Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu Mythos.
In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the macabre himself, H. P. Lovecraft. Inside you’ll find:
“Details” by China Miéville: A curious boy discovers that within the splinters of cracked wood or the tangle of tree branches, the devil is in the details.
“Visitation” by James Robert Smith: When Edgar Allan Poe arrives, a callow man finally gets what he always wanted—and what he may eternally despise.
“Meet Me on the Other Side” by Yvonne Navarro: A couple in love with terror travels beyond their wildest dreams—and into their nightmares.
“A Fatal Exception Has Occured At . . .” by Alan Dean Foster: Internet terrorism extends far beyond transmitting threats of evil.
AND SEVENTEEN MORE HARROWING TALES
“The Invisible Empire” by James Van Pelt
“A Victorian Pot Dresser” by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims
“The Cabin in the Woods” by Richard Laymon
“The Stuff of the Stars, Leaking” by Tim Lebbon
“Sour Places” by Mark Chadbourn
“That’s the Story of My Life” by John Pelan and Benjamin Adams
“Long Meg and Her Daughters” by Paul Finch
“Dark of the Moon” by James S. Dorr
“Red Clay” by Michael Reaves
“Principles and Parameters” by Meredith L. Patterson
“Are You Loathsome Tonight?” by Poppy Z. Brite
“The Serenade of Starlight” by W. H. Pugmire, Esq.
“Outside” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“A Spectacle of a Man” by Weston Ochse
“The Firebrand Symphony” by Brian Hodge
“Teeth” by Matt Cardin
If the 23 contributors to this uneven anthology avoid the obvious Cthulhu Mythos clich s, none comes close to emulating Lovecraft's trademark cosmic horror. Typical is the two editors' collaborative "That's the Story of My Life." Set in Arkham with "its aged, gambrel-roofed neighborhoods," this brisk tale relies for its effect on a twist out of Damon Knight, not on any Lovecraftian atmosphere. Richard Laymon's "The Cabin in the Woods," a tribute to H.P.L.'s "The Whisperer in Darkness," shares a rural Vermont setting, but its action-oriented, dialogue-laden plot is the antithesis of the master's. "A Victorian Pot Dresser," by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims, in which an old piece of furniture hungers for sacrificial virgins, seems to be inspired by Lovecraft at his more ludicrous. The better stories deal with the Lovecraftian theme of outsideness, in particular Poppy Z. Brite's grotesque portrait of Elvis Presley's last days, "Are You Loathsome Tonight?" (the book's one reprint). Steve Rasnic Tem's homage to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "Outside," with its aquatic horror and decayed seaport, nicely evokes some of the brooding menace of Lovecraft's classic tale. And Caitl n R. Kiernan, in her stylish "Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea," does a turn on the lure of oceanic terrors with a bow to Lewis Carroll. To be preferred to most Lovecraft imitations, these 21 tales will likely please mainstream horror fans more than H.P.L. purists.
Although several of the short works represented here are great stories that are worthy additions to the Cthulhu mythos, the proofreading for this book is atrocious. Barely a page goes by with some ridiculously obvious error of syntax or spelling. Despite these annoying monuments to literary accuracy, most of the stories deliver what they promise, some more so than others. If you are a fan of the Cthulhu mythos you'll probably be as ultimately forgiving of this collection as I have been.
Additionally, if this book appeals at all check out "Cthulhu's Reign", also available in the iBook Store; all in all a much better collection...