If there’s one name synonymous with weird horror, it’s H.P. Lovecraft, a man whose stories about dark gods, unknowable evils, and monsters that feed on your very sanity have been influencing writers and eliciting chills for nearly a century.
In the grand tradition of Lovecraftian horror, Ellen Datlow presents Lovecraft’s Monsters, a collection of stories by some of horror and fantasy’s top authors and inspired by the vast mythos Lovecraft created.
The hits are dynamite — “Red Goat Black Goat,” “The Same Deep Waters as You,” and “The Bleeding Shadow” among them — but the misses run the gamut from ill-conceived to boring. A third of the stories are centered around Innsmouth (with varying degrees of success), and disappointingly few capture the spirit or feel of Lovecraft. The authors who purposely deviated from Lovecraft’s style, like Kim Newman, impressed me a bit more. (Gemma Files’s poetic contributions were also wonderfully sharp and creepy additions; one can only imagine what a full story from her would’ve added to the collection.)
Lovecraft’s Monsters has tons of good intentions, but lacks the punch most horror fans will be looking for.
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