Tears of Our Lady is a presentation of "the wisdom of Sumuru." It appears in the guise of a dictionary of quotations based on the utterances of Our Lady Sumuru, the mysterious protagonist intent on the mastery of the world whose exploits are described in a series of five novels from the pen of the English mystery story writer Sax Rohmer (1883-1959). These novels appeared between 1950 and 1956. The seductive Sumuru (whom no man knows but every man desires and every woman wishes to obey) is the founder of the clandestine sodality known as The Order of Our Lady. She is credited with the authorship of a private publication that sets forth her philosophy and code of conduct. It is titled Tears of Our Lady, and while no copies of this publication are known to have survived to the present day, the present editor has attempted to reconstruct its contents in an aphoristic manner through quotation of the direct speech of Sumuru as recounted by Rohmer in his series of fantastic novels.
The present editor isJohn Robert Colombo who has been dubbed "a superfan" for his interest in fantastic literature. He contributed the entries for Canada to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. He is the editor of Other Canadas and the co-editor of Not to Be Taken at Night, the first such anthologies to be published in Canada. His fantastic poetry has appeared in Mostly Monsters and Space Poems and most recently in Poems of Space and Time. Among his other recent publications are book-length collections of the fantastic fiction of Algernon Blackwood, Stephen Leacock, Leslie A. Croutch, and Maurice Level. Colombo has contributed the introduction to The Sumuru Omnibus and is a long-time fan and collector of the books of Sax Rohmer. As author and editor Judith Merril once wrote, "Colombo is the real thing."
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