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Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu Mythos. In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu Mythos. In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the macabre himself, H. P. Lovecraft. Inside you’ll find: DETAILS by China Miéville: A curious boy discovers that within the splinters of cracked wood or the tangle of tree branches, the devil is in the details. VISITATION by James Robert Smith: When Edgar Allan Poe arrives, a callow man finally gets what he always wanted—and what he may eternally despise. MEET ME ON THE OTHER SIDE by Yvonne Navarro: A couple in love with terror travels beyond their wildest dreams—and into their nightmares. A FATAL EXCEPTION HAS OCCURRED AT . . . by Alan Dean Foster: Internet terrorism extends far beyond transmitting threats of evil. AND SEVENTEEN MORE HARROWING TALES From the Trade Paperback edition. vii • Introduction: The Call of Lovecraft • essay by Benjamin Adams and John Pelan 1 • Details • short story by China Miéville 21 • Visitation • short story by James Robert Smith 33 • The Invisible Empire • novelette by James Van Pelt 57 • A Victorian Pot Dresser • novelette by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims 85 • The Cabin in the Woods • novelette by Richard Laymon 109 • The Stuff of the Stars, Leaking • short story by Tim Lebbon 125 • Sour Places • short story by Mark Chadbourn 141 • Meet Me on the Other Side • short story by Yvonne Navarro 161 • That's the Story of My Life • short story by Benjamin Adams and John Pelan 181 • Long Meg and Her Daughters • novella by Paul Finch 243 • A Fatal Exception Has Occurred At ... • short story by Alan Dean Foster 261 • Dark of the Moon • short story by James S. Dorr 275 • Red Clay • short story by Michael Reaves [as by J. Michael Reaves] 291 • Principles and Parameters • novelette by Meredith L. Patterson 325 • Are You Loathsome Tonight? • (1998) • short story by Poppy Z. Brite 331 • The Serenade of Starlight • short story by W. H. Pugmire (variant of Serenade of Starlight) [as by W. H. Pugmire, Esq.] 345 • Outside • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem 355 • Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea • [Dandridge Cycle] • short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan 371 • A Spectacle of a Man • short story by Weston Ochse 389 • The Firebrand Symphony • (2001) • novelette by Brian Hodge 437 • Teeth • novelette by Matt Cardin 463 • Notes on the Contributors (Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft) • essay by Benjamin Adams and John Pelan


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Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu Mythos. In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu Mythos. In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the macabre himself, H. P. Lovecraft. Inside you’ll find: DETAILS by China Miéville: A curious boy discovers that within the splinters of cracked wood or the tangle of tree branches, the devil is in the details. VISITATION by James Robert Smith: When Edgar Allan Poe arrives, a callow man finally gets what he always wanted—and what he may eternally despise. MEET ME ON THE OTHER SIDE by Yvonne Navarro: A couple in love with terror travels beyond their wildest dreams—and into their nightmares. A FATAL EXCEPTION HAS OCCURRED AT . . . by Alan Dean Foster: Internet terrorism extends far beyond transmitting threats of evil. AND SEVENTEEN MORE HARROWING TALES From the Trade Paperback edition. vii • Introduction: The Call of Lovecraft • essay by Benjamin Adams and John Pelan 1 • Details • short story by China Miéville 21 • Visitation • short story by James Robert Smith 33 • The Invisible Empire • novelette by James Van Pelt 57 • A Victorian Pot Dresser • novelette by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims 85 • The Cabin in the Woods • novelette by Richard Laymon 109 • The Stuff of the Stars, Leaking • short story by Tim Lebbon 125 • Sour Places • short story by Mark Chadbourn 141 • Meet Me on the Other Side • short story by Yvonne Navarro 161 • That's the Story of My Life • short story by Benjamin Adams and John Pelan 181 • Long Meg and Her Daughters • novella by Paul Finch 243 • A Fatal Exception Has Occurred At ... • short story by Alan Dean Foster 261 • Dark of the Moon • short story by James S. Dorr 275 • Red Clay • short story by Michael Reaves [as by J. Michael Reaves] 291 • Principles and Parameters • novelette by Meredith L. Patterson 325 • Are You Loathsome Tonight? • (1998) • short story by Poppy Z. Brite 331 • The Serenade of Starlight • short story by W. H. Pugmire (variant of Serenade of Starlight) [as by W. H. Pugmire, Esq.] 345 • Outside • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem 355 • Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea • [Dandridge Cycle] • short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan 371 • A Spectacle of a Man • short story by Weston Ochse 389 • The Firebrand Symphony • (2001) • novelette by Brian Hodge 437 • Teeth • novelette by Matt Cardin 463 • Notes on the Contributors (Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft) • essay by Benjamin Adams and John Pelan

