Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review:Anthology Historical Lovecraft

I love the concept of this collection. Ever since Lovecraft encouraged others to play with his mythos, that open door has lead almost everyone to crash the party. Stories set in the mythos throughout history is a valid idea, I am little underwhelmed with the execution. Certainly different periods of history are all there, but I found the stories to be a little ho-hum. A great indication of that was that by the time I finished the collection I had to thumb back through the book to even remember the stories. I didn't really have a favorite.

Some stories like Sarah Hans' 'Shadow of the Darkest Jade' had a great concept but the first paragraph copied Lovecraft opening style so closely I found myself rolling my eyes. In her defense we have all done it writing mythos stuff. One thing I did like is that the stories were all pretty short, sometimes I think was a curse that Lovecraft was paid by the word.

If you are serious about having a complete Loveraftian collection this book could be an important addition. I think there are plenty of nuggets for the readers who are addicted to all things from the unknowable and unspeakable beyond. For the general reader or fan of Lovecraftian fiction I don't think much new ground is explored and to me that is a problem. I am not sure if it was on purpose but the authors who are almost always in Lovecraftian collections such as Michael Shea, CJ Henderson and Cody Goodfellow were absent. That hurt this book in my opinion, such they are almost always there but those three authors not only understand the mythos deeply they are consistent about breaking new and interesting ground.

That was the piece that was missing for me. That is not to say there were not cool stories, but as an anthology I think hardboiled Cthulhu was a better example of an anthology that explored Lovecraft in a a new genre

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