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Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth [Paperback]

Stephen Jones , H.P. Lovecraft , Kim Newman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

18 Oct 2013
Respected horror anthologist Stephen Jones edits this collection of twelve stories by some of the worlds most prominent Lovecraftian authors, including H.P Lovecraft himself, Ramsey Campbell, Kim Newman, Michael Marshall Smith, John Glasby, Paul McAuley, Steve Rasnic Tem, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Brian Lumley, Basil Copper, Hugh B. Cave, and Richard Lupoff.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (18 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781165297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781165294
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"All eleven stories were of a high quality and filled in gaps of the mythos or expanded them in ways that even Lovecraft may not have imagined." --Fantasy Book Review

"Each story brings something unique and scary to the table and avoids cliché. This is an anthology that will please longtime Lovecraft fans and introduce him to new audiences." --Kirkus

"This is another awesome collection of Innsmouth short stories, creepy and compelling, sitting alongside some remarkable artwork illustrating the weird and wonderful Cthulhu creatures." --Bookshelf Butterfly

"If you are a Lovecraft fan then you will either have this in your collection already or you'll be wanting to add it..." --Curiosity of a Social Misfit

"If you are a Lovecraft fan then you will either have this in your collection already or you'll be wanting to add it..." --Curiosity of a Social Misfit

About the Author

Stephen Jones is a leading expert on horror and is the author of the Illustrated Movie Guide series. He is the winner of three World Fantasy Awards, four Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards and three International Horror Guild Awards as well as being a twenty-time recipient of the British Fantasy Award and a Hugo Award nominee.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A varied and entertaining collection of stories. 10 May 2014
Format:Paperback
Review based on an ARC, supplied by the publisher.

This is the third book in a trilogy of anthologies based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth sequence of tales, within his Cthulhu Mythos. I don’t, as yet, have the first two books, but that’s not really an issue, as the stories are connected by the theme, rather than being a chronological series.
The book opens with a poem by Lovecraft himself - ‘The Port’, which is as good an introduction as any to the theme of the book. The first story is by John Glasby, a writer who was best known (along with R. Lionel Fanthorpe) for penning most of the output of John Spencer and Co.’s Badger books imprint in the 60s, under a variety of pseudonyms. It’s a nice change of pace to see what he can do when he can devote a little more time to his stories. It’s not bad, although it’s very much in the vein of those Lovecraft pastiches that rely heavily on slavishly copying elements of the master’s own writing. ‘Innsmouth Bane’ is a prequel to HPL’s ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’, in which we learn more details of the events leading up to that story. The protagonist is searching for news of his artist friend, a relative of the Marsh family of Innsmouth, and the results of his inquiries are not pleasant. The story ends with a common Lovecraftian device, the Protagonist setting down his story on paper as he awaits his inevitable end at the hands of the Deep Ones.
To say ‘Richard Riddle, Boy Detective, in “The Case of the French Spy”’ by Kim Newman is a change of pace is an understatement. The heroes, if we can call them that, are a pastiche of the Enid Blyton children’s gang, as seen in the ‘Famous Five’ books. In fact I found the ‘Comic Strip Presents’ TV parodies of those stories came to mind a lot during my reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 14 Nov 2013
By strob
Format:Paperback
Quite possibly the most terrifying thing is one's own imagination - the monsters under the bed or in the wardrobe when you were a child were always scarier than the ogre or giant or ghoul in the stories your friends shared.

This collection of stories, all with links to the H.P.Lovecraft story "The Shadow over Innsmouth", all chill to the bone because they feed your imagination. There is no need for gore or blatant in your face horror when your imagination is building up something more terrifying than words could ever tell.

This is a collection of 11 stories of varying lengths - all inspired by the happenings in the town of Innsmouth as described by H.P.Lovecraft - the first story "The Quest for Y'Ha-Nthlei" by John Glasby is a great choice as an anchor for the rest of the collection - it is almost a sequel to H.P.Lovecraft's story and tells of the eye-witnesses to the US authorities' investigation into the strange goings on in Innsmouth. This allows the reader to re-familiarise themselves with the original tale (although you don't actually need to know the original story to enjoy this collection) and acts as a springboard into the other stories.

