Robert E. Howard sold The Thing On The Roof, a thirteen page horror story, to Weird Tales for $40. It is one of his Cthulhu Mythos Tales. As such it is set within the universe created by H.P. Lovecraft. I think I first encountered it in David Drake’s 1986 Baen Book Cthulhu: The Mythos And Kindred Horrors. But, after looking through my Robert E. Howard paperbacks collection I note that it was also hidden within my 1976 Zebra edition of Pigeons From Hell, edited by Glenn Lord . Can you believe The Thing On The Roof wasn’t listed on the table of contents?!?!
Was that supposed to be funny? An easter egg?
Strangely, The Thing On The Roof features a book collector who’s after a book that doesn’t have all of its contents either. Or maybe this mystery is indicative of something just a little more sinister. I’m seeing more odd parallels here. See, my avocation has been book collecting ever since I visited the Yucatan! And there’s a creepy stone object I got while down in Mexico – maybe it’s cursed?
Wait, who is that clomping on my apartment door? I better finish this post before I answer it.
To sum up, The Thing On The Roof is available, complete and unabridged, over on the Cthulhu Podcast. It is read by FNH, who also recorded The Insidious Doctor Fu Manchu awhile back. Highly recommended:
The Thing On The Roof
By Robert E. Howard; Read by FNH
1 |MP3| – Approx. 22 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Cthulhu Podcast
Podcast: May 15, 2011
An archaeologists, and book collector, is asked by an old rival to find a copy of the obscure first edition of Friedrich Wilheim von Junzt’s Nameless Cults. He may live to regret the favour. First published in the February 1932 issue of Weird Tales.
Also, check out the excellent Roy Thomas adaptation done for Marvel Comics’ Chamber Of Chills issue #3 back in 1972 (available at the Diversions Of The Groovy Kind blog):
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