Clive on Haeckel's Tale

...Haeckel's voice had become a whisper in these last minutes, and now it trailed away completely. We sat around not looking at one another, each of us deep in thought. If any of us had entertained the notion that Haeckel's tale was some invention, the force of his telling - the whiteness of his skin, the tears that had now and then appeared in his eyes - had thrust such doubts from us, at least for now...

"I was between books and I was trying to figure out what... I was thinking I was going to do that collection of short stories and I put together some four or five. Haeckel's Tale is one of four or five that I finished and I really, part of it was a desire for me, on my part to just re-visit the old Clive and see whether he was still living at the same address."

Rummaging Through The Toybox: Plushes, Plagues and Plaudits

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 11 August 2005 (note: full text here)

...other comments

Del Howison (Co-editor Dark Delicacies) : "Haeckel's Tale is the last [entry in Dark Delicacies] and it's a grotesque, erotic horror piece about making love with the dead."

Dark Delicacies

By Sean Decker and Jack Ulrich, Fangoria, No 247, October 2005

"If, as Howison writes in his afterword, 'Horror has always been the blues of literature,' then this anthology of 20 new tales of the macabre is an all-star concert whose performers work haunting riffs on gutbucket themes. In 'The Reincarnate,' Ray Bradbury makes a reanimated corpse the focus of a poetic reverie on death and loss. Clive Barker serves up a pastiche of the antique penny dreadful in 'Haeckel's Tale,' but with the traditional subtexts of sex and death unapologetically exposed to view."


By [ ], Publisher's Weekly, September 2005

"It would be difficult to top a volume that opens with an original Ray Bradbury story. The inclusion of 'The Reincarnate' sets the tone of quality that permeates this collection... However, I would have to narrow my favorite stories down to three. 'Art of the Game' by F. Paul Wilson is an understated, old-school story wherein a corrupt cop gets his comeuppance in San Francisco's Chinatown; 'Bloody Mary Morning' by the criminally under-appreciated John Farris concerns a family of businessmen who carry the method of their ultimate destiny as a genetic trait; and 'Haeckel's Tale,' Clive Barker's best work in years, puts a whole new twist on grave robbing."


By Joe Hartlaub,, September, 2005 (note - full text online at

Haeckel's Tale bibliography...

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