Taking the reader from film locations just outside of Los Angeles to Bristol via a couple of thieves in London - nowhere is safe from the creatures first imagined in Innsmouth....

I don't want to give too much away - suffice to say that, after reading this collection, I am more cautious than curious about strange shapes in the waves on the sea-shore and I will think more than twice about spending the night by the coast....! A great read - perfect for reading on a chilly autumn evening in front of the fire, far, far from the nearest river or ocean.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the original stories 13 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback
Carrying on the Cthulhu mythos of HP Lovecraft and adding to its canon is almost now a rite of passage for horror writers. This collection focuses on the element of Lovecraft's world linked with the coastal town of Innsmouth, with its strange fish god worshipping inhabitants and the odd and slightly pervy things that they get up to.

The esteem in which Lovecraft's creations and world are held can mean that quality of additions to the compendium of tales can be mixed, but happily these are all solid and actually do add something, each tale being a missing part of a hypothetical whole rather than trying to be too clever.

Where these tales really succeed is that they all take the idea of unusual happenings in a small seaside town, and use them to hint at great unknown civilisations and evoke the idea that there are massive and horrible things that we just don't matter to, all out there waiting for their moment.

Each of the authors really understands what it might be like to live in this world with standouts from Michael Marshall Smith and horror veteran Brian Lumley.

Overall, this is highly recommended, but you do need to be familiar with HP Lovecraft to appreciate it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback
I know about Lovecraft's work and the Cthulu mythos, but I have never read anything about it, so for me, this book was my introduction to the whole thing. The book is a selection of stories of varying length by assorted authors. The principle theme being the town of Innsmouth and the weird happenings that surround it.

I could review each story individually, but I won't. Instead I will say that personally I enjoyed all of them tremendously, however due to the varied nature of each writers particular style there is a chance that other readers may find sections that don't appeal.

It took me a long while to read this book because I really didn't want to finish the stories. The biggest problem with their length is that I found myself completely engrossed and than WHAM! Story finished. It has left me wanting to read the Lovecraft book I have on my bookshelf, just so I can't get my fix of monster-fish action!

(Full disclosure: I received this free from the publisher to review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not altered by this.)
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another success for Stephen Jones. and Fedogan & Bremer 11 Aug 2006
By Matthew T. Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In my recent review of Hardboiled Cthulhu I wrote a very churlish comment about Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth. After I did that, I began to feel guilty as I had not actually essayed more than the first few stories. And then I took another look at the author list and started over from the beginning. The short version of this review is that while Hardboiled Cthulhu is a tasty dessert, Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth is more like a really fine porterhouse served medium rare with a great cabernet, immensely satisfying.

Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth was just published by Fedogan and Bremer in 2005. F&B has a strong association with Arkham House and has released such venerable collections as The New Lovecraft Circle, Acolytes of Cthulhu and Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos. More to the point the also released the title Shadows Over Innsmouth in 1994. I never saw the original hardcover and only got the book when the paperback was produced by Del Ray. Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth is a follow on to Shadows Over Innsmouth, perhaps resulting from the success of the previous book. The history of the two anthologies is laid out very nicely in the very useful editor's note by Stephen Jones. Whereas Shadows Over Innsmouth was based perhaps on the history of decaying Innsmouth itself, Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth more follows the trail of the Deep Ones away from Massachusetts mostly to wherever they may have gone years later. Clearly Lovecraft's masterwork, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, maintains a grip on the imagination of fans and authors everywhere.

Here is the housekeeping: This is among the most beautiful books in my collection. The quality of all the other F&B hardcovers I have is also quite high. The price from Amazon is $35.00, unfortunately not discounted but available for free shipping. The cover art is by Bob Eggleton. It is a gorgeous picture of Cthulhu rising amidst worshipful Deep Ones, and is very reminiscent of his wonderful cover for Cthulhu 2000. The numerous interior drawings are by Randy Broeker, Les Edwards, Allan Servoss and Mr. Eggleton, and they are wonderful, adding greatly to my enjoyment of the book. Page count is a generous 297, including the excellent editor's note and the very useful authors' notes at the end. These notes are a model for such an anthology, as they not only give a minibio and bibliography of the writers, they also have descriptions of how HPL inspired a given writer, or what influenced their story in the book. Editing was flawless; I did not note any typos. One thing I liked generally about the stories was that the authors assumed the reader had read and was familiar with HPL's The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and they didn't feel it was necessary to recount the basic chronology, biology and social/religious order of the Deep Ones and their human allies all over again. Generally. All of the stories were new to me, with 9 of 12 being newly published in this anthology. I doubt most readers would have encountered them anywhere else. Stories by Basil Copper, Kim Newman (writing as Jack Yeovil), Michael Smith, Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley had also been featured previously in Shadows Over Innsmouth.

