Sunday, May 18, 2014

100 Years of H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft's Legacy: edited by Robert E. Weinberg and Martin H. Greenberg, (1990) containing the following stories:

  • A Secret of the Heart by Mort Castle: Solid tale written in a convincing homage to 19th-century diction, with a tip of the cap to all those ancient white-male antagonists in Lovecraft's stories.
  • The Other Man by Ray Garton: Garton combines something Lovecraft didn't really deal with (romantic relationships) with a suitably surreal and sinister voyage through the Dreamlands.
  • Will by Graham Masterton: Terrific piece of history-based Lovecraftiana featuring shenanigans in England during the Renaissance.
  • Big "C" by Brian Lumley: Fun, too long, slight. The ending seems to be telegraphed from about the second page of the story.
  • Ugly by Gary Brandner: A Lovecraftian object figures in another story of a (non-Lovecraftian) romantic relationship gone wrong.
  • The Blade and the Claw by Hugh B. Cave: Interesting voodoo tale from the venerable Cave would seem more at home in a tribute to Frank Belknap Long due to its subject matter (and Long's classic short story "Second Night Out", aka "The Dead, Black Thing."
  • Soul Keeper by Joseph A. Citro: A nod to the New England landscape and the sort of weirdos hiding in it that often showed up in Lovecraft stories that include "The Shunned House" and many others.
  • From the Papers of Helmut Hecker by Chet Williamson: Delightful comic romp takes shots at a few modern writers.
  • Meryphillia by Brian McNaughton: Pitch-perfect riff on Lovecraft's ghouls from his 'Dream Cycle' period.
  • Lord of the Land by Gene Wolfe: Haunting, disturbing tale of cosmic horror and Egyptian mythology in the American heartland.
  • H.P.L. by Gahan Wilson: Out-and-out comedy reads almost like a sitcom pilot for a really weird show about Lovecraft and friends/fiends.
  • The Order of Things Unknown by Ed Gorman: Tenuously Lovecraftian but still enjoyable and terse.
  • The Barrens by F. Paul Wilson: Absolutely top-level novella by the prolific Wilson combines very specific period- and regional detail about New Jersey's Pine Barrens with the sort of quasi-documentary search seen in many of Lovecraft's stories, and a fascinating extrapolation of regional ghost stories into a basis for cosmic horror.

A very solid anthology celebrating the 100th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft's birth in 1990, this one, like most HPL-related volumes, remains in print today. There really isn't a bad story in the bunch, though a few seem very weakly related to Lovecraft's work. This possesses the most weirdly jaunty cover to a Lovecraft-related volume I've seen in a long time, because of colour choices and not subject matter. Also includes a useful, poignant introduction from Lovecraft's friend Robert (Psycho, Star Trek's Jack the Ripper episode) Bloch, and similarly useful and enjoyable afterwords by the assorted authors. Recommended.

1 comment:

  1. I read this when it came, only recall how good the Wilson story was. Needs a reread!