cover image Swedish Cults

Swedish Cults

Anders Fager, trans. from the Swedish by Ian Lemke and Henning Koch. Valancourt, $16.99 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-954321-57-1

Fager successfully sets the cosmic horror of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos in his native Sweden in this unsettling collection of nine stories, proving that in the hands of an imaginative author the familiar concept of monstrous gods from other dimensions is as terrifying as ever. “The Furies from Borås” is the standout, easing readers into a tale of nightmarish violence. Fager opens with a prosaic description of a massive dance hall, built in a part of Sweden where “there has always been dancing.” There, what begins as a night out for a group of teen girls who are attracted to a good-looking guy they nickname “Meat” turns into a dark encounter with one of the more enigmatic of Lovecraft’s deities. Four entries described as fragments ably demonstrate that less is more when it comes to horror, ominously suggesting a greater terror than is actually shown. “Fragment II,” for instance” describes a minesweeper’s maritime collision with something deep in the water that remains undefined to the end. Lovecraftians will welcome further translations of Fager’s work. (Sept.)