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Fruiting Bodies, and Other Fungi

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  916 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Don't look for commonplace nightmares in these stories. Brian Lumley's monsters are never commonplace! In the award-winning 'Fruiting Bodies', for example, the terror doesn't stalk the night but moves almost imperceptibly underfoot, or through the woodwork... or in other places!

'The Pit-Yakker' is a tale of industrial decay, of a love that might have been, a hatred stillb
Mass Market Paperback, 278 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Roc
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Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is one of those few collects that has eluded me for some time. You see Brian Lumley has been writing all sorts of dark fiction and horror for some time but not only that they vary greatly in length too. Take some of the Vampire world books which at the time where heavy tombs indeed (though these days seem somewhat lightweight) all the way down to short stories.

Now as you can imagine with such variety and quantity there is plenty of space for anthologies and trust me there are more than
Zantaeus Glom
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
The estimable talent of Brian Lumley is really put to agile use in the deliciously macabre collection 'Fruiting Bodies'; a marvelous miasma of weirdling tales that proves him to be the master of his craft. He is, quite rightly lauded for his magnificent 'Necroscope' opus, but, for me, Lumley's true creative genius is that he is able to readily invoke a tremendous sense of monstrous doom in such a seemingly effortlessly succinct form. The fact that he has a unique voice in a genre swollen with re ...more
Elli Toney
Sep 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cosmically strange and beautiful writing.

As usual with these collections, there some are hits and some misses. The hits are going to stay with me for a long time.

Fruiting Bodies was just fantastic, I keep thinking about it still. It was so creepy and atmospheric, a must-read. The Viaduct was also excellent, fast-paced, and horrific! I already want to reread these two again. These two alone make this book a 5 star read for me.

Others I really enjoyed were: The Man Who Photographed Beardsley, The
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, horror, cthulhu
Brian Lumley is best known today for his hugely successful NECROSCOPE novels that dominated the vampire genre back in the 1990s. Before then, he was better known as a writer of Lovecraftian fiction whose short stories on the matter would often adorn many an anthology or magazine. FRUITING BODIES AND OTHER FUNGI was the first collection of this writer’s short stories.

It’s a tremendous effort that puts across just how entertaining this author’s writing is. Lumley is a wordsmith at heart: he makes
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I love Brian Lumley’s books and I love horror short stories so this book was a win/win. The first story, Fruiting Bodies and the story No Way Home both seemed so familiar to me that I think I must have read them in other horror short story anthologies. I enjoyed all of the stories, perhaps because I just enjoy Lumley’s style so much. He could write a rotten story and I’d still enjoy it. My favorites were Fruiting Bodies, Recognition and also The Deep-Sea Conch, which keeps intruding into my mind ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great collection of some of Lumley's lesser anthologized tales. Most but not all are Lovecraftian in tone but ALL of them are worth reading. Lumley has to be one of my favorite of modern authors as he is well able to give you the frisson of fear rather than the splatter that seems to be so popular these days and he addresses the difference in syles quite well in his introduction. He's a wonderful stylist, and he writes genuine and believeable characters.

This collection includes:
Fruiting Bodies
Aaron Meyer
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
A real nice bunch of short stories. The majority of them were good with only one of them kind of bombing (No Way Home). The best were definitely, The Viaduct, The Cyprus Shell, and Born of the Winds. Good old fashion horror without tons of blood and gore, definitely a keeper.
James Pratt
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I actually like Lumley's short stories better than his novels. I'm not particularly fond of his take on the Cthulhu mythos, but I would still consider him as one of my favorite modern writers in the horror genre. ...more
Nick Wallace
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would have been much happier had Lumley moved away from the Necroscope series and back into his short stories.
R.G. Evans
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his introduction to Fruiting Bodies and Other Fungi, a collection of stories originally published in the 1970s and 80s, Lumley expresses--quite emphatically--his disdain for the splatterpunk movement popular in the 90s when this collection was published, longing instead for the "Good Old Days of horror."

Lumley delivered an excellent collection of just that: horror reminiscent of the "Good Old Days."

The two best stories in the collection--"The Viaduct" and "The Pit-Yakker"--create almost unbea
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror, sci-fi
Not sure if I have read some Lumley before in the dark and distant past...if I have I suspect it would be a tale of two in the horror anthologies I used to devour a lot in the eighties.
This book I found in a charity shop and was part of one of those multi book deals which are so cheap you can afford to take a risk...I'm glad I did this is a strong selection of macabre tales.
The tone is emphasised in the introduction with Lumley reflecting on splatterpunk works and how that this point
Sean McBride
This one was pretty enjoyable. I generally always have a short story book at beck and call, because after I read a novel or a non-fiction book, I read a short story to cleanse my pallet before moving onto the next one. This is a collection that I read over time, in-between novels. About half of the stories were not great. Entertaining, but pretty boring. The other half were spectacular. I cant remember the last time I read anything that had me literally biting my fingers, and moaning with despai ...more
Bryan Whitehead
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2007
Not bad. Brian Lumley isn’t my favorite author of all time, but I kinda like his stuff. I picked up this particular volume because the jacket blurbs made it sound like it focused mostly on the author’s Lovecraftian work, and that was at least partially true. I’d read the first and last stories in the set (indeed, I remembered “Born of the Winds” well enough that I just skimmed it this time around); everything else was new to me. If I had only one consistent complaint, it would be that several of ...more
Jason Peters
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice collection of stories. This was my first time reading Lumley, and I was surprised by the almost fanciful, whimsical voice he employs in these stories; I don't know how this compares to his other works like the Nercroscope series, but you can almost hear Stephen Fry narrating each of these tales to you as you read.