30 review for The Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft

  1. 5 out of 5

    Perry Lake

    Some of these stories are just great and they unquestioningly deserve five stars. Sadly, several of them do not. In fact it's overly obvious that the authors of several stories were only familiar with the CoC RPGs, and had possibly never read anything by Lovecraft! Amongst the very best are "Details" by China Mieville and "Principles and Parameters" by Meredith L. Patterson. And really, most of the stories aren't bad. Some of these stories are just great and they unquestioningly deserve five stars. Sadly, several of them do not. In fact it's overly obvious that the authors of several stories were only familiar with the CoC RPGs, and had possibly never read anything by Lovecraft! Amongst the very best are "Details" by China Mieville and "Principles and Parameters" by Meredith L. Patterson. And really, most of the stories aren't bad.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Padraig MacIain

    A collection of short stories set in the Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. All the stories are powerful, intense and explore the entire possibilities of the Mythos without returning to areas already explored by Lovecraft himself. Well worth having for the Lovecraft fan. May not fare well for other readers that don't enjoy the Mythos though. A collection of short stories set in the Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. All the stories are powerful, intense and explore the entire possibilities of the Mythos without returning to areas already explored by Lovecraft himself. Well worth having for the Lovecraft fan. May not fare well for other readers that don't enjoy the Mythos though.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    I have a confession to make. I am not a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan. I've read his stories (and the stories of innumerable pastiche-ists and pretenders), and I understand his importance and influence on other writers. He's just not my cuppa tea, is all. So when the time came around to review this collection, I was a little apprehensive. As it turns out, I needn't have worried. The Children of Cthulhu is a stellar collection, well worth the time and effort of reading it. At it's best, in stories like I have a confession to make. I am not a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan. I've read his stories (and the stories of innumerable pastiche-ists and pretenders), and I understand his importance and influence on other writers. He's just not my cuppa tea, is all. So when the time came around to review this collection, I was a little apprehensive. As it turns out, I needn't have worried. The Children of Cthulhu is a stellar collection, well worth the time and effort of reading it. At it's best, in stories like China Mieville's wickedly disturbing "Details," James Van Pelt's "The Invisible Empire," Meredith L. Patterson's dark academic satire "Principles and Parameters," and Matt Cardin's chilling "Teeth," the reader is reminded forcibly why Lovecraft has remained popular. It's a matter of atmosphere, mostly -- a general, vague creepiness that you can't quite shake, even when nothing overtly terrible is happening. But it's also the knowledge that, no matter how horrible the incident is that is being described, there's something even worse lurking in the shadows, waiting for an opening. Not every story is a home run. Some, like Richard Laymon's "The Cabin in the Woods" or Caitlin R. Kiernan's "Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea," are just too . . . well . . . Lovecraftian for my taste. And, yes, I do recognize the irony of saying that a story in an anthology devoted to Lovecraft is too Lovecraftian for me. What can I say? Occasionally, I’m callous and strange. But every story is readable and each serves to highlight the sheer scope of Lovecraft's influence on modern horror. From Paul Finch's epic "Long Meg and her Daughters” to Brian Hodge's darkly thrilling "The Firebrand Symphony" to W.H. Pugmire, Esq.'s "The Serenade of Starlight" the Lovecraftian influences are clear, but the storylines and styles of the writers couldn't be more different. If you love Lovecraft, you can't afford to pass this one up. But even if you don't, I think you'll find something here to please.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    the goal of the book was to follow in Lovecraft's original direction: "the true horror in Lovecraft’s fiction lies in the unknowable, the mystery of a vast and infinitely strange cosmos." They did not want pastiches, they did not want copycat writing or the rehashing of Cthulhu stories based largely on the mythos of August Derleth. This is a concept that I am myself just beginning to understand. Anyway, the stories that appear in this volume, as in any anthology, are a mixed bag -- but most of t the goal of the book was to follow in Lovecraft's original direction: "the true horror in Lovecraft’s fiction lies in the unknowable, the mystery of a vast and infinitely strange cosmos." They did not want pastiches, they did not want copycat writing or the rehashing of Cthulhu stories based largely on the mythos of August Derleth. This is a concept that I am myself just beginning to understand. Anyway, the stories that appear in this volume, as in any anthology, are a mixed bag -- but most of them have in common the notion that there is something just not quite right within the scope of the cosmos. Some are more intense than others; some, frankly, I just didn't find that interesting or appealing. My favorites included "Details," by China Mieville; "The Invisible Empire," by James Van Pelt, Alan Dean Foster's "A Fatal Exception has Occurred at...", "Red Clay," by Michael Reaves, "The Firebrand Symphony," by Brian Hodge, and "Teeth," by Matt Cardin. If you want a Lovecraft pastiche or an imitation of HPL, you won't find it here. If however, you want to enjoy some highly intelligent, well-written, original stories, you'll like this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Very uneven mix of stories using the mythos of Lovecraft. Knowledge of at least some of Lovecraft's stories is a must for total understanding of anhy one of the stories. A great deal of the point of the stories is the "wink, wink" allusions to Lovecraftian stories, meaning that comedy comes to the forefront a lot of the time. When good writers tackle Lovecraft this usually happens, because Lovecraft was so unintentionally comical in his own stuff. Very uneven mix of stories using the mythos of Lovecraft. Knowledge of at least some of Lovecraft's stories is a must for total understanding of anhy one of the stories. A great deal of the point of the stories is the "wink, wink" allusions to Lovecraftian stories, meaning that comedy comes to the forefront a lot of the time. When good writers tackle Lovecraft this usually happens, because Lovecraft was so unintentionally comical in his own stuff.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Moudry

