I know, because he dug this clot (your correspondent) out of a pit and flung it in crazewards. Only because of Joe, "Wolf King" exists, and will be one story in a collection of absolutely unexpectables by authors I am honoured and tickled to rub pages with.
This is how he describes the volume:
A Season In Carcosa will be similar in feel and direction to Ellen Datlow’s stunning Lovecraft Unbound, but I’ll be mining the King In Yellow work of Robert W. Chambers.Here's the lineup so far, and—!!!—it's not complete.
Ann K. Schwader
Joseph S. Pulver
That cover is by Danielle Serra—and is, I think, a perfect example of great illustration. It has its own integrity, sprinkles its own itchpowder into our capacity for curiosity, is a story in itself, but what story? We can never 'know' just as no one person can 'know' a story painted in words any more than anyone should teach them.
As for Joseph S. Pulver the author, here's his latest novel, unleashed by an extraordinary publisher, Chômu Press.
I must upheave some impressions being spread about this author who is known for his sorcery with horror, hardboiled crime, filth, the colour black (in French). He is also known for his works that are 'Lovecraftian' and others inspired by Chambers. As for Chambers, I'll quote what I replied to Mr Pulver when he very kindly and generously broached me trying to write a story for A Season in Carcosa: "I think that you are a writer of great worth, but I don't think Chambers was."
And I still mean that. He's a great enough editor that he was tickled that I love Chambers as well as I love Lovecraft. He does have a side that might be insidious. He is highly seductive. After another letter from him, I couldn't wait to dig my fingers into Chambers.
But back to that master of horror, Mr Pulver.
What hasn't been mentioned, but should be: Joseph Pulver is above all, a romantic. Take, say, his latest novella, "And this is where I go down into the darkness", in Phantasmagorium Issue #1 edited by Laird Barron.
It's a tragic love story that Stevenson would have admired and recommended to his friends, and Poe would have denigrated in envious spite. As to the cynical pose workshopped story that is in imitation of another rampant irritating imitating posturing conceited bore, written by someone whose scariest incident in life is a crit, and whose sum of experience of noir is watching a movie in a dark room, Joe's been around. It shows. Perhaps that's why he doesn't have that pose, any pose.
Many loquacious poets would drool, unhinged, at his prose that is poetry, because what seems like an effortless Hendrixan riff is as painstakingly controlled as any virtuosic spewfling is. Then there's the visual artist. In common with real artists, he sees the value of unfilled space. By that, I mean he cares about the way sentences and paragraphs are constructed—how that changes the way words fall on the page, veering meaning, tempo, mood.
But there's a whole other side of Pulver, too, what I'll call the dark side of the moon because on that side, you can't see that the moon is laughing its face off. Pulver is nonsensically hilariously accurate. He's also as foudroyant as a Spanish dancer sea slug, wielding his baroquity as purposefully as the nudibranch.
In human terms, if I had to compare him to other authors, I would say that he reminds me more of a mug of hot Lear blended with Cummings, served with a squeeze of post-enema'd Shelley.
One fantasy I have of Pulver: He takes over Mills & Boon.
Highly recommended diversion:
Why I like nudibranchs, marine slugs with verve by Dr Hans Bertsch, one of my favourite humans. This article is a a feature that I inveigled the splendiferously curious Dr to write for my Virtuous Medlar Circle.