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The Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft [Hardcover]

John Pelan
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 2 2002
Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft?s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu mythos. In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the macabre himself, H. P. Lovecraft. Inside you?ll find

DETAILS
by China Mi?ville: A curious boy discovers that within the splinters of cracked wood or the tangle of tree branches, the devil is in the details.

VISITATION by James Robert Smith: When Edgar Allan Poe arrives, a callow man finally gets what he always wanted?and what he may eternally despise.

MEET ME ON THE OTHER SIDE
by Yvonne Navarro: A couple in love with terror travels beyond their wildest dreams?and into their nightmares.

A FATAL EXCEPTION HAS OCCURRED AT . . .
by Alan Dean Foster: Internet terrorism extends far beyond transmitting threats of evil.

DARK OF THE MOON by James Dorr: A cosmonaut watches helplessly as her husband walks on the surface of the moon?into inescapable horror.

SPECTACLE OF A MAN by Weston Ochse: Crucifixion becomes a seductive maelstrom of madness with this postmodern twist on an ancient torture.

The true horror of Lovecraft?s extraordinary fiction lies in the unknown. He beguiles us with very real worlds filled with sheer terror, which lie just beyond comprehension. Children of Cthulhu features twenty-one modern masters bring who Lovecraft?s original ideas and stark images roaring into the twenty-first century in all their grisly, godless glory.

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Product Description

From Amazon

While H.P. Lovecraft himself encouraged other authors to expand his horrific universe with stories of their own, the Cthulhu mythos has spawned so many slavish imitators that it tends not to seem so scary these days. Editors John Pelan and Benjamin Adams seek to remedy that with The Children of Cthulhu, an anthology of 21 stories by modern macabre masters. Contributors were asked to avoid trotting out old Lovecraftian clichés and instead to write stories that bring the true horror of Cthulhu right into the modern world. The results are mostly terrific. Offerings from Poppy Z. Brite ("Are You Loathsome Tonight?"), Caitlín R. Kiernan ("Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea"), China Miéville ("Details"), and L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims ("A Victorian Pot Dresser") are the best of the bunch. Many of the stories are reminiscent of the Vertigo line of DC Comics, with dark, urban settings and gross-out violence, so the book is more likely to appeal to readers of contemporary horror than to fans of classic Lovecraft. --Therese Littleton

From Publishers Weekly

If the 23 contributors to this uneven anthology avoid the obvious Cthulhu Mythos clich‚s, none comes close to emulating Lovecraft's trademark cosmic horror. Typical is the two editors' collaborative "That's the Story of My Life." Set in Arkham with "its aged, gambrel-roofed neighborhoods," this brisk tale relies for its effect on a twist out of Damon Knight, not on any Lovecraftian atmosphere. Richard Laymon's "The Cabin in the Woods," a tribute to H.P.L.'s "The Whisperer in Darkness," shares a rural Vermont setting, but its action-oriented, dialogue-laden plot is the antithesis of the master's. "A Victorian Pot Dresser," by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims, in which an old piece of furniture hungers for sacrificial virgins, seems to be inspired by Lovecraft at his more ludicrous. The better stories deal with the Lovecraftian theme of outsideness, in particular Poppy Z. Brite's grotesque portrait of Elvis Presley's last days, "Are You Loathsome Tonight?" (the book's one reprint). Steve Rasnic Tem's homage to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "Outside," with its aquatic horror and decayed seaport, nicely evokes some of the brooding menace of Lovecraft's classic tale. And Caitl¡n R. Kiernan, in her stylish "Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea," does a turn on the lure of oceanic terrors with a bow to Lewis Carroll. To be preferred to most Lovecraft imitations, these 21 tales will likely please mainstream horror fans more than H.P.L. purists. Agent, Jennifer Jackson at Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Jan. 2)Forecast: Like the amphibious Deep Ones who threaten to expand beyond Innsmouth, Lovecraft-inspired fiction is starting to invade the genre mainstream. If this and similar anthologies take a beating in the larger marketplace, expect a hasty retreat into the shadowy recesses of the small press realm.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly not really Lovecraftian, but decent enough. March 18 2004
Format:Paperback
Most of the stories in this anthology adopt the trappings of Lovecraft's tales, but none of the style. The most loyal of the bunch is China Mieville's entry. The remainder of the tales drop names or refer to classic tales to remind the reader of the nature of the anthology. A few of the tales, such as "A Victorian Pot Dresser," begin well, but soon decend into stadard horror cliches, with tight little endings that follow standard movie logic. What's missing, what's forgotten, is that most of the dread that Lovecraft evoked in his stories came not from the events in themselves, but from the greater implications of those events -- the knowledge that humanity is supremely insignificant is the wider world and, despite the realization of this horror, we can never understand why, the very nature of reality being invisible to our inferior biology and intellect. Most of these stories skip such implications and head straight for the gruesome monsters and the spattering blood with a near-complete lack of subtlety.
Best to skip this one and stick with older material, if not Lovecraft himself. Most of the anthologies published by Chaosium are far superior.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven, but have some gems... Sept. 28 2003
By isala
Format:Paperback
The contributors, including China Mieville, avoid most of the pitfalls of Lovecraft's successors. If anything, they fall in the smae traps as he did! Writing Cthulhu mythos stories is very difficult. While no story exactly fails, very few bring you to the brink of insanity either. Some stories, like "Details", "Meet me on the other side", and "Parameters and Principles" soars. At its worst this book helps bring back memories of those magic days of terror when you could read the real thing, and for that I really like it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cthulhu Britiannia July 12 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It is about time that a superior Cthulhu anthology begins collecting stories from across the Pond. The stories and authors do Lovecraft proud and the fact most are set in contemporary times, is definately an added bonus. If you are a Lovecraftian as opposed to a Cthulhuian, this is the anthology for you and you are interest in updating the Mythos to near times, as opposed to the 1920s...GO BUY THIS BOOK, you will not be disappointed.
This is a superior anthology of cosmic horror, unspoiled that had me turning every page. I can only hope that we will see more.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft Did NOT edit this July 27 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
HPL died in 1937. This book was published last year. He did NOT edit it. If he did, the contents would have been much better than the tripe contained therein.
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5.0 out of 5 stars he may be dead but his "brain children" live June 28 2002
Format:Hardcover
Lovecraft may be dead for sometime now but he manages to live on through other authors who have taken his work to a whole other level. I had purchased this book as I had others just knowing that I would enjoy it. I certainly did and the stories relate in one way or another to Lovecrafts works. Sometimes you have to know what Lovecraft wrote about,others you do not so it can be for a Lovecraft fan or a horror fan. There are a few that have nothing to do with Lovecrafts work but I wont hold it against them. Ultamitly it is up to you to decide if you really like or dislike the scary, strange world that Lovecraft has opened up for us all to see.
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