Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Claremont Tales II
Richard A. Lupoff
Golden Gryphon Press, 298 pages

Claremont Tales II
Richard A. Lupoff
Richard A. Lupoff was born in 1935. He has worked in print journalism, in information technology, as a radio show host and in book publishing. His novels include One Million Centuries (1967), Sandworld (1976), Space War Blues (1978), Circumpolar! (1984), Countersolar! (1986), Lovecraft's Book (1985), The Forever City (1988), as well as a number of mystery novels. A collection of his short fiction, Before... 12:01... and After, was published by Fedogan & Bremer in 1996.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Claremont Tales

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rich Horton

Veteran SF and Mystery writer Richard A. Lupoff is back with a second retrospective collection of his best short fiction. Last year, Golden Gryphon published Claremont Tales, and now we see Claremont Tales II. This collects several fairly early stories (1969 through 1978), and some recent stories (including a brand new story for this book).

Immediately noticeable is Lupoff's versatility. Included are some straight SF, some supernatural horror (two stories, at least, fairly directly influenced by Lovecraft), and some straight mystery stories, as well as some amalgams of all of the above. Always noticeable, too, is Lupoff's assured storyteller's touch, his engaging voice, and his ability to alter that voice in service of his aims, most notably here in "The Adventure of the Boulevard Assassin", a Sherlock Holmes story written in the style of Jack Kerouac. (Back in the 70s, Lupoff attracted some notice with a series of SF stories pastiching various author's styles, all written as by "Ova Hamlet".)

The above-mentioned Holmes piece, a very sly divertissement, is one of the more impressive entries here. I also quite liked "Jubilee", an Alternate History of a Roman Empire where Julius Caesar survived his assassination attempt. And despite my general lack of sympathy for Lovecraft, I was rather taken with the two Lovecraftian pieces in Claremont Tales II, "The Devil's Hop Yard" and "The Turret". The new story in this book is "Green Ice", a sequel to an earlier story called "Black Mist". This is an SF mystery, in which Japanese-Martian detective Ino Hajime is called in to investigate the activities of a descendant cult to Aum Shinrikyo (the Japanese cult which perpetrated a poison gas attack on a subway a few years past) on the Jovian moon Europa. It's an intriguing, rather mystical, story, which perhaps leaps a bit too quickly to its conclusion, but which is a good read nonetheless. "31.12.99" is an evocative and moving story of the new millennium. "News from New Providence" is a somewhat mordant account of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor investigating a murder in the Bahamas. "Whatever Happened to Nick Neptune?" is a very enjoyable story of a very special pulp magazine. And so on -- top to bottom this is an extremely enjoyable collection.

Somewhat shamefacedly I must confess to having mostly lost track of Mr. Lupoff's career in recent years. I had been quite impressed with his novella from Again, Dangerous Visions, "With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama"; and I quite enjoyed the Ova Hamlet pastiches. I also took notice of "Black Mist" and "31.12.99" in their recent appearances. But I have missed the rest of his work recently -- apparently including a linked series of mystery novels. (A related short story is included here.) This book is evidence that he remains a forceful and worthwhile writer -- check it out.

Copyright © 2002 Rich Horton

Rich Horton is an eclectic reader in and out of the SF and fantasy genres. He's been reading SF since before the Golden Age (that is, since before he was 13). Born in Naperville, IL, he lives and works (as a Software Engineer for the proverbial Major Aerospace Company) in St. Louis area. He writes a monthly short fiction review column for Locus. Stop by his website at

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide