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Acolytes of Cthulhu [Paperback]

Robert Price , Neil Gaiman , S. T. Joshi , Jorges Luis Borges
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

27 Jun 2014
Twenty-eight works in the vein of the master, H. P. Lovecraft, by some of his greatest disciples. A volume of treasures from modern masters such as Neil Gaiman (American Gods) and S. T. Joshi (Black Wings of Cthulhu), to famed storytellers including Jorge Luis Borges (The Aleph), Edmond Hamilton (The Star Kings), and Pulitzer Prize nominee Manley Wade Wellman (Rebel Boast).

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; annotated edition edition (27 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781165262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781165263
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Robert Price is the editor of the journal Crypt of Cthulhu and one of the most acclaimed Lovecraft scholars and editors in the world. As a prominent American theologian, he brings a unique perspective to the works of HPL, drawing in authors from a wide spectrum of styles and backgrounds.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book if you like the Cthulhu Mythos... the only problem I had with it was that it didn't include any of the usual suspects, HPL, CAS, et all, but it is a book of new cthulhu mythos stories.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray for Fedogan & Bremer! 11 Feb 2014
By Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Esq. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
We who loved the Arkham House anthologies edited by August W. Derleth have been lucky in having Fedogan & Bremer follow in AH's footsteps and bring us books that carry on the tradition started by Derleth in the 1940's. One of the real delights of the publishing house has been the series of Cthulhu Mythos fiction edited for them by Robert M. Price, of which this is the latest.
CONTENTS [including some of ye copyright dates]:
Introduction, by Robert M. Price
Doom of the House of Duryea, by Earl Pierce, Jr. (1936)
The Seventh Incantation, by Joseph Payne Brennan (1963)
Black Noon, by C. M. Eddy (1973)
The Jewels of Charlotte, by Duane Rimel
The Letters of Cold Fire, by Manly Wade Wellman (1944)
Horror at Vecra, by Henry Hasse (1943)
Out of the Jar, by Charles A. Tanner
The Earth-Brain, by Edmond Hamilton (1932)
Through the Alien Angle, by Elwin G. Powers
Legacy in Crystal, by James Causey
The Will of Claude Asher, by C. Hall Thompson
The Final War, by David H. Keller, M.D. (1949)
The Dunstable Horror, by Arthur Pendragon (1964)
The Crib of Hell, by Arthur Pendragon
The Last Work of Pietro of Apono (mistitled on ye Contents Page), by Steffan B. Aletti (1969)
The Eye of Horus, by Steffan B. Aletti
The Cellar Room, by Steffan B. Aletti
Mythos, by John Glasby (1961)
There Are More Things. by Jorges Luis Borges (1975)
The Horror out of Time, by Randall Garrett (1978)
The Recurring Doom, by S. T. Joshi (1980)
Necrotic Knowledge, by Dirk W. Mosig
Night Bus, by Donald R. Burleson
The Pewter Ring, by Peter Cannon (1989)
John Lehmann Alone, by David Kaufman (1987)
The Purple Death, by Gustave Meyrinck (1997)
The Mists of Death, by Richard F. Searight and Franklin Searight (1999)
Shoggoth's Old Peculiar, by Neil Gaiman

