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The Spiraling Worm: Man Versus the Cthulhu Mythos (Call of Cthulhu Fiction) Paperback – June 27, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A good collection of mostly new Lovecraftian adventures featuring secret service ops from the US, the UK, and Australia. The original novella is impressive." - Ellen Datlow, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008

"Exotic locales, extra-dimensional monsters, black-ops - The Spiraling Worm is a terrifying action-packed collection from two terrific authors. Filled with fast, action-packed stories that read like episodes of a good TV show, The Spiraling Worm is an excellent installment in the Cthulhu Mythos." - DL Snell, Author of Pavlov's Dogs  and Demon Days

"A genuinely eerie menace pervades Conyers' take on the Mythos in this neat little peephole view of a host of colossal mysteries. More, please..." - Cody Goodfellow, author of Perfect Union and All Monsters Action!

The ideas and scope are consistently breathtaking. There is plenty in this book to captivate hardcore Cthulhu Mythos fans and those unfamiliar with the work of Lovecraft and his ilk . . . It will probably be the most original and imaginative Australian release this year. While others are rehashing vampires, werewolves, and witches . . . David Conyers and John Sunseri are tackling cosmic horrors -- warts, pseudopods, and all -- and the results are spectacular. --Shane Jiraiya Cummings, HorrorScope

From the Author

Another book in the Harrison Peel series, including the The Eye of Infinity (Perilous Press, 2011) and "The R'lyeh Singularity" in Cthulhu Unbound 3 (Permuted Press, 2012).
More Harrison Peel tales are in development: david-conyers.com/theharrisonpeelseries.htm
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chaosium Inc.; 1st edition (June 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156882212X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568822129
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Conyers | Author Science Fiction | Editor Albedo One Magazine | Cthulhu Military SF | Author of Nanofabrica and The Shoggoth Conspiracy

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Spiraling Worm is the latest offering by Chaosium. It contains a series of linked stories by John Sunseri and David Conyers, talented young authors active on the mythos scene. This book is the first fiction publication from Chaosium since Arkham Tales, and it represents a shift in their philosophy. For many years, the most we could get from Chaosium were the cycle books, collections each centered on some mythos theme or entity with a diverse collection of stories (perhaps mostly selected by the mainstay series editor, Robert Price). This mostly consisted of reprints, often a story from HPL and then works either from the remote mythos past or from some of the magazines active at the time, like Crypt of Cthulhu. Results were wildly uneven, mostly mediocre, a few gems and a lot more truly dreadful dogs. Now Chaosium is aggressively publishing books of all new (well, with a few reprints) stories, paying more attention to the quality of the author and story than particular thematic elements. On the horizon we have Frontier Cthulhu, old west mythos, and hopefully a lot more books as successful as their predecessors.

I am pretty familiar with the weird fiction of David Conyers; he has been a fixture in many of the new anthologies. We had the very nifty `Outside Looking In' in Hardboiled Cthulhu, a story were perception and reality are not the same thing, `Regrowth' from Arkham Tales, which concerned the melding of disparate forms of life and `False Containment' which is here and originally appeared in Horrors Beyond. I think `A Shared Romance' was in the short-lived Cthulhu Express. Mr. Conyers has had a fair number of his other stories in magazines of weird fiction. I am a bit less familiar with the stories of John Sunseri.
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This book is full of interesting ideas for "Call of Cthulhu" and particularly "Delta Green" wonks. So if you only read for the thrill of speculation and are willing to overlook mediocre prose, asinine dialog, boring characters, and lousy fiction chops in general, then you will probably enjoy it. Personally I have a hard time with that. Every ridiculously implausible plot development, every line of dialogue that sounds like a Steven Segal movie, every time the writer chooses to explain rather than evoke the story--these all stick in my craw and make it hard to take any pleasure from the text. A 5-star book, in my opinion, is one that comes as close to achieving perfection as any human work is capable, and anyone who reads this book and thinks it couldn't have been done any better has a dim view of our species indeed. The huge gulf between the book I expected (based on the glowing reviews) and the book I received made this one of the most disappointing reading experiences of my life, and left me suspicious, honestly, that the reviews here on Amazon have been padded by those with a financial or other personal stake in this book
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Format: Paperback
Exotic locales, extra-dimensional monsters, black-ops--The Spiraling Worm is a terrifying action-packed collection from two terrific authors. In each tale, a new monster is introduced, and the heroes--Major Harrison Peel of Australia and NSA man Jack Dixon--must find a way to maintain order in an increasingly chaotic universe.

The episodic nature of the stories is reminiscent of TV shows such as X-Files, but sometimes the installments fail to resolve the way an episode should. David Conyers' story "Impossible Object," for example: one of the most interesting stories in the book--yet also the most unsatisfactory. In this one, scientists are studying a mysterious relic that appears differently to each viewer: what is a door to one is a jar to another. Most of the researchers disappear while examining the object, and no one can figure out its purpose. The idea is intriguing but the cliffhanger ending doesn't resolve the mystery and the impossible object garners only a brief mention later in the collection; it could have been used to greater effect.

Despite this falter, most of the stand-alone stories produce an awesome impact: John Sunseri's "To What Green Altar" effectively mixes terrorists, Roman Catholics, and the fire deity Cthugha, while Conyers' "False Containment" spawns a hideous monster that absorbs and infuses with humans, animals, and plant matter, growing as it goes. Nevertheless, the most memorable stories are heavily interlinked. "Resurgence" by Sunseri and "Weapon Grade" by Conyers both feature shoggathai, giant protoplasmic slaves of the Old Ones.
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This was a great book with well conceived stories and top rate characterization and writing - best Mythos work I've read so far.

HOWEVER. I'm one of those who read all the info on the front and back covers of the book before I start on the innards, and I was not happy to find that the editors had felt it necessary to print the full culmination of the final story on the back cover. This was a spoiler of epic proportions.

Buy the book, but do NOT read the cover text... What the HELL were they thinking? *sharon*
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