Master of Chaos by David Hambling
Masters of Chaos by David Hambling is the fourth book in the Harry Stubbs series and it goes without saying that I am a huge fan of the series.
David’s Mr. Stubbs is a man of simple means, striving to better understand the world. This is more than the world as normal men and women know it, although he is constantly reading and taking correspondence courses to increase that knowledge, but also the darker and more sinister works first described by H. P. Lovecraft. To that point, Harry had found himself in the “employ” of an American named Ms. DeVere. She had recruited Harry to investigate the of happenings of Norwood. Harry is only barely qualified for this role through his past run-ins with Lovecraft’s mythos and his history as a former successful boxer.
Master of Chaos did something I didn’t expect a Stubbs novel to do, although I should have, and thrust our hero into an undercover role as an orderly at an asylum. While I hadn’t expected it, it fit well with the evolution of Harry’s investigations and made for some amazing scenes and great literary art as the reader who, four books in and well versed in Stubbs’ adventures, questions along with our hero whether or not he’s lost his mind.
My favorite thing about this novel and each of the Stubbs’ adventures, is how Hambling introduces entirely new elements of the mythos into Harry’s life and makes it seem like part of the everyday world we live in. It makes me wonder if some day Harry will lose all sense of reason as anything can be explained away by the police or the doctors…
My favorite part of this delightful tale was easily the part regarding the time Harry received in the first book. When you read it, you will know what I’m referencing. It’s difficult to say this was my favorite part, because I had so many and always enjoy a good yarn of my favorite boxer, but I’m a simple man.
5/5 stars for the Norwood Titan!
The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft
Normally, I have mixed feelings when it comes to anthologies. It’s not that I don’t like them, my problem is quite the opposite. I love them, but once I get to the point in an anthology story where I want it continue divulging the secrets it’s only just now begun to show me is when the story ends and we shift gears into an entirely different story.
I feared that would happen with The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft
, but I wanted to give it a try anyway because I’m a huge fan of Donald Tyson’s Necronomicon books and knew that he had written the descriptors of the gods between each of the individual stories.
I was pleasantly surprised to find every story in this anthology pleasant to some degree. I still suffered, especially at the end of tales such as A Dying of the Light by Rachel Caine.
It’s that time of year again folks! Origins Game Fair is under full swing. If you’re there you can check out Rogue Cthulhu, Chaosium or the great merchants. Once again however, we’re not there. You will find us in the onsite book (again), but we’re not there. Again. That’s all for now, and look forward to Origins 2019 when we make this announcement again. Just like 2017, and 2016.
We were there in 2014 & 2015 though.. alas they screwed up the onsite book and no one knew about our awesome games so we quit coming. 2016, 2017 and 2018 they screwed up listing us in the onsite book so we’re still not coming back.
At first a bothersome thing, the bug noise became a lulling rhythm of nature for Pike Ansblath.
He accepted the ruffled whistle as part of summer.
One night, while lying on the couch, Pike tried to pin down what the noise sounded like.
It was, he determined, basically a whistle … with a little ripple effect.
A neighbor who overheard it one day likened the sound to a muted chirp.
Yeah, he could see that. Continue reading
“Though I had mayde the pact with the Lorde of the Great Abyss and knew this being would visit, I could not have been prepared for its majesty. Its skin all over midnight black, it towered over me, wielding the great trident. In my mind was spoken a demand for the reason I had summoned it.”
I have written a ton of stuff for my home game and convention scenarios over the years prior to 7th ed. Due to this I still write in 6th ed language, which I realize confuses those who came on board after the onset of 7th ed. Welcome aboard, by the way.
While I realize I should convert, which I shall eventually, there is a handy conversion guide on p. 390 of the 7th ed. rulebook.
“As I stared into the open mass grave–filled with our men, women and children–my despair overcame the revulsion of the horrific stench. Slowly, my despair devolved into seething rage and a desperate need for justice. God had turned his back on us, so I called out into the universe for any who would provide retribution. The thousands of flies which crawled upon our people swarmed upward, swirling into a black mass which settled into the form of a man from whom I felt an ancient and terrible consciousness. My initial horror slowly bled into a sick form of worship as I realized this being, this god, would gratify my lust for vengeance.”
Fly man will manifest only in the presence of someone who is in blind rage of unjust, large scale killing and of the dead themselves, who must be swarming with flies.
“Me and Luke was out checkin’ our mud bug traps and I heered splashin’ comin’ toward me. Luke started screamin’ sumpin’ awful. I looked over and there he was, all white in the moonlight and his skin wrigglin’. It was Missa Grits alright. Poor ol’ Luke tried to run and slipped. Missa Grits grabbed ‘im up and just kinda melted all over ‘im. I ain’t never been so scared in all my life. I turn and run, got to the truck and drove like hell outta there.”
Mr. Grits is a manifestation of the rage, fear and torment of all who have been raped, tortured and murdered in the local swamps, or who have been killed elsewhere and dumped here.
“The boy was naked and shivering. He said he was lost and wanted to find his family. I moved closer to help him and, as he reached toward me, I saw that his spine was rooted directly into the base of the huge and twisted tree. His eyes darkened and his mouth split into a gruesome smile of spiked teeth. A cold, black and bitter-tasting rain began to fall, running down my face into my mouth.”
–“D,” agent of the Top Secret Project Catalyst, whereabouts undisclosed.