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.
Cult of the Dead by Lois Gresh
Years ago when I read Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, I was amazed at how original his horror stories were. They were new and unique, with takes on the horror genre I had not seen before. It was not until I read Lois Gresh’s Cult of the Dead did I feel the same way about an anthology of horror stories.
Cult of the Dead is a collection of 20 “weird and Lovecraftian tales” by veteran horror author Lois H. Gresh. The stories are self-contained, having been published over the course of the author’s career and collected into this work. Each story is excellently written and transports the reader into the world Gresh creates. Her writing style is as unique as her stories, which takes a little bit to get used to, but works well with the tales she unfolds for the reader.
Shoggoth by Bryan Craft
An accepted theory exists that millions of years ago a celestial catastrophic occurrence wiped out every living thing on the planet. This theory may be flawed. Fast-forward to the 21st century. A handful of scientists, allied with the military, discover a massive network of tunnels beneath the Mojave Desert. Below, lies an ancient survivor, waiting…and it’s hungry!
Once again Byron Craft drags us by his tentacles into a masterful mix of Lovecraftian science fiction, mystery, fantasy and horror. (From the book cover)
Bio of Author from his Amazon Page: Byron Craft started out writing screenplays, moved on to authoring articles for several magazines and finally evolved his writing style into exciting, sci-fi, fantasy, horror novels. “SHOGGOTH” is Craft’s second novel of a planned five novel mythos series that reflects the influence of H.P Lovecraft. Byron Craft’s first novel “The CRY of CTHULHU,” initially released under the title “The Alchemist’s Notebook,” was the reincarnation and expansion of one of his most memorable screenplays. Craft demonstrates he is as capable a novelist as scriptwriter. Craft’s novels have all the ingredients of a classic Lovecraft tale, with some imaginative additions. Continue reading
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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Riding 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.
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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
Things Slip Through
Stephen King’s influence on author Kevin Lucia’s collection of inter-connected stories, “Things Slip Through”, should be clear to any Constant Readers of Uncle Stevie’s books. Lucia’s fictional town of Clifton Heights, hidden in the depths of the Adirondack Mountains, brings to mind some of King’s haunted New England towns. Many of the plot points and characters seem inspired by King’s works. Unfortunately, Lucia doesn’t quite step out of King’s shadow, and too often resorts to horror clichés. Continue reading
Cthulhu Attacks! by Sean Hoade
“The Call of Cthulhu” introduced us to the potential that a beast of unimaginable horror could be released on our world.
Cthulhu Attacks! shows us a world where that potential is realized.