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Future Lovecraft by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Future Lovecraft

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Editor), Paula R. Stiles (Editor)

Other authors: Anthony Boulanger (Contributor), Jesse Bullington (Contributor), A. D. Cahill (Contributor), Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso (Contributor), Bobby Cranestone (Contributor)33 more, Sean Craven (Contributor), Kelda Crich (Contributor), Tucker Cummings (Contributor), Andrew Dombalagian (Contributor), James S. Dorr (Contributor), Mae Empson (Contributor), Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (Contributor), Orrin Grey (Contributor), Ada Hoffmann (Contributor), Martha Hubbard (Contributor), Paul Jessup (Contributor), Leigh Kimmel (Contributor), Meddy Ligner (Contributor), Nick Mamatas (Contributor), Helen Marshall (Contributor), Michael Matheson (Contributor), Maria Mitchell (Contributor), Luso Mnthali (Contributor), Mari Ness (Contributor), Peter Rawlik (Contributor), Pamela Rentz (Contributor), Julio Toro San Martin (Contributor), Ann K Schwader (Contributor), Robyn Seale (Contributor), Randy Stafford (Contributor), Molly Tanzer (Contributor), E. Catherine Tobler (Contributor), Don Webb (Contributor), Jen White (Contributor), A. C. Wise (Contributor), Bryan Thao Worra (Contributor), Arlene J. Yandug (Contributor), Lee Clark Zumpe (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This collection of shorts and poems on the theme of “fear the future” is not always very Lovecraftian and there are few stand out stories (Richard Mathieson Jr’s is a great story but I’m failing to think of any other stand out stories). On the whole it is interesting and varied but does suffer, like many disparate collections on a theme, a fair amount of unevenness.

Overall – one for fans of SF/Horror crossover and Lovecraft ( )
  psutto | Jun 27, 2013 |
From France, South Africa, Nigeria, the Philippines, Mexico, Canada, and the United States, the editors have gathered 38 reasons to “fear the future”, an assemblage of poems and stories with few duds.

Before I slice and dice and categorize the works, full disclosure requires that I note I’m one of the contributors.

While the editors’ definition of Lovecraftian fiction doesn’t always match mine, there’s plenty here that unquestionably slithers into that category. A list of the liveliest follows. Yes, Nick Mamatas’ “Inky, Blinky, Pinky Nyarlathotep” combines Pac-Man, transhumans, and primo cosmic horror. Don Webb’s “A Comet Called Ithaqua” (one of four reprints in this anthology) puts ghouls in space with, as the title hints, echoes of Algernon Blackwood and August Derleth. Lovecraftian fiction is, of course, famous for its tomes of esoteric blasphemy, but Helen Marshall’s “Skin” looks at a different set of disturbing literature. I knew from an opening quote from Francis Thompson’s militant poem “The Hound of Heaven”, I was going to like Julio Toro San Martin “Iron Footfalls” which mixes the Hounds of Tindalos with killer robots. “Tloque Nahuaque” from Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas makes a connection between Aztec gods and Lovecraft’s. The prose-poem that is A. C. Wise’s “Venice Burning” hides some illogic and vagueness, but I’m giving it a pass for its apocalyptic images of Venice and a rising R’lyeh. Anthony Boulanger “A Day and Night in Providence” is sort of a wry commentary on fantasy literature and the opposition between the poles of Saint Tolkein and the heretical church of Lovecraft, Smith, and Howard. And, speaking of Clark Ashton Smith, Leigh Kimmel’s “The Damnable Asteroid”, with its tale of asteroid miners being menaced in space, reminded me of some of Smith’s pulp science fiction. And the Mars setting of Meddy Ligner’s “Trajectory of a Cursed Spirit”, a gulag for a revived Russian communist state, also reminded me a bit of Smith’s Martian horror stories, but I also liked its mixture of Lovecraftian horror and unpleasantly real horrors from Russian history. Smith is evoked most explicitly in Jesse Bullington’s “The Door from Earth”, sort of a wry, action-packed sequel to Smith’s “The Door to Saturn”. I loved the title of Tucker Cummings’ “Concerning the Last Days of the Colony at New Roanoke” and the story, an academic examination of 17 objects found in the lost colony, didn’t disappoint. I have a weakness for this sort of pseudo-documentary puzzle piece. Orrin Grey’s “The Labyrinth of Sleep” is not only a sure-footed, compelling riff on Lovecraft’s Randolph Carter stories, but an excellent variation on all those science fiction stories which feature dreamnauts and their sleuthing and symbolic combat in the symbolic land of dreams. “Go, Go, Go, Said the Byakhee” from Molly Tanner is effective far future horror of cannibalism, mutants, and a lake god in Cappadocia.

