rhetorical blood and literal ink has already been spilled over the question of
graven or implushed images of Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones; but, while the
argument may have fallen away unresolved as a relic of the halcyon days of sane
public discourse, the failure to address the true scourge afflicting our dreams
of hegemony haunts us still, and shall grow ever worse unless and until we
cleanse it with purifying (albeit figurative, for now) fire.
Coming in at a good duration of 93 minutes, The Babadook is intelligent, dark and frightening. Claustrophobia and gut-wrenching stress are intruded upon by a well meaning(?) outside world of school staff, social workers and haughty housewives. There is enough ambiguity to keep the viewer guessing as to what is actually going on, and the hero of the story is most unlikely–though always close by.
“Fear’s Sharp Little Needles” is a book of short scenarios, by Stygian Fox, and written for the Seventh Edition Call of Cthulhu role playing game published by Chaosium.
The cover art has elements I like, but is so dark it gives the impression you’re missing detail. That said, it’s very well executed.
The pages have a very cool parchment look. It’s bold enough to be noticeable, yet subdued enough to not interfere with reading. The table of contents gives the scenario titles on simulated scraps of paper, which is a nice touch. The text is Times New Roman, with the section headings bolded, and in some sort of sans serif font, making for an easy reading experience.
The interior art is beautiful. Also, not only does each scenario start with a full-page illustration which is a teaser for what’s in store, but there are also maps galore. The scenarios are intentionally brief. They are all set in the modern era.
Now, on to the scenarios, with an effort to minimize spoilers. Unfortunately, this leaves me only room for introductions. The cover page of each scenario contains three or four words which give an even briefer idea of what is contained therein–nice touch.
First things first, this is a beautiful product. Arc Dream Publishing does a great job with the covert ops decoration–bits and pieces of classified documents, blurry, black and white photographs, documents with blood drops, etc. Combine this with beautiful cover art of a sufficiently horrid monster and you’ve got a product which says “Buy me. Play me.”
This review is for two books, as I read them back to back, got swamped with packing up a house, and have finally found time to put together a proper review.
The Arkham Detective series follows a no-name pulp detective in the city of Arkham, Massachusetts. While most of the residents have heard rumors and stories regarding all of Lovecraft’s beasties doing their dirty work in the town, most of them don’t believe them, and neither does our protagonist until a gory encounter and a witness who claims some rather horrendous things.
Cthulhu’s Minions is a great primer to the world of the Arkham Detective in that it’s a great origin story for the guy who makes it his job to hunt down the weird stuff while also being a short read to get you psyched about the bigger stories in the series.
The action doesn’t stop with Minions, though, and my intrigue kept me going straight from the last page of Cthulhu’s Minions and directly into the sequel, The Innsmouth Look.
Depending on the day, my favorite story from the Lovecraft Mythos is Shadow Over Innsmouth. The dark tale of a city cursed by it’s fortune in more ways than one makes for a great setting for some pulpy adventure (as myself and other authors have noted). Unlike those other authors, and even myself, the adventure here is nonstop pulpy goodness that only Byron Craft could have put together. On the trail of a murderer and kidnapper from that doomed city, the Arkham Detective takes grit to a new level as he interrogates the town and puts his best detective shoe forward, stumbling upon Government spies, trapped locals, and, of course, a dark ritual that the town wants to happen while the rest of the world obviously doesn’t.
Craft knows his Mythos and weaves that into a series of books that reads like a great Lovecraftian story, but with more adventure and less fainting. I give both of these books 5 out of 5 stars for just being great and fun reads.
To be entirely honest, when I first picked up my audio copy of Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero, I had no idea that I would be writing a review for Shoggoth.net. As a matter of fact, I only picked it up because I remembered reading somewhere that it’s an adult parody of Scooby Doo. To that point, it absolutely is a 100% homage to Scooby Doo, but it is also an homage to Lovecraft, the mythos, and the other players in the mythos.
It seems inevitable that such a book would eventually come along, and it has. There have been
others in the same vein, but this one provides actual recipes, made with wholesome ingredients,
which are good to eat.
Possibly the most entertaining part of this book, is the intermingling of the descriptions of ingredients and processes with Mythos-ian imagery. Continue reading »
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.
Reanimatrix is the third in a series of books written by Peter Rawlik that focuses on a world that Peter has built out of H.P. Lovecraft’s works focused around the story Herbert West: Reanimator. In the previous stories in Rawlik’s world, he’s introduced his own reanimators and several other characters, but weaves them into the Lovecraft mythos flawlessly so that you can see exactly where these characters are even when you’re just reading Lovecraft’s stories. He fills the gaps, so to say, and he’s very good at it.