Here is the table of contents:

Introduction - Stephen Jones
Discarded draft of The Shadows Over Innsmouth by HPL
The Quest For Y'ha-nthlei - John Glasby
Brackish Waters - Richard A. Lupoff
Voices in the Water - Basil Copper
Another Fish Story - Kim Newman
Take Me to the River - Paul McAuley
The Coming - Hugh B. Cave
Eggs - Steve Tem
From Cabinet 34, Drawer 10 - Caitlyn Kiernan
Raised by the Moon - Ramsey Campbell
Fair Exchange - Michael Smith
The Taint - Brian Lumley

Spoilers may follow so stop reading if that will bother you********

The first three stories are what kind of turned me off on my first few attempts at this book. HPL's draft ultimately was not used in his final story and really only of interest to completists and those who want to know how the story evolved. It's a few small fragments and didn't really charge me at all.

The Quest For Y'ha-nthlei - John Glasby - Mr. Glasby has apparently written a number of mythos based works that I am unfamiliar with. I'll have to seek them out. This story tells about the military operation that took place after Glenn Williamson fled Innsmouth in HPL's original story. For me it was just OK, nothing too exciting. In particular, this is the second attempt I know of to describe these events and the first , Once More From the Top by A. Scott Glancy in the Delta Green anthology Dark Theaters, was a much more exciting read.

Brackish Waters - Richard A. Lupoff - Mr. Lupoff has a new collection out from Elder Signs Press, Terrors, that contains a substantial number of Lovecraftian stories. They are mostly reprints so I haven't been able to force myself to review it yet. Frankly, this next story confused the heck out of me and contributed to my setting the book aside a few times until this past week. The story isn't really about what it's about. It is set in the time of WWII, and the true story of the munitions explosion of the Quinault Victory and the E.A. Bryan in Port Chicago. The racial overtones are explored briefly. It seems Mr. Lupoff really wanted to write about this event which is not well known today. Furthermore he wants to speculate it was really a test of a nuclear bomb on real live people, almost all of them black and therefore expendable in the eyes of the US government. Do an internet search about Port Chicago explosion if you want to know more. This true life part is a backdrop for the story about a university professor, 4F, gradually turning into a Deep One, not really knowing any of his own kind and not really understanding what is happening to him. Then he blows up with everyone else. The we get an afterward that explains what the author was really trying to do.

Voices in the Water - Basil Copper - Mr. Copper wrote Beyond the Reef, an enjoyable work in the previous anthology. Voices in the Water centers around an artist who builds a house with a studio in an old mill over a river. Something in the river starts calling to him to come join them. This was a well crafted story, with tension developed to a very taut level. I really liked it and it finally put the current book back on track for me.

Another Fish Story - Kim Newman - Mr. Newman's The Big Fish was a terrific hardboiled PI story in Shadows Over Innsmouth. Another fish story involves a character familiar to his fans, used in other takes, Derek Leech. I don't know if the author would agree, but Derek Leech is sort of like the Walkin' Dude in King's The Stand, slowly spreading devilry wherever he goes. Here Derek purposefully crosses paths with Charlie Manson. Man can this guy write! What a story!

Take Me to the River - Paul McAuley - I was unfamiliar with Mr. McAuley's work before. This was also simply a great story. A third rate rocker down on his luck has a fourth rate friend small time drug dealer who gets a new drug from a rather repulsive fishy woman. Excellent prose.

The Coming - Hugh B. Cave - Mr. Cave just died a few years ago, and is a highly respected horror writer. I wonder if he was the model for the deceased author in JF Gonzalez' The Watcher From the Grave in Hard Boiled Cthulhu. Alas, I thought this story was only OK, as a strangely deformed, mutated humans attack some people on a religious retreat.