There were some stories explicitly Lovecraftian, that didn’t seem in the best of health to me. Again, though, few are outright duds. Peter Rawlik evokes Robert Chambers in “In the Hall of the Yellow King”. The comic “Tri-TV” from Bobby Cranestone channel surfs a future cable system to give a picture of growing chaos. Interesting and moody is Michael Matheson’s “Rubedo, an Alchemy of Madness” with a morphine-addled woman living in a reef of space junk. The eponymous heroines of “The Library Twins and the Nekrobees” from Martha Hubbard battle a demon for the future of the world’s libraries, but the tone and ideas didn’t do much for me. The supernatural aspects of Pamela Rentz “Lottie Versus the moon Hopper” didn’t move me, but I liked the idea of a space program operating out of an Indian reservation interesting. E. Catherine Tobler’s “Myristica Fragrans” has a spaceport threatened by shipment of what looks to be nutmeg. James S. Dorr’s “Dark of the Moon” (a reprint from The Children of Cthulhu) seems more an intellectual exercise in looking at the history of imaginary lunar voyages than a horror story. I’m not sure I completely understood Maria Mitchell's “The Kadath Angle”, but its vision of a future Innsmouth wasn’t very convincing though the ending partially redeems it. There was too much unexplained in Sean Craven’s “Deep Blue Dreams”, a story of a future drug called “jelly”, though I did like its half-serious notion of an economic collapse caused by rigorous enforcement of copyright laws.

There are several good or, at least, ok stories here that don’t seem to possess much Loveraftian DNA. Martha Hubbard’s “Harmony Amid the Stars” recounts the psychological and murderous disintegration of spaceship’s crew. The language of Paul Jessup’s “Postflesh” mesmerized me with group of people trying to escape the deadly alien junkyard that is the planet of Shadrim. “Dolly in the Window” from Robyn Searle, with its setting in a far future orphanage, seems more Dickensian than anything from the head of the Gentleman from Providence. The setting of a depopulated Australia littered with “time wells” was interesting in Jen White’s “A Cool, Private Place”. (It could arguably be inspired by Lovecraft’s “He”.) The Nigerian setting of Ezeiyoke Chukwunonso’s “The Last Man Standing” , a disaster story of a mutated HIV epidemic, and its forthright, unadorned style made it enjoyable. Another story from an African writer is “People Are Reading What You Are Writing” from Luso Mnthali. I didn’t mind this story of a political exile, but I didn’t find it that remarkable either.

There weren’t any non-Lovecraftian stories I found outright bad.

There are several works of poetry here. It’s always tricky, given what should be its feature of compressed language, commenting on poetry, so I’ll pick out only a few for comment. Ann K. Schwader’s “In this Brief Interval” is a strong kick off to the anthology. It’s written to a form (a villanelle for the poets keeping score at home) with comprehensible, memorable language – the repetition of “the stars were right” playing off Lovecraft’s famous line and letting us know we’ve always been screwed. “Do Not Imagine” from Mari Ness has some nice imagery as it deals with the madness inherent in space travel. A. D. Cahill’s “This Song Is Not for You” is about that flute-playing god, Azathoth, at the center of creation. Mae Empson’s “A Welcome Sestina from Cruise Director Isabeau Molyneux” uses no definition of “sestina” I’m familiar with. Lee Clark Zumpe’s “Transmigration” has memorable language in its account of post-apocalyptic religious cult.

This anthology stands as more evidence that we live in a Golden Age of Lovecraftian fiction whether it is of the Mythos fiction subspecies or more general “cosmic horror”. ( )
  RandyStafford | Jan 20, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moreno-Garcia, SilviaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stiles, Paula R.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boulanger, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bullington, JesseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cahill, A. D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chukwunonso, EzeiyokeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cranestone, BobbyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Craven, SeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crich, KeldaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cummings, TuckerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dombalagian, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dorr, James S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Empson, MaeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
García-Rosas, Nelly GeraldineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grey, OrrinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoffmann, AdaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hubbard, MarthaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jessup, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kimmel, LeighContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ligner, MeddyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mamatas, NickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marshall, HelenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Matheson, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, MariaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mnthali, LusoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ness, MariContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rawlik, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rentz, PamelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
San Martin, Julio ToroContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schwader, Ann KContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Seale, RobynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stafford, RandyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tanzer, MollyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tobler, E. CatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Webb, DonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, JenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wise, A. C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Worra, Bryan ThaoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yandug, Arlene J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zumpe, Lee ClarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parra, Nacho MolinaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saint John, ChadwickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vogt, MarkusCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Decades, centuries, and even thousands of years in the future: the horrors inspired by Lovecraft do not know the limits of time...or space. Journey through this anthology of science fiction stories and poems inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Listen to the stars that whisper and drive a crew mad. Worship the Tloque Nahuaque as he overtakes Mexico City. Slip into the court of the King in Yellow. Walk through the streets of a very altered Venice. Stop to admire the beauty of the flesh-dolls in the window. Fly through space in the shape of a hungry, malicious comet. Swim in the drug-induced haze of a jellyfish. Struggle to survive in a Martian gulag whose landscape isn't quite dead. But, most of all, fear the future!… (more)

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