Reviewing the Pages: Lovecraft’s Monsters

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This deliciously creepy and loving tribute to the master of modern horror features riveting illustrated stories of his wicked progeny.

In the century since the master of horror, H. P. Lovecraft, published his first story, the monstrosities that crawled out of his brain have become legend: the massive, tentacled Cthulhu, who lurks beneath the sea waiting for his moment to rise; the demon Sultan Azathoth, who lies babbling at the center of the universe, mad beyond imagining; the Deep Ones, who come to shore to breed with mortal men; and the unspeakably-evil Hastur, whose very name brings death. These creatures have been the nightmarish fuel for generations of horror writers, and the inspiration for some of their greatest works.

This impressive anthology celebrates Lovecraft’s most famous beasts in all their grotesque glory, with each story a gripping new take on a classic mythos creature and affectionately accompanied by an illuminating illustration. Within these accursed pages something unnatural slouches from the sea into an all-night diner to meet the foolish young woman waiting for him, while the Hounds of Tindalos struggle to survive trapped in human bodies, haunting pool halls for men they can lure into the dark. Strange, haunting, and undeniably monstrous, this is Lovecraft as you have never seen him before.

Contents

“Only the End of the World Again” by Neil Gaiman
“The Bleeding Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Love is Forbidden, We Croak & Howl” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“Bulldozer” by Laird Barron
“A Quarter to Three” by Kim Newman
“Inelastic Collisions” by Elizabeth Bear
“That of Which We Speak When We Speak of the Unspeakable” by Nick Mamatas
“Red Goat Black Goat” by Nadia Bulkin
“Jar of Salts” and “Haruspicy” by Gemma Files
“Black is the Pit From Pole to Pole” by Howard Waldrop and Steven Utley
“I’ve Come to Speak with You Again” by Karl Edward Wagner
“The Sect of the Idiot” by Thomas Ligotti
“The Dappled Things” by William Browning Spencer
“The Same Deep Waters as You” by Brian Hodge
“Remnants” by Fred Chappell
“Waiting at the Cross Roads” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Children of the Fang” by John Langan

Creatures. Gods. And at the very depths of it all; horror. Fear. What comes out of the deep or the dark. The unknown. And the alien. That’s what, at least my understanding of it is, is at the heart of the Cthulhu Mythos. And this collection of short stories covers a wide variety of creatures and Gods in the mythos. From poems to longer short stories, this tale has something for just about everyone in it. Whether you like tales about people transforming into creatures; tales of dread that will make you question everything in it; or tales that take both real and well-established fictional characters and throw them Lovecraft’s world. If you are a fan of these sorts of stories, I implore you to dive right on in. But be forewarned, a fair amount of knowledge of the creatures and Gods within the Mythos will come in handy here

I do find it really hard to talk about Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos…only because I don’t fully know what to say.  After all, there is so much to cover, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface as to what exactly is out there in terms of literature.  But, I did these stories and poems.  They took on a small aspect of the Mythos, and fleshed it out in a manner that gave that particular piece some spotlight.  Especially some of the creatures that I have yet to come across.  Like the Hounds of Tindalos, the King in Yellow, and the Serpent People, which, by some strange coincidence, are all not original Lovecraft creations, but instead are a part of what I can imagine are in the innermost ring of the Mythos.  I do suggest to anyone that loves the Mythos to dive into this collection.  There is a story in here for everyone, and who knows, maybe you’ll just find yourself ensnared in the tendrils of Cthulhu.  If I do see you here, don’t be afraid to wave.  It’ll be nice to see a friendly, humanoid face.

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