Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Curiosities and Eccentric Diseases

Internet browsing yesterday revealed that Jeff VanderMeer has edited a new collection bearing the name of the obscure scholar Thackery T. Lambshead--The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities--which is to be released in June. This is VanderMeer’s second involvement with a Lambshead work, the first being 2005’s The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, Complete with Illuminating Illustrations. This first work, and no doubt the upcoming one, should be of interest to aficionados of the weird and to gamemasters wishing to add a bit of weirdness to their game.

The diseases described are a diverse lot.  Michael Moorcock describes Samoan Giant Rat Bite Fever in a Victorian idiom. Alan Moore elucidates Fuseli’s Disease--a skin ailment occurring (and spreading) in dreams. Jay Lake discusses Mongolian Death Worm Infestation. One of the best is VanderMeer’s own article on Tian-Shan Gobi Assimilation--a creepy and Lovecraftian disorder of involving fungus (calling to mind VanderMeer’s Ambergris novels).

Maybe they all should have heeded the implicit warning of Neil Gaiman’s entry--Diseasemaker’s Croup.

Obviously, a good bit of fun is had by all--which includes (in addition to those above) Cory Doctorow, K.J. Bishop, China Mieville, and Rachel Pollack--and many more. I expect the same sort of good things from the new book which promises an even longer list of writers and illustrators.

Check ‘em out, so next time you’re feeling hypochondriacal you can think you have something really interesting.

6 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

There's some good ones there but they should add the pain in the rectum disease that is Bell's Palsy a right arse ache and the effect it has on others who view it.

Trey said...

Except that Bell's Palsy is, unfortunately, quite real, unlike their flights of medical fancy--and at this point without any great treatments. :(

Felt said...

I'd never heard of the Mongolian Death Worm. Would make a great name for a band.

Johnathan Bingham said...

Awesome Trey, I'll have to check it out.

Risus Monkey said...

Added to the Amazon wish list. :)

Trey said...

@Felt - I wouldn't be suprised if it already is. ;)

@Johnathan and @Risus - It's good stuff!