"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."
At the time of his death in 1937, American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was virtually unknown. The power of his stories was too great to contain, however. As the decades slipped by, his dark visions laid down roots in the collective imagination of mankind, and they grew strong. Now Cthulhu is a name known to many and, deep under the seas, Lovecraft's greatest creation becomes restless...
This volume brings together seventeen masterful tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft's work. In his fiction, humanity is a tiny, accidental drop of light and life in the endless darkness of an uncaring universe -– a darkness populated by vast, utterly alien horrors. Our continued survival relies upon our utter obscurity, something that every fresh scientific wonder threatens to shatter.
The dazzling stories in Cthulhu Lives! show the disastrous folly of our arrogance. We think ourselves the first masters of Earth, and the greatest, and we are very badly mistaken on both counts. Inside these covers, you'll find a lovingly-curated collection of terrors and nightmares, of catastrophic encounters to wither the body and blight the soul. We humans are inquisitive beings, and there are far worse rewards for curiosity than mere death.
Cthulhu Lives! is a collection of seventeen stories that attempt to pay tribute to and expand on the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. This collection fails for two main reasons: the stories (with literally only one exception) aren't Lovecraftian at all, and the stories (for the most part) aren't very good. I'll include my individual ratings for each story at the end of my review, but here's the summary: of the seventeen stories, I only gave seven of them a rating of four stars or above, and gave a shocking eight of the stories two stars or less.
One thing that I really disliked was how some of the stories were executed. Several of them got to the very end of the story, and only then started dropping incongruous references to Lovecraftian lore. It was almost like the authors said "Oh crap, I'm almost done, and this story needs to be Lovecraftian, I better clumsily throw in some references to Yuggoth or Cthulhu or The Old Ones." This made the stories seem either lazy or rushed, or perhaps both.
Also, I appreciate the intent behind this collection, but several of these stories were downright awful. Of the Faceless Crowd is the most glaring example of this. I mean, what the hell even was that? It was like a psychotic episode occurring in the mind of a lunatic, or a demented, nonsensical nightmare. Many others were simply mediocre and not Lovecraftian in the slightest. I also didn't find any story in this entire collection to be scary, which was also a huge disappointment.
It's not all bad, however. Some of the stories, like Scritch, Scratch and The Highland Air, were superb, with the latter being a basically perfect Lovecraftian story. Highland Air is the only story in the entire collection written in the old-timey way of a true Lovecraft tale, and it's the only one that perfectly employed several Lovecraftian story elements: the continual sense of dread, the mystery and revelations of some forbidden and dark knowledge, the foreboding hints of an unknown and terrifying cosmic creature, etc. Unfortunately it is the final story in the collection, so by the time I got to it I was counting down the pages until the end.
In summary, though there are some gems in this story collection, there are far too many stinkers to make reading it an enjoyable experience. It's literally in the title of this book that it's a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, yet the stories in this collection contain things that Lovecraft never would have put in his stories, like sex scenes, love stories, goofy depictions of his cosmic creatures, and slang. Call this book what you will, but its stories, for the most part, aren't Lovecraftian or very good. There are better Lovecraftian collections out there, and it's best to avoid this one.
Individual ratings for each story and cumulative score for the book as a whole:
Universal Constants: 3.5/5 1884: 2/5 Elmwood: 1/5 Hobstone: 4/5 On the Banks of the River Jordan: 4.5/5 Dark Waters: 2/5 Ink: 3/5 Demon in Glass: 4/5 Scales From Balor's Eye: 4/5 Of the Faceless Crowd: 1/5 Scritch, Scratch: 5/5 Icke: 2/5 Coding Time: 1/5 The Thing in the Printer: 4.5/5 The Old Ones: 2/5 Visiting Rights: 1/5 The Highland Air: 5/5
It is not easy to rate an anthology. There is always that one story or two or three that don't work for you. Sometimes, though, you get very lucky and you get something like Cthulhu Lives! An Eldritch Tribute to H. P. Lovecraft. I don't think I've ever read any of these authors before.
Of course I didn't love every story but in the end the anthology delivers what the title promises and more. Some stories will even make you root for the non-humans. It was fun recognizing the origins of stories. This doesn't mean readers who haven't read Lovecraft won't be able to enjoy them.
UNIVERSAL CONSTANTS by Piers Beckley (This unfortunately placed story is not actually bad, but it is the weakest of the bunch.)
