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Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P.…

Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft

by Salomé Jones (Editor)

Other authors: E. Dane Anderson (Contributor), Piers Beckley (Contributor), Joff Brown (Contributor), Jeremy Clymer (Contributor), Gábor Csigás (Contributor)14 more, Tim Dedopulos (Contributor), Helmer Gorman (Contributor), Michael Grey (Contributor), Lynne Hardy (Contributor), S. T. Joshi (Afterword), Leeman Kessler (Foreword), G. K. Lomax (Contributor), Iain Lowson (Contributor), Gethin A. Lynes (Contributor), Marc Reichardt (Contributor), John Reppion (Contributor), Greg Stolze (Contributor), Peter Tupper (Contributor), Adam Vidler (Contributor)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H. P. Lovecraft contains a selection of stories that allude to Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Some are creepy tableaux with nights dark and stormy and places dilapidated and haunted. Others explore the creeping existential dread found in the prosaic.

Two standouts are Michael Grey's "1884" and Gethin A. Lynes' "The Highland Air." Both are set in the Victorian era and leavened with small details that add to the stories' atmospherics. A casual implication by Lynes that the influence of Cthulhu is, in part, responsible for the Kelly Gang's rampaging neatly illustrates the timelessness of Cthulhu's power and the vastness of its reach.
Several other stories, while interesting, are too brief or too nebulous to immerse oneself in their creepiness. This vagueness serves to stymie the horror, not enhance it. ( )
  LibraryPerilous | Aug 4, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Cthulhu Lives!
Author: Tim Dedopulos, John reppion, Greg Stolze, Lynne Hardy, Gabor Csigas, Gethin A. Lynes, E. Dane Anderson, Piers Beckley, Joff Brown, Jeremy Clymer, Helmer Gorman, Michael Grey, G. K. Lomax, Iain Lowson, Marc Reichardt, Peter Tuper, Adam Yidler
Publisher: Ghostwoods Books
Published In: London, United Kingdom
Date: 2014
Pgs: 275


Cthulhu lives...is dead...is rising...comes again...is dead. Lovecraft’s elder dead monster god finds expression through the words and deeds of men. Dark visions arise in the imagination of mankind and grow strong. Mankind is a drop of light and life in the endless darkness of the universe. Vast alien horrors await mankind. The darkness is here and it hungers for the light.

End of the World
Science fiction
Short stories
Witches, wizards and magic

Why this book:
It’s Cthulhu.
Universal Constants
by Piers Beckley

Favorite Character:
Professor Glay is coming undone.

The Feel:
There is a science creep factor here that is awesome.

Favorite Scene:
Where Professor Glay has come to the point chasing the shifting results from the Super Collider where he is trying to map the shifts with strings and is sitting at the center of a web of strings attached all over his office where he is trying to map in 4 dimensions the shifts in the numbers, he tells the narrator that the universal constants are shifting and that is what’s causing the results to be different. And he’s going crazy.

That scene where he’s locking himself in and smiles big when she helps him dog the hatch shut so that he can “escape.”

Well paced.

Casting call:
Jeffrey Combs would be awesome as Professor Glay. Of course, he’s awesome as everything he plays.
by Michael Grey

Favorite Character:
Officer Martin Fisher

The Feel:
This is creepy alternate history.

Favorite Scene:
When Officer Martin is called before Her Most Ancient and Imperial Majesty, Queen Victoria, and gets his first look at what she has become.

The pace was good.

Hmm Moments:
Tesla’s experiment and the sinking of his ship and the consequences of his experiments in the deep ocean.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Considering that we live in an era when Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter made it to the big screen, why couldn’t 1884. Would have to be expanded seriously and it would need an ending.

Casting call:
Would love Ewan McGregor as Officer Martin Fisher.
by Tim Dedopulos

Favorite Character:
Robert, the narrator.

The Feel:
I like the central conflict of this. Didn’t expect the Lovecraftian menaces to be in opposition like that.

Favorite Scene:
The fish/frog man driving the bus spying on the paranoid man is a great scene.

Page turner.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
With as paranoid as Phillip is, why does he trust? Doesn’t fit with the character. Same with all these guys. Conspiracy theorists by definition think everyone is out to get them or part of the conspiracy. Paranoia may destroy you...but it may keep you alive.

Hmm Moments:
Naval livefire exercises in the Gulf of Mexico that have a suspicious number of friendly fire incidents...at least reportedly friendly fire. And a contagious element. And a fear that the Mexican Navy may have bitten off more than it can chew.

The flip is awesome. Great climax and anticlimax.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Would end up bastardized if they tried to pad it out to movie length. Awesome just like it is. The CGI budget to make it feel as big as it is wouldn’t convert to a ½ hour show in a Twilight Zone vein.
by G. K. Lomax

The Feel:
You can feel the narrator’s obsession building in the story.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
I would love one of these Cthulian horrors that ends in government coverup to show how the government is involved and doing what it does over time in a denouement / anticlimax.

