"Cthulhu's Heirs" are the literary heirs to H.P. Lovecraft's creative legacy. This book is a window: Throw back the curtains and find more than twenty writers' visions into the landscape of Lovecraft country and beyond. Some of the landmarks are familiar, while others are entirely new. Witness hidden truths and places best left unimagined. And consider: Is it a window, or a mirror?
This is a 4-star book that's taking a hit because it's got a noticeable amount of typos. The stylistic range of this book is refreshingly contemporary without trying too hard, and it has a great mix of length, voices and themes. Of the numerous collections I've read, this was definitely one of the more engaging ones. I don't recommend it for people fresh to Lovecraft's mythos, but it contains a number of pearls, most notably "Mr. Skin" (Victor Milan), "Typo" (Michael D. Winkle) and "Pickman's Legacy" (Gordon Linzner).
This is one of those annoying books where I am torn for its rating. Its hard going, sometimes obscure sometimes confusing. It is also an excellent source of rare and lesser know mythos works and it is an excellent tour of the lesser explored works that make up the world of the Cthulhu Mythos. So why the frustration - well for one thing its not easy to get in to - the book is excellently printed and the pages clean and easy to read - but the stories - well not all of them instantly grab me - but the real frustration comes in that I feel that I should like them and should be able to read them with ease. I have been reading various works connected with the mythos for almost as long as I have been reading - from Lovecrafts originals to unsuspecting homage's from the likes of Stephen King (who buried his works in the middle of general short story anthologies) and Brian Lumley (the latter of which I then went on to learn actually corresponded with Lovecraft and has written some very obviously connected books on the subject). But the real kicker for me is that it is part of an ever expanding library printed by Chaosium Press with the goal to keep not only interest in the work alive but also to keep alive the lesser known works which otherwise could have passed quietly in to the night - a truly noble cause and one that makes me feel all the more guilty when I struggle with reading them.
A difficult book to review, indeed. Where it's good, it's GREAT, where it's not it's REALLY not good.
It suffers from all of the standard issues of Chaosium's "Cycle" books- irregular story quality and rather slipshod editing (Oh, the spelling errors!), but for the lover of Mythos fiction this is probably a must-have. I'd like to give it a 4.25, but the typos and some of the stories drag the rating down to closer to 3.75.
"Watch the Whiskers Sprout" by DF Lewis was something of a jumble.
"The Death Watch" by Hugh B. Cave wasn't terribly Lovecraftian, but solidly weird and enjoyable.
"Return of the White Ships", by Arthur William Lloyd Breach was a pastiche of Lovecraft's Dunsanyian pastiche, and can more or less be skipped over.
"Kadath/The Vision and the Journey" by t. Winter-Damon was nigh-impossible to finish. Poetry worthy of Douglas Adams' Vogons.
"The Franklyn Paragraphs" by Ramsey Campbell is not my favorite of his works, but the best entry so far after "The Death Watch".
"Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock" by Robert M Price- Credit where it's due, I almost never enjoy Price's work (the less said about his editorials the better) but he REALLY knocked one out of the park with this story. Solid, up to date but with a classic Lovecraftian feel. Splendid and worth the price of admission all on it's own.
"1968 RPI" by Joe Murphy- not the best offering in the collection, but solid if a bit forced.
"Those of the Air" by Darrell Schweitzer and Jason Van Hollander was very solid, not my favorite, but Lovecraftian and decently written.
"Mr. Skin" by Victor Milán starts off a bit slow but really delivers. Probably the third best work in this collection.
"Just Say No" by Gregory Nicoll, short if not sweet, somewhat reminiscent of "In the Vault" in feel, if not in actual storyline. A nice enough piece.
"The Scourge" by Charles M. Saplak is tied for second as my favorite piece in the collection. Well done without being overblown. Lovecraftian without being too pastiche.
"Pickman's Legacy" by Gordon Linzner was shortish, brutal, and enjoyable. I don't know if it emerged from it's namesake's shadow, but it filled it.
"Of Dark Things And Midnight Planes" by David Niall Wilson is the other half of the second place tie. Really ingeniously crafted, utilizing classic Lovecraftian elements in an enjoyable new way. I will definitely try and hunt down more of his works.
"The Likeness" by Dan Perez was very enjoyable overall.
