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Cthulhu 2000 [Paperback]

3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 25 1999
In Cthulhu 2000, a host of horror and fantasy's top authors captures the spirit of supreme supernatural storyteller H. P. Lovecraft--with eighteen chilling contemporary tales that would have made the master proud.

- The Barrens by F. Paul Wilson: In a tangled wilderness, unearthly lights lead the way to a world no human was meant to see.
- His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood by Poppy Z. Brite: Two dabblers in black magic encounter a maestro of evil enchantment.
- On the Slab by Harlan Ellison: The corpse of a one-eyed giant brings untold fortune--and unspeakable fear--to whoever possesses it.
- Pickman's Modem by Lawrence Watt-Evans: Horror is a keystroke away, when an ancient evil lurks in modern technology.


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From Amazon

Editor Jim Turner has compiled a real page turner in Cthulhu 2000. His anthology of short stories based on the works of horrorist H.P. Lovecraft is a dark gem, and of superior stuff. Although they all have the coppery tang of the eldritch, the tales aren't strictly in the horror mien. Some of them are an alloy of horror with a sci-fi, humor, detective, vampire or even romance slant.

The very best are truly horrible, in the most complimentary sense of that word. "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood" (Poppy Z. Brite), "The Adder" (Fred Chappell), "Fat Face" (Michael Shea), "The Unthinkable" (Bruce Sterling), "Love's Eldritch Ichor" (Esther M. Friesner) and "On the Slab" (Harlan Ellison) are the keen standouts, but all the rest, practically, are of almost equal quality. However, there are a couple of tales that do not deserve to be amongst this company, and the tome would have been better and tighter by their absence. Certainly, at 398 pages, there's no lack of material.

In "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood," Poppy Z. Brite deftly invokes a vampric flavor to themes of decay and the forbidden, his writing style as ornate and refined as rococo and in the real spirit of the master. Fred Chappell's "The Adder" draws the dangerous and inimical from the ordinary in a tale delightful for its originality. Bruce Sterling also slings some fresh ideas around in "The Unthinkable," melding modernity and necromancy in a brief, effective story.

Horror gourmands will find a good meal here, but Cthulhu 2000 should have a bit of life outside its traditional genre, for the writing is strong, imaginative and entertaining. --Tamara Hladik