Hmm Moments:
See...if I opened up a wall and found a glowing stone with alien script on it that looks ancient but neither I nor any of my friends can identify, I’m thinking I’d get myself the hell out of there as opposed to sitting there staring at it and/or trying to sleep in the same room with the stone.
On the Banks of the River Jordan
by John Reppion

The Feel:
I like the format of the email correspondence.

Favorite Scene:
When the fox is revealed to not be a fox on the pond’s edge by moonlight.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
The mysterious ending is a great trope, but it’s misused here. There isn’t enough to it to give the reader a line on what happens next.
Dark Waters
by Adam Vidler

Least Favorite Character:
Ray knew and he ran, very chickenshit.

The Feel:
The spirits of the hole using Ray’s anger to manifest gives us a look in at destructive emotions acting through the ethereal. Course her getting sucked down and devoured slowly over eternity makes his anger seem misplaced and childish.

Favorite Scene:
When the spirits of the waterhole awoke and sucked Kat down.
by Iain Lowson

Favorite Scene:
The idea of a huge paper art construction that has unnatural folds that seem to call infinity and such is awesome.

Very short. Pace is a non-issue due to the brevity of the story. This is more a vignette calling up a Lovecraftian concept than an actual story.

Hmm Moments:
The final ink stroke on the blank paper pulling the critic into the “art” before falling back into its blank shape.
Demon in Glass
by E. Dane Anderson

Favorite Character:
The photographer.

The Feel:
I like the old time photographer / darkroom pretext.

Favorite Scene:
The climactic scene when he looks at the overall image of the burnt asylum / sanitarium building.

Well paced. But too many of these leave the open ended ending hanging there.

Hmm Moments:
When the photographer saw what the negatives revealed.
Scales from Balor’s Eye
by Helmer Gorman

Favorite Character:
The Old Man at the boarding house seems very Gollum-like, what with his mannerisms and his trunk full of his precious under his bed.

The Feel:
There is a sense of the other shoe about to drop all through this, but it also fits predictably into the tropes of the Cthulian genre.

Favorite Scene:
When he realizes that he almost drove his car off the cliff in the fog the night before.

The ancient broken steeple tip revealing the depths hid the city that he had come looking for. His family’s history stood drowned below the clifftops and in the depths just there off the slimy, murky beach below the boarding house.

The innkeeper’s daughter sneaking into the traveller’s room in the wee hours of the night and taking what she wants from him physically. The bite that won’t heal. And the town lit up under the waves and the whatever the tentacled thing was.

The pace of this one is just okay.

Casting call:
I’d say Billy Crystal as the Old Man, but I’m not sure how well he can play creepy.
Of the Faceless Crowd
by Gabor Csigas

The Feel:
The emptiness of this story, the attempted stillness of the narrator’s mind, not wanting to connect to anything around him. The nihilistic nothingness of it all. This is a dark story that I’m really glad isn’t longer.

Hmm Moments:
The narrator’s daughter being a member of a, shhh hush, sweeper team. A cryptic piece dropped into the middle of this introverted, brain damaged narrator’s day in the life.

Scritch, Scratch
by Lynne Hardy

Favorite Character:
The ratcatcher on his lonely, hereditary job.

Least Favorite Character:
The idiots on the Town Council who make the mistake of not respecting the Old Ways and the position of ratcatcher.

The Feel:
Telegraphing hard.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Amazing how many of these stories start or end with a drowned town.

Unfortunately, my Kindle crashed and I lost the remainder of the book. I’m posting the review through this point pending my repurchasing the book and completing it at some point. Review based on what I’ve read through this point.

Last Page Sound:
Ah...dammit. (see above)

Author Assessment:
There are some very well plotted shorts here. Some derivative. A mixed bag. Some of these authors are on my definitely look at again while some are on my meh list.

Editorial Assessment:
Some of the stories left the ending too much up in the air.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
glad I read it

Disposition of Book:

Would recommend to:
genre fans
__________________________________________________​ ( )
1 vote texascheeseman | Feb 16, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
How can you not like an anthology that, before you even read a single story, already has three things in its favor: a foreword by Leeman “Ask Lovecraft” Kessler, an afterword by S.T. Joshi, and most importantly, 17 new stories, none of which are by the usual group of writers that seem to appear in every Lovecraft anthology.

Editor Jones’s previous anthology Red Phone Box (2013) wove the stories of 23 different authors together in such a way as to be distinct tales but interconnected through an underlying story arch.

Essentially, Jones has done the exact opposite in Cthulhu Lives!, where the lack of connectivity essentially evokes the basic Lovecraftian tenet that the irrelevancies of mankind are beneath the notice of an uncaring universe, and that mankind’s interactions with the Old Ones are unnoticed to the gods, and mind-rendering and messy for mankind. Jones has carefully avoided the twin traps of overt pastiches and generic stories that simply drop a familiar name or book title. Instead, she has chosen stories that evoke the themes of cosmic horror and fear of the unknown without slipping into tropes. The story lengths swing wildly in both directions, a calculated risk by Jones in her selections. It works because the stories are a diverse lot, leaping from steampunk Victorian England to a modern day physics lab, from England to Australia to North America. Some stories are a bit more obvious in their influences such as “Hobstone” by G. K. Lomax, which is evocative of “Rats in the Wall,” while “The Highland Air” shows author Gethin A. Lynes to be a devotee of “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.” This is an observation, not a complaint; all the stories evoke the classic Lovecraft disquiet of the unknown that quickly escalates into abject terror. If you’re looking for stories from the wretched interpretation of Lovecraft where professors sail through space on then the backs of byakhees, you’re in the wrong book.

