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Eternal Lovecraft: The Persistence of HPL in…

Eternal Lovecraft: The Persistence of HPL in Popular Culture

by Jim Turner (Editor)

Other authors: Fred Chappel (Author), Nancy A. Collins (Author), Harlan Ellison (Author), Ron Goulart (Author), Stephen King (Author)14 more, T.E.D. Klein (Author), Fritz Leiber (Author), Thomas Ligotti (Author), Richard A. Lupoff (Author), Ian R. MacLeod (Author), Alan Rodgers (Author), William Browning Spencer (Author), Peter Tremayne (Author), Steven Utley (Author), Paula Volsky (Author), Howard Waldrop (Author), Don Webb (Author), Robert Charles Wilson (Author), Gene Wolfe (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Subtler than most of these collections. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 2, 2017 |
Actually, Jim Turner was fired from Arkham House, but whether this had to do with his decision to publish more and more science fiction books rather than the weird fiction titles for which Arkham House is famous I do not know. Arkham House lost many of its regular customers, myself included, because of the editorial choices of Jim Turner. It was Jim who edited the final two volumes of Lovecraft's SELECTED LETTERS; but there is some question how much of the work is his and how much was the earlier labor of Donald Wandrei. Turner also re-edited TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, dropping some of the stories that were in Derleth's original edition and adding many new stories, the finest of which was "Sticks" by Karl Edward Wagner. Although I have given away my copy of ETERNAL LOVECRAFT, I seem to recall that Jim's preference for science fiction was one factor in his defense of "The Shadow out of Time" in this book's Introduction. It was Turner's fantasy, I think, that had Lovecraft lived he would have written more and more in the pure science fiction genre; but this is belied by Lovecraft's final story, the supremely Gothic masterpiece, "The Haunter of the Dark." All in all, ETERNAL LOVECRAFT is an excellent anthology. ( )
1 vote wilum | Jan 14, 2014 |
While I was at a meeting in St. Louis in about 2004 I came across this collection by Golden Gryphon Press. Publication date was 1998. It was expensive but $17.93 is very reasonable for high quality hardcover. First, the production values are high quality with a nice hardcover binding. The dustjacket has a wonderful painting by Nicholas Jainschigg, that depicts a glowing eye stranger walking away as some entity, perhaps Yog Sothoth, enters our dimension in the clouds. It is perhaps a little flimsy, already getting a few small tears in the edges, but then I was carrying it everywhere. The interior has some photographs of HPL. I hadn't seen them before, but maybe they are famous ones.

The editor was Jim Turner. Yes, the Jim Turner. No, I don't know who the heck he is either (actually Wilum Pugmire told me Mr. Turner was editor at Arkham House for a while but parted company with them as he was more intersted in scinec fiction than weird fiction; I don't know if this is true). At any rate, his introduction is a nice scholarly essay mainly about The Shadow Out of Time. At the end he describes the three sections he divided the stories into, ones in HPL settings or where HPL appears, ones where there is a more or less overt influence by Lovecraft, and ones that may imply a Lovecraftian cosmic view. The last is similar to the more recent excellent anthology Horrors Beyond. Yeah yeah (I thought as I was reading) let's get to the stories. This was a compilation of previously published stories, and as such there is overlap with other anthologies (grumble). By and large, Mr. Turner has selected very high quality stories and I am sorry to write that he stated that this would be his last Lovecraftian collection.

On to the contents, is alphabetical order, not necessarily as they appear in the book:

***There may be some spoilers below***

Weird Tales by Fred Chappell: Actually a subsubgenre I find incredibly tedious is one where HPL makes an appearance. It does less for me even than stories where the characters talk about HPL's works that supposedly depict fiction. At any rate, this one did not do much for me. Chappell's short novel Dagon is a low point in my Cthulhu mythos reading experience.

The Land of the Reflected Ones by Nancy A. Collins: I could swear I had read this before but I don't know where. Not to worry, it is a finely crafted and creepy story about the dangers involved in casting spells from a musty tome when you don't really know what you are doing. Very enjoyable and made me wish Ms. Collins has written more mythos stuff for me to discover.

Sensible City by Harlan Ellison: Nice, creepy, ghoulish, but no definite Lovecraftian allusions that I can recall. Nonetheless it reads well and does not sit out of place in such a collection.

Ralph Wollstonecraft Hedge: A Memoir by Ron Goulart: Lame attempt at humor. A low point.

Crouch End by Stephen King: Whatever anyone says, Mr. King deserves his accolades. This is a terrific tale, moody, atmospheric, tensions mounting beautifully and plain scary. It concerns a couple who wander into a neighborhood in London that ends up being very far away from where they thought they were going. A masterpiece.

The Events at Poroth Farm by T. E. D. Klein: This is only the second story by TED Klein that I have read. You can argue whether it is truely mythos or not, with no overt appearance by any of our familiar entities/creatures, but you cannot argue that it is another finely wrought story. Very creepy and tense. A professor whiles away a summer in a small farmstead and encounters an unnatural and unwelcome visitor. This short story was incorporated into Klein's wonderful novel, The Ceremonies. Too bad he is not a very prolific author.