Eggs - Steve Tem - Mr. Tem has written four other Lovecraftian stories. I would love to find copies of them! The Deep Ones hybrid offspring hide within human society, trying to subvert it. Their bodies slowly transform into alien creatures. The protagonist here has a cancer that is slowly eating him away from the inside. His wife is pregnant, slowly creating new life inside herself, also altering her appearance. Strange eggs from the sea appear all around them in an almost deserted shore side community, gradually isolating them. The overtones here were quite rich, the suspense suitably horrific and the story highly enjoyable.

From Cabinet 34, Drawer 10 - Caitlyn Kiernan - Goodness me, can Caitlyn Kiernan write! Her prose is fabulous, her descriptions vivid. Her characters jump off the page and become alive. Ms. Kiernan is an archaeologist who has explored the Massachusetts coast searching for the setting in Innsmouth. I view this story as something of a companion piece to Valentia in To Charles Fort, With Love. From Cabinet 34, Drawer 10 describes how a hard working archaeologist uncovers a fossil in a museum collection that has radical implications for vertebrate development. Wonderful stuff!

Raised by the Moon - Ramsey Campbell - Mr. Campbell has immense prestige and impeccable Lovecraftian credentials. I am glad to see the Old Gent still has appeal to such a fine author. Just hope your car doesn't break down near some (unfortunately not so) deserted sea wall.

Fair Exchange - Michael Smith - Mr. Smith wrote the wonderful, ghostly To See the Sea in Shadows Over Innsmouth. Fair Exchange just blew me away! It crackled with vitality. The main protagonist simply came to life under the author's pen. I bet he was chuckling to himself to whole time as he wrote this marvelous story about a thief on the job who comes across some very odd New England jewelry of an unusual alloy. Alas thieves are greedy.

The Taint - Brian Lumley - Mr. Lumley also has a lot of fame in the horror industry, and also has time honored Lovecraftian credentials. The Taint was terrific, about some individuals who may have antecedents in a certain Massachusetts town but don't know it.

So in summary, almost all of these stories are inspired successes. I don't know if Mr. Jones will repeat his previous triumph but he deserves to. This book belongs on the shelves of all fans of HPL's mythos. Maybe if it sells enough copies Del Ray will print a paperback, and if that sells well enough, Stephen Jones may compile another anthology for us!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a spoiler nor heavily reviewed 30 Dec 2013
By M. John Amadio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Here's my take on this anthology based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft. The feel of this softcover edition from Titan Books felt real good in these hands that have not been used to holding a book in quite sometime reading just from Kindles the past two years so this says a lot starting this review. I don't want to repeat what's been written already either, specially since the last reviewer was very thorough and man, I wouldn't even want to try talking like I really know anything except always having interest in Mr. Lovecrafts work.

When I first tried reading anything by HPL was years ago and it fried my mind, there wasn't any paragraph breaks to allow for breathing space and it overwhelmed me to where I just ended up putting him down. Now with this anthology, I can put on my big boy pants and say I was able to finish a book on his works.

There are a couple of stand out stories for me here and I'll try not to be a spoiler type of reviewer. The first was and I want to make it known right here, right now that there should be a pronunciation guide to go along with not only HPL's works but others as well, the guessing game of wondering if one is even remotely close to naming names correctly! Even phonetically speaking! Just a way to help one know they're even on the same block pronouncing the creature, place, type of weaponry or even a persons name!

Just for the sake of argument the name of Cthulhu, for years, I thought after the C the 'thul' sounding like Thule and then the who sounding 'hu' so it was like this ... Ka-Thule-hu ... Only to learn now that it's pronounced Ka-thu-lou!

Weird as this is, for someone like me struggling with pronunciations without help makes for reading effortlessly a problem rather then just a reading experience!

Back to the stories! I felt a serious chill and creepiness reading The Quest For Y'ha-nthlei - John Glasby. Where the underwater tunnels and how the search leads the protagonists into dark screams! First time I ever was chilled like that.