Cthulhu Lives! is a solid addition to Lovecraft fiction, respectful of the source material but willing to test the boundaries. Salomé Jones has done a remarkable assembling this collection and Ghostwoods Books should be encouraged to pursue similar projects.
2 vote goudsward | Dec 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“I’ll go and get someone.” She stood, backed away. Glay made no move to follow her, sat there staring at his scarlet threads, looking lost in the corner of his web, connected to the walls of the office by lines of gossamer. Spider or fly? she thought.
“It won’t help,” he said.
“What won’t help?”
“We’re moving away. The planets are spinning and the stars are moving and we’re moving too, farther and farther away from what we were. The Earth moves around the sun, and the sun moves around the centre of the galaxy, and the galaxy moves within the centre of the universe, wheels within wheels within wheels, all moving and changing and altering as we’re altering. And it’s the universal constants, Rebecca. They’re changing.”
She was at the door. “I’m going to the medical centre. I’ll be back in a bit.”
He didn’t move. Sat there. Looking down at the carpet, the drawing pins pinning the red string to the floor. He muttered something.
“What was that?” she said.
Glay looked up at her. Rebecca had never seen his eyes so sad. “Everything will be different now.”
She walked quickly to fetch the doctor, but Glay was gone when she returned.

I do not expect all short stories to have their endings wrapped up neatly, and that goes double for Cthulhu Mythos stories, but I don't like stories to stop dead with no explanation at all and there were a couple of stories early on that I felt left the reader high and dry. On the other hand, "Ink" handles an enigmatic ending very well, as I found it one of the most powerful stories in the book even though nothing is really explained.

My other favourites are towards the end of the book, where there were a few stories with a lighter, humorous take on the Cthulhu Mythos, and I especially liked "Visiting Rights". I thought it was just going to be about the conflict between the boy's divorced parents with his mother's boyfriend bringing the mythos into the story via his spell book, and it is about that, but everything else that is going on came as a big surprise.

With a themed anthology there is always a risk with that the stories will not be different enough, but Chulhu Lives! is an enjoyable collection with a good variety of stories, some strongly linked to Lovecraft's stories while others were linked more subtly, some frightening, others humorous, stories set at different time periods, and even a couple from the point of view of non-human entities.

My other favourites were "Coding Time", "The Thing in the Printer" and "Highland Air", while "Scritch, Scratch" was also very effective although I can't say I actually liked it due to the forests full of mouldering rat skeletons (what were the council thinking of to get rid of the rat catcher when it should have been obvious he was needed by the huge amount of rats he was catching every day!).

Note: I read an uncorrected proof copy, but the quotation above is taken from the published book, via the sample available on Amazon's Look Inside. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Sep 24, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jones, SaloméEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, E. DaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beckley, PiersContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, JoffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clymer, JeremyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Csigás, GáborContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dedopulos, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorman, HelmerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grey, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hardy, LynneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Joshi, S. T.Afterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kessler, LeemanForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lomax, G. K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lowson, IainContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lynes, Gethin A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reichardt, MarcContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reppion, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stolze, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tupper, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vidler, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To my mom, who let me read Lovecraft as a Kid. ~ Salomé Jones
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Book description
"That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."

At the time of his death in 1937, American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was virtually unknown. The power of his stories was too great to contain, however. As the decades slipped by, his dark visions laid down roots in the collective imagination of mankind, and they grew strong. Now Cthulhu is a name known to many and, deep under the seas, Lovecraft s greatest creation becomes restless...

This volume brings together seventeen masterful tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft s work. In his fiction, humanity is a tiny, accidental drop of light and life in the endless darkness of an uncaring universe a darkness populated by vast, utterly alien horrors. Our continued survival relies upon our utter obscurity, something that every fresh scientific wonder threatens to shatter.

The dazzling stories in Cthulhu Lives! show the disastrous folly of our arrogance. We think ourselves the first masters of Earth, and the greatest, and we are very badly mistaken on both counts. Inside these covers, you ll find a lovingly-curated collection of terrors and nightmares, of catastrophic encounters to wither the body and blight the soul. We humans are inquisitive beings, and there are far worse rewards for curiosity than mere death.

The truth is indeed out there and it hungers.
Haiku summary
Cthulhu who slept
Deep down beneath the oceans
Lo, It awakens.
In eternal sleep
Its dreams reach like cold tendrils
Into writers' minds.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0957627149, Paperback)

Seventeen cosmic horror stories with a modern sensibility.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:10 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Seventeen cosmic horror stories with a modern sensibility. Featuring an afterword by Lovecraft scholar and biographer S. T. Joshi.

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