    The Miéville & Cardin entries are worth the cost of the entire anthology, & represent the best extension of Lovecraft's influence. The Miéville & Cardin entries are worth the cost of the entire anthology, & represent the best extension of Lovecraft's influence.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Altman

    I think this is the best Lovecraftian fanfiction anthology by far. A lot of them are hit-or-miss and this one is overwhelmingly hits. I don't know why - good editor, I guess. I think this is the best Lovecraftian fanfiction anthology by far. A lot of them are hit-or-miss and this one is overwhelmingly hits. I don't know why - good editor, I guess.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    A solid collection of horror stories, but some of the authors have tried too hard and too unconvincingly to make the stories mythos-oriented. Good, but not great.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    Most of the stories in this anthology adopt the trappings of Lovecraft's tales, but none of the style. The most loyal of the bunch is China Mieville's entry. The remainder of the tales drop names or refer to classic tales to remind the reader of the nature of the anthology. A few of the tales, such as "A Victorian Pot Dresser," begin well, but soon descend into standard horror cliches, with tight little endings that follow standard movie logic. What's missing, what's forgotten, is that most of t Most of the stories in this anthology adopt the trappings of Lovecraft's tales, but none of the style. The most loyal of the bunch is China Mieville's entry. The remainder of the tales drop names or refer to classic tales to remind the reader of the nature of the anthology. A few of the tales, such as "A Victorian Pot Dresser," begin well, but soon descend into standard horror cliches, with tight little endings that follow standard movie logic. What's missing, what's forgotten, is that most of the dread that Lovecraft evoked in his stories came not from the events in themselves, but from the greater implications of those events -- the knowledge that humanity is supremely insignificant is the wider world and, despite the realization of this horror, we can never understand why the very nature of reality is invisible to our inferior biology and intellect. Most of these stories skip such implications and head straight for the gruesome monsters and the spattering blood with a near-complete lack of subtlety.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Harris