1884 by Michael Grey (One of my favourites.)
ELMWOOD by Tim Dedopulos
HOBSTONE by G. K. Lomax
ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER JORDAN by John Reppion
DARK WATERS by Adam Vidler
INK by Iain Lowson
DEMON IN GLASS by E. Dane Anderson
SCALES FROM BALOR’S EYE by Helmer Gorman
OF THE FACELESS CROWD by Gábor Csigás
SCRITCH, SCRATCH by Lynne Hardy
ICKE by Greg Stolze
CODING TIME by Marc Reichardt
THE THING IN THE PRINTER by Peter Tupper
THE OLD ONES by Jeremy Clymer
VISITING RIGHTS by Joff Brown
THE BOXED GOD by Kate Harrad (a special bonus story)
This is a great anthology. I would recommend it to every lover of this genre (and those who aren't, of course).
There is a lot to love about this collection of Lovecraft tales. Many anthologies are very uneven, but not this one. Every story is strong. Every story is on point with what the anthology is trying to do. There don’t seem to be any submissions that were accepted to add bulk to the volume.
I appreciate the way all of the stories are thematically Lovecraftian, but avoid repeating Lovecraft’s work after him. Mythos lovers will know what I’m talking about here. There’s only so many mythos tales you can tell that take place in New England in the 1920s. It gets tiresome after a while. Ms Jones seems to agree and has done a service in finding stories that offer new places and ways to be weirded out.
Another feature I liked is that most of the tales are relatively short. Again, it irks me when a tale looks like it’s adding bulk to meet a word count or page number requirement. They should be as long as they need to be to tell the story right. Some stories are very short. I think nearly any one of them could be read in about a half an hour or less. (G K Lomax’s story being the only possible exception.) It made the book perfect to bring along and read a chapter here and there as I carted by girls to their activities.
I would also like to add this: the book is almost worth purchasing alone for the excellent afterwords by Joshi. It’s one of the finest summaries of Lovecraft’s work and unique point of view.
Oooh, I can give this a Queen Victoria tag, since she does feature heavily in one short story (1884) in this follow up to Cthulhu Lies Dreaming: Twenty-three Tales of the Weird and Cosmic. 17 Lovecraftian stories in this one, much like the first collection, with several strong entries. None I disliked and with over half by non-US writers, refreshingly different than most horror fare. Very fast read and I'll be definitely keeping an eye on future anthologies by this editor.
I received a free copy of this book in return for a review, via the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.
“I’ll go and get someone.” She stood, backed away. Glay made no move to follow her, sat there staring at his scarlet threads, looking lost in the corner of his web, connected to the walls of the office by lines of gossamer. Spider or fly? she thought. “It won’t help,” he said. “What won’t help?” “We’re moving away. The planets are spinning and the stars are moving and we’re moving too, farther and farther away from what we were. The Earth moves around the sun, and the sun moves around the centre of the galaxy, and the galaxy moves within the centre of the universe, wheels within wheels within wheels, all moving and changing and altering as we’re altering. And it’s the universal constants, Rebecca. They’re changing.” She was at the door. “I’m going to the medical centre. I’ll be back in a bit.” He didn’t move. Sat there. Looking down at the carpet, the drawing pins pinning the red string to the floor. He muttered something. “What was that?” she said. Glay looked up at her. Rebecca had never seen his eyes so sad. “Everything will be different now.” She walked quickly to fetch the doctor, but Glay was gone when she returned.
I do not expect all short stories to have their endings wrapped up neatly, and that goes double for Cthulhu Mythos stories, but I don't like stories to stop dead with no explanation at all and there were a couple of stories early on that I felt left the reader high and dry. On the other hand, "Ink" handles an enigmatic ending very well, as I found it one of the most powerful stories in the book even though nothing is really explained.
My other favourites are towards the end of the book, where there were a few stories with a lighter, humorous take on the Cthulhu Mythos, and I especially liked "Visiting Rights". I thought it was just going to be about the conflict between the boy's divorced parents with his mother's boyfriend bringing the mythos into the story via his spell book, and it is about that, but everything else that is going on came as a big surprise.
With a themed anthology there is always a risk with that the stories will not be different enough, but Chulhu Lives! is an enjoyable collection with a good variety of stories, some strongly linked to Lovecraft's stories while others were linked more subtly, some frightening, others humorous, stories set at different time periods, and even a couple from the point of view of non-human entities.
