I first read the story in high school, thanks to a beat-up paperback of August Derleth's Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, Vol. 1, furtively passed to me during some droning lecture or another in the auditorium. With other works by Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, J. Vernon Shea, Derleth himself, etc., it was a good intro to the Lovecraft circle. But it was always Long's tale that somehow stuck with me; read, if I recall correctly, in high-school detention hall (did a lot of horror-fiction reading there, which was actually the cafeteria).
"The Hounds of Tindalos" themselves are extra-dimensional entities who move slowly through outrageous angles of space/time - not the curves - and seek to consume men who, like Chalmers, the rebel "scientist" whose misadventure the narrator relates, discover the abyss before life itself. Aided by a drug he claims was used by Lao-Tse to discover the Tao, Chalmers finds his way to this fourth dimension and is terrified by these "hounds," whom he describes thusly:
All the evil in the universe was concentrated in their lean, hungry bodies... They scented me. Men awake in them cosmic hungers... But they are not evil in our sense because in the spheres through which they move there is no thought, no moral, no right or wrong as we understand it... There is merely the pure and the foul. The foul expresses itself through angles; the pure through curves.
And chaos ensues as Chalmers vows to return and then meets either the hounds again or the Doels - I have no idea who they are, Long simply inserts a reference to them. Are they the Lovecraftian dholes? Perhaps. As in the other stories here, Long also invokes ancient Greek myths, but it's been awhile since I've dipped into Hamilton's Mythology, so I was glad for the refreshers he provides. Chalmers' final writings include a hilarious "ahhh" as if he were transcribing his own screams! Oh, Lovecraftian cliches, how we love them so...
I picked up this science-fictiony style collection in a great used bookstore in Hollywood; it doesn't even list Long's name on the spine, as it only reads The Hounds of Tindalos: "Science Fiction Masterwork." I have never seen anything like that on any other book. Personally I really dislike this cover; there are no astronauts in this collection, one-eyed or not. Just seems like some artwork the publisher had lying around the office, just waiting to be used. It contains about half of the stories from the original 1946 Arkham House hardcover; from Jove in 1978 came its second paperback reprint as part of the "early Long" series, which included some perfectly grotesque cover art by Rowena Morrill (see top). Publication history gets confusing but I believe the other half was republished in paperback form in The Dark Beasts, which has a cool Edward Gorey cover.
As for the other short stories herein, I must say nothing really jumped out at me as much of anything special; a lot of standard-issue pulp product, decently written but certainly not deathless. "The Space-Eaters" is somewhat atmospheric and has a character who is obviously Lovecraft himself, but it seems to be part of that "Christianizing" of the mythos, reducing the drama to simplistic good vs. evil battles - despite Long considering himself an agnostic and sharing Lovecraft's skepticism of religious claims. "Dark Vision," has a young man who can read the thoughts of others, finding minds are cesspools of maggoty hate and carnality and revolting spite. In "Fisherman's Luck" a Greek god with a love of pranks returns; "The Black Druid" concerns an evil overcoat. Weird Tales completists will probably enjoy these stories the most.
Despite nearly 70 years as a prolific author, Long died in abject poverty in 1994.