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The listeners have spoken!

That’s right, we really are letting listeners choose each episode of The Fiction League. Our Episode 2 poll selected “gruesome happenings in Hollywood” for this week’s episode, and so we’re pleased to bring you “Return to the Sabbath” by Robert Bloch.

Why does that name seem familiar? Maybe because Bloch was one of the most prolific and accomplished writers of the pulp era, turning out hundreds of short stories and more than 30 novels over the course of his lengthy career.

He started out as a pro writer at the tender age of 17 and quickly ended up being taken under the wing of none other than HP Lovecraft. He honed his craft as a popular writer of weird tales, selling scores to the major pulps of the time, then branching out into more mainstream science fiction, fantasy, detective stories, and thrillers.

Basically, if you wanted a clever, twisty, psychologically gripping tale, you went to Robert Bloch.

After all, this is the guy who gave us Psycho.

Yeah.

Bloch captures the world-weary tone of a hard-working, overburdened Hollywood PR flak beautifully in “Return to the Sabbath,” then throws us his trademark curveball – what happens if the actor you’re working with is, well, not quite right?

You have to imagine that comes up more than you’d think in Hollywood, then as now.

And this is where Bloch’s genius shines – making us look just a little sideways at what seems like a normal guy, a normal situation, a normal challenge…and going beneath the surface, bit by bit, to reveal the truly strange things that lie beneath.

“Return to the Sabbath” was originally published in Weird Tales in July 1938. Check out its trail since then here.

And don’t forget to hop over to the home page to vote for next week’s episode!

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