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While H.P. Lovecraft himself encouraged other authors to expand his horrific universe with stories of their own, the Cthulhu mythos has spawned so many slavish imitators that it tends not to seem so scary these days. Editors John Pelan and Benjamin Adams seek to remedy that with The Children of Cthulhu, an anthology of 21 stories by modern macabre masters. Contributors were asked to avoid trotting out old Lovecraftian clichés and instead to write stories that bring the true horror of Cthulhu right into the modern world. The results are mostly terrific. Offerings from Poppy Z. Brite ("Are You Loathsome Tonight?"), Caitlín R. Kiernan ("Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea"), China Miéville ("Details"), and L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims ("A Victorian Pot Dresser") are the best of the bunch. Many of the stories are reminiscent of the Vertigo line of DC Comics, with dark, urban settings and gross-out violence, so the book is more likely to appeal to readers of contemporary horror than to fans of classic Lovecraft. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If the 23 contributors to this uneven anthology avoid the obvious Cthulhu Mythos clichs, none comes close to emulating Lovecraft's trademark cosmic horror. Typical is the two editors' collaborative "That's the Story of My Life." Set in Arkham with "its aged, gambrel-roofed neighborhoods," this brisk tale relies for its effect on a twist out of Damon Knight, not on any Lovecraftian atmosphere. Richard Laymon's "The Cabin in the Woods," a tribute to H.P.L.'s "The Whisperer in Darkness," shares a rural Vermont setting, but its action-oriented, dialogue-laden plot is the antithesis of the master's. "A Victorian Pot Dresser," by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims, in which an old piece of furniture hungers for sacrificial virgins, seems to be inspired by Lovecraft at his more ludicrous. The better stories deal with the Lovecraftian theme of outsideness, in particular Poppy Z. Brite's grotesque portrait of Elvis Presley's last days, "Are You Loathsome Tonight?" (the book's one reprint). Steve Rasnic Tem's homage to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "Outside," with its aquatic horror and decayed seaport, nicely evokes some of the brooding menace of Lovecraft's classic tale. And Caitl¡n R. Kiernan, in her stylish "Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea," does a turn on the lure of oceanic terrors with a bow to Lewis Carroll. To be preferred to most Lovecraft imitations, these 21 tales will likely please mainstream horror fans more than H.P.L. purists. Agent, Jennifer Jackson at Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Jan. 2)Forecast: Like the amphibious Deep Ones who threaten to expand beyond Innsmouth, Lovecraft-inspired fiction is starting to invade the genre mainstream. If this and similar anthologies take a beating in the larger marketplace, expect a hasty retreat into the shadowy recesses of the small press realm.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
The stories in this ebook were pretty good. But I have the strong suspicion that they were scanned and put together. The number of typos in this book are distracting. Read morePublished 5 months ago by AdrianneL
This book is awesome. It's kind of like the Twilight Zone in that it's has several creepy and telling vignettes but unlike Twilight Zone there is no lessons or moral just mystery... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Robert Sauceda
I haven't finished this yet, but I like what I've read so far and am looking forward to the authors coming as I've read most of them before and have enjoyed them.Published on July 21, 2013 by Alexandria Bracanovich
Lovecraft is an acquired taste, but once you take even the smallest nibble, you will never look at the world in quite the same way. Read morePublished on January 26, 2012 by booktrout
The aim of this anthology was to take Lovecraft's ideas into new realms (as the introduction puts it, the Mythos aren't something that need fixing, but that doesn't mean you can't... Read morePublished on October 4, 2007 by David Dunwoody
After reading these mostly scathing reviews I have only to say...look above. Sure, some of these stories were somewhat trivial (Alan Dean Foster really tanked)but the point is... Read morePublished on April 3, 2007 by Asimovphile
H.P. Lovecraft had a very powerful, dignified way of telling a story that appears nowhere in The Children of Cthulhu. Read morePublished on November 9, 2006