    A slightly uneven collection of modern Lovecraftian stories, “Children of Cthulhu” has some interesting takes on Cthulhu Mythos tales set in the modern world. There are a few really good, atmospheric stories here, tales that react to Lovecraft’s concepts of cosmic horror through a modern lens, that challenge and explore how this particular blend of horror is still relevant (after all, Lovecraft wrote through the lens of his own contemporary time). The majority, on the other hand, do not go too f A slightly uneven collection of modern Lovecraftian stories, “Children of Cthulhu” has some interesting takes on Cthulhu Mythos tales set in the modern world. There are a few really good, atmospheric stories here, tales that react to Lovecraft’s concepts of cosmic horror through a modern lens, that challenge and explore how this particular blend of horror is still relevant (after all, Lovecraft wrote through the lens of his own contemporary time). The majority, on the other hand, do not go too far out of their way in exploring the genre, and none comment or respond to the “elephant in the room” of Mythos fiction, racism and xenophobia; I’m still looking for a Lovecraftian story that really reacts to this, though "The Invisible Empire," by James Van Pelt, is a good start. In particular, I enjoyed China Mieville’s “Details,” and my favorite, “Principles and Parameters” by Meredith L. Patterson, one of the best Lovecraftian tales set in modern times that I have read, as well as one of the few that draw in the Dreamlands as well. As an academic librarian, I felt particularly drawn to Patterson’s depiction of a search for knowledge and any cost. Some, on the other hand, including Richard Laymon's “The Cabin in the Woods” are simply uninspired pastiche while others stray a little too far into the surreal and thus feel inconsequential and obtuse, or focus mainly on cheesy cults and monsters that feel more “pulp horror” rather than Lovecraft (not that there’s anything wrong with that, really). In the end, I think I would recommend “Cthulhu 2000” as, in general, the stronger collection of contemporary Mythos short stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    T.L. Barrett

    I love short stories, and I love creepy cosmic horror. I am saddened that there are fewer places one can run into a short story these days, so when I see an anthology stuffed with a few authors I recognize and many I’d like to meet, then I scoop it up, like I did with this one. I think novellas and novelettes are the optimal way to present a good horror story (a theory proven by this book), however a masterful short story can be very satisfying and a great way to learn about an author who may ha I love short stories, and I love creepy cosmic horror. I am saddened that there are fewer places one can run into a short story these days, so when I see an anthology stuffed with a few authors I recognize and many I’d like to meet, then I scoop it up, like I did with this one. I think novellas and novelettes are the optimal way to present a good horror story (a theory proven by this book), however a masterful short story can be very satisfying and a great way to learn about an author who may have an as-yet-undiscovered body of work. In any case, I pulled this book from the “to-read” pile and was not disappointed. If you are not aware, H. P. Lovecraft was a New England short story horror writer in the early 20th century. His work of cosmic horror created a pantheon of entities (the most famous of which is Cthulhu) that wait to awaken and reveal the true nature of reality to mankind. I first devoured H. P. Lovecraft when I was 14, and it had a profound impact on my imagination. It was a delight to see how other writers were so affected in The Children of Cthulhu. I enjoyed just about every story in the work with a few favorites: To read the entire review please go to: https://tlbarrett.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Whitehead

    Horror anthology. Theme: neo-Lovecraftian (cosmic horror largely without Yog-Sothery). Highlights: “The Firebrand Symphony” by Brian Hodge (well written with a few solid, creepy twists, overall a thoughtful development of the guy-who-finds-out-he’s-a-monster plot). Honorable mention to Poppy Z. Brite for “Are You Loathsome Tonight?” (exploration of Lovecraftian themes via a factual account of the death of Elvis). Lowlights: “A Spectacle of a Man” by Weston Ochse (splatter-crap; I quit reading i Horror anthology. Theme: neo-Lovecraftian (cosmic horror largely without Yog-Sothery). Highlights: “The Firebrand Symphony” by Brian Hodge (well written with a few solid, creepy twists, overall a thoughtful development of the guy-who-finds-out-he’s-a-monster plot). Honorable mention to Poppy Z. Brite for “Are You Loathsome Tonight?” (exploration of Lovecraftian themes via a factual account of the death of Elvis). Lowlights: “A Spectacle of a Man” by Weston Ochse (splatter-crap; I quit reading it) and “A Victorian Pot Dresser” by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims (a china cabinet possessed by the evil Green Man? What’s next from these limeys, the Tea Cozy of Shub Niggurath?). Overall: though the writing is weak in some entries, almost everyone here has her or his heart in the right place. Stripped of its stiff, cumbersome mythology, Lovecraft’s horror continues to inspire some spooky stuff.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Goss

