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Shadows over Innsmouth Paperback – August 28, 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Dark fiction
The Motion of Puppets: A Novel
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Editorial Reviews


"GOOD, SLIMY FUN . . . There are a number of genuinely frightening pieces here."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"A FINE ASSEMBLY OF TALENTED WRITERS . . . A super anthology for Lovecraft fans."
--Science Fiction Chronicle

"A terrific anthology . . . from some of the best British writers in the field today. Highly recommended."
--The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror

"A supremely entertaining volume . . . A very strong anthology."
--The Scream Factory

"Horror abounds in Shadows over Innsmouth."
--Publishers Weekly

"Addicts of American Gothic will like it."
--The Times (London)

"An intelligent, witty anthology."
--The Good Book Guide

"Lovecraftians will rejoice."

From the Inside Flap



Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft?s classic, today?s masters of horror take up their pens and turn once more to that decayed, forsaken New England fishing village with its sparkling treasure, loathsome denizens, and unspeakable evil.

?ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD AGAIN? by Neil Gaiman: The community of Innsmouth performs a blood sacrifice?with shocking, terrifying results.

?THE CHURCH IN HIGH STREET? by Ramsey Campbell: In the crypt of a derelict church, a sensible young man meets a bestial, unthinkable fate.

?INNSMOUTH GOLD? by David Sutton: An adventurer searches for buried treasure?and discovers a slithering hell on earth.

?THE BIG FISH? by Jack Yeovil: A few months after Pearl Harbor, a mobster and his floating casino lie under water, teeming with the stuff of nightmares.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st American ed edition (August 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345444078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345444073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,444,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
...and it's all right here.
Lovecraft's own inspirational story, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" - curiously, one of his own least favorite, but one of his best - leads off this terrific collection of clever spin-off tales by contemporary authors on the same theme: namely, that there are isolated seaside places around the world where the inhabitants not only pray to, but interact with, ancient subaqueous demon-gods from other worlds.
Many of the tales are more or less sequels to Lovecraft's seminal story, set in and around Innsmouth itself, the fictional Massachusetts town the author first "sailed" the concept in. Each of these reads very well as its own stand-alone piece, successful entirely independent of Lovecraft's story, but all the more entertaining for being one way or another connected to it. Other tales, such as Ramsey Campbell's "The Church In High Street," are set in other locations, like the decayed, dockside areas of Great Britain, where similar interbreeding with noxious hellspawned water-gods also is occurring. One especially good story, Kim Newman's "The Big Fish," actually reads like a credible direct sequel to Lovecraft's original, and is all the more perfect for essentially performing like a 1930s noir-horror film. Even Neil Gaiman gets in on the act, with a skin-crawling little bit of nastiness about an Innsmouth descendant coming to terms with his gruesome genetic heritage.
One thing you can count on, in this collection: something in it will definitely appeal to your Lovecraftian tastes - so long as that taste is for fish.
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Format: Hardcover
Editor Stephen Jones has given us a wonderful anthology of tales by British authors that pay homage to H. P. Lovecraft's masterpiece, "The Shadow over Innsmouth." Here's ye Contents:
The Shadow over Innsmouth, H. P. Lovecraft
Beyond the Reef, Basil Copper
The Big Fish, Jack Yeovil
Return to Innsmouth, Guy N. Smith
The Crossing, Adrian Cole
Down to the Boots, D. F. Lewis
The Church in High Street, Ramsey Campbell
Innsmouth Gold, David Sutton
Daoine Domhain, David Sutton
A Quarter to Three, Kim Newman
The Tomb of Priscus, Brian Mooney
The Inssmouth Heritage, Brian Stapleford
The Homecoming, Nicholas Royle
Deepnet, David Langford
To See the Sea, Michael Marshall Smith
Dagon's Bell, Brian Lumley
Only the End of the World Again, Neil Gaiman

I first read Basil Copper's work when I began to collect Arkham House books in the 1970's; his FROM EVIL'S PILLOW is a genre classic and may be obtained here at Amazon. He has a very good sense of Lovecraftian things, and his long story here is superb. Atmosphere is built carefully, He conjures a sense of sinister mystery, events become horrendous, and the tale becomes very weird indeed. The writing is excellent, with a smooth narrative flow.

Although I have read none of his novels, my idea of Guy N. Smith was that he was a "trashy" horror writer and best avoided. Thus I was pleasantly surprised by his story herein, for it is rather good. It makes mention of a character from Lovecraft's original story, a Miss Anna Tilton, and I find such references to characters and icons from HPL's tales delightful fun and often quite effective tools in story telling. The writing of the tale is accomplished and professional, and the story is absolutely engaging.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd like to point out that all of these authors (excepting only HPL himself) are British. Others have pointed this out, but it bears repeating. Most of these stories are set in England, which produces a different interpretation on Innsmouth than American writers. I suspect that the British simply have a different way of viewing things.

Most of the writing was excellent, and the rest was at least innovative. "Deepnet" suggests that as far as Deep Ones taking over humanity, there is more than one way to skin a cat. "Dagon's Bell" by Lumley is one of the most Lovecraftian stories in this collection and "Beyond the Reef", while a little hard to follow, drew in many elements from Lovecraft's Massachusetts.

Some of the writing I found very difficult to appreciate; "Down to the Boots" and "Only the End of the World Again". Maybe the British write in a less concrete way than American authors, but I really had no idea what these stories were about - they seemed more like fragments. Maybe I'm too uncultured to appreciate writing like this, but I felt it brought down the quality of the collection.

There were also a number of stories that I wondered why they used the Innsmouth device. As far as I could tell, they would have been good stories on their own and then had the Innsmouth/Deep Ones jammed in. It makes a poor ad hoc plot device - why not just develop your own ideas? "Homecoming" was the absolute worst offender - it's about going home to Romania after the end of communism only to find nothing has changed. The only connection to Innsmouth was calling the secret police "Deep Ones". I suppose metaphorically it is how the non-collaborators of Innsmouth might feel about their icthyic oppressors, but it's a real stretch to say it belongs.
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