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Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror (Call of Cthulhu Fiction Series) Paperback – March, 2006

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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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You just found out that you've inherited a copy of Reverend Winter-Hall's translation of the Sussex Manuscript. (What is it? Is it dangerous?) At night in your dreams you hear people chanting, "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn," over and over again. (What does it mean?) You desperately need to know what the Pnakotic Pentagon looks like. And where Olaus Wormius was born. And how to find the Laniqua Lua'huan. Not to mention the Twin Obscenities, the Wailing Writher, and the Tikkoun Elixir.

Who you gonna call? Encyclopedia Cthulhiana. Or rather, to give its proper and full title, Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, Being an Investigation into the Myth-Patterns of the Xothic and Commorium Legend-Cycles with Notes on the Alhazredic Demonology, or, A Compendium of Lore Relating to Those Beings Who Once Ruled the Universe and Those Who Have Revered and Renounced Them, As Expressed Through the Mythology of All Cultures and Explained in the Works of H.P. Lovecraft and Others in a Manner Thought to Be Fictional by the Uninitiated and Rational.

This 400-page second edition by Daniel Harms is the ultimate reference to the names and vital stats on characters, deities, monsters, locations, sigils, and infernal tomes that pertain to what is more casually known as the Cthulhu Mythos. Harms lays it all out in a tone of absolute seriousness, whether he's writing about the Dimensional Shamblers, the Empty Triumph of the Flying Polyps, or Bugg-Shash--"an inky blackness covered with many eyes and mouths which emit a chittering sound." Contains a foreword with a brief history of the Mythos, notes on the second edition (about 60 percent larger than the first), suggestions for further reading, brief notes on its use in the Call of Cthulhu game, A to Z entries, four appendices (three on the Necronomicon, plus a time line of the Mythos), and a bibliography. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Call of Cthulhu Fiction Series
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Chaosium; 2 Rev Exp edition (March 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568821697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568821696
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,416,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on August 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
_Even though I've been reading Lovecraft, and the later contributors to the Mythos, for over a quarter of a century, there were still fine points that I could never quite get straight. This is understandable seeing how you often have to piece the fabric of the whole out of off-hand remarks and vague hints and references. In a way that does contribute to the mystery of the corpus, but it can be dissatisfying, if not maddening at times. That is why this excellently written and designed reference is truly a treasure to the serious reader.

_Finally, I know the difference between the Elder Gods, the Great Old Ones, The Outer Gods, and the Elder Things. You finally get the associations in the pantheon spelled out. You know how Cthulhu, Tsathuggua, Hastur, and Ithaqua (the Great Old Ones) differ from Azathuth, Nyarlathotep, Shuh-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth (the Outer Gods.) And of course you learn never to associate Nodens, Kthanid, and Yag-Thaddag (the Elder Gods) with any of these.

_Come to think of it I probably shouldn't have spoken these names aloud while I was typing. What is that noise in the
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Salazar on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
First published in 1998, The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, written by The Necronomicon Files co-author Daniel Harms, is now in its second and expanded edition. It's a meaty 425 page volume, part of Chaosium's collection of Cthulhu Mythos fiction, and presents itself unapologetically as an encyclopedia of the Cthulhu Mythos, including not only the canon stories and poetry, but also embracing games, essays, comic books, movies, television shows, and occult books. With a note on 'How to Use this Book in Call of Cthulhu', the author sets a tone that is in keeping with the self-effacing humour that one can only find in a labour of love.
The majority of the text is an A-Z encyclopedia of the major entities, protagonists, and books in the Cthulhu Mythos with a merciful pronunciation guide. Like any good encyclopedist, Mr. Harms cautions that this material, as carefully written as it is, doesn't substitute actually reading and knowing firsthand the source material, which is well-referenced at the end of each entry. Each entry is not only a description, but also endeavours to harmonize conflicting sources. For example, the entry for the 'Elder Sign' includes a discussion on its application and significance in the Mythos, the controversies around its origin and use, a brief discussion of H.P. Lovecraft's original branch symbol and Derleth's pentagram, and a reference to the 'Star Stones of Mnar' found elsewhere in the book.
The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana has a significant Appendix, which in my already fragile mind greatly expands upon usual notion of an Appendix as supplemental to the rest of the text. While supplemental, this material is no less essential in its comprehension of the vast scope of the Cthulhu Mythos.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Scott on May 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am rating this book so highly because of its exhaustive nature and usefulness as a resource. There were many terms that I had been confused about and was glad to find a reference for. The MOST useful aspect, though, was to discover which stories included settings or characters that I wanted to read more about (the Severn Valley comes to mind). The Cthulhiana has been excellent in that respect, as I now know which authors and stories to pursue further. My biggest problem with this book is the ridiculous mythologization of Lovecraft's deities (I think this is primarily due to Lin Carter). There's a an awful lot of "and so great Cthulhu mated with Asdfgh to produce the hideous offspring Qwer'ty-Zxc'vb, who did reside under Mt. Nyctalopolis until 1953..." The combination of endless run-on names ("I'd like to buy a vowel"...) and unnecessary family relations, like some sort of Jerry Springer show from the Xothian system, induces humor rather than horror in me. Perhaps Chaosium would print an expurgated version, without Carter's mythology crap (it seems there's an expurgated version of every OTHER text floating around) ...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Muir on January 23, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have any questions as to what's what in the Mythos this book will answer them. A great guide for those familiar with the Great Old Ones and for those who are just now learning of their dread power. Fun for all ages!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Moderan on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been recommending this book to people I know since I first encountered the first edition. This second edition is expanded and revised, and is even more helpful to Call of Cthulhu gamers, keepers, and especially writers of Mythos fiction. I've been using it as source material for my own odd little tales since I began writing them. And while it is true that the author has been known to frequent some of the same newsgroups that I do, he did not pay me to say these things. The book is extensively indexed and cross-referenced, with a very helpful timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos toward the back. It is clearly written, has doses of the author's dry sense of humor, especially in his choice of a quote for the preface page, is quite attractively packaged, and will look very nice on your bookshelf next to the many volumes of HP Lovecraft that you should have if you're reading this.
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