Hellnotes note: This is the third review of this anthology that we’ve posted. I’ve always followed the philosophy that multiple reviews of the same book is alright as it gives you the opportunity to have different perspectives on the works of horror that are available to you. I just didn’t want you to pass up on reading this review because you thought you had seen it before. That being said, please enjoy Matthew Scott Baker’s take on Lovecraft’s Monsters.
Edited by Ellen Datlow
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Reviewed by Matthew Scott Baker
What do you get when you take some of genre fiction’s biggest names and ask them to write original fiction based on H.P. Lovecraft’s works? The answer is simple: you get an amazing and diverse treasure trove of stories. As an avid fan of Lovecraft’s monstrous creations, THIS is the anthology I’ve been waiting for. And it certainly does not disappoint. The stories here are unique and wonderful, showcasing the best of Lovecraft’s wicked imagination and the endless talents of several of today’s finest authors.
If you are not familiar with LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Tachyon Publications:
Prepare to meet the wicked progeny of the master of modern horror. In Lovecraft’s Monsters, H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous creations—Cthulhu, Shoggoths, Deep Ones, Elder Things, Yog-Sothoth, and more, appear in all their terrifying glory. Each story is a gripping new take on a classic Lovecraftian creature, and each is accompanied by a spectacular original illustration that captures the monsters’ unique visage.
Contributors include such literary luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Karl Edward Wagner, Elizabeth Bear, and Nick Mamatas. The monsters are lovingly rendered in spectacular original art by World Fantasy Award–winning artist John Coulthart (The Steampunk Bible).
Legions of Lovecraft fans continue to visit his bizarre landscapes and encounter his unrelenting monsters. Now join them in their journey…if you dare.
I never seem to get tired of Lovecraft-inspired stories and books. Every year, they seem to get better and better as new (and veteran) authors add their creations to the canon. I would daresay Lovecraft is even more popular now than he was when he was alive. And hopefully, this is a trend that will continue for many, many years.
Each story in LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS is written well, and there is a very nice diversity of prose between the various authors. I particularly like how each storyteller highlights a unique take on these already-published creatures; the ability to bring forth something new from something that already exists is a true testament to each writer’s talents.
In addition to the writing, each story is painstakingly illustrated by noted artist John Coulthart. Reading Lovecraft is one thing…but seeing the man’s creations in ink is something on a whole different level. I love this aspect of the book, as it gives an even more heightened appreciation of the monsters within the stories.
My favorite story in LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS is “Only the End of the World Again” by Neil Gaiman. In this tale, a werewolf has a run-in with an avatar of the Deep Ones, sea-dwelling gods that are older than time. I pegged this as my favorite because it blends Lovecraftian horror with existing mythology. This is very original and extremely entertaining.
LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS is a huge win for me, and I recommend this collection of stories to anyone who enjoys horror fiction. You don’t even have to be a fan of H.P. Lovecraft to enjoy this anthology; these tales have enough merit to stand on their own. The book is available now in a variety of formats.