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Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Esq.
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I spent an entire hour writing an initial review in which I typed out the entire Contents page and remarked on my favorite of the stories; but for some reason (perhaps because I quoted text from one of the stories), Amazon has banned that initial review. Annoy'd, I claimed that I would no longer write reviews for Amazon. But this book is so good, and I am one of its writers, and I feel impelled to support my editor and publisher with some sort of review.
There is a rad new trend, it seems, among publishers: the use of "Cthulhu" as a selling tool. More and more books with the Great Old One's name as title are evident: CTHULHU'S REIGN, THE BOOK OF CTHULHU; even S. T. Joshi's BLACK WINGS will undergo a title change when it is reprinted by Titan Books in March of 2012, it will nigh be know as BLACK WINGS OF CTHULHU. S. T. is rather annoy'd at ye alteration. But I see all of this as a good thing, because the writing of Lovecraftian weird fiction is my obsession.
NEW CTHULHU: THE RECENT WEIRD is one of ye finest new titles to use R'lyeh's Lord as title portion, and its brilliance comes from the professionalism of its authors and editor. If we are going to write tales that pay homage to H. P. Lovecraft, it behooves us to do our very best with such work. Some of that very best is in this book.
Paula's Introduction is quite good. She discusses the growing genre of the Mythos, relates biographical information concerning H. P. Lovecraft, and devotes space to the question of "What is Lovecraftian?" The brilliant thing about modern Lovecraftian fiction, penned by professionals of the genre, is that people have their own very personal and unique ideas about what makes up a Lovecraftian story. Very few of the writers in this book can be called "Lovecraftian writers," and that is a part of the book's stength.
The book opens with Caitlin R. Kiernan's "Pickman's Other Model (1929), which I first read in BLACK WINGS. I do consider Caitlin an authentic Lovecraftian artist because Lovecraft has inspired and infiltrated so much of her work. She is absolutely brilliant, evoking mood, atmosphere, and unique characterization. She weaves her spell of words, tells her decadent tale, and we are completely drawn in until the shocking ending.
I first read John Langan's "Mr. Gaunt" is his collection, MR. GAUNT AND OTHER UNEASY ENCOUNTERS. "Uneasy" is the perfect word for this amazing tale. It held my attention absolutely, its mysteries come together to form a single thread of horror. It is one of the creepiest tales that I have ever read, and its monster (its inhuman monster, as contrasted to the mortal one) lingers within one's haunted mind. The writing of this story is especially fine.
Laird Barron has become, with but two collections from Night Shade Books, one of today's vitally impressive and important genre artists. One hesitates to call him "Lovecraftian," his work is so utterly original and fine. He is subtly Lovecraftian, yet potently so. "Old Virginia," reprinted here, is one of his most gripping tales.
I cannot remember having read any fiction by Sarah Monette until reading "Bringing Helena Back" in this book. I was instantly impressed. She has a very literary style, with prose that flows and captivating dialog that brings to life her outre characters. There is also a dead cool Lovecraftian ambiance in this story. One thing that distinguishes the new tales of Lovecraftian horror from professional writers is their originality and intelligent, and both aspects are in plenitude herein. This story is so good that it hath inspired me to order the author's themed short story collection, THE BONE KEY.
There are many other fascinating tales by talented writers such as William Browning Spencer, Don Webb, the delightful and talented Cody Goodfellow, and the amazing China Mieville. Michael Shea, who is a genius when it comes to writing tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (of which he has written gobs) is well-represented with his story, "Tsathoggua." This book also introduced me to writers whom I have never encountered before this.
One of the really enjoyable aspects of the book is that each tale is prefaced with a quote from a story by H. P. Lovecraft. Caitlin's story is prefaced by lines from "Pickman's Model," Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" (a Sherlock Holmes tale) is prefaced by lines from HPL's "The Call of Cthulhu" and Doyle's "A Study in Scarlett." I was especially pleased with the portion of "The Thing on the Doorstep" that perfectly preludes my own story in the book.
I love this book and can highly recommend it. I see that it is on Kindle for a very reasonable price.