New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird

Edited by Paula Guran. Prime (www.prime-books.com), $15.95 (528p) ISBN 978-1-60701-289-4
The lore underlying H.P. Lovecraft's tales of cosmic horror has inspired some of the best talents in fantastic fiction, and Prime editor Guran's latest anthology puts 27 exemplars on tentacle-wreathed display. Both Laird Barron in "Old Virginia" and Charles Stross in "A Colder War" speculate on the horrors that might ensue if government research teams were allowed to explore Lovecraftian monsters as potential weapons. In Cherie Priest's "Bad Sushi," a chef uncovers a cosmic conspiracy involving supernaturally corrupted seafood. Sherlock Holmes foils worshipers of Lovecraft's Great Old Ones in Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald," while in Elizabeth Bear's "Shoggoths in Bloom," an African-American scientist finds himself sympathizing with enslaved creations of those eldritch entities. Comic riffs on Lovecraftian themes include "The Essayist in the Wilderness," William Browning Spencer's hilarious account of a navel-gazing writer oblivious to his wife's transformation. Guran (The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror) smartly selects stories that evoke the spirit of Lovecraft's work without mimicking its style. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/09/2012
Release date: 11/01/2011
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