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Cthulhu's Reign

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  515 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
All original stories about the return of Cthulhu and the Old Ones to Earth.
Some of the darkest hints in all of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos relate to what will happen after the Old Ones return and take over the earth. What happens when Cthulhu is unleashed upon the world? What happens when the other Old Ones, long since banished from our universe, break through and de
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Daw Books
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Apr 08, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting collection of Cthulhu Mythos stories. Most of the Lovecraftian tales I've read in the past seemed to be concerned with the calling of the various Gods, the opening of the seals and the like - 'Cthulhu's Reign' instead concentrates on what happens AFTER Cthulhu and other Great Old One baddies have risen and made the Earth their bitch.

In other words, us humans are effed.

Some of my favorites: "Spherical Trignonometry" (Ken Asamatsu) - where a non-angular shelter is built to try and surv
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
It all comes to... Meh!
Some of this stories are good but most are just average to poor.

Lovecraftian theme is about a cosmic horror that is looming over our heads but it's never fulfilled. It's like in those movies that say... "We escaped" and someones replies "For now...". Hopelessness of it all. The not understanding of what's happenning and the toll on our usual main character because it's to impossible to bear and insanity takes hold.

Well with that said a book about Cthulhu winning and/or ot
Jul 09, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
This is turning out better than I would of thought. I was worried about the narrow premise for the collection (life after Cthulhu arrives), but it's turning out to be a brilliant idea. I'm sure there are some clinkers ahead, but 100 pages in, pretty good. It's an interesting contrast reading this, and Datlow's Lovecraft Unbound. In her effort, Datlow sought some distance from the Lovecraftian universe, trying to show just how flexible that universe could be. As I said earlier regarding that coll ...more
Tim Pendry
This new anthology of original work has a simple postulate - that Cthulhu and his monstrously indifferent hordes have arrived and that humanity has to die or survive in their midst.

After that, the writers have been left to their imaginations and, as you might expect, the results are highly variable, crossing genres and even the two traditions of the mythos (orthodox Lovecraftian and heterodox, and tainted to us purists, Derlethian).

The best are short and keep to the essence of Lovecraft - a sen
Brian Steele
A "themed" themed anthology? Awesome. Basically with this collection, we are treated to tales of what has happened after the 'stars were right' and Cthulhu n' pals rose up to munch on our sanity. The world ended, we lost, and no happy endings except for the things with tentacles that dig non-euclidian angles.

As always, some tales were better than others, but none truly sucked away the flesh from my bones in this anthology. Some were so utterly bizarre to the point that I'm pretty sure Nyarlathot
Opening this anthology with a blatant 'this is an excuse to write tentacle rape' story does not inspire me with confidence in the editor's judgment. I don't know when I'll pick this up again, but at present, I can say I've got much better things to spend my limited reading time on.
Marc Lalonde
Not a bad collection of stories from expeienced mythos writers (though no stand-out big names, to my mind). Clearly, these tales were all commissioned specifically for this volume. All of these stories address what happens AFTER Cthulhu rises or the Old Ones return or however the end of sanity and humanity happens to occur. Most of them take place very shortly after the world-changing event, which I guess makes sense given that humanity will not persist for long once that happens, though I would ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
very mixed but with a few gems

I bought this collection a few years ago when the concept seemed new ... what would the world be like after the Old Ones rise? After several years of the most excellent BPRD comic series, though, the idea isn't so new anymore. The stories in this collection are pretty mixed, some BPRD esque and not terribly inspired, but a few really stand out and impress ... my tip of the hat to Messr's Barron, Langan, and Webb in particular. For the obsessive or detail oriented, h
S.M.M. Lindström
Don't read this if you're looking for horror. I'm not saying it's a bad collection of short stories; as most short story collections you'll like some and maybe not like others. All in all, though, this isn't group of horror stories. They're all themed around the Lovecraft mythos and they all deal with the end of the world, but the tone of the stories vary widely. Thus, I've chosen to give the collection as a whole 3 stars. The rest of the review I'm splitting up to be about each story and I'm ma ...more
As with most anthologies, there are mixed levels of quality and enjoyment to be gotten from these short stories. This anthology's particular theme caught my attention, having started reading Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.