    The strength of the various stories included in the book are wildly different, being able to entrance someone with good world building and flip them on their head with a twist, or they may be attempting to push the suspension of disbelief too far and ruining the suspense and horror they were attempting

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jett Jaguar

    Nice collection of stories inspired by a master of Macabre.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Furieh

    Great read. Quality new stories that are not only inspired but really in the same page and mood with our beloved Lovecraft.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    I had to quit after the first seven stories. I haven't read any Lovecraft, but this book has not convinced me that I'm missing out. Because that was the common thread that I felt turned me off -- even when the content of the stories was interesting, the prose and structure turned me off. Of course, at least two of the stories I read were just outright bad. I had to quit after the first seven stories. I haven't read any Lovecraft, but this book has not convinced me that I'm missing out. Because that was the common thread that I felt turned me off -- even when the content of the stories was interesting, the prose and structure turned me off. Of course, at least two of the stories I read were just outright bad.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dan Johnson

    While a couple of the tales were not completely to my liking, the variety and excellent writing shine through with enough horror to make the whole collection worthwhile. A few of these have introduced me to authors I definitely want to see more from.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Anderson

    There are some good stories here, including one by China Mieville, which also shows up in his Looking for Jake short story collection. People that are fiddling around in the post-Lovecraft world will enjoy this book, even if it doesn't change many lives. There are some good stories here, including one by China Mieville, which also shows up in his Looking for Jake short story collection. People that are fiddling around in the post-Lovecraft world will enjoy this book, even if it doesn't change many lives.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    A couple of really good stories, a couple of GREAT stories, one story that I didn't understand why it was in here (but then again, I don't really enjoy Poppy Z. Brite under most circumstances), AND I know one of the eidtors, in an internet kind of way. A couple of really good stories, a couple of GREAT stories, one story that I didn't understand why it was in here (but then again, I don't really enjoy Poppy Z. Brite under most circumstances), AND I know one of the eidtors, in an internet kind of way.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert Bogdon

    There were a few good stories in here, but not enough. On top of that, I like when horror and science overlap a bit, which didn't seem to be happening in this book. If you're just looking for horror, and you're a big fan of Lovecraft, I'm sure this is a fine book. There were a few good stories in here, but not enough. On top of that, I like when horror and science overlap a bit, which didn't seem to be happening in this book. If you're just looking for horror, and you're a big fan of Lovecraft, I'm sure this is a fine book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ignacio Energici

    Me gustó bastante. Son cuentos basados en lo que Lovecraft creó, no en reinvenciones, de todo un poco.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Hemker

    A very decent effort. Some of the stories are more atmospheric than plot driven efforts, but otherwise good short stories that follow and expand on the Lovecraftian tradition.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Elessar Caceres

    A good collection on different authors' take on the Lovecratian mythos. Some, I felt, were more faithful to Lovecraft's style and lore than others but all in all it's a good anthology. A good collection on different authors' take on the Lovecratian mythos. Some, I felt, were more faithful to Lovecraft's style and lore than others but all in all it's a good anthology.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Animal

    testing SrI my gg

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zia

    Certain stories were very creepy just not scary. Reminds me of Twilight Zone...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    Outstanding compilation of new Lovecraftian stories.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michele Garber

    If you love the Cthulu mythos, you're gonna love this. Very good stuff! If you love the Cthulu mythos, you're gonna love this. Very good stuff!

  28. 5 out of 5

    James Van Pelt

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Joseph Schumann

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tanja Barudzija radosavac

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