Written and Illustrated by Gary Myers
Trade Paperback, $15.00 121 pages
Review by Kent Knopp-Schwyn
Wow! 32 years ago Gary Myers penned a slim Arkham House volume of stories titled The House of the Worm that is now a highly sought after collectible. If there were justice in the world, the excellent stories in this new volume from Mythos Books would make Gary Myers a must read for every horror fan. As in his previous collection all the tales are well steeped in the Mythos tradition but, this time, they have a wonderfully modern flavor.
At the behest of Robert Price, Mr. Myers crafted these twelve mythos narratives for this collection and the result is book that can be savored and enjoyed by ardent and casual Mythos fans as well as those who generally bypass anything with even a hint of Lovecraftian Mythos. The excellent stories within the covers range from noir/crime fiction, to misty reminiscence of bygone days to pithy commentary on today’s gluttonous society. Most are laced with humor, many have a wry punch line at the end and all are unobtrusively infused with Lovecraft Mythos in one form or another.
Standout stories include “Slugs” (modern day crime meets HPL), “Fast Food” (be careful when EVERYONE goes to the same new restaurant for lunch), “From Inner Egypt” (The Mummy by way of Cthulu), and “Horror Show” (do vampires clubs exist in Arkham?). The highlight of the collection, however, has to be “Understudy.” Through the memories of the Special Effects Supervisor we view what infuses the movie, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, its power to continue scaring us today.
Ignore the book’s slim page count since the clear text font, while small is very readable and enables the author to pack plenty of punch and words packed into a mere 121 pages. The reader will also find that the pacing moves quickly and naturally from scene to scene and story to story; neither breathless nor overly pedantic – each story moving along at just the right speed to keep the reader engaged and wondering what will happen next. The shudder factor will depend upon each reader’s attitude toward Lovecraftian type tales; irregardless, each tale is well written and a pleasure to read. Pick up this well priced volume and you won’t be disappointed Lovecraft fan or no.