I must say that the first story, by Ian Watson, gave the wrong impression of the rest of the book. I found Ian's story to be the best of the bunch, having succinctly caught the feeling of dread, despair, and horror. The majority of the other stories didn't really manage to hit the
Holden Attradies
This was one of the best anthologies I've ever read. It had a REALLY cool theme: stories set in the Cthulhu mythos after the ancient ones have risen.

Going into it I was expecting most if not all of the stories to be set in earlier time periods, most Mythos stuff I've read has not just used Lovecrafts style and setting but the time period. I would say that pretty much or in fact all of these stories were set in modern times or even in the distant future. There were a few that were pretty sci-fi s
Titus L
Jan 05, 2012 Titus L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must admit the first abnormal and tentaculalry unmentionable tale led me to abandon the book (hence 4 of a possible 5 star review....hardly Miskatonic, but there we are.)
But I did eventually return to it in between more singularly studious reading, irresistibly drawn by the maddening promise of loathsome Lovecraftian revelations as yet unheard of....
Apart from one or two others of the compilation which were dank, dull and a lenglessly lacking for my more eldritch tastes...
Im delighted that I di
Joshua Palmatier
Cthulhu’s Reign

As you can imagine, an anthology based on the idea of Cthulhu Rising once again and the return of the Old Ones isn’t exactly full of happy moments. Most of these stories have somber or disturbing endings, with a few humorous ones sprinkled in for flavor. Keeping that in mind before you start reading is a good idea, although most of those who will be drawn to this anthology will already expect that, having read Lovecraft. There are some strong stories in here, enough to make purcha
Mrs Giggles
One thing about HP Lovecraft: he never, as far as I could remember, went into detail as to what happened to the world once those tentacled jelly-blobs from outer dimensions started to take over the world. Darrell Schweitzer attempts to put together an anthology that tells me about life on earth once the Old Ones come to play, and I could only wonder that the late Mr Lovecraft never did this because he knew the end result would be so monotonous.

Or maybe it's a problem caused by the fact that the
Nov 01, 2010 Joshtafari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbb-2010
When you have a story collection with such a specific theme, it's probable that there's going to be a sameness to the stories. This is the case here, with fifteen stories of post-Lovecraftian-apocalypse. It's also unfortunate that the weaker stories start off the book, with the better ones in the second half.

The stories I enjoyed:

'The New Pauline Corpus' - by Matt Cardin - rewriting or re-interpreting Christian dogma to fit the return of the Old Ones

'The Shallows' - John Langan - a trip to the
Its a good idea for an anthology, but also one that is given to much silliness, and that the theme gets a little repetitious because a number of writers take it very literally with chtulhu monsters laying waste to coastal cities, etc..

However, there are some very weird and cool tales. As far as the silly but creepy stories were concerned, I liked Mile Allen's 'Her Acres of Pastoral Playground', which is set in Austin, and has an curmudgeonly cynical take on aspects of Texas culture, 'Sanctuary'
Nesa Sivagnanam
Feb 06, 2011 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of stories depicting what happens after the stars have come right, sunken R'lyeh has risen, and Great Cthulhu and his minions have shambled forth to exercise their bloody dominion over the Earth. A few of them include the events of the rising itself, but mostly this anthology is concerned with the aftermath.

“Sanctuary” by Don Webb is a tale of a small town in Texas dealing with what happens when the stars are right. For a change, the protagonist is a really regular guy
Sep 14, 2010 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cthulhu
Cthulhu's Reign focuses on life after Cthulhu's return. Or what's left of it. Necessarily bleak, the stories are also inventive, ranging from Richard A. Lupoff's Nothing Personal and Fred Chappell's Remnants which take an interstellar perspective to the personal Cthulhu haunting Ian Watson's The Walker in the Cemetery.

