Madder than…

The Madness of Cthulhu Anthology (Volume One)The Madness of Cthulhu Anthology by S.T. Joshi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lovecraftian anthologies tend to be uneven, especially earlier ones, where the stable of writers was fuller.
This is a later and smoother version, albeit with the work of some older and/or completely unexpected scribes. The level of craftsmanship is very high, and everyone clearly knows the material, which is another common issue.
I enjoyed it. Caitlin Kiernan’s story was the best, I thought (and think).

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Neon Noir in the Cities of the Red Night

Riding the CentipedeRiding the Centipede by John Claude Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrance Blake is the best man in his world and would be a good man in most worlds. Rudolf is a mutant villain without a shred of decency, but still disciplined and purposeful. They are on a collision course, and don’t know it. Jane and Marlon Teagarden are only the twin rails that the story rolls along on, and only one of them is Riding the Centipede.
I get the sense that a lot of the actual journey was cut. The scenes of experience don’t seem as protracted as they might be. And that may be for the best.
The setting and denouement are determinedly Burroughsian, though there’s not as much of the old up and out and more of the Burgessian ultraviolence as Chernobyl performs his version of art. Though Jane Teagarden could use a little more fleshing-out of character, that would probably detract from the hold-your-breath movement of the narrative, which comes to an explosive climax.
Background-5;plotting-5;characters-4;style-5. Round up to 5.
Highly recommended.

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Of a mind to…

Nightmares from a Lovecraftian MindNightmares from a Lovecraftian Mind by Jordan Krall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Smooth, polished, professional. Disturbing, subtle, and definitely nightmarish. The stories in this volume are not so Lovecraftian as the title would have you believe. There is a dollop of cosmic horror, but none of the usual suspects are present. No hooded cultists, octopus-headed monstrosities, cyclopean ruins, non-Euclidean space.
Headspace is more the issue. The Lovecraftian “mind”, indeed. Some of the matter-of-factness of JG Ballard, the inventive weirdness of David Lynch, the slightest hint of Philip Dickian mindrape, a tinge of the existential, a small infusion of the Gnostic. The reading of strange texts informs the text. Mr. Krall has been turning some strange pages indeed, and he melds all of those disparate elements into a surreal collage all his own.
These are pictures of minds after “experiences”, continuing to try to function in mundane space, and largely failing.
Recommended reading.

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I want to review you!

Here’s the deal: I drive a lot and therefore listen to a lot of audio books. So if you are an author who has used ACX.com to turn their book into an audio book, email davenport@shoggoth.net a coupon code for your audio book and I’ll review it here and on audible.

 

That easy.

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Andrew Doran and the Tomb of the Pharaoh: Episode 1

Andrew Doran and the Tomb of the Pharaoh

Andrew Doran and the Tomb of the Pharaoh

Dr. Doran is back in his third Serialized story. If you’re new to Andrew Doran, he’s an Adventurer who fights the minions and monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos. The first two novels came out as serials before being published as novels. There are a few ways that you can catch up. You can get the first story, The Statement of Andrew Doran, for free by reading it on Wattpad. Or you can purchase it on Amazon for only $0.99. Book 2 is called Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness, and you can find it on Amazon as well. Both are also on Audible and iTunes as audio books.

This time around, Dr. Doran is forced to face the return of an enemy force he thought long gone as they race to get their hands on the dreaded Book of Eibon. Continue reading »

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Review: Wayward Masquerade Custom Cthulhu Dice Bag

Wayward Masquerade

My Dice Bag from Wayward Masquerade

A little over a week ago, I received quite the interesting package from the out past the South Pacific. Inside was an effigy of terrifying grace that exuded beautiful madness. If ever before I had doubted the depths a sane man can fall, those doubts were forever smothered by the arrival of my custom handmade Cthulhu Dice Bag by Wayward Masquerade. Continue reading »

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Review of Carter & Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard

Carter & Lovecraft

Carter & Lovecraft

With so many Mythos related tales out there, I’m usually incredibly picky about the stories I read. I always prefer the mythos full length novels. So, when I saw Amazon recommending Carter & Lovecraft to me, I decided to give it a chance. Continue reading »

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To Survive

I wish to escape
I have shot you in the leg
Nothing Personal

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Flora or Fauna

I see a Dark Young,
Oh, I thought it was a tree,
Alas Sanity

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Corvus

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It had been a hot, long, and boring summer, all lonely days followed by lonely nights. His friends had gone away to summer camps, to vacations, to other countries, but here he was with nothing to do, no one to hang out with. Even his older brother wouldn’t play with him, he would just tell him to fuck off and go back to reading comics or talking to his friends.

Andrew had already spent much of the afternoon shooting at cans and bottles, to the point where he had riddled the few cans and bottles they had with so many holes they looked like a pieces of a modern art sculpture. He was bored. He looked around hoping to see someone, anyone to relieve the tedium of late August.

Continue reading »

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