Cthulhu Lives - An Eldritch Tribute to H. P. Lovecraft Edited by Salomé Jones (Ghostwoods Books, 2014)
FOREWORD by Leeman Kessler UNIVERSAL CONSTANTS by Piers Beckley 1884 by Michael Grey ELMWOOD by Tim Dedopulos HOBSTONE by G. K. Lomax ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER JORDAN by John Reppion DARK WATERS by Adam Vidler INK by Iain Lowson DEMON IN GLASS by E. Dane Anderson SCALES FROM BALOR’S EYE by Helmer Gorman OF THE FACELESS CROWD by Gábor Csigás SCRITCH, SCRATCH by Lynne Hardy ICKE by Greg Stolze CODING TIME by Marc Reichardt THE THING IN THE PRINTER by Peter Tupper THE OLD ONES by Jeremy Clymer VISITING RIGHTS by Joff Brown THE HIGHLAND AIR by Gethin A. Lynes AFTERWORD
This is one of the few new Lovecraft themed anthologies of this year, containing all new material.
This is a mixed bag. It seems to be the rule of the day to distance themselves from those "old pastiches" and going new ways. But for my taste a story should be a little more Lovecraftian then just some dark entity in a british pond or some allusions to Machen. A lot of these stories are rather pedestrian and could be included in any anthologie of Ghost Tales or modern horror. I read this over the course of a few weeks and had trouble remembering most of the content. Never happens with Laird Barron I have to say.
I did like:
1884 by Michael Grey: It is Steampunk-Lovecraft. It reminded me a bit too much of Gaiman's A study in Emerald, but there were a few nice ideas and I liked the atmosphere. After a Tesla experiment went wrong, Britain is slowly conquered by entities from other dimensions. Now they want the continent.
The Thing in the Printer by Peter Tupper: They never should have let Conrad Delkirk play with the new Skulptomatic 400 3-D printer. His weird sculptures are hard to look at, even before Delkirk becomes obsessed with the technology and changes into the phantom of the campus. This has a good, inventive idea and is fun to read. Even if the plot itself is a bit predictable.
The Highland Air by Gethin A. Lynes Aonghas Crowther from New South Wales has problems with his sickly son Dougal. It is the 1880s and Dougal develops unheathly interests in strange books, cults and opium. Concerned Crowther sends him to his brother in Scotland, but the young man dies. Heartbroken Crowther ships the corpse back to Australia, but a stranger is delivered. He begins to search for his son, but when he stumbles upon the Yellow Sign he finds more then he bargained for. This story is missing in the content page of the Kindle edition. It is one of the longest entries and a well written historical horror with a lot of local color and voyaging. The Mythos elements are cleverly chosen and incorporated in the plot.
Looking for a place for this link, I saw this interesting post by Andy. He mentions Neil Gaiman's tale "A study in emerald." A friend was speaking about the story at a gathering I attended last weekend, and I found this PDF version, reminiscent of the early issues of the original series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore: