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Cthulhurotica Paperback – December 11, 2010
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First, let me state, some of the stories in this anthology are quite good, very erotic even. Even among the less erotic ones, there isn’t a single story I can point to and say, ‘this story is poorly written.’ All the authors compiled here are talented. However, more than a few of the stories compiled here is not what I would call erotica. When all the sex in a story takes place ‘off screen’, that is not the sort of story I’d label as erotica and as a reader I am disappointed.
I was also highly disappointed by the illustrations published throughout this book. Again, the artist has the talent required for the job. The pieces were quite nicely done. It was only the subject matter and scenes from the story that were picked to be depicted that left me scratching my head. I mean, if you are going to illustrate a story where in the main character engages in lesbian sex with a oiled up chained captive girl and then a beast comes out of the shadows with tentacles ready to ravish them both (probably the best and certainly most erotic story in the book), why in the world would the illustration accompanying that story be of the main character walking down a flight of stairs fully clothed? I don’t understand. If it was fear of making the images ‘too pornographic’, maybe it would have been best to not illustrate the book at all.
I all around felt like there was, perhaps, a bit of a fear to ‘go there’ holding this collection back from being all that it could have been. This is why I’m giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. It’s not a ‘bad’ book. I just don’t think it lived up to all that the concept behind it promised.
Referencing Miskatonic and Innsmouth, Tillinghast and (most appreciably) Tentacles, this collection of stories offer a glimpse into what the world would be like if there was interaction between us an some alien monster race. It is fun to explore and imagine these things. This book is filled with characters. individuals that have remarkably strange tales to share. And: is it not Lovecraft to share such?
I admit I skimmed the essays at the end - I picked this up for the sexy times - but I may try reading them again when time allows.
Standout stories for me were "Descent of the Wayward Sister" by Gabrielle Harbowy, "Infernal Attractors" by Cody Goodfellow, "The Fishwives of Sean Brolly" by Nathan Crowder, "Flash Frame" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, "Ipsa Scientia" by Constella Espj, "Amid Disquieting Dreams" by Leon J. West, "The Assistant From Innsmouth" by Steven James Scearce, "The Summoned" by Clint Collins, "Sense" by Matthew Marovich, and "Le Ciel Ouvert" by Kirsten Brown.
I wasn't familiar with any of these authors. Now I'm stalking most of them. Buyer beware!
After reading this book, I bought the complete works of Lovecraft for a crazy great price of $2.99. I then went ahead and bought a Robert E. Howard collection as well as a Clark Ashton Smith collection to round out this literary trinity. Then I'd like to revisit this collection as well as Lovecraft Unbound to see what I think of the stories then.