Monday, February 8, 2016

Crossover Cover: Ghost Walk

Levi Stoltzfus, the ex-Amish magus, battles Nodens of the Thirteen near LeHorn’s Hollow, with help from Maria Nasr and Adam Senft, in a battle that culminates on Halloween night. There are numerous references to the Goat-Man and the forest fire of 2006. Nodens has been known as “Shub-Niggurath,” but this is not its true name; its temples can be found on “the twin moons of distant Yhe and the fungal gardens of Yaksh.” There are references to Nelson LeHorn and Saul O’Connor, and LeHorn’s copy of the Daemonolateria is featured. There is a reference to a group of hunters who died in a mysterious fire near LeHorn’s Hollow. Tony Genova and Vincent Napoli are mentioned. Levi mentions various occult groups, like Black Lodge, the Kwan, and the Starry Wisdom sect. Maria Nasr places a call to retired Detective Hector Ramirez. Adam Senft was incarcerated alongside Karen Moore. A minor character, Cecil Smeltzer, thinks about his late brother Clark and his nephew Barry. Levi mentions Nyarlathotep in a spell, and also refers to the Lost Level. Nodens is not the Celtic deity, nor the Lovecraftian entity, but is instead the greatest of the Thirteen, pre-Universal beings that travel the multiverse destroying entire realities. They are the primary villains of Keene’s Labyrinth saga. The Goat-Man, the fire of 2006, Nelson LeHorn, Saul O’Connor, and Adam Senft are from Keene’s novel Dark Hollow, to which this novel is a semi-sequel. While Nodens is not Shub-Niggurath, it may have disguised itself as that entity at times. Yhe and Yaksh are Cthulhu Mythos locales. The Daemonolateria appears throughout Keene’s works, including Dark Hollow and “Caught in a Mosh.” The deceased hunters are from Keene’s short story “Red Wood.” Tony Genova and Vincent Napoli are mobsters who reappear throughout Keene’s multiverse. The versions mentioned here are native to the CU, but other versions can be seen in Keene’s novels Clickers II, Clickers III, and Clickers vs. Zombies (cowritten with J. F. Gonzalez), and in the short story “The Siqqusim Who Stole Christmas.” Black Lodge is a secret occult organization that also appears throughout Keene’s multiverse, including the short story “The Black Wave,” and in other universes, such as those of Earthworm Gods II: Deluge and Clickers vs. Zombies. The Kwan are from the works of horror author Geoff Cooper; they play a major role in Keene and Cooper’s novel Shades. The Starry Wisdom sect is from H. P. Lovecraft’s story “The Haunter of the Dark.” Detective Ramirez appears in Keene’s novels Terminal and Dark Hollow. Karen Moore and Clark and Barry Smeltzer are from Keene’s novel Ghoul. Nyarlathotep is the crawling chaos of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Lost Level is from Keene’s novel of the same name. A short follow-up story, “The Ghosts of Monsters,” can be found in Keene’s collections Unhappy Endings and Blood on the Page, and takes place about a year later. Keene’s novel Darkness at the Edge of Town takes place in one of his many parallel universes, and shows what happened in a world where Levi died years earlier and was not around to stop Nodens. A follow-up story, “The House of Ushers,” sees Adam Senft traveling to the version of Hell created by horror author Edward Lee in his novel City Infernal and its sequels.

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