Lovecraft Alive! A Collection of Lovecraftian Stories

John Shirley. Hippocampus, $20 trade paper (254p) ISBN 978-1-61498-178-7
The highlight of this uneven collection of 10 stories from Stoker Award–winner Shirley (In Extremis) is the amusing "The Witness in Darkness," which is told from the perspective of one of the Great Old Ones in Lovecraft's novel At the Mountains of Madness ("Reluctant to emerge from my warm suspension, in which I'd been immured for immemorial ages, I slept onward, despite the interference of the pink primates, until the blade wielded by the intruder began to saw away at my skin"). "Buried in the Sky" makes the most of a Twilight Zone setup, in which members of a family who have moved from Portland, Ore., to Los Angeles after a tragedy find themselves inexplicably confined to their apartment building. Other entries are less successful, with creative ideas not quite matched by their execution. A prime example is "The Rime of the Cosmic Mariner," a slight tale in the form of a letter written by Samuel Coleridge to Thomas De Quincey in 1833. Coleridge warns his fellow poet of the "ponderous but imponderable darkness, indeed the cosmic chaos that descends upon me." Lovecraft fans who don't mind plain prose and graphic sex scenes involving alien-human hybrids will find enough to like. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2016
Release date: 08/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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