The concern over a collection like this is that you'd end up reading 15 variations of the same story, but that's not the case. Even though each tale is steeped in horror, Matt Card
A fun read, but not quite what it says on the package. A more accurate title might have been "Cthulhu's Takeover." There are some nifty stories in here, but they were mostly apocalyptic; I felt like for most of them you could have taken out Cthulhu and inserted zombies or Martians or even a particularly aggressive breed of fungus, whereas I was looking forward to some stupendously weird fiction.
Jose Luis Meza Garcia
I didnt liked it, and it was strange because I got from reading two excellenet Cthulhu's books written by Brett Talley and thought this one would be great, at least it had a story with a lot of potential: what happens when Cthulhu wins, well, according to these authors, nothing happened. I really wanted this to be a better book, sadly it wasn't.

This'll be my last book of the year. At least I read some truly excellent ones so my love for books only increases from time to time.
Sep 02, 2014 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the diversity found in this short story collection.I wouldn't have thought that the concept of how life would continue to exist after these creatures have invaded would be so intriguing.
Bruce Baugh
Jun 25, 2015 Bruce Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The quality here is fairly lumpy, with several stories that I'd be inclined to give 3 stars or fewer to. But the good pieces are excellent, and bring up the overall quality substantially.
Lianne Burwell
This anothology started from an interesting premise: Life after the Old Ones (Cthulhu, et al) return to take the world as their's again. It does lead to a very dark set of stories, since when you get down to it, nothing is going to have a happy ending. They cover all sorts of scenarios, from humans summoning the old ones forth, the old ones as aliens from a rogue planet, etc...

As with all anthologies, some are good, some are great, and some are weak. Unfortunately, the one I found the weakest wa
Apr 12, 2010 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, horror, 2010, anthology
This book is like most horror collections. There's some good and there's some not so good. Saying that I wasn't really disappointed with any of the story's in here. Some were just a bit boring, and some of them were just flippn' odd, even for a book about Cthulhu. The idea behind this collection is Cthulhu in present day or the future. I don't care much about all the scientific talk in some of the stories as it's takes away a bit of the mystery behind it. Even though it's not a 5/5 book I would ...more
Jonathan Rowe
Feb 09, 2014 Jonathan Rowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection of Lovecraftian futurism, some bleakly horrible but others swashbuckling or darkly funny.
Jeff Raymond
If you've ever thought of what the world might be like after R'lyeh rises out of the Pacific and Cthulhu begins his reign on Earth, have I got the book for you!

This is a collection of short stories. That it's a collection of short stories is really the only significant downfall to this book, given the different visions of many of the authors, but the end result is a great mix of pulpy Lovecraftian fun and good old fashioned creepy horror. This probably holds zero value to anyone not into the Cth
Jul 27, 2011 Tarl rated it really liked it
Shelves: lovecraftian
The editor warns that this collection of stories were chosen with Lovecraft's theme of hopelessness in mind. And boy did they do a good job in those stories, except for the last one which was a disapointment when compared to the others in this collection. The rest of them however were well written, and each world presented was perfectly dark and filled with a variety of Lovecraft's creatures. All in all, I enjoyed this anthology, and would definatly recommend it to others who are Lovecraft fans.
All of the stories at least have their momments. All of them feature interesting takes on the mythos, but some have little more than "interesting" to them, and several seem to have completely missed the point and made humans far too important to the old ones... Even with these flaws, many of the stories made up for their stretching of the mythos by simply going with it and writing really cool weird stories, and, overall I think that's more the point.
Aug 08, 2012 John rated it did not like it
Pretty disappointed in this book. I bought it based on the story "Her Acres of Pastoral Playground" by Mike Allen, which is included in the book. This was an awesome, creepy story, but the rest of the book was a let down. I'd recommend checking out Mike Allen's story in audio form at Drabblecast and give the rest of this book a pass.
JF Quincy
Apr 10, 2010 JF Quincy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lovecraftian
Actually, very good collection of stories. Each set in a post-cataclysmic, "the stars are right" situation. A bit heavy on great lord Cthulhu, but then that's the title of the book. I would have liked to have seen more stories that focused on some of the other monstrosities of the Mythos.

Not for those looking for a pick-me-up.
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Darrell Schweitzer is an American writer, editor, and essayist in the field of speculative fiction. Much of his focus has been on dark fantasy and horror, although he does also work in science fiction and fantasy.

Schweitzer is also a prolific writer of literary criticism and editor of collections of essays on various writers within his preferred genres.
More about Darrell Schweitzer...

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