The stories are more fantasy than horror, more Twilight Zone than ABC's of Death, and as with most short story collections, some are better than others, but as a whole, this is a
Scott Waldie
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great selection of stories here, a pretty good split between Lumley's Lovecraft Mythos or Mythos-inspired material and other horror tales, equally creepy. He's got that exuberant style of prose that makes him easily identifiable, descriptive and atmospheric. Faves here included "Fruiting Bodies", "The Thin People", "The Pit-Yakker", "The Viaduct", "No Way Home" and "The Man Who Felt Pain". It also features one of the most epic stories you're going to find about Ithaqua: "Born of the Winds".

Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very solid collection of Lumley's stories, selected from the late '60s to the late '80s, including his Lovecraftian tales and some more contemporary stories. There's not a bad story in this book, though some are better than others, and a couple are exceptionally good. Lumley has a clean and direct prose style, always engaging and concerned with establishing characters and place; his contemporary tales are always paced well, to an often macabre final line, and his Lovecraft pastiches evoke the ...more
Michael Goodine
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this one five stars based almost entirely on the strength of the title story. It is a real classic of the tiny "fungal horror" genre. Maybe one of the very best stories of that type. If you are interested in terrifying mushrooms, I say give it a shot.

The other stories are fine. "No Way Home" stands out as a clever parallel-universe tale.
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's the only book I have read by him and I will never regret it. True weird fiction, specially the one with the entrance to a parallel universe where the houses on the street are not what they seem to be... ...more
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection, 'Fruiting Bodies' and 'Born of the Winds' are the stand outs (and both the longest) of the bunch. 'The Cyprus Shell' and 'The Deep Sea Conch' make a great pair of shorts. Will be holding on to this to revisit some of these stories again. ...more
Oct 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Some fantastic stories in this collection of horror stories by Lumley ranging from Lovecraftian to simply the macabre. The title story starts this collection strong and the stories don't let up until the back cover. ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing scary, some classic unsettling stuff within though.
Vince Darcangelo
The stories stand the test of time, but Lumley's old-man rant about splatterpunk in the introduction has aged terribly. ...more
Hrunthir Gitkicka
Nov 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
One of the greatest collections of short stories I have ever read. They are not gory and are very Lovecraftian for the most part.
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
When Lumley is being himself, he's really good; as a Lovecraft disciple, he about as bad as anyone else in that literary kiddie pool. A few of the stories were really excellent, while others were almost slavish imitations of Lovecraft, minus the best and worst aspects of Lovecraft's writing.

"Recognition" was competent but boring. "The mirror of Nictoris" as good as one of HPL's minor stories, which is faint praise. "Born of the winds" was nominated for a prize but I thought it was a very deriva
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Despite the heavy metal cover that would do Metalocalypse proud, these are not Clive Barker (Barkerpunk) truly-scary ach-scheisse stories, more softlight horror shorts in the vein of, say, Neil Gaiman.

Sidenote: It's always fun to find old checkout slips in library books - to see the habits of other readers who've read what you're reading. In this case, a previous checker-outer also checked out some Garfields (Garfield Swallows His Pride and Garfield Makes it Big) and Dilberts (Casual Day Has Gon
Philip Chaston
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
An early set of stories that show some promise when travelling away from the faux Lovecraftian style of August Derleth. Yet, is it only the crumbling backdrop of the 70s where cretins and idiots, terms freely used, could still act as vehicles of horror. Lumley's writing is influenced by the eugenic concerns of the 30s and echoes that earlier era ...more
Aug 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a shame there's no image for this book cover, it was really cool. I don't think I've ever seen a Brian Lumley book without a skull on the cover. Anyway, this book is just full of cool short stories, not really gory like his Necroscope books, but really creative, fun, unsettling stuff. ...more
E. G.
--Fruiting Bodies
--The Man Who Photographed Beardsley
--The Man Who Felt Pain
--The Viaduct
--No Way Home
--The Pit-Yakker
--The Mirrors of Nitocris
--The Thin People
--The Cyprus Shell
--The Deep-Sea Conch
--Born of the Wind
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great collection! If you love short stories, and want a great overview of Lumley's work, this is the best way to get it. Lumley is a great writer and Fruiting Bodies really showcases his talent. Highly recommended. ...more
Amanda and tony schmidt
May 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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Brian Lumley was born near Newcastle. In 22 years as a Military Policeman he served in many of the Cold War hotspots, including Berlin, as well as Cyprus in partition days. He reached the rank of Sergeant-Major before retiring to Devon to write full-time, and his work was first published in 1970. The vampire series, 'Necroscope', has been translated into ten languages and sold over a million copie ...more

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