In the Court of the Yellow King

There was once a play with the power to drive the reader mad… or to transport him into a bizarre world of Carcosa, and the King in Yellow. Banned, burned, yet never totally destroyed, the play lives on, eating away the fabric of society and rotting the veneer of civilization… and we have prepared a special copy just for you!

Celaeno Press is delighted to announce a new anthology based on the King in Yellow Mythos, entitled In the Court of the Yellow King. Published in fall 2014, the volume is edited by Glynn Owen Barrass and made available via Amazon, Book Depository, and major book distributors in North America and Europe. Ebook versions are also available from major etailers including Apple iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, and B&N Nook.

Now with seven Honorable Mentions in Ellen Datlow’s Full recommended list Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven:

  • Glynn Owen Barrass: “Future Imperfect”
  • Ted E. Grau: “MonoChrome”
  • Laurel Halbany “Light’s Fade”
  • Gary McMahon: “The Yellow Film”
  • Willie Meikle “Bedlam in Yellow”
  • Christine Morgan: “The Viking in Yellow”
  • Peter Rawlik: “The Sepia Prints”

“Nigredo,” by Cody Goodfellow has also been included in Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven, and two of the stories—Willie Meikle’s “Bedlam in Yellow” and Christine Morgan’s “The Viking in Yellow”—have received The Occult Detective Awards.

Cover of first edition of The King in Yellow

Cover of first edition

In 1895 a collection of ten short stories by author Robert W. Chambers was published under the title The King in Yellow. It featured amongst other tales four interconnected stories: “The Yellow Sign”, “The Repairer of Reputations”, “The Mask” and “In The Court of The Dragon.”
These tales are linked together by three main plot devices:

  • A mysterious and cursed play in book form, banned since its release, called ‘The King in Yellow.’
  • A supernatural entity mentioned in the play also called ‘The King in Yellow.’
  • A mysterious symbol called ‘The Yellow Sign’ which is connected with the play and the King in Yellow.

Those that read the play often end up insane or possessed by evil. Many suffer their minds being blasted by the horrible tale the play reveals, or haunted and hunted to death by the play’s monstrous avatars. Those that find the Yellow Sign suffer just as terribly as those that read the play.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading these stories, they are available to read free online through Project Gutenberg at

Over the decades since Chambers collection first appeared, many other authors have written stories featuring his creations, adding to the rich canon of King in Yellow tales. If you haven’t read them already, books such as Peter A Worthy’s Rehearsals for Oblivion: Tales of the King in Yellow (Act I), and Joseph S. Pulver’s A Season in Carcosa are fine examples of what beautiful madness can be formed from a writer’s imagination.

You’d have to be stark raving mad to miss this collection.—David Goudsward, Hellnotes

And now we have invited some of the best authors in the genre to bring their own special madness to new interpretations of the King in Yellow, including (in alphabetical order):

  • Glynn Owen Barrass: “Future Imperfect”

    Men in black combat boots and fatigues, their faces concealed behind black balaclavas, stepping over the Carcosan corpses. They were armed with MP5 machine guns, the preferred weapon of choice for the F.B.I’s own Black Ops teams.

  • Tim Curran: “Penumbra”
    Read an excerpt!

    Oh, the rapture of ignorance. The guard did not see what I saw and how I envied the sheer simplicity of his mental processes. Simplicity, I began to believe, was close to divinity. I dreamed of it and wished for it, but once you have opened the book and seen the dark star and the hollow moon there is no going back.

  • Cody Goodfellow: “Nigredo”
    Read an excerpt!

    Nobody can teach you how to raise the dead. To join any cult, from the Masons to Aum Shinrikyo, you have to die. The old you dies and is buried inside you to fertilize the budding of the new you. To resurrect them, you just have to go digging.

  • T.E. Grau: “MonoChrome”
    Read an excerpt!

    The fire at the library was out, but the smoke from all of that smoldering parchment still filled the sky, white and fluffy and lighter than night above it. Ashes of dead books fell like a mockery of snow on a city that would never know it.

  • Laurel Halbany: “Lights Fade”
    Read an excerpt!

    “I wear no mask,” she said, and it was true. The pallid oval was her face…

  • CJ Henderson: “Yield”

    Does it ever end? It certainly looks like its ends for everyone else. Everywhere I look, slack-jawed morons enjoying life, typing away on their phones, flitting from one fascination-of-the-moment to another, stuffing their faces with food they can’t taste, listening to music they don’t understand, discussing movies they’re too dimwitted to realize are simply remakes of things they’ve already seen, pawing the controls to their televisions and game monitors like apes, thinking themselves masters of the universe as the world they actually inhabit shrinks to the size of something smaller than a standard prison cell—

  • Gary McMahon: “The Yellow Film”
    Read an excerpt!

    …written upon it in delicate black lines was a set of instructions. A map, if you will: a map to Carcosa, the land that only exists within the imagination of a long-dead writer of weird fictions.

  • William Meikle: “Bedlam in Yellow”
    Read an excerpt!

    Winner, Best Short Story in the Occult Detective Awards!
    Then I said one thing, one small sentence that changed everything.
    ‘Tell me about Carcosa.’

  • Christine Morgan: “The Viking in Yellow”
    Read an excerpt!

    Winner, Best Short Story in the Occult Detective Awards Swords and Sorceries subsection!
    A few yet lived, if such could be said to be living. They crawled, mad and cackling, mutilated. They rocked back and forth, slamming their heads into stone walls. They wept. They laughed. They wallowed in their filth, eating of it.
    “Finish them,”” said the man in the tattered yellow cloak.
    His warriors obliged.

  • Edward Morris: “Who Killed the King of Rock and Roll?”
    Read an excerpt!

    I don’t know why this transmitter is in this room of this hospital, or what the breakers in this section were doing all the way on. Some of the desks and keyplates and such are stamped CIVIL DEFENSE, with one puzzling lead plate on the panel hiding this very microphone, IMPERIAL DYNASTY OF AMERICA.

  • Robert M Price: “The Mask of the Yellow Death”
    Read an excerpt!

    Hoyt Hefti stood on an upraised dais at one end of his vast banqueting hall, surrounded and supported by his favorite concubines (he forgot which one he had “married”). He liked to call them Camilla, Cassandra, Carmella, and Cassilda, and so their fold-outs read.

  • Wilum Pugmire: “These Harpies of Carcosa”
    Read an excerpt!

    The entire thing makes one shiver and wish for movement, for some shifting of starlight or some song of wind. But those obsidian stars in the painted sky do not crawl, of that I am certain; and the air of that deserted city, one knows, is dead and still. And yet—and yet, how captivating it seems.

  • Mark Rainey: “Masque of the Queen”
    Read an excerpt!

    Where the opposite brick wall should have been there was vast, dizzying space: a midnight blue sky lit by alien stars over an endless body of inky water. High above and to the right, a huge, blood-red star lit the night sky, and she knew this was Aldebaran, the sun that blazed above the city of Alar. Around it, a cluster of stars—the Hyades—glittered like the jewels adorning Cassilda’s diadem.

  • Peter Rawlik: “The Sepia Prints”

    Then I heard the screams from below, and with a casual glance saw what had caused them. Evelyn was there on the square below, her arms and legs at impossible angles. Her other shoe was rocking back and forth on the masonry like a ship tossed on the sea.

  • Brian Sammons: “A Jaundiced Light at the End”
    Read an excerpt!

    “I would give anything to see some color. Everything is so damn gray now…”

  • Lucy A. Snyder:”The Girl with the Star-Stained Soul”
    Read an excerpt!

    Dazed, Penny stumbled through the gray ash and blasted debris. Charred human fat stained the fractured rocks of the old stone church. Blackened bones jumbled with the splintered charcoal of the pine roof beams. Most all the men of Fensmere, Mississippi lay dead around her, and many of its womenfolk, too. She spied a bit of wrought iron candelabra here, a burned scrap of a Klansman’s hood there.

  • Jeffrey Thomas: “Grand Theft Hovercar”
    Read an excerpt!

    Giff spotted a holographic sign floating in the air in front of a building’s brick face. The sign, in glowing yellow letters, read Imperial Dynasty. He slowed his pace, his brow rumpled. Strange; he didn’t recall any such establishment from this neighborhood he knew so well.

The cover is by award-winning artist Daniele Serra.

Note: Titles, authors, and reality iself are all provisional and subject to change.

3 thoughts on “In the Court of the Yellow King

  1. Pingback: In the Court of the Yellow King | A.W. Hendry

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