From Kirkus Reviews

Anthology of reprints by 18 modern masters of the bizarre to honor horror mandarin Lovecraft's weird-aliens Cthulhu mythos, long mined by HPL followers for gold scatterings. Cosmic fantasist HPL regarded himself, as editor Turner tells us, as an ``indifferentist,'' and any fellow human being as ``only another collection of molecules.'' Thus, this total materialist loved moments of horror that transcended the natural order. As an underpinning to wonder, he placed on earth an alien species called the Cthulhu, superintelligent creatures too hideous even to look at. Appropriately, in T.E.D. Klein's ``Black Man with a Horn,'' they really are out of sight and appear only as something like a scuba diver with flippers who looks in through your midnight window, or perhaps as a black man with a horn, John Coltrane, say, while Klein's narrator is an elderly horror writer on the downslope, nowadays mentioned in print only as a follower of his old friend ``Howard'' (HPL). Kim Newman's immensely amusing spoof of Hollywood private eyes, ``The Big Fish,'' is set three months after Pearl Harbor: ``The Bay City cops were rousting enemy aliens . . . . It was inspirational, the forces of democracy rallying round to protect the United States from vicious oriental grocers, fiendishly intent on selling eggplant to a hapless civilian population.'' The Cthulhu horrors come disguised as a naked (but scaly) movie jungle-queen and her squiddish baby. Other outstanding entries: Poppy Z. Brite's ``His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood,'' set in New Orleans and something of a satire on Anne Rice; F. Paul Wilson's ``The Barrens,'' in which a monster writhes like a bunch of albino snakes; and Roger Zelazny's ``View of M. Fuji,'' a Japanese death odyssey: a dying woman tries to destroy her husband, whose spirit has entered cosmic cyberspace. The Newman story alone is worth the price. The rest is just a seething mass of obscene gravy. Gobble it up. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great themes, reasonable tales..... July 6 2003
By A Customer
I bought this book recently, and I have to say I enjoy it for the most part. A few of the stories are dry and unenjoyable, but by and large, I find this collection of short stories to be worthy of the name Cthulhu.
Some of the writers have nearly captured the spirit of Lovecraft. Others have blended Lovecraft's ideas with their own writing styles, and it was these tales that I enjoyed the most.
"The Barrens" and "The Big Fish" are probably the best tales in the whole book. Both stories have a modern a H.P.L./Charles Fort feel. "The Barrens" ties together the legend of the Jersey Devil with Lovecraft's ideas to create a story that makes you wonder as well as shiver. "The Big Fish" plays on Lovecraft's taste for mystery, and features those old sea devils, the Deep Ones. "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood" is well-written in terms of style, but it is grotesque (two perverse grave-robbers enjoy themselves by sticking femors where the sun don't shine) in a totally non-Lovecraft way by going for cheep, eccentric attempts to catch the reader's attention. "Fat Face" and "Faces in the Pine Dunes" bring back many of Lovecraft's creature characters and Cthulhu mythos with reasonable success.
All in all, this book is worth it if you are a serious follower of Lovecraft's writings and stories, and you want some fresh tales about Cthulhu, the Deep Ones, or the demonic Shoggoths. Just don't expect CALL OF CTHULHU quality here. Remember, it's not Lovecraft writing these stories, and it shows.
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2.0 out of 5 stars attempts collection April 8 2003
this collection contains some stories that are almost good (wolfe, copper, wilson, campbell) but in the end are not good enough. i like good pulp. it's not here. some of the stories are really strangely uninteresting. kind of author-is-trying-to-be-inventive, and creates a story i am not impressed by.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not what I expected April 5 2003
The stories in this book were in general rather dissappointing. There were a few good ones, but for the majority of stories were average at best. Very few of the stories were "modern" like I expected; nothing really about how the mythos has influenced our current lifestyle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cthulhu Meets Computers Aug. 11 2002
To my intense surprise and delight, Cthulhu 2000 proved to be a pretty good collection of highly diverse tales, a fair number of them good-humored send-ups that I was almost embarrassed to admit I found myself laughing with - my favorite being "Love's Eldritch Ichor," a very funny piece about a descendant of the Old Ones and a book editor falling in love in a Lovecraftian mansion a la The Addams Family, which, believe it or not, is a lot better than it sounds.
But I was even more surprised at the collection of legitimate horror stories, some as genuinely creepy as anything Lovecraft ever penned himself. Not all the stories are strictly Lovecraftian by connection, but most are essentially true to his overriding theme of cosmic terror. Don't expect straight Lovecraft, and you might find yourself really loving this book. I did.
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2.0 out of 5 stars mediocre and misleading fluff March 29 2002
first of all, this is NOT HP Lovecraft material. its more the conventional [stuff] that passes for horror today, each story a thoroughly forgettable stain on the genre. sorry guys, putting a big monster on the cover and calling it 'cthulu 2000' doesn't mean anything unless the authors have some talent. i gave it two stars because you should read the first story (in the bookstore, dont buy it.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge this book by its cover... Nov. 19 2001
Okay, let me tell you something right off the bat. This is a pretty well put together book. Even the stories that I didn't like as much held my interest.
Why did I only give it three stars? The editor is willing to do this book a disservice, by giving it a cover that tries way to hard and assumes we're gullible and stupid. Why should I reward that type of behavior?
Lets look at the cover, what do we see? Well, the first thing your eye is drawn to is the large, bright white text that says "H.P. LOVECRAFT", a quarter inch taller then the more subdued green title, drowning out the fine print like "A spine tingling collection of the macabre inspired by".
Some of the stories in this book are about as "inspired by" as the Evil Dead trilogy. The only thing in them that is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos was the name for the evil book that people are foolish enough to read out loud from. (In fact, from what I've read, Sam Raimi hardly knows/remembers who Lovecraft is or what he wrote...If Sam remembers that HPL wrote anything at all.) Does that make them bad movies? No! Does the fact that the connection is tenuous at best mean that if you like old school mythos you won't like these movies? Heck no!
This is a collection, each of the 18 stories is by a different writer, do not expect consistency in the level of Lovecraftianess. (If it wasn't a word before, it is now.)
Some of them make a valiant effort to write in the style and voice of the original Mythos writers. ("The Last Feast of Harlequin" and "I had vacantly crumpled it into my pocket...")
Some try to bring the old school into the present day.
Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraftiana for the new millenium! July 3 2001
This is a solid collection for Lovecraft fans. Although there are some real terrors in this book, many of the stories are written with tongue firmly placed in cheek, which is refreshing. "The Big Fish" for example, with it's Cthulhu Noir style, was a lot of fun. High points include "The Barrens", "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood", "Black Man With A Horn" and "The Last Feast of Harlequin". Many of the titles can be found in other compilations, but there is enough fresh meat mixed in with the classics to be satisfying. Finally, for all you aquarium owners, get this book for Peter Blaylock's "The Shadow on the Doorstep". It is a short romp into paranoia and tropical fish collecting by a master fantasist. Great story!
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