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Lovecraft's Legacy: A Centennial Celebration of H.P. Lovecraft [Paperback]

Martin H. Greenberg
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 1996
H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential modern horror writers. Lovecraft's fiction is a category unto itself.  Eschewing the traditional werewolves, vampires, and ghosts of most horror fiction, he wrote of dread Elder Gods and cosmic, earth-shattering horrors.  Lovecraft mined rich veins of terror uniquely his own, and wherever in the known and unknown universe his imagination sped, readers followed--fascinated, enrapt, and terrified by the scope of his dark vision. 
 
More than fifty years after his death, Lovecraft's fiction continues to influence each new generation of horror readers…and writers.  Lovecraft's Legacy collects 13 stories by critically-acclaimed, award-winning horror and dark fantasy writers, including F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley, Gene Wolfe, and Gahan Wilson.  With an introduction by Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, this splendid anthology pays well-deserved homage to the late, great master of the weird tale. 

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

No works by the eponymous legator himself are included in this tribute to the master of horror in his centennial year. His "legacy" is the theme around which these 14 stories are assembled, with an introduction by Robert Bloch, who acknowledges his personal debt to Lovecraft, and afterwords to each of the tales by such authors as Gene Wolfe, Hugh B. Cave and Ed Gorman. Gahan Wilson's "H.P.L." manages to sustain Lovecraft's antiquated and baroque style. F. Paul Wilson invokes the concept of "cosmic horror" in the afterword to final story, "The Barrens . " Indeed, the progression of the stories suggests that they were arranged to lead up to this "concept of another reality impinging on ours," giving rise to an all-encompassing fear that lies beyond humanity's comprehension. These tales feature, among other things, maggots eating the eyes of dead bodies, cancerous monsters consuming the world, aristocratic schemers in pursuit of immortality, out-of-body travel, demons resurrected, murderous lizards, voodoo, ghouls and soulsuckers. Of generally high caliber, this homage itals as per intro to the master is an imaginative collection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- In honor of the master's centennial, two well-known anthologists have assembled this collection of 13 horror stories written for the occasion. As with most anthologies, the quality is somewhat uneven, but the best stories deliver a truly Lovecraftian frisson. Particularly piquant are two tales in which Howard Phillips Lovecraft actually appears, albeit obliquely. Each tale is accompanied by a note from its author. Since the ways in which the stories reflect the Lovecraft influence vary widely, it is interesting to read the authors' interpretations and intents. Librarians unfamiliar with Lovecraft should acquire the perennially YA-pleasing tales of H. P. L. himself; those attempting to satisfy fans who have already devoured the mythos should find this one useful. Just be prepared when they come back demanding to reread the Lovecraft stories that inspired Legacy .
- Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars hardly his legacy April 10 2003
Format:Paperback
some of the stories here are not in any way connected to Lovecraft. Wolfe's story here is interesting, but doesn't really get to be horrible. a story about out-of-the-body experiences is pretty good, but something seems amiss in the ending. a story about a stuffed animal amused me. also included are some mediocre stories, and also some really dull stories. the collection is perhaps not the worst in history, but you can easily do better.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Oct. 28 2001
Format:Paperback
Lovecraft "tribute" volumes appear to be developing into a sub-genre all of their own and this book is...definitely one of them. I leave it to the English major to define the difference between pastiche and plagiarism, to distinguish between stories influenced by, written in homage to, or containing ideas directly stolen from Lovecraft. All these are represented in this volume, as well as a couple of tales that seem to have no connection to Lovecraft's work at all.
Of the thirteen stories collected within, four or five are memorable. Three of the stories--arguably the three best--Gene Wolfe's genuinely chilling "Lord of the Land", Gahan Wilson's whimsical fantasy "H.P.L.", and F. Paul Wilson's "The Barrens"--have also more recently appeared in the Arkham House collection "Cthulu 2000." Also worthy of mention is Brian McNaughton's darkly humorous "Meryphillia", possibly more reminiscent of Clarke Ashton Smith's oeuvre than of Lovecraft's, and Mort Castle's Poe-esque "A Secret of the Heart."
There is a touchingly affectionate introduction by Robert Bloch and a short afterword by each author, sharing a little of what Lovecraft meant to him (unsurprisingly, all the authors are "hims").
If you have already read the three volumes of Lovecraft's work in print, the collection of his revisions "The Horror In The Museum And Other Tales," the two Arkham House tribute volumes "Tales Of The Cthulu Mythos" and "Cthulu 2000," and you still want more, perhaps this book will fit the bill.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome addition to the HPL universe Nov. 17 1998
Format:Paperback
Like all short story collections, this one has varying levels of quality. The average is so high, however, that it's well worth picking up if you're a fan of horror, mystical SF, or especially a Lovecraft fan. The stories show the influence of the Great Old Ones in Elizabethan England, the space program, the pine barrens of New Jersey and astral space in dreams. And, in the standout story of the book (H.P.L. by Gahan Wilson), Lovecraft appears as a character, as do Clark Ashton Smith and many, many, many bad things from his works. Of special interest to fans of Edgar Allan Poe is the first story in the collection, which ties the cosmology of Poe's stories together with Lovecraft's, repaying the obvious debt to Poe all writers of the macabre incurred since the 1800s. Buy this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome addition to the HPL universe Nov. 17 1998
By Timothy Lehnerer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Like all short story collections, this one has varying levels of quality. The average is so high, however, that it's well worth picking up if you're a fan of horror, mystical SF, or especially a Lovecraft fan. The stories show the influence of the Great Old Ones in Elizabethan England, the space program, the pine barrens of New Jersey and astral space in dreams. And, in the standout story of the book (H.P.L. by Gahan Wilson), Lovecraft appears as a character, as do Clark Ashton Smith and many, many, many bad things from his works. Of special interest to fans of Edgar Allan Poe is the first story in the collection, which ties the cosmology of Poe's stories together with Lovecraft's, repaying the obvious debt to Poe all writers of the macabre incurred since the 1800s. Buy this book.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Oct. 28 2001
By Nicholas R. Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lovecraft "tribute" volumes appear to be developing into a sub-genre all of their own and this book is...definitely one of them. I leave it to the English major to define the difference between pastiche and plagiarism, to distinguish between stories influenced by, written in homage to, or containing ideas directly stolen from Lovecraft. All these are represented in this volume, as well as a couple of tales that seem to have no connection to Lovecraft's work at all.
Of the thirteen stories collected within, four or five are memorable. Three of the stories--arguably the three best--Gene Wolfe's genuinely chilling "Lord of the Land", Gahan Wilson's whimsical fantasy "H.P.L.", and F. Paul Wilson's "The Barrens"--have also more recently appeared in the Arkham House collection "Cthulu 2000." Also worthy of mention is Brian McNaughton's darkly humorous "Meryphillia", possibly more reminiscent of Clarke Ashton Smith's oeuvre than of Lovecraft's, and Mort Castle's Poe-esque "A Secret of the Heart."
There is a touchingly affectionate introduction by Robert Bloch and a short afterword by each author, sharing a little of what Lovecraft meant to him (unsurprisingly, all the authors are "hims").
If you have already read the three volumes of Lovecraft's work in print, the collection of his revisions "The Horror In The Museum And Other Tales," the two Arkham House tribute volumes "Tales Of The Cthulu Mythos" and "Cthulu 2000," and you still want more, perhaps this book will fit the bill.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look June 7 2005
By Matthew T. Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovecraft's Legacy is an anthology in trade paperback from Tor, edited by Robert Weinberg and Martin Greenberg. Original publication was 1990 hardcover, and the Tor paperback that I have was from 1996. I believe these gentlemen also edited Miskatonic University, of which I have a copy that I haven't read yet. LL costs $18.95 from Amazon, with free shipping in the US if you buy more than $25 worth of stuff, no discounts. The cover art is OK, nothing special, showing an ancient tome, a polyhedron and a specimen jar with something noisome in it. In the background is an alien landscape, and a photo of Lovecrat is on the back cover. My copy is showing some faint yellowing at the edges. Page count is 334. I believe all stories were new to this anthology when it first came out in 1990.