The illustrations throughout are wonderful inked works with some pointillism and heavily filled weights of noir-ness that fit in very nicely.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stories, little horror, but very weird 11 Sep 2012
By The Lovecratian Recluse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Upon buying this book I had the expectation of it being packed with nightmare rendering tales of terror, but to my dismay that turned out not to be the case. Though the tales are extremely well written along with sticking to the nature of being weird, each unfortunately falls fairly short of being an actual horror story. Still, I fully recommend adding this nice anthology for all fans of Lovecraft.
4.0 out of 5 stars A varied and entertaining collection of stories. 10 May 2014
By David L. Brzeski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Review based on an ARC, supplied by the publisher.

This is the third book in a trilogy of anthologies based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth sequence of tales, within his Cthulhu Mythos. I don’t, as yet, have the first two books, but that’s not really an issue, as the stories are connected by the theme, rather than being a chronological series.
The book opens with a poem by Lovecraft himself - ‘The Port’, which is as good an introduction as any to the theme of the book. The first story is by John Glasby, a writer who was best known (along with R. Lionel Fanthorpe) for penning most of the output of John Spencer and Co.’s Badger books imprint in the 60s, under a variety of pseudonyms. It’s a nice change of pace to see what he can do when he can devote a little more time to his stories. It’s not bad, although it’s very much in the vein of those Lovecraft pastiches that rely heavily on slavishly copying elements of the master’s own writing. ‘Innsmouth Bane’ is a prequel to HPL’s ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’, in which we learn more details of the events leading up to that story. The protagonist is searching for news of his artist friend, a relative of the Marsh family of Innsmouth, and the results of his inquiries are not pleasant. The story ends with a common Lovecraftian device, the Protagonist setting down his story on paper as he awaits his inevitable end at the hands of the Deep Ones.
To say ‘Richard Riddle, Boy Detective, in “The Case of the French Spy”’ by Kim Newman is a change of pace is an understatement. The heroes, if we can call them that, are a pastiche of the Enid Blyton children’s gang, as seen in the ‘Famous Five’ books. In fact I found the ‘Comic Strip Presents’ TV parodies of those stories came to mind a lot during my reading. The villain is a lunatic, book-burning style clergyman, who spends his free time smashing fossils. It is his belief that they were planted by Satan to dissuade the unwary of the literal accuracy of the Bible, by suggesting that the Earth had been around much longer than stated in the good book. In their conflict with this religious lunatic, Newman has his heroes do something that may possibly be very bad, for the right reasons.
Third up is one of the original tales - Innsmouth Clay, by H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. It’s a direct sequel to ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’, and it inspired me to take a break at this point to reread that original story.
Reggie Oliver’s ‘The Archbishop’s Well’ tells of an ancient pre-Christian well in the grounds of a cathedral, which had been sealed off centuries ago and not opened since. The Bishop decides to have it demolished and replaced with a modern drinking fountain. Regular readers of horror fiction, let alone that of a Lovecraftian nature, will know that this couldn’t possibly end well (pun intended).
Back when I reviewed ‘The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes’, I stated that I sincerely hoped Adrian Cole’s story in that book was the first of a series featuring his hard-boiled occult detective, Nick Nightmare. I was very pleased to discover that my wishes had been answered with ‘You Don’t Want To Know’, in which Nick finds himself caught between his employers and the FBI, who are both hunting the same man. In fact, it appears that this is actually the first story, but the second managed to see print first. Excellent stuff, as I expected. More please, Mr Cole.
‘Fish Bride’ is the first of three stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan. In a fascinating mix of genres, she applies the trope of the forbidden lovers, their relationship doomed due to their separate destinies, to a normal young man and his Innsmouth-spawn bride.
Conrad William’s ‘The Hag Stone’ is the story of a dying old man, recently widowed, who takes what is intended to be a peaceful holiday on Alderney. What with the really foul weather; a house converted from the barracks used by the occupying German soldiers in 1940; a serial killer, who targets women in coastal resorts all over the country and the mysterious, repellent “fisherman”, Gluckmann, who swims naked in the sea every day, even in winter—this was never going to be the typical picture postcard holiday, now was it?
