Book Review: Cthulhu's Reign by Anthology
My rating: 4 of 10 stars
It all comes to... Meh!
Some of this stories are good but most are just average to poor.
Lovecraftian theme is about a cosmic horror that is looming over our heads but it's never fulfilled. It's like in those movies that say... "We escaped" and someones replies "For now...". Hopelessness of it all. The not understanding of what's happening and the toll on our usual main character because it's to impossible to bear and insanity takes hold.
Well with that said a book about Cthulhu winning and/or other old ones arrive to conquer our world is against the Lovecraftian theme. BUT I am not so closed minded so let us see... because after all...
I must say the best are the ones that stick to the theme. I am sorry but some of them are quite frankly too... unlovecraftian to my liking. Some of them if you would change the name of the beast/god or whatever is assailing our world to BLARGHT and it should suffice to enter another anthology of great beasts like Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous but I am afraid that they would be between the worse of the lot. I won't be reviewing them all because as I said they are not that good.
"Walker in the Cemetery" by Ian Watson is one of the best of the lot. It has lovecraftian theme and the ending was good (it means it ends badly as most stories within). I enjoy the plot and as they thought that the CERN could be involved in it.
"Spherical Trigonometry" by Japanese writer Ken Asamatsu - This was one odd tale that ended... well even poorly than the tale itself. Angles or curves. This tale idea is from Frank Belknap Long that said that Tindalos come from angles and humankind comes from curves. So what better way to escape them? Built a curve house where everything has curves and not angles. Good idea but not so good execution.
Will Murry - "What brings the void" is a good tale in its own. Shub-Nigurath machines are burning humans. But Why? A man sets his mind to discover (a supposedly govermnent guy). The ending was good. The talking between the being and the human was... not so interesting. Why would Shub talk to him? We are not even rats but parasites infestnig a world. That's why most these stories failed to achieve what lovecraft created. We are worms. We don't talk to worms do we? We barely acknoledge they exist. But okay story nevertheless.
"The new Pauline Corpus" by Matt Cardin is a good theolgican piece of fiction about Christianity and Cthulhu. After all Christ was Cthulhu? Is Jerusalem R'lyeh?
Ghost Dancing by Darrell Schweitzer is another of those tales that make you think how humankind would process with the information about the coming of an unspeakable evil.
The Seals of new R'lyeh by Gregory Frost is good tale with a good twist in the end.
Now we arrive at the best tale of the lot. Brian Stableford's The Holocaust of Ecstasy is very good lovecraftian tale. He is one of my favourite writers out there and once again it prooves why. It's almost a theological / biological debate about the coming of Cthulhu.
But believe me when I say... there are a lot of good anthologies out there. These themed theme was a fiasco in my opinion. The idea behind of lovecraft is what we all know. I am sorry but this anthology didn't convinced. Most stories were simple and futile. Even some that I mention above are weak. I only mention because if I had not I would have a review with two or three tales.
In my opinion - Lovecraft wouldn't have enjoy this anthology.
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