My other favourites were "Coding Time", "The Thing in the Printer" and "Highland Air", while "Scritch, Scratch" was also very effective although I can't say I actually liked it due to the forests full of mouldering rat skeletons (what were the council thinking of to get rid of the rat catcher when it should have been obvious he was needed by the huge amount of rats he was catching every day!).
Note: I read an uncorrected proof copy, but the quotation above is taken from the published book, via the sample available on Amazon's Look Inside.
I've been reading Lovecraft for 40 years, so I'm probably about to qualify as one of the Old Ones myself. While there's nothing here to touch the master at his best, nonetheless there are some very enjoyable stories in Cthulhu Lives!.
The Book Description says that we have here "Seventeen cosmic horror stories with a modern sensibility," which was not, to my mind, a good sign. To me the "modern sensibility" usually means excessive use of bad language, gore, sex and urban slang that is going to date very quickly. Happily, there is little of that here and the quality of writing is generally very good.
Lovecraft's allusiveness in describing the Old Ones was characteristic of the Mythos and any attempt to describe them in detail would have broken the spell. However, he often gave very detailed descriptions of the lesser races and use of some newly described horrors could have been made, but I guess that's a minor criticism.
The stories that really stood out for me were:
1884 by Michael Grey. An alternate history, steampunk story which I could easily see being expanded to a novel. Reminiscent of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist. Celebrity cameos: Benjamin Disrali and HRH Queen Victoria.
Hobstone by G.K. Lomax. Modern day urban setting, with an obsessional slow descent into madness theme. In addition to Lovecraft, I thought I detected something of an influence from the excellent film Quatermass and the Pit in this one.
On the Banks of the River Jordan by John Reppion. Nice use of epistolary narrative, with emails taking the place of letters and journals. The setting in modern-day Liverpool was attractive to me, living as I do only a 45-minute's journey from the site of the horrors described! But a very good story regardless of that personal link. Reppion's use of his protagonist's research into real and imagined folk-lore is a nice reflection of Lovecraft's use of the scholar-"hero".
Scritch, Scratch by Lynne Hardy is one of the more allusive stories of the collection and very atmospheric. An isolated village, an even more isolated "old dark house," shadowed woods, rats and an eccentric old geezer. I really liked this one.
The Highland Air by Gethin A. Lynes. A period piece that does homage to The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Enough said.
If you like your horror less blood-splattered, then there will be something in here for you to enjoy.
Disclaimer: I was given an uncorrected proof to review by the editor. There were no conditions placed on the review.
It is a good time to be around if you like the Cthulhu Mythos. Perhaps too good as everything seems to get a Cthulhoid twist. I am almost expecting Cthulhu Disney Pricesses (and I bet if I Google that I will get some hits on that, in a pulp horror version of Rule 34)s.
The Mythos is not really a unified logical whole, no matter the efforts of August Derleth to impose one, but some things shine through, common themes of humanity's insignificance in a universe more cruel and oblivious that we can imagine, except for the story you just read on that very topic, and certain story formats. Lovecraft did not just write the single plot format, but he had a few favourites, the "peeling of the onion" with layers of the story being revealed to unfold the horror being the classic, such as "The Innsmouth Horror" but he also wrote fantastical tales too like "The Doom that came to Sarnath".
"Cthulhu Lives" delivers on those expectations and delivers well, particularly the fantastical "Scritch, Scratch". There is no unifying theme or setting to the stories, they are disparate, but they all hit the spot in providing a nihilistic sense of doom, the abject sense of powerlessness and insignificance that we all know and love, even in the form of a love story (Dark Waters) or an eldritch revenge (Ink).
Not all the stories are perfectly delivered, The first, "Universal Constants", should have been a shorter vignette that would have allowed the reader to dwell on the empty fate described, but most are solid, and capture one essence or other of dread. Some, like "of the Faceless Crowd" or "1884" capture the essence of Lovecraftian horror whilst not being the sort of thing he regularly wrote himself, but then neither was "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs".
"Lovecraft lives" might have been a better title, as these are not stories of the Old Ones, mainly, but, if you know your Mythos, they are there, lurking in the minds of those telling the story. Whatever drove Wilbur Whately or Richard Upton Pickman drives Conrad Delkirk in the excellent "The Thing in the Printer". Although "Cthulhu Lives" is aimed at the Lovecraft afficionado and you get more with it, it works as a horror anthology without that background and any horror fan should pick it up.