Caitlin R. Kiernan’s second story, ‘On the Reef’, is next up. Here, she tells of the annual visits to Devil’s Reef by legions of pilgrims for their annual religious event. It’s an excellent, atmospheric piece.
One of the highlights of the book, for me, was ‘The Song of Sighs’, by Angela Slatter. Vivienne Croftmarsh is a teacher at an academy for orphans. She suffers from selective amnesia, in that she remembers everything she needs to know to teach, but her past is blank. In tone, it reminded me somewhat of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. Vivienne appears to be the focus of some sort of malign plot, but not in the way the reader might expect.
After I reread Lovecraft’s original, ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’, I got to wondering about that famous FBI raid in 1928 and the depth charges dropped in Devil’s Reef. I wondered if anyone had ever really followed up on that. The authorities would obviously have some sort of sealed records on the events at Innsmouth. What happened after the raid? Brian Hodge answers these questions in ‘The Same Deep Waters as You’, in which Kerry Larimer, ‘The Animal Whisperer’ finds herself enlisted by the Department of Homeland Security to help communicate with the survivors of that raid, who have been kept under wraps in a secret prison since 1928. I recently read Brian Hodge’s excellent Cthulhu Mythos novella, ‘Whom the Gods Would Destroy’, and this story certainly holds up in comparison. The best story in the book, in my opinion.
Ramsey Campbell’s early work will be familiar to any fan of Lovecraftian fiction. He’s been revisiting that particular sub-genre of late, and ‘The Winner’ is one of the results. This creepy story was originally published in 2005, but in a fairly obscure collection, so it’ll be new to most readers, as it was to me. The basic premise is a horror favourite. The traveller, delayed by circumstances beyond his control, finds himself in a squalid backstreet establishement, in this case a pub, and very soon wishes he’d never set foot in the place. I guarantee that the next time the reader finds themselves in a pub, with offish, slightly menacing locals, and filthy toilets, they’ll feel even more uncomfortable than usual.
Next is my favourite of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s three stories in this book. ‘The Tradition of Elizabeth Haskins’ gives us the tragic story of a less than enthusiastic scion of Innsmouth. All three of Kiernan’s tales are from the point of view of the reluctant monster. It makes for an interesting variation on the theme.
Michael Marshall Smith is an author I constantly hear great things about, but had yet to try, so it was especially interesting to read, ‘The Chain’. His reputation is deserved. It’s an excellently written story of an artist who comes to a small, exclusive, coastal town to find his muse. In his search for inspiration for his work, he soon comes to the conclusion that Carmel is just too perfect. There are overtones of ‘The Stepford Wives’ in this story. Albeit, it’s not the people who live there that are off-kilter. The problem is with the sort of people who don’t seem to be there at all.
Simon Kurt Unsworth goes for a very topical setting for ‘Into The Water’. His story follows a film crew, reporting on devastating floods. One of the locals suggests that the cause might not be as simple as global warming. This is one of those tales that, once the coming horror has been amply suggested, ends with no attempt at showing how humanity is going to hold it back. I generally find that sort of thing slightly annoying, but in this case it’s very effective.
I really liked Angela Slatter’s first story in this book, but ‘Rising, Not Dreaming’ didn’t appeal to me quite as much. It’s not that it isn’t beautifully written—it is. Sadly, the premise just didn’t work for me. The Great Old Ones, are held fast in their eternal slumber, under the ocean, until the chosen one, whose task it is to keep playing the music that keeps them that way, decides he’s had enough. It appears he hadn’t read the small print and hadn’t realised the job was a permanent one.
Brain Lumley’s ‘The Long Last Night’ is as much an “after the holocaust” story, as it is a Cthulhu Mythos tale. The holocaust in this case being the return of the Great Old Ones, and the subjugation of what’s left of the human race. In a way, it could be considered a sort of sequel to either of the two previous stories. The bleak future that would logically follow the events in those stories has come to pass. Henry Chattaway has lost everything, including his wife and two daughters. All he has left is revenge, and he’s set out on the final of several dangerous treks through what’s left of the London Underground system to enact it.
This is a varied and entertaining collection of stories. The book has a great Les Edwards painted cover, and is full of superb black and white illustrations by Randy Broecker—albeit they don’t appear to be directly tied to the stories. The half-dozen full page illustrations would certainly be worthy of reprinting in a high quality portfolio. There are also lots of smaller illustrations, although the ones at the top of the first page of each story are just the same three, repeated in rotation.
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