Monk was still sitting in the chair they had left him in, but his eyes weren’t pennies in wishing wells now; they were glazed and incapable of focusing on anything. There was an open film canister at his feet and he clutched a reel of film to his chest like it was the most precious thing in the entire world. His whole body trembled violently, gripped by tremors that verged on seizures, and his mouth opened and closed again and again though he seemed to have little control over it or the word that he kept repeating over and over and over again. Just one word. It took Wheatley a moment to distinguish the syllables and differentiate the word from the rolling clack clack clack of sound:
Glaaki Glaaki Glaaki.
Clack clack clack…
He had heard that sound—that word—before. Realization sent a cold shiver down the ladder of his spine one bone at a time…
The Sign of Glaaki is an all-new novel set in the Arkham Horror universe. Written by the talented Steve Lockley and Steven Savile, The Sign of Glaaki pits history’s most esteemed escape artist, Harry Houdini, and his friend, bestselling novelist, Dennis Wheatley, against ancient evil in the small New England town of Dunwich.
When an actress is brutally murdered on the set of a high-profile horror film, the list of suspects seems endless. After all, the movie’s ambitious young director has assembled an unsavory cast of circus folk and misfits, any one of whom might have committed the vile act. But when other bodies begin to appear, someone – or something – far more sinister than a mere murderer is clearly at work. Now, it’s up to Houdini, Wheatley, and a cast of characters from the beloved Arkham Horror board game to discover the truth!
Authors Steven Savile and Steve Lockley took the time to share their thoughts about their novel, The Sign of Glaaki.
Steve Lockley discusses working within the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft:
H.P. Lovecraft seems to have been with me for most of my life. He was one of my earliest introductions to horror and along with those others who followed in his footsteps, he held my hand through those early days of learning to be a writer. While his stories of cosmic horror told of Great Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones, they were at heart about people whose lives and sanity were touched by their encounters. It was a joy to be able to play in this world. and hope that like others who have preceded us, we have managed to bring something of our own to the mythos.
Now, Steven Savile reflects on his influences, and how they shaped The Sign of Glaaki:
We're the sum of our influences. If it wasn't for Harry Houdini I don't think I'd be a writer now, actually. I'd gone maybe a year without writing a word for the first time in my life, when I started a story - Bury My Heart at the Garrick - which had the central premise that Harry Houdini was capable of real magic because he'd died during one of his early stunts in Paris, drowned in fact, and was no longer bound by the natural laws of the universe. The dead wanted Harry back where he belonged.
It took a long time to write it - but I came out on the other side, and so did Harry. I submitted the story to Writers of the Future and thought nothing more of it. It was the first time I'd ever submitted, and it seemed like a place that might fit so I sent it in and stopped thinking about it for almost a year.
Then I got an email to say it had won. From submitting to hearing it had won I hadn't written another word. Funny how it goes, but its so good to return to Houdini's fictional life thirteen years later and play again. There's something wonderfully compelling about the guy. Like he really could do magic.
As to Wheatley, well, my relationship with him goes back to lazy hazy summer days at school, playing cricket, reading The Devil Rides Out and To the Devil a Daughter in the pavilion waiting for my turn to go out and bat. We used to sit around during the breaks and retell stories from Wheatley, and the Pan Books of Horror.
It was fairly natural as a young reader to move on from Wheatley to Lovecraft when I hit university, a more mature reader able to cope with his opaque prose and grand ideas. And they really were grand ideas. I remember once our games master wanted to take us out into the middle of Kielder Forest at midnight to play a game close to the wreckage of a plane crash purely to add to the fear factor.
Yes, we did stupid things like that, so it was equally only natural to want to bring all of these together in Sign of Glaaki, playing with little references to Wheatley's work and perhaps once and for all answering what happened to Houdini before that fateful performance at the Garrick...
Thanks Steve and Steven!
The copyrightable portions of Arkham Horror: The Sign of Glaaki is © 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Arkham Horror is a registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.