cover image The Book of Cthulhu

The Book of Cthulhu

Edited by Ross E. Lockhart. Night Shade, $15.99 (540p) ISBN 978-1-59780-232-1

The enduring allure of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, now nearly a century old, is evident in this representative anthology of modern tales, most of which were written in the last decade. The breadth of cosmic horrors they evoke range from the parochial fear of monsters found in Michael Shea's "Fat Face," to the apocalyptic doom forecasted in Ramsey Campbell's "The Tugging." Some of the stories, notably Brian Lumley's "The Fairground Horror" and Brian McNaughton's self-consciously satirical "The Doom that Came to Innsmouth," are ripe with Lovecraftian references. Most others, including Joe R. Lansdale's weird western "The Crawling Sky" and Laird Barron's backwoods monster tale "The Men from Porlock" (original to the book), are more oblique and allusive. To the book's credit, none of the twenty-seven stories read like slavish Lovecraft pastiche, which makes this volume all the more enjoyable. (Sept.)