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Swords v. Cthulhu

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  17 reviews
What hope has a humble adventurer when faced with a fight against Cthulhu himself? No matter; the true swordsperson cares only for the bite of steel against flesh, whether that flesh be eldritch or more conventional. From the hottest voices in Lovecraftiana comes a collection that will take readers on a journey from ancient Rome to feudal Japan and from Dreamlands to lands ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Stone Skin Press (first published July 2016)
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Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was a fool and didn’t immediately realize this was very much my shit. The title is a bit twee, lacking the immediately evocative potency of a Children of Old Leech or Wide Carnivorous Sky. I picked it up on a whim, mostly on the strength of Jesse and Molly’s names (and I didn’t realize they didn’t have entries of their own). The fact that it was explicitly tied to Lovecraft put me off more than anything; I’ve never understood why people ever started treating his stuff as an IP instead of a gen ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
A wonderful anthology filled to the brim with guts, glory, and gore. Oh did I mention the nameless terrors as well?

Full review to come.
Stephen Baird
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a lover of both a good swashbuckle and the Cthulhu mythos I was immediately pulled to Swords v. Cthulhu when I saw it.

One of my favourites was 'Red Sails, Dark Moon' by Andrew S. Fuller, Lovecraft and pirates meet in a wonderful tale of derring do and monstrous presence, brilliantly pulp in its outlook but the writing takes it way above that.

Another worth mentioning was 'Ordo Virturum' by Wendy N. Wagner, a verdant tale of ancient possession and nuns, ancient horrors return to complete arcane
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is so much here. I'm a sucker for Cthulhu Mythos related stories, and doubly so for swords and sorcery (big fan of Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, etc.) so I enjoyed this anthology, which is a great marriage of both. The stories range from good to great. My favorites managed to couple the weird, grim ambiance of a Lovecraft tale with the self-interested cutthroat adventurer archetype. Some sexual content, so this anthology isn't for the younger set. Very enjoyable. ...more
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great compilation of stories, lots of different situations and locales (Vikings, samurai, nuns, Pirates, gladiators, consecrated virgins, etc), female characters and a dearth of happy endings.
Joel Hacker
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The title of this anthology is a little misleading, implying a sense of kitsch and lack of seriousness; this could not be further from the truth. The introduction discusses the fact that this falls more within the Conan-sequence sword and sorcery camp of fantasy, rather than high fantasy. I would say these stories go a step further than that. While I agree that sword and sorcery frequently incorporates Lovecraftian mythology elements, and are certainly dark and action packed, these particular st ...more
S.M.M. Lindström
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, fantasy, horror
A collection of varied short stories that pit their main characters against all manner of lovecraftian horrors, in many different ways. As a whole, these stories bring a delightful mixture of horror, action/adventure, mystery and even some humor to the sub-genre that is eldritch horror.

There was no story here that I outright disliked, though I have some I liked better than others, which is only human. I liked St. Baboloki's Hymn for Lost Girls for its dream-mood and folklore like tone. I liked
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this collection of short stories slowly over several months. Any collection like this is bound to be uneven. 22 short stories by 22 authors all commissioned brand-new just for this anthology; they haven't scoured existing stories and selected the "best" of them. And I think the editors were brilliant to realize the overlap between old sword & sorcery stories -- with their dark gods and complicated morality -- and Lovecraft's own Cthulhu mythos and the potential of that intersection.

I thin
Jeremy Large
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Like any collection of short stories, this one is a mixed bag. This one more mixed than most. Many of the stories seem to be repeating the same formula, with only a coat of paint to change the setting. The best ones were the ones that did not fall into that formula!

"The Lady of Shallot" by Carrie Vaughn was a nice twist on an old Arthurian classic. The twist is telegraphed pretty early on, but that just means the tension is trying to figure out when the bomb is going to go off.

"Trespassers" by
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, weird, horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Kahn
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
These stories were OK. There were a few relatively absorbing ones, but none that I felt really blew me away. A good number were fairly mediocre. I think I might be starting to tire of Cthulhu. One can't only take so many tentacles. ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shotguns are better, I suppose.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received a copy of this book from one of the editors in exchange for a review. This is an excerpt from my post on my own blog ( about this book.
Most remarkable about this collection overall was the zest and gusto that I felt from many of the stories. I had a strong sense that this was reflective both of the authors and the editors in charge of the project.

Hands down, my favorite of the lot was Orrin Grey's "A Circle That Ever Returneth In" which draws the reade
Aksel Dadswell
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read my complete review here:

This is the kind of collection that makes you lie to yourself as you promise to read just one more story, just one more before you surrender to a nightmare-riddled sleep, but you’re not to be trusted and so the promises keep falling and breaking until dawn bullies the night away and reveals you, eyes dry and heart stammering and this beautiful big volume of short story-shaped terrors clutched in your trembling hands.

But gratu
Jose Vidal
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventures, horror, pulp
Peculiar recopilación de relatos publicada en inglés por stone skin press como acompañante de otro volumen titulado Shotguns v. Cthulhu, unidos por la intención de contar historias diferentes de los Mitos, con una mayor dosis de acción y aventura pero sin perder de vista el referente de horror de Lovecraft. La lista de autores carece de grandes nombres, muchos de ellos no tienen obras traducidas, siendo los más conocidos para mi Johnatan L. Howard (Carter & Lovecraft) o Adam Scott Glancy (coauto ...more
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Author. Dream Weaver. Visionary. Plus Actor. So long as you're cool with discovering just how dull I really am, I welcome adds here, on FB, LJ etc.

My novels The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and The Enterprise of Death are available in a variety of languages. I have it on admittedly shaky authority that they are charming. My third novel, The Folly of the World, will be released in December of

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