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).
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.
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.
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 email@example.com a coupon code for your audio book and I’ll review it here and on audible.
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 »
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 »
Is the world’s greatest novelist a Lovecraftian – and does his new book prove it?
Haruki Murakami is a literary giant, described by Stephen Poole of the Guardian as “among the world’s greatest living novelists”. The Japanese writeris regularly tipped as the next Nobel laureate for Literature. His books, skating around the borders of surrealism, magic realism, fantasy and science fiction, sell millions and have been published in fifty languages. Murakami’s plots often revolve around threats from inhuman, paranormal beings of undefined power. He quotes Kafka, Doestoyevsky and Flaubert as his influences (1). But if you go deeper, is Murakami’s biggest and most formative influence HP Lovecraft? Continue reading »
The Rise, Fall, and Rise of the Cthulhu Mythos by S.T. Joshi
Pre-eminent Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi divides “Lovecraftian” stories into three categories in his book “The Rise, Fall, and Rise of the Cthulhu Mythos”. The first category he calls the “Lovecraft Mythos”, stories that capture the purest form of cosmic horror that author H.P. Lovecraft sought to evoke when he wrote his horror stories in the early 1900’s. Lovecraft Mythos stories include many of the tropes and themes that Lovecraft was fond of using, such as fictional geographies, particularly in New England; ancient madness-inducing tomes; scholarly protagonists; and god-like monsters and extraterrestrials that care little to nothing about an insignificant humanity.
I had the opportunity to sit down (albeit digitally, of course) with Mythos writer and generally great guy, David Hambling today. Here is the wonderful interview, and sneak peek to future happenings, with that great man.