Contents:

An Open Letter to HP Lovecraft (introduction) by Robert Bloch

A Secret of the Heart by Mort Castle

The Other Man by Ray Garton

Will by Graham Masterton

Big "C" by Brian Lumley

Ugly by Gary Brandner

The Blade and the Claw by Hugh B. Cave

Soul Keeper by Joseph Citro

The Papers of Helmut Hecker by Chet Williamson

Meryphillia by Brian McNaughton

Lord of the Land by Gene Wolfe

HPL by Gahan Wilson

The Order of Things Unknown by Ed Gorman

The Barrens by F. Paul Wilson

I'm not sure why I never ordered it years ago. There are some tepid reviews by customers on Amazon; that might have done it. It sure would have been a stunner in 1990, with all the new stories. Now I know I have a lot of them, including my favorites, in other anthologies. I think The Barrens and HPL were both in Cthulhu 2000, and Meryphillia was in McNaughton's The Throne of Bones, being a story that is one of a series

llinked together to form the title novella. It is rather pricey

particularly if you already own Cthulu 2000, hence the 3 star rating.

The premise was that these stories were written, not necessarily to make a mythos collection, but for each author to show some way that Lovecraft influenced or affected him. Robert Bloch's opening introduction is an affectionate description of Lovecraft's place in American horror. At the end of each story an author's note describes how they were affected by Lovecraft. As a consequence of this premise the stories are a kind of mixed bag of subgenres, some mythosian if not overtly invoking Cthulhu et al, some touching on themes central to Lovecraft of looking beyond the veil of reality (like the anthology Horrors Beyond), some not particularly having anything to do with Lovecraft.

