" It is new, indeed for I made it last night in a dream of strange cities: and dreams are older than brooding Tyre, or the
contemplative Sphinx, or garden-girdled Babylon" The Call of Cthulhu

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Eldritch Tomes

The black gate of a thousand pastiches remains unclosed and has spawned a new series of tales to trouble our dreams and haunt the dark corners of our waking mind.

I have to say that Volume One did not thrill me, I found most of the stories okay at best. I liked Harry Turtledove's The Fillmore Shoggoth, The Warm by Darrell Schweitzer, The Dog Handler's Tale by Donald Tyson, I am undecided about Shea's Under the Shelf I have to reread it. The best tale for me was Last Rites by K. M. Tonso despite some geological silliness that was hard to ignore even in a Lovecraft pastiche. 

I have just started Volume Two and I have already found superior tales by Stableford, Jones, and worth the price of this volume by itself, The Hollow Sky by Jason C. Eckhardt. And I still have most of the book to read.

Foreword by Kim Newman
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
20,000 Years Under the Sea by Kevin J. Anderson
Tsathoggua’s Breath by Brian Stableford
The Door Beneath by Alan Dean Foster
Dead Man Walking by William F. Nolan
A Crazy Mistake by Nancy Kilpatrick
The Anatomy Lesson by Cody Goodfellow
The Hollow Sky by Jason C. Eckhardt
The Last Ones by Mark Howard Jones
A Footnote in the Black Budget by Jonathan Maberry
Deep Fracture by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Dream Stones by Donald Tyson
The Blood in My Mouth by Laird Barron
On the Shores of Destruction by Karen Haber
Object 00922UU by Erik Bear and Greg Bear

Brian Stableford has produced some very good Lovecraft pastiches as well as a vast amount of SF. I have encountered his work in other collections Tsathoggua’s Breath (above), From Beyond, and The Truth About Pickman, also in this volume and been quite impressed so I was pleased to find this collection. I have not read most of the stories here but I am expecting great things. 


Introduction Brian Stableford

The Holocaust of Ecstasy
The Legacy of Erich Zann
The Seeds from the Mountains of Madness
The Truth About Pickman

From the wonderful publishing house of Fedogan & Bremer, with a soon to be classic cover, painting by Tim Kirk, cover design Michael Waltz, we have a collection from one of my favourite Lovecraftians, both as author and editor, Darrell Schweitzer. Yes the editor of the brilliantly bleak, soul-wrenchingly dystopian collection Cthulhu's Reign, hint nothing ends well, is also a great writer. Not all of the works are clearly Lovecraft pastiches but those that aren't are still cosmic in scale and some of the best stories in the collection. Just to mention two, the very powerful Howling in the Dark and The Clockwork King, the Queen of Glass, and the Man with a Hundred Knives. It was the latter tale that really cemented Schweitzer's stature in my mind. When I read this tale of a man "trapped?" between our reality and the kingdom of the Clockwork King and the Queen of Glass I was blown away. When I read this story I thought not of HPL but of Jonathan's Carroll's The Land of Laughs and the tantalizing fragments of the children's books, The Land of Laughs, The Pool of Stars, Peach Shadows, and The Green Dog's Sorrow that he attributes to the mysterious author Marshall France. And while I like HPL if you have not read Carroll's The Land of Laughs, A Child Across the Sky, Bones of the Moon, Outside the Dog Museum give Howard a rest and find one or more of these titles.

Introduction" S.T. Joshi
Envy, the Gardens of Ynath, and the Sin of Cain
Hanged Man and Ghost
Stragglers from Carrhae
The Eater of Hours
The Runners Beyond the Wall
On the Eastbound Train
Howling in the Dark
Sometimes You Have to Shout about It
The Head Shop in Arkham"
Innsmouth Idyll
Class Reunion
Why We Do It
The Warm
Spiderwebs in the Dark
The Corpse Detective
Jimmy Bunny
The Last of the Black Wind
In Old Commoriom
The Clockwork King, the Queen of Glass, and the Man with a Hundred Knives
The Scroll of the Worm with Jason Van Hollander
Those of the Air  with Jason Van Hollander
Ghost Dancing

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