A Bit of the Dark World by Fritz Leiber: This did not have specific Lovecraftian connotations, but it did have an appropriately Lovecraftian feel, as the darkness becomes an entity, or conceals one, in an isolated California house in the mountains. Like some others in the book, it did not feel out of place in a mythos collection, although it could have been included in a general science fiction or modern horror collection. It was nice to read a story by Leiber, who was a true artist.

The Shadow at the Bottom of the World by Thomas Ligotti: Creepy and effective, not overtly Lovecraftian by name, but certainly not out of place. I guess on several of these stories you could say they felt like a mythos/Lovecraft indebted story while not making outright mention of mythos specific trappings. I was glad to read it.

The Turret by Richard A. Lupoff: Hmph! I already have Made in Goatswood! I guess all editors should consult me to see if their contents will overlap my library! Anyway, an excellent Severn Valley story.

The Golden Keeper by Ian R. MacLeod: This was quite a find. A very good mythos novella set in the 3rd century AD, as a Roman official looks for golden treasure in a remote part of Egypt. Does he find riches? You decide...Interestingly this one of only a feew Roman era mythos stories I know about. All of Tierney's Simon of Gitta stories fit in here, including the excellent novels The Gardens of Lucullus and The Drums of Chaos. There is also a Roman interlude in Frank Belknap Long's story The Horror from the Hills that is an actual dream fragment recorded by HPL himself. Finally there is Hilger's The Oracle of Sadoqua in The Tsathoggua Cycle.

Her Misbegotten Son by Alan Rodgers: Double hmph!! I have the collection Miskatonic University too. This story is well written and has some very creepy moments. However the ending was atypically (for goings on at Arkham) happy, and one does not nromally expect Nyarlathotep to be banished by holy water.

The Ocean and all Its Devices by William Browning Spencer: A very mood moody story of the sea and some of its less pleasant inhabitants.

Daoine Domhain by Peter Tremayne: Triple hmph!!! This story is in Shadows Over Innsmouth, but I don't have my copy handy. Moving on, this story is a highly polished jewel, an absolutely wonderful story of the Deep Ones. The writing is very moody, setting the atmosphere beautifully. I loved it. I hope Mr. Tremayne has written, or plans to write more mythos.

Black as the Pit, from Pole to Pole by Steven Utley and Howard Waldrop: It is a well written story about Frankenstein's monster finding worlds inside the earth, following the events in Mary Shelley's classic novel. The only reason it belongs in a Lovecraft collection is because of his encounter with The Great Race. The story didn't interest me too much, although it was OK enough.

The Giant Rat of Sumatra by Paula Volsky: Sherlock Holmes meets the mythos. The story was only a fair read, put in the shade by the many high quality stories included. I haven't yet read Shadows Over Baker Street so I don't know if this story is in there.

To Mars and Providence by Don Webb: Like I said, I don't care for stories where HPL is a protagonist.

The Perseids by Robert Charles Wilson: You can argue whether this belongs in a Lovecraftian collection. It was well written and had some creepy overtones, but could easily have been left out.

The Other Dead Man by Gene Wolfe: Science fiction horror that easily fits into a Lovecraft collection and easily can be excluded, like Leiber's story. Wolfe is a great writer so it's a fun read, but there are no specific mythos references.

So my final thought is that there are some magnificent mythos stories here, ones that I was previously unfamiliar with. Based on this I hgihly recommend Eternal Lovecraft. The overlap with other collections is minimal. A fair number of stories had appropriate feel, even without specific overtones, and a number could have been left out. There were only a few dogs, always a risk with a mythos collection.

I am happy to have it in my library. ( )
2 vote carpentermt | Sep 15, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Turner, JimEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chappel, FredAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collins, Nancy A.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goulart, RonAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, StephenAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, T.E.D.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leiber, FritzAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ligotti, ThomasAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lupoff, Richard A.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, Ian R.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rodgers, AlanAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spencer, William BrowningAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tremayne, PeterAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Utley, StevenAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Volsky, PaulaAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waldrop, HowardAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Webb, DonAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Robert CharlesAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, GeneAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jainschigg, NicholasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0965590178, Hardcover)

Return to Arkham and behold the Old Gods in all their horrific darkness. Eighteen authors take a stab at interpreting the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft, master of a compelling style and setting so unique it has spawned a name--Lovecraftian--describing the unique blend of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that made him famous. From Gene Wolfe's creepy outer-space tale "The Other Dead Man" to Stephen King's "Crouch End," where Cthulhu himself would feel right at home, these stories are chillingly inspired by Lovecraft's style and milieu. Other highlights are stories by Fritz Lieber, Harlan Ellison, and Nancy A. Collins. Settings vary from the Roman Empire to a slightly... different... New England inhabited with alien terrors. Not familiar with H.P. Lovecraft? These stories will make you want to discover his classic fiction, and there's a wonderful introduction to help you understand the man behind the mythos. This is extradimensionally weird fun. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:34 -0400)

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