cover image Through Dark Angles: Works Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft

Through Dark Angles: Works Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft

Don Webb. Hippocampus (, $20 trade paper (252p) ISBN 978-1-61498-084-1

Webb's collection of 24 stories and poems (nine original to the volume) evokes Lovecraft's cosmic horrors in refreshingly original and unconventional ways. "Lovecraft's Pillow" tells of a contemporary horror writer who is overwhelmed by Lovecraft's consciousness after sleeping on the pillow from his deathbed. "Rats" links the Lovecraft cosmos to the true origins of the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamlin." "The Doom That Came to Devil's Reef" is presented as a notebook found among Lovecraft's papers, purportedly kept by a model for the human/amphibian hybrid horrors of "The Shadow over Innsmouth." The best stories are mash-ups of real and imagined events that suggest malignant Lovecraftian forces at work behind the scenes. These include "The Codex," in which Lovecraft colleague Robert H. Barlow and his anthropology student, William S. Burroughs, uncover a book of occult lore that influences later tragedies in their lives; and "Slowness," in which Lovecraft's Frankenstein stand-in, Herbert West, encounters a contemporary avatar of Italian occultist Count Cagliostro. Webb (When They Came) laces many of the selections with dark humor that contributes to the pleasing unpredictability of their horrific outcomes. Though the stories abound with nudges and in-jokes for Lovecraft aficionados, readers not as familiar with Lovecraft's oeuvre will still find much to enjoy. (Aug.)