This is a really solid collection of Mythos-based short stories. I think Lovecraft would approve. So if you're a fan of Lovecraftian/Mythos fiction, pick it up and give it a read. You won't be displeased.
Cthulhu Lives! Author: Tim Dedopulos, John reppion, Greg Stolze, Lynne Hardy, Gabor Csigas, Gethin A. Lynes, E. Dane Anderson, Piers Beckley, Joff Brown, Jeremy Clymer, Helmer Gorman, Michael Grey, G. K. Lomax, Iain Lowson, Marc Reichardt, Peter Tuper, Adam Yidler Publisher: Ghostwoods Books Published In: London, United Kingdom Date: 2014 Pgs: 275
REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Summary: Cthulhu lives...is dead...is rising...comes again...is dead. Lovecraft’s elder dead monster god finds expression through the words and deeds of men. Dark visions arise in the imagination of mankind and grow strong. Mankind is a drop of light and life in the endless darkness of the universe. Vast alien horrors await mankind. The darkness is here and it hungers for the light.
Genre: Apocalypse Disaster End of the World Fantasy Fiction History Horror Science fiction Short stories Vampires War Witches, wizards and magic Zombies
Why this book: It’s Cthulhu. ______________________________________________________________________________ Universal Constants by Piers Beckley
Favorite Character: Professor Glay is coming undone.
The Feel: There is a science creep factor here that is awesome.
Favorite Scene: Where Professor Glay has come to the point chasing the shifting results from the Super Collider where he is trying to map the shifts with strings and is sitting at the center of a web of strings attached all over his office where he is trying to map in 4 dimensions the shifts in the numbers, he tells the narrator that the universal constants are shifting and that is what’s causing the results to be different. And he’s going crazy.
That scene where he’s locking himself in and smiles big when she helps him dog the hatch shut so that he can “escape.”
Pacing: Well paced.
Casting call: Jeffrey Combs would be awesome as Professor Glay. Of course, he’s awesome as everything he plays. ______________________________________________________________________________ 1884 by Michael Grey
Favorite Character: Officer Martin Fisher
The Feel: This is creepy alternate history.
Favorite Scene: When Officer Martin is called before Her Most Ancient and Imperial Majesty, Queen Victoria, and gets his first look at what she has become.
Pacing: The pace was good.
Hmm Moments: Tesla’s experiment and the sinking of his ship and the consequences of his experiments in the deep ocean.
Why isn’t there a screenplay? Considering that we live in an era when Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter made it to the big screen, why couldn’t 1884. Would have to be expanded seriously and it would need an ending.
Casting call: Would love Ewan McGregor as Officer Martin Fisher. ______________________________________________________________________________ Elmwood by Tim Dedopulos
Favorite Character: Robert, the narrator.
The Feel: I like the central conflict of this. Didn’t expect the Lovecraftian menaces to be in opposition like that.
Favorite Scene: The fish/frog man driving the bus spying on the paranoid man is a great scene.
Pacing: Page turner.
Plot Holes/Out of Character: With as paranoid as Phillip is, why does he trust? Doesn’t fit with the character. Same with all these guys. Conspiracy theorists by definition think everyone is out to get them or part of the conspiracy. Paranoia may destroy you...but it may keep you alive.
Hmm Moments: Naval livefire exercises in the Gulf of Mexico that have a suspicious number of friendly fire incidents...at least reportedly friendly fire. And a contagious element. And a fear that the Mexican Navy may have bitten off more than it can chew.
The flip is awesome. Great climax and anticlimax.
Why isn’t there a screenplay? Would end up bastardized if they tried to pad it out to movie length. Awesome just like it is. The CGI budget to make it feel as big as it is wouldn’t convert to a ½ hour show in a Twilight Zone vein. ______________________________________________________________________________ Hobstone by G. K. Lomax
The Feel: You can feel the narrator’s obsession building in the story.
Plot Holes/Out of Character: I would love one of these Cthulian horrors that ends in government coverup to show how the government is involved and doing what it does over time in a denouement / anticlimax.
Hmm Moments: See...if I opened up a wall and found a glowing stone with alien script on it that looks ancient but neither I nor any of my friends can identify, I’m thinking I’d get myself the hell out of there as opposed to sitting there staring at it and/or trying to sleep in the same room with the stone. _____________________________________________________________________________ On the Banks of the River Jordan by John Reppion
The Feel: I like the format of the email correspondence.