'Tis an eccentric anthology, to be sure, but for me that is a part of its charm; for we will not easily find many of these stories anywhere else, and they are all of interest. One or two of the tales included are dubious choices, as these are supposedly stories influenced by Lovecraft, and he in no way influenced Meyrinck. An earlier version of "The Purple Death" was published in WEIRD TALES in 1935; the version herein was especially commissioned for this anthology. The Joshi tale is a very amateur work that he wrote in 1975, at age 17. But all in all, the stories here are of interest, they are entertaining and decidedly shew the influence of H. P. Lovecraft. (Lovecraft signed some few of his letters "Grandpa Cthulhu," and thus the book's title refers to these tales as being penned by ye acolytes of that nameless Great Old One, E'CH-PI-EL.) One of the wonderful features of this series of books from F&B are the whimsical dust jackets by Gahan Wilson. The book is a thick one, and a fine offering of Mythos entertainment of various quality. As Lovecraftian entertainment, the book succeeds admirably. I've included the copyright dates to shew the wide variety of dates in which the selected tales were written. This is a testament to Lovecraft's enduring influence on genre authors, which began while yet he lived, and will continue onward as long as Lovecraft inspires we writers to dream and dream.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with action and highly recommended 10 Aug 2001
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This anthology is a recommended pick for any Lovecraft fan: it presents over twenty stories inspired by the Lovecraft tradition, blending occult and supernatural atmospheres with the monsters of horror Lovecraft has perfected. Top-name authors and unknowns are paired together, with stories gleaned from scare fanzines and failing pulps. Acolytes Of Cthulhu is loaded with action and highly recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellant cthulhu mythos collection 28 July 2001
By sfc567 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an unusually good collection of cthulhu mythos stories. They include both mythos stories and some non mythos stories with a mythos feel.While there are one or two clunkers the quality is generally excellant. Also these are not the usual reprints but are either rarely or never reprinted stories.Of particular note to me was BLACK NOON by C M EDDY which gave a glimpse into the life of H P LOVECRAFT whom the author knew. If you are a fan of lovecraft and the cthulhu mythos by all means try this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong on History, Light on Thrills 5 Aug 2014
By U. of Miami Library - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Please note: The other reviews for this title given here as of this writing are for the hardcover edition of this book, published apparently in 2001. The 2014 trade paperback edition from Titan Books is a tiny bit different, and the fact that there was a 2001 version of this book answers some questions I had from the outset about its provenance - I couldn’t help wondering why a seemingly new Mythos collection tapered off in the 90‘s, and had an intro dated 1997, yet included one story with a brand new 2014 copyright date (“From the Pits of Elder Blasphemy” by editor Price and Hugh B. Cave, which replaces the C. M. Eddy story “Black Noon” from the hardcover edition with no reason given). Now I know, although I still wonder why Price didn’t update his intro.

As you’ve noticed, I’m giving this collection a few less stars then the other guys gave to the hardcover. Maybe the near-15 years since its first appearance have been hard on the genre, or maybe some of us Lovecraft fans have grown jaded, but unfortunately I find this particular volume to be a weak soup for all its good intentions. Now of course with any anthology, a reader is going to experience a mixed bag; that’s just natural - some stories will be more or less to personal taste, so some will seem better than others and everyone will encounter that uniquely for themselves. Even so, this collection rang more sour then sweet notes.

Beginning with the positive aspects -
History: With stories ranging from 1932 to 1999 (plus the 2014 blip, which I suspect is a completion of an earlier fragment), Acolytes gives a pretty rare and pretty nice overview of Mythos-inspired fiction in the 20th Century. It’s uncommon to find a collection like this nowadays culled from the actual pulps and full of the flavour of the times. Several stories here are true contemporaries, appearing in Weird Tales alongside Lovecraft and his better-known correspondents/compatriots. Seeing how Mythos concepts germinated through the years and inspired other writers and other stories from decade to decade is a pretty cool thing.

Not the Usual Suspects: Price gathers a stable of lesser-known authors here, almost none of the names that usually turn up in Lovecraftian anthologies. It’s good to see a light shone into some dusty and forgotten corners. By looking deeper into the back pages of some of these old pulps, Price has unearthed a handful of really interesting and enjoyable gems that shouldn’t be forgotten. However, herein also lies the problem with this collection…

Not so positive aspects -
Clunkers: There’s really no other way to put it - the majority of stories in this anthology are just clunkers. Formulaic, thin, clichéd, poorly-realized and so over-eager to emulate the evolving genre they come off as self-parody. Now again, these are bits of history so maybe they read as more surprising and daring and original in their day and context, but I don’t know… Mediocrity is the hallmark here, a majority of “meh” that makes me wonder if most of the stories weren’t chosen because they were public domain or dirt-cheap to get the rights to. With a few exceptions, this collection seems comprised of back-matter page fillers that just rehash Mythos tropes and name-check Old Ones and “blasphemous tomes” again and again.
Now, not to sound too cranky and harsh, the seven or eight good tales here are very good! They’re just the minority, sorry.

In final assessment, as a pretty deep fan of Lovecraft and all his fruit and fellows and followers, I can recommend this book only to other deep fans. For its historical value alone, it’s worth taking a look into - to see where Mythos fiction has been and how it has flowed down through the century. So read it with an archivist’s or archeologist’s eye; as an artifact, rather than as an entertainment. If you’re looking for chills, or a satisfyingly weird and uncanny walk in the footsteps of H. P., you may want to look elsewhere.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 14 Oct 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great tales, but often non-mythos related. That's my only complaint.
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