Sunday, March 2, 2014

Interview: Joe Pulver talks The King in Yellow

Author/Editor Joseph S. Pulver Sr. is known throughout the genre as the go-to guy for anything having to do with The King in Yellow. He has written 30+ King in Yellow stories himself, and edited A Season in Carcosa, which is the ultimate modern King in Yellow anthology. Also, next month's issue of The Lovecraft eZine will be a special King in Yellow issue, edited by Mr. Pulver.

With the recent popularity of True Detective, there has been a surge of interest in The King in Yellow. Joe and I were talking one day about how some of the big articles seemed to get some facts wrong and we thought that we could put together an interview that would not only be a good primer/introduction for the newcomer, but also serve as a source of some more in depth information. Joe covers all the King in Yellow bases, and ends with several suggestions for the interested reader.


The King in Yellow - Robert W. Chambers: This is what started it all. Although the book contains ten stories, only the FIRST FOUR are the King in Yellow stories.

The Hastur Cycle - ed. by Robert M. Price: Essential. This volume contains two of the original King in Yellow stories by Robert W. Chambers, as well as the two Ambrose Bierce poems that Chambers drew inspiration from. Other notable King in Yellow fiction in this volume include Karl Edward Wagner's The River of Night's Dreaming (essential!), More Light from James Blish, and Lin Carter's Tatters of the King.

A Season in Carcosa - ed. by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.: Of the two modern anthologies, this is the better one. Published in 2012, Joe Pulver pulled together a dream-team of some of the best weird fiction writers working today. Modern readers who only want to buy one book to see what the King in Yellow is about should choose this one.

Rehearsals for Oblivion Act 1 - ed. by Peter A. Worthy: Another very strong modern anthology from 2006, including Broadalbin by John Tynes. Joe Pulver was attempting to publish an anthology of King in Yellow fiction, which didn't get off the ground even though some stories had already come in. Peter Worthy was able to save these stories when he acquired them for this anthology.

Blood Will Have Its Season - Joseph Pulver Sr.: Pulver's first anthology contains a large amount of his King in Yellow fiction. The full list of King in Yellow stories that can be found in this volume is HERE.

Sin & Ashes - Joseph Pulver Sr.: Pulver's second collection also contains a good amount of King in Yellow stories. The full list of King in Yellow stories contained within can be found HERE.

Portraits of Ruin - Joseph Pulver Sr.: Pulver's latest collection contains a handful of King in Yellow stories, the list of which can be found HERE

Southern Gods - John Horner Jacobs: A fun romp through the American South, Southern Gods is a blend of the Robert Johnson legend and The King in Yellow (more of the Derlethian flavor than Chambers) resulting in a rather fun debut novel that doesn't read like debut.

The King in Yellow - Thom Ryng: This is Ryng's version of the full King in Yellow play. Quite an interesting read.

The Yellow House - DJ Tyrer: I guess it is rather cruel of me to put this one here, since this novella was printed in an extremely limited release by Jordan Krall's Dunhams Manor Press (an imprint of Dynatox Ministries), yet I truly love this book and would feel even more wrong leaving it off the list. Maybe it will be reprinted one day, or find it's way into e-book land, so keeps your eyes peeled.


  1. Very informative. Enjoyed all the information and helped me reconsider some of my plotline in my game possibly I'm working on for PC.