Favorite Scene: When the fox is revealed to not be a fox on the pond’s edge by moonlight.
Plot Holes/Out of Character: The mysterious ending is a great trope, but it’s misused here. There isn’t enough to it to give the reader a line on what happens next. ______________________________________________________________________________ Dark Waters by Adam Vidler
Least Favorite Character: Ray knew and he ran, very chickenshit.
The Feel: The spirits of the hole using Ray’s anger to manifest gives us a look in at destructive emotions acting through the ethereal. Course her getting sucked down and devoured slowly over eternity makes his anger seem misplaced and childish.
Favorite Scene: When the spirits of the waterhole awoke and sucked Kat down. ______________________________________________________________________________ Ink by Iain Lowson
Favorite Scene: The idea of a huge paper art construction that has unnatural folds that seem to call infinity and such is awesome.
Pacing: Very short. Pace is a non-issue due to the brevity of the story. This is more a vignette calling up a Lovecraftian concept than an actual story.
Hmm Moments: The final ink stroke on the blank paper pulling the critic into the “art” before falling back into its blank shape. ______________________________________________________________________________ Demon in Glass by E. Dane Anderson
Favorite Character: The photographer.
The Feel: I like the old time photographer / darkroom pretext.
Favorite Scene: The climactic scene when he looks at the overall image of the burnt asylum / sanitarium building.
Pacing: Well paced. But too many of these leave the open ended ending hanging there.
Hmm Moments: When the photographer saw what the negatives revealed. ______________________________________________________________________________ Scales from Balor’s Eye by Helmer Gorman
Favorite Character: The Old Man at the boarding house seems very Gollum-like, what with his mannerisms and his trunk full of his precious under his bed.
The Feel: There is a sense of the other shoe about to drop all through this, but it also fits predictably into the tropes of the Cthulian genre.
Favorite Scene: When he realizes that he almost drove his car off the cliff in the fog the night before.
The ancient broken steeple tip revealing the depths hid the city that he had come looking for. His family’s history stood drowned below the clifftops and in the depths just there off the slimy, murky beach below the boarding house.
The innkeeper’s daughter sneaking into the traveller’s room in the wee hours of the night and taking what she wants from him physically. The bite that won’t heal. And the town lit up under the waves and the whatever the tentacled thing was.
Pacing: The pace of this one is just okay.
Casting call: I’d say Billy Crystal as the Old Man, but I’m not sure how well he can play creepy. ______________________________________________________________________________ Of the Faceless Crowd by Gabor Csigas
The Feel: The emptiness of this story, the attempted stillness of the narrator’s mind, not wanting to connect to anything around him. The nihilistic nothingness of it all. This is a dark story that I’m really glad isn’t longer.
Hmm Moments: The narrator’s daughter being a member of a, shhh hush, sweeper team. A cryptic piece dropped into the middle of this introverted, brain damaged narrator’s day in the life.
______________________________________________________________________________ Scritch, Scratch by Lynne Hardy
Favorite Character: The ratcatcher on his lonely, hereditary job.
Least Favorite Character: The idiots on the Town Council who make the mistake of not respecting the Old Ways and the position of ratcatcher.
The Feel: Telegraphing hard.
Plot Holes/Out of Character: Amazing how many of these stories start or end with a drowned town. ______________________________________________________________________________
Unfortunately, my Kindle crashed and I lost the remainder of the book. I’m posting the review through this point pending my repurchasing the book and completing it at some point. Review based on what I’ve read through this point. ______________________________________________________________________________
Last Page Sound: Ah...dammit. (see above)
Author Assessment: There are some very well plotted shorts here. Some derivative. A mixed bag. Some of these authors are on my definitely look at again while some are on my meh list.
Editorial Assessment: Some of the stories left the ending too much up in the air.
Knee Jerk Reaction: glad I read it
Disposition of Book: e-Book
Would recommend to: genre fans ______________________________________________________________________________
A highly enjoyable collection of Mythos-related stories that generally eschew pastiche in favor of exploring original territory. I found the stories well grounded with relatable entry points. This would be an excellent collection for beginning readers of Lovecraftian fiction.
