change (between the more serious stories - though I always have to laugh at times when listening to the Elder Sign podcast itself). I think earlier there was mention of the idea to spend a thematic episode on humor in weird fiction (which indeed isn't the most obvious thing; maybe I'm mistaken?).
Accidentally I bought Blustery Day (e-book) when looking for The Ereshkigal Working, and read that one too, not knowing it too had been discussed on Elder Sign. I had a hard time to find The Ereshkigal Working, but found it in (an e-book version of) the sorcery-anthology 'The Way of the Wizard' (ed. John Joseph Adams), which also contain some other well known writers, like Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin and Ursula LeGuin. After reading the two Jonathan L. Howard stories I'm very curious about his novels. Seems like a lot of fun and necessary distraction from the more black and serious (weird) stories.
My own first amateur essay writing was about the films by Romero, how to interpret them, and how The Day of the Dead in my eyes was one of the most undervalued zombie movies. The zombie(apocalyps)-subgenre stays interesting and I can imagine it is one of the most researched horror subgenre (next to vampire stories and Frankenstein/golem ones). There certainly are more weird zombie stories (like those by Robert E. Howard, and I remember a zombie story by August Derleth), so there's also a possibility for a thematic episode on that ;-)
I thought this story was fine, although I much preferred The Blustery Day. I think the beginning and end just left me feeling a bit flat compared to what came between. I accept Glenn's point about short stories starting in media res, but personally I could have done with a bit more build up for this one to explain what was going on. Maybe it was more a lack of motivation on Cabal's part beyond just looking for body parts. Maybe book-ending with shifting perspectives could have helped a bit. I don't know. And the ending just felt like a cop-out. Completely unsatisfying really. I think it would have been better if there had actually been a solution to the Ereshkigal working and we got to see Cabal do some actual magic.
All that said, I enjoyed the rest of the story. I like Johannes Cabal as a protagonist, and I like Howard's story-telling style (very British and very reminiscent of Pratchett in particular), so I too would like to get round to the novels one day.
Wonderful on all counts! There was a time in grad school when I could make sense of Dutch (if not appreciate subtleties and beauty) so I'm going to have a go at this!
"We should have said so on the air so that others could track the story down." Don't apologize - you can't think of everything ;-)
"And don't forget Dr. Herbert West!" Or is it in the Frankenstein vein? Maybe Frankenstein/golem and zombie narratives belong together?
My Romero essay is from 2005 (so I'm not responsible for what my former me said and thought back then, haha). It's written in Dutch though, but can be found here: https://dolfwagenaar.nl/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Recensies-voor-2019.pdf (page 77).
(By the way, I've translated my first weird tale using Deepl - right now, two native speakers are proofreading it. When I think it's good enough, I will send it to you.)
Yes, that's where we read it, too! We should have said so on the air so that others could track the story down. Let us know if you read anything in that collection that you think we should cover.
And don't forget Dr. Herbert West!
If you'd like to share a link your Romero essay, please do!