Tag Archives: pulp fiction

The Last Night of the World, A Ray Bradbury Story

Last Night of the World  by Ray Bradbury, published in Esquire, 1951

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 23, 2016



What would you do if you knew that this night was the last night of the world? Would you meet it with grace? Bravery? A last indulgence? Panic? Would you examine yourself for a good or bad life?

A married couple are sitting at the dinner table talking.

She asks …  “And when will it stop? The world, I mean.”

He replies … “Sometime during the night for us, and then, as the night goes on around the world, those advancing portions will go, too. It’ll take twenty-four hours for it all to go.”



In this sci-fi story (I’m not a sci-fi fan but I really liked this story because it provoked deep thinking), people have the same dream on the same date in February about the end of the world. If you were the characters in this story, would you  believe the end was really coming? Or maybe, just maybe you might think it’s the beginning of a time loop … like in a parallel world?  Or maybe it was true that death will strike soon after closing your eyes this night.  What if?




Reading time on this story is 5 minutes. Got 5 minutes and cup o’ joe? Wow, this is a compelling dive into everyone’s greatest fear of knowing you will be the last conscious beings when the world ends on a cold night on February 30. Yes, February 30!


Read the short story here at Esquire.com.

Listen to the audio drama at Behance.net.

Watch the Ray Bradbury Theater on You Tube


FOR THE WRITERS HERE: Lit Reactor.com has Five Ray Bradbury stories that will tell you everything you need to know about writing.




Ray Bradbury, termed the “poet of the pulps,” said in an interview in the Paris Review, The Art of Fiction (2010) that he was “completely library educated. I’ve never been to college … I discovered me in the library.” He died in 2012 at the age of 91. 

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury.




Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

Follow my blog and join me in reading a short story every other week!

Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Filed under fiction, horror blogs, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

Zuvembies and the Voo-Doo Man

Pigeons From Hell    by Robert E. Howard  (1938 Weird Tales)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  January 26, 2015



Come to the old south, to Blassenville Manor. Who doesn’t love a Southern Gothic horror story?  Blassenville Manor is long abandoned when two young men stumble upon this decaying mansion and decide to spend the night.

‘The old deserted house stimulated their imagination with its suggestion of antebellum splendor and ultimate decay. They left the automobile beside the rutty road, and as they went up the winding walk of crumbling bricks, almost lost in the tangle of rank growth, pigeons rose from the balustrades in a fluttering, feathery crowd and swept away with a low thunder of beating wings.

 ‘The oaken door sagged on broken hinges. Dust lay thick on the floor of the wide, dim hallway, on the broad steps of the stair that mounted up from the hall. They turned into a door opposite the landing, and entered a large room, empty, dusty, with cobwebs shining thickly in the corners.’


I won’t ruin the suspense (and this story is truly high suspense), but  I will say the story includes a secret room, People of Damballah, and yes, a hatchet-stroke in the dark.



In Danse Macabre, Stephen King’s nonfiction book about the horror genre, he writes that, Robert E. Howard’s Pigeons from Hell, is “one of the finest horror stories of our century.” See if you agree.

















Robert E. Howard fans favor his stories about explorer Solomon Kane and Conan the Barbarian. Weird Magazine fans revere him as one of the best in weird and fantasy fiction. At the age of thirty in 1936, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.





Read the short story (three parts) at Gutenberg.net.au.

Listen to the audio (1:19 hours) on YouTube.com

Watch the 50-minute film (adaptation), Boris Karloff’s Thriller Theater on YouTube.com

Visit the Robert E. Howard Foundation.


Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror.

 This is a compendium of over 160 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

 Join me in reading one short story every week!

 Comments are welcome.


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit


Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

February is Women in Horror Month.  Stop by for shorts stories by women authors for the entire month. And not just horror but mystery, supernatural, fantasy too.



Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, horror, horror blogs, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, suspense, tales of terror

Skulls in the Stars: Solomon Kane

Skulls in the Stars  by Robert E. Howard  (1929)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, January 28, 2014

How’s your imagination these days? Looking for something fiendish?

In Skulls in the Stars, our character Solomon Kane attempts to cross the moor road on his way to Torkertown. The villagers have warned him of an evil haunting on the moors. Something wicked is killing the travelers and the deaths are as gruesome as one could not imagine. Kane is advised to take the swamp road. But if you know anything about the adventurous Solomon Kane (a Puritan of high faith and dedicated to defeating evil), meeting up with Satan himself would not deter this man. What does Kane meet on the moors?

“…a thing that had once been a man—a gore-covered, frightful thing that fell at Kane’s feet and writhed and groveled and raised its terrible face to the rising moon, and gibbered and yammered, and fell down again and died in its own blood.”

… “The moon began to rise, lean and haggard, like a skull among the stars.”


If you like your horror full throttle, this is it. Robert E. Howard writes a thrilling story, saturated with descriptions of this beast and its victims. Truly nightmarish. A virtual exercise in evil vs. courage. I actually needed some of Kane’s courage to finish reading this story (as you know I’m more the quiet horror type). This story did in fact give me a nightmare; I woke up screaming. I admit this story made me feel like a kid again, reading the scariest story, being haunted by the images, and afraid to shut the bedroom lights off. Are you laughing?

We all know author Robert E. Howard for his famous character Conan the Barbarian, and sword and sorcery genre. Most of the Solomon Kane stories were published in Weird Tales at the height of pulp fiction era. Here is the official Solomon Kane Web site: http://www.solomonkanethemovie.com/


Read the short story at Gutenberg.net Australia  (and do keep the lights on).

Solomon Kane Movie Trailer:

Another of Howard’s titles is Moon of the Skulls: African jungle story where Solomon Kane seeks the vampire queen of Negari: crags dark and forbidding with impenetrable blackness, a virgin on a Black Altar, a tower of death, Babel of bestial screams, blood drenched brains  … I didn’t make it through this one. But you might.

Read Moon of the Skulls at Gutenberg.net

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace


 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Filed under fiction, horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror