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


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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: #1,681,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

More About the Author

David Conyers is a science fiction author and editor from Adelaide, South Australia. He has a degree in engineering from the University of Melbourne, and today works in marketing communications. His fiction has appeared in magazines such as Albedo One, Ticon4, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Book of Dark Wisdom, Lovecraft eZine and Jupiter, as well as more than twenty anthologies. His previous books include the science fiction Cthulhu Mythos blended thriller series commencing with The Impossible Object, and followed by The Weaponized Puzzle, The Elder Codex, The Infinity Agenda and The Eye of Infinity. Previous anthologies he has edited include Extreme Planets, Cthulhu Unbound 3, Cthulhu's Dark Cults and Undead & Unbound. Since 2013 David has been the Arts and General Editor with Albedo One magazine. Nanofabrica, his collection of science fiction stories will be released by Aeon Press in 2015.

Customer Reviews

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I can't wait for the next one to come out!
David Kernot (author)
David Conyers' story "Impossible Object," for example: one of the most interesting stories in the book--yet also the most unsatisfactory.
D.L. Snell
It is the best story in the book and also, perhaps, the most Lovecraftian.
Matthew T. Carpenter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Carpenter on July 18, 2007
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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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sean M. Ragan on September 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D.L. Snell on October 30, 2007
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Jarjoura on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an excellent and fun book to read. If you are well versed in the Mythos, you'll find many references to the classics ... but without all of the "squamous tentacles" and "ichor covered walls" ... instead, the horrors are real, tangible, and described in fascinating detail. You may think that this removes the atmospheric horror, but not in this case. The two authors who share duties on this collection of short-stories in a shared world, do an excellent job of exploring the existential terror of Mythos monsters. But, they do so in a modern setting, where world governments are aware that "they" are out there, and even try (foolishly) to harness and control the dangerous technology associated with the Old Ones.

The stories are part James Bond / Tom Clancy and part "The Ring" and with a little of "The Da Vinci Code" thrown in. The monsters involved do much more than just eat you - and the threat they pose is also much more global in scope. The protagonists travel the world, uncover mysteries, and try like hell to keep the "incursions" from destroying all human life.

I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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