Cthulhu is described as the ruler and high priest of his kind, and able to garner and maintain human followers through dream projection while asleep/comatose in his city of R’lyeh, immersed beneath the Pacific Ocean.
Cthulhu is a member of a group of beings, all immortal and extremely powerful, referred to as the Great Old Ones. The two other primary classes of entities in this mythology are the Elder Gods, and the Outer Gods, however the nature of these two groups is largely not within the scope of this essay. The same is true of the rest of the Great Old Ones.
More recently, these distinctions have been viewed as unnecessary.
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.
I first came across the writings of C.T. Phipps while reading his Rules of Supervillainy series. I thoroughly enjoyed those books, so when I heard that C.T. was coming out with an almost Cthulhu Western that takes place after the world has been overrun by every work of Mr. Lovecraft’s, I had to read it.
The Statement of Andrew Doran by Matthew Davenport
Verdict: This Indy Jones-style adventure set in a WWII-era world in which Lovecraft’s monsters and magic exists delivers cinematic action and the Mythos we love, all at a satisfying pace. But opt for the written version if possible, since the audio version contains some very distracting accent misfires. Continue reading »
Let’s be fair, there have been a lot of movies whose fame can be traced back to the great Mr. Lovecraft: The Thing, Pacific Rim, Alien, Pans Labyrinth, and Event Horizon to name a few of the obvious ones.
But even the great works could be greater, and I think that adding Lovecraft is the answer for success!
The way I see it, there isn’t enough Lovecraftian prose weaved into our favorite stories. That’s when I asked myself which movies probably could have benefited from a touch by the scribe himself.
If nothing else is said about it, I’ll say that this book is exhaustively researched. It doesn’t seem that a stone is unturned or an avenue unwalked in this exploration of Howard Philips Lovecraft’s love and sex life and how they may have affected his fiction, and by extension, that of many others who have followed in his footsteps.
The tone is dry, scholarly. It can be offputting if you’re used to the jauntiness of professional fiction. It took me a while to get used to it, and to dig deeply into the book. That’s not a knock-it is what it is.
This is a sober discussion of the subject(s) at hand, and the tone is the right tone.
Citations and quotations from members of the “Lovecraft Circle” and others who knew him well jostle for space with opinions from people outside the circle but in the know, and information from other professionals fleshes put the lot.
The book starts out exploring Lovecraft himself and then moves on to his fiction, that of others, and the influence of both on the “current state of weird fiction”, if there is such a thing.
If you’re into juicy, there’s enough information there to choke a Gug. Definitely worth the read if you’re interested in the world behind the Cthulhu Mythos, and interesting as a research subject even if not.