Sunday, 3 January 2016

Book Review - Lovecraft Unbound by Various

Anyone who knows me will confirm that I'm a huge Lovecraft fan and as well as enjoying his work I appreciate those that write in the mythos. This collection is a little different as it's not about stories adding to the mythos, but more being inspired by the themes Lovecraft explored.

In a sense this makes it a more interesting and varied read, but not as immediately interesting for mythos, rather than Lovecraft fans. There is a good selection of stories here, there is a variance of quality from the okay to the superb. None of them are bad stories, but the uneven quality does make for a bit of a bumpy ride.

Some of the stories really stood out for me. The book started out well with an expedition in Antarctica with a powerful sense of desolation and the otherworldly. The tale about the university graduation was a little different. It was fairly obvious where it was heading, but the build-up was so effective that just being carried along for the ride was enough.

My favourite story was set on a space station with an exterminator dealing with inter-dimensional parasites. It's quite a personal tale, but the glimpses of these other beings and the threats they posed. The creatures were the star of the show here and showed some imagination in their creation.

Along with the stories the authors had their usual biographies, but also some insight into what Lovecraft and his writing means to them and that added a little more interest.

I did encounter a serious issue with formatting - there were a large number of missing spaces. The stories just about carried me through, but they did make for a bumpy read. So unfortunately that's two major strikes against this collection - there are some gems here, but a lot of rough to put up with the access them.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

The stories are legendary, the characters unforgettable, the world horrible and disturbing. Howard Phillips Lovecraft may have been a writer for only a short time, but the creations he left behind after his death in 1937 have shaped modern horror more than any other author in the last two centuries: the shambling god Cthulhu, and the other deities of the Elder Things, the Outer Gods, and the Great Old Ones, and Herbert West, Reanimator, a doctor who unlocked the secrets of life and death at a terrible cost. In Lovecraft Unbound, more than twenty of today's most prominent writers of literature and dark fantasy tell stories set in or inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft.

Click here to buy Lovecraft Unbound from Amazon (and it's a decent read)

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