By and large I enjoyed them all.

Minor spoilers may follow.

A Secret of the Heart by Mort Castle - A man achieves immortality by bargaining with outre powers. He relates the biography of his younger days and how he managed to live so long. The theme of contacting other entities to achieve power or somesuch is very HPLish, but of course not original to or confined to HPL's worlds. Decent enough read.

The Other Man by Ray Garton - A man suspects his wife is leaving her body at night for the astral plane to meet another man's soul. He follows and discovers a terrible being living in this astral world that devours souls. The love triangle stuff is not really something seen in HPL, but the creature lying in wait in the extrasensory plane, while not a named entity, is very like a mythos being. Again a decent read.

Will by Graham Masterton - ....OK if you read this it will spoil the story!!!

.

.

.

.

.

Did you ever wonder where Will Shakespeare get his powers of

inspiration? Well he also used a contact with the Great Old Ones, Yog Sothoth to make a Faustian bargain. The residual of his contact with Yog Sothoth may still be found crawling in the muck in the ruins of the old Globe Theater, waiting to ensnare pesky archeologists. Yet another decent read. Haven't been blown away by any of these stories yet!

Big "C" by Brian Lumley - The Big C refers to cancer, that develops in an astronaut and sort of takes on a life of its own after exposure to alien influences, grows huge and, um, malignant, and sets up housekeeping on earth. Reminded me a lot of the working premise behind Cody Goodfellow's Radiant Dawn, although predating it by a decade. Very Lovecraftian in sensibility altthough not involving conventional mythos entities. This was a great and creepy story I had never seen before.

Ugly by Gary Brandner - So so, about a man who's wife is cheating on him and is a hellion, so he devotes himself to a little lizard in a lump of plastic he finds as a curio at a swapmeet. Results are predictable. This I found to be pedestrian and not Lovecraftian at all.

The Blade and the Claw by Hugh B. Cave - A nicely creepy voodoo novel of possession, although not very HPLish. I thought it was an engaging read however.

Soul Keeper by Joseph Citro - More like Misery, or even Psycho, than like anything by HPL. A not so nice man is injured in a car wreck and is held prisoner by some nutcase. Decent read but not much to do with HPL.

The Papers of Helmut Hecker by Chet Williamson - This was a tribute story, sort of like HPL below. So Lovecraft is still alive in the soul of a cat and another author acquires the cat and starts staying up at night, eating ice cream, using too many polysyllabic words etc. OK concept, fair execution. I generally dislike stories where HPL is a character

Meryphillia by Brian McNaughton - Not Lovecraftian at all but VERY enjoyable. I highly recommend everyone get a copy of McNaughton's Throne of Bones and read this story in its proper sequence with the rest of his ghoul stories.

Lord of the Land by Gene Wolfe - Kind of HPLish as a man investigates the truth behind ancient legends in the old west. Kind of like The Thing with an alien entity stuck here on earth for just needs somewhere to live (some host to live inside). Well written as you might imagine.

HPL by Gahan Wilson - Well known to mythos fans, HPL still lives in this tribute by the incomparable artist/cartoonist Gahan Wilson. And he does!...in Wilson's imagination and memories as spelled out in the very nice author's note. And I just contradicted myslef about disliking stories where HPL is a character!

The Order of Things Unknown by Ed Gorman - only Lovecraftian in the sense that possession stories are one device HPL liked to use. An ancient entity uses people to murder each other for sacrifices or somesuch. Well written and enjoyable.

The Barrens by F. Paul Wilson - To my mind, the best story in the book, very Lovecraftian in sensibility, vividly written. In a remote forest in New Jersey an ex student from Miskatonic University strives to look beyond our perceptions of reality.

So that about does it! Expensive but decent page count, with stories that mostly had at least faint echoes of things Lovecraftian and were mostly decent reads. Some real stunners, and the one klunker wasn't even that bad. I guess if you already have Cthulhu 2000 and a Lumley collection with The Big "C", then you don't miss the most mythosish stories by passing this by. In that case you also need to get The

Throne of Bones by McNaughton. But I also think anyone who gets this anthology will be able to idle away some pleasant hours reading. Maybe not a ringing endorsement but I don't regret spending the money...I guess that's sort of a backhanded compliment too....your call!
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars hardly his legacy April 10 2003
By jan erik storeb° - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
some of the stories here are not in any way connected to Lovecraft. Wolfe's story here is interesting, but doesn't really get to be horrible. a story about out-of-the-body experiences is pretty good, but something seems amiss in the ending. a story about a stuffed animal amused me. also included are some mediocre stories, and also some really dull stories. the collection is perhaps not the worst in history, but you can easily do better.
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