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Cthulhu's Reign

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  629 ratings  ·  57 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 d
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by DAW (first published April 2nd 2010)
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3.60  · 
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 ·  629 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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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
Jan 21, 2014 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
This Anthology doesn`t have great ratings, mostly two or three stars, and for half a book those ratigs were so true to me, also.

But after that, more precisely after the story of the guy that has made this Anthology, Darrell Schweitzer, with a story that I knew and I liked, the writing was brighter, diversified & more likable.

There were a lot of good and new ideas that changed my mind and made me to think that this Anthology really deserves a try from a true Lovecraft fan.

Because I had the bo
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
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Brian Fatah 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
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Joshua Palmatier
May 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: anthology, horror
Lovecraft's stories, and many of those written by others working with the same mythos, have hints of the things that will happen when The Stars Are Right and Cthulhu and other powerful entities return to retake the Earth. This anthology attempts to take these hints and tell stories set during or after the Lovecraftian Ends Times. I was excited by this premise, but in the end I feel like a lot of the stories didn't work out too well. The first one was neat, with the concept of a number of duplica ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
As one reviewer noted basic of all Lovecraft's stories was about horros beyond the dark, lurking madness from dimensions that can never be understood by humans, so incomprehensible that it drives people utterly mad. It is always a spooky story, shadows moving in the night, crazy cultists walking in the pitch black while attending their ceremonies. Or dreams and nightmares. It is not hack and slash horror, but again what can humankind expect from these dark invaders if they materialized all of a ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
First thing: as standalone stories, these range from "Okay" to "Pretty Good".

Second Thing: as Yog-Sothery, all but one or two fall completely flat.

If you replaced the Mythos connections with generic or brand new monsters, these are effective little stories. Humans, helpless, or at least in dire straits, in the face of unknown, largely actively malevolent monsters. Great.

Unless you're writing in the Lovecraftian Mythos, which largely held that WE ARE NOT IMPORTANT. Most of these stories are wr
Edric Unsane
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, horror
I really enjoyed a great deal of the short stories contained within Cthulhu's Reign. I had indeed read some of them from different Lovecraftian related anthologies, but that just goes to show how great some of the short stories are. If you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, you may well enjoy reading Cthulhu's Reign.
John R. Dailey Jr.

Hello, a box of chocolates here. Some good caramels, but a whole lot of them funky flavored creamy things that everyone spits out. Thanks.
Timothy Pitkin
Sep 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, horror
I tried several times to read this book but each time I just couldn't get through them. I might try again because I really liked the idea behind them but I don't know if it was the writing style or just me but maybe I will try again later.
Jeff Davis
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A couple of the stories were pretty good but overall the collection is short and doesn't live up to its premise.
S.M.M. Lindström
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Wow, this anthology may have been among the least successful collections of Cthulhu Mythos stories I have ever subjected myself to. Nearly every story was awful, cliched, and unpleasant, in a surprisingly repetitive way. The exceedingly middle aged, male, and white authors (with only the Japanese writer Ken Asamatsu to break up the whitebread monotony) each endeavored to detail all of the ways in which “mankind” are sheep, along with some seriously gross, awkward sex scenes (that’s not even incl ...more
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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'
Feb 28, 2015 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
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
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
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Holden Attradies
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Lianne Burwell
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
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 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010, horror, collection
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
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jose Luis Meza Garcia
Dec 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
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.
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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.