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Cthulhu's Reign Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2010
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About the Author
More About the Author
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and LIBRARY JOURNAL gave starred reviews to his first collection of short fiction, UNSEAMING. Laird Barron wrote in the book's introduction that the stories in UNSEAMING "rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan." Helen Marshall called Mike's second collection, THE SPIDER TAPESTRIES, "a must-read for fans of weird fiction and dark fantasy."
More of Mike's stories have popped up in places like WEIRD TALES, BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES, and the anthologies CTHULHU'S REIGN, SOLARIS RISING 2 and TOMORROW'S CTHULHU. His poetry has won the Rhysling Award three times, and his fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award.
By day he works as the arts and culture columnist for the daily newspaper in Roanoke, Va., where he lives with his wife Anita, a goofy dog, and two cats with varying degrees of psychosis. You can follow Mike's exploits as a writer at descentintolight.com, as an editor at mythicdelirium.com, and all at once on Twitter at @mythicdelirium.
Top Customer Reviews
Schweitzer's career as editor and author has trod a fine line between the professional horror field and the murkier fanfic realm of some dude in Mom's basement cranking out six page Cthuluian pulp mags on his Mac. Schweitzer knows both kinds of writers and reached out to them for this collection. This collection treads a similar path between writers you probably have never heard of even if you read a lot of horror, and more well-known guys like Langan, Lupoff, & Barron. The split is roughly 50/50 with all the big names towards the rear of the book.
My favorite story is actually probably the worst one in here, Ian Watson's "The Walker in the Cemetery" feels like a classic MST3K episode - "Terror of Mini-Cthulhu" or "I Married an Elder God". Tourists in a Genoan cemetery are isolated in a little time pocket during the Fall of Mankind and are stalked by a 7 foot tall Cthulhu (not the Spawn of Cthulhu mind you, the big kahuna himself). The characters somehow leap to all kinds of inexplicable conclusions involving the CERN particle accelerator and then the lead stereotype.Read more ›
The book is a very nice mass market paperback with 309 pages, including a 7 page introduction, and a few pages of authors' biographies. All stores were newly published for this book; I did not see any major typographical errors. The attractive cover art shows immense tentacles rearing up out of the sea but I am not sure who created it, even after going over the book carefully. I was familiar with about half the authors in this volume. I was captivated by the uniformly high quality of the writing; there was not one story that I did not enjoy immensely. I have some beefs of course that I suppose I need to get out of the way. First, as a bibliophile I would have loved a limited edition hardcover, with interior illustrations. In fact, the last mythos anthology I can think of offhand that was published directly as a mmpb was Miskatonic University in 1996! Most such books at least start life as a trade paperback. Perhaps DAW only markets mmpbs? Perhaps it says something about the increasing popularity of fiction inspired by HPL's creations? My second issue is that the title is not listed as volume 1 in DAW's new series of Lovecraftian fiction. Oh, well, I can dream. The introduction by Darrell Schweitzer is, frankly, brilliant. It tells you just about everything you need to know to appreciate where these stories are coming from, and shows off his scholarly credentials to boot.Read more ›
I also liked the introduction by the editor and found his insight into the philosophical difference between Lovecraft's work and those of some of his followers really interesting. He mentions how Lovecraft wrote in world where there were things so totally outside of the human sphere of understanding, so totally alien, that not only could we barely understand them, but that we were as unworthy of there notice as some kind of insect larvae would be to us. We do not merit there attention except maybe as food. Some of the authors who went on to write stories in in the Cthulhu Mythos wrote them in terms of good fighting evil. The editor goes so far as to call this "Derlethian heresy" in that it denies the core of Lovecraft's view of the universe as "a vast, impersonal, mindless chaos, in which we exist purely by biological-chemical accident, and on a very small scale. His utterly inhuman monsters are symbols of forces in the cosmos-at-large for which human endeavors have no significance or validity." It is in the realization that the moral order we impose on our universe is just a frail concept and has no meaning to these creatures that descend upon us, that true horror begins. The horror we would feel if we were treated like we treat chickens or cattle or even yeast. All the stories in this anthology follow what the editor would call Lovecraft's philosophy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this collection a few years ago when the concept seemed new ... what would the world be like after the Old Ones rise? Read morePublished 11 months ago by S. Howes
Wow, I wish I could rate less than one star for this book. It's a loser from the get-go with the first story "The walker in the cemetery". Read morePublished 13 months ago by Me-not-you
A marvelous evocation of what could happen AFTER the stars are right. Great fun!Published 16 months ago by Kindle Customer
I really enjoyed some of the stories in this collection. However some of them were rather weak and a creative let down. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Paul Senft
Lovecraft's worldview, so hard to translate to any other medium, is a mainstay of fantasy and horror. So what would happen if the stars are right? Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by SilverMoonKitty
If you love Cthulu and all that is Lovecraft. Then you must read this book. Worth every penny. I can't put it down.Published on April 9, 2013 by Brian Alexander
A "themed" themed anthology? Awesome. Basically with this collection, we are treated to tales of what has happened after the 'stars were right' and Cthulhu n' pals rose up to... Read morePublished on April 25, 2012 by Brian Fatah Steele
It's tough for any anthology to get five stars; since there are so many stories by different authors with different styles, you're hardly likely to enjoy everything you find. Read morePublished on February 20, 2012 by H. Grove (errantdreams)
This collection of fifteen short stories is centered around the theme of how would look our Earth and what would happen to human race once "the stars are right", the city of R'lyeh... Read morePublished on January 24, 2012 by Maciej