“What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that we’re all here on Earth to die terrible, often agonizing deaths, so you might as well do what you love. Me, I love breaking people’s spirits and softening them up for the apocalypse. You seem to enjoy hackneyed, overly sentimental writing. Whatever.”
With a foreword by Leeman Kessler of “Ask Lovecraft” fame and an afterword by noted Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi, the short story anthology Cthulhu Lives! drags the Cthulhu Mythos flopping and gibbering into the 21st Century, making it relevant to today’s technological culture. Across the board the stories are of fairly high quality, with a number of stand-outs and a few that did more to elicit a trip to the Dreamlands than the insane asylum. Some of the highlights include:
Universal Constants by Piers Beckley: there’s particle physics, horrible nightmares, and creeping insanity. This story exemplifies Lovecraftian themes, showing us that it’s not just effete, early 20th Century New Englanders who can go mad looking at the cosmic horrors behind the veil, but anyone.
1884 by Michael Grey: a disturbing, imaginative look at an alternate-history Europe. Between the claustrophobic fascism depicted and the unnatural monsters behind it, there are no safe places to hide. It read like a fragment of a larger work that you wish you could pick up somewhere.
Hobstone by G.K. Lomax: equal parts funny and bizarre, the charm of this story is that you know exactly where it’s going, but it takes you there in style. The university atmosphere seems a deliberate poke at Miskatonic U.
Ink by Iain Lowson: A disquieting look at art, criticism, and insanity. Fans of Thomas Ligotti will appreciate both its subtlety and brevity.
Of the Faceless Crowd by Gábor Csigás: I wasn’t sure about this story when I first read it, but it stuck with me, which makes it a real winner. It’s not scary, but it is disturbing, discussing the nature of identity and technology.
Coding Time by Marc Reichardt: a disorienting tale of technology and the Mythos, with a bit of The Office thrown in. You know who the boss really is, don’t you? Of course you do. Don’t drink the coffee.
The Thing in the Printer by Peter Tupper: the theme of obsession is carried very well here, with some genuinely disquieting moments and a few gross parts thrown in. I’m not sure that I’ll ever look at a 3D printer the same way again. Definitely don’t use one. Ever.
There’s a lot more to like in Cthulhu Lives! than not, and more than enough material to keep you up for a few hours clutching an Elder Sign in one hand and your e-reader in the other.
17 very unique tales are what make up this collection. Some better than others, and others way better than some, the satisfying content this book has to offer is evenly distributed throughout. None of the tales are too long, the longest being 18 or so pages, allowing for easy digestible reads.
There are a few authors in this collection, one of them G.K. Lomax, who are emerging authors into both the writing scene and the Lovecraftian scene. Upon my initial inspection of the cast of writers I was expected to read, I was a little weary of the unfamiliar names. However, I was incorrect in my judgment of quality these stories possessed. Not being able to choose only three favorites, I settled on four that I believe were the most memorable and entertaining. Hobstone by G.K. Lomax, On the Banks of the River Jordan by John Reppion, Scritch, Scratch by Lynne Hardy and Icke by Greg Stolze. All four of these tales possessed an essence that I believe to be truly Lovecraftian. It was the vague suggestion at a grander menace, or entity with out necessarily giving it a name or advertently connecting it to the Cthulhu Mythos. It was stories like these that convinced me that this book should have been titled Lovecraft Lives! Simply because of the true theme of cosmic horror and fear of the unknown that Mr. Lovecraft is so aptly known for expanding if not creating.
Unfortunately though, there were just one to many stories that left me with nothing. Either ending so abruptly that it borderline made the story incomplete, or just the shear lack of engaging writing to keep me hooked through out the story. These stories made reading feel like work. All in all it was a pleasant and enjoyable book, wrapping up with a sincere afterword from resident H.P.L. scholar, S.T. Joshi. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for some new ideas and easy reads revolving around the Cthulhu Mythos. I hope to see some of these authors again, and also hope to see more publications from Ghostwoods Books that resemble this style and format.
An uneven collection of modern Lovecraftian tales. While a few of the stories included in this anthology ("Highland Air", "The Thing in the Printer", "1884" and "On the Banks of the River Jordan") most miss the mark. Particularly missing is the Lovecraftian cosmicism. For a collection of Lovecraftian stories, cosmicism is a prerequisite. Only the best of the collection is worthy.
If you can find a copy used or for a discounted price, pick it up for those particular stories mentioned above, otherwise your time is better spent on something else.