Friday, November 14, 2014

Crossover Cover: Night Train

Lieutenant Michael Corvino of the NYPD, TV journalist Lya Marsden, and Professor Lane Carter investigate dark, otherworldly forces lurking in New York City’s subway tunnels. Carter tells Corvino and Marsden about megapolisomancy, a mystical theory created by an early twentieth century occultist named Thibaut de Castries, who wrote a titular book about the subject. De Castries postulated that as cities grow older and more defined, they take on a metaphysical life of their own, attracting paranormal beings. Besides de Castries’ book, Carter searches a number of other volumes for hints as to what lurks beneath Manhattan, including The Necronomicon by Abdul Alhazred. Carter borrows an object called the “key of Cthulhu” from a friend at Miskatonic University in order to defend himself and his comrades against the underground creatures. Thibaut de Castries and his book Megapolisomancy: A New Science of Cities are from Fritz Leiber's novel Our Lady of Darkness, while Abdul Alhazred's Necronomicon, Cthulhu, and Miskatonic University are staples of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.


  1. It's interesting that this in this story and the short story "Far Below" suggest that a lot weird, dangerous things dwell beneath the New York streets. Since Night Train shows that there is some sort of interdimensional portal below that would explain it and the ghouls from "Far Below."

    In the original short story of Night Train, which was incorporated with some changes into the novel version, seems to use the myth of Prometheus as a horror element. So does Jean Ray's Malpertuis also in the CU.

  2. Is that interdimensional portal beneath New York a hellmouth? After all, we do know that Spike killed a slayer on a New York subway in the 1970s. :-P

  3. Uh, maybe. The book came out in the eighties before Buffy the TV series. I suppose for WN purposes we could interpret it as a Hellmouth. The TV series said there was only Hellmouths in Sunnydale and Cleveland, but in the CU there maybe more. Of course, the reference to Fritz Leiber's Our Lady of Darkness implies that cities develop there own supernatural properties.

    In Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John story "Owls Hoot in the Day Time", John comes across a gateway to Hell in the Appalachians. If it acts like the Hellmouth in Buffy it would explain all the supernatural critters John in encounters in his stories.