Written by: Drake Morgan
S.T. Joshi is the foremost H.P. Lovecraft scholar that I know of at the moment. His works have included anthologies, scholarly examinations, a biography, and critiques. In this latest anthology, he brings together an amazing collection of authors to once again redefine the term Lovecraftian.
What is Lovecraftian? Joshi explains that it can be as crass as mimicry and regurgitation of his monsters to the subtle allusions to his themes and imagery. Joshi’s collection falls squarely in the second category. There is no cheap imitating here. No attempts to rewrite, explain, or expand upon the original stories. The writers here instead draw on the philosophies and themes that Lovecraft explored in his complex writing. Tom Fletcher, in his story “View,” draws upon Lovecraft’s ability to use setting to create a claustrophobic panic in his own horrific tale of a house “not quite right.” Nicholas Royle’s story “The Other Man” explores the frightening theme of identity (or the loss thereof) that Lovecraft also explored in several of his best stories. In “The King of Cat Swamp,” Jonathon Thomas gives a nod to the infamous “Call of Cthulhu” while skillfully avoiding the overt and cheap homage narrative.
While I only chose a few to illustrate the Lovecraftian writing, every story in this collection is outstanding. Joshi knows how to seek out those authors who know Lovecraft. He finds those authors who feel Lovecraft in their souls. This is a superb anthology not only for Lovecraft fans, but those appreciate true Gothic horror.
You can order this one right here.