Ted Klein

Theodore Eibon Donald Klein is, well, you know how in Road House Patrick Swayze is some kind of super-bouncer and everybody is in awe of him even though nobody normal would care? Klein is like that but for horror writers. I’m sure Thomas Ligotti said something to the effect of, “Man, Teddy is the single greatest argument against my worldview” at some point in the mid-80s, all right? That’s how much in awe people are of this guy who you’ve not only never heard of, but can’t even find articles about on io9.

All this respect and awe comes from a career that has consisted of a fairly decent tenure at Twilight Zone Magazine as the editor, a novel, a novella, an anthology of four more novellas, and a limited-press collection of short stories. All of it except the limited-press done in the 80s. There are people whose fanfic output was restricted to a period between 1993 and 1997 on USENET with a greater body of literature to their name.

So, does this guy live up to the hype?

That depends on taste. Klein has been described, by the author of a Call of Cthulhu rpg adventure, as focusing on urban vs. rural. Frankly, that’s shit. Klein focuses on yuppies/generic middle-class horrors getting an over-the-top comeuppance, with two noteworthy exceptions.

The first exception is his novel The Ceremonies, which is showoffy and really good. It also allows the yuppie protagonist to redeem himself. The second is his novella “Black Man With A Horn”, which is about the author Frank Belknap Long, mostly know for the Cthulhu Mythos story about the time-traveling dogs, rejecting middle-class morality and embracing his stories as meaningful in the face of death. Also there’s a fish monster that kills you by being an incredibly bad kisser. So, in the end it’s all about yuppies.

Other stories: “Petey”: thieving yuppie gets shit wrecked by monster, unleashing possibly apocalyptic event through his incuriousness.

“Children of the Kingdom”: racist yuppie figures out Latin@ people don’t have webbed fingers or luminous eyes just slightly too late.

“Nadelman’s God”: hateful cynicism on part of advertising executive summons down evil god, who follows exec around like a puppy.

“The Events At Poroth Farm”: yuppie gets chance to use degree, fails, possibly ends world.

There you have it.