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.
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
As a roleplay-focused GM, some of my best games involved very few dice rolls and lots of delicious, scary, tension-building narrative that made the players squirm in their seats. For these sorts of stories, a good game moved away from mechanics and doubled down on rich settings, character interaction and pure story.
Posted in Gaming, Reviews
Book Cover for The Trials of Obed Marsh
Note: This review contains spoilers for H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
Verdict: This self-styled prequel to Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth, in which Matthew Davenport details the events and happenings leading to the corruption of the town of Innsmouth, is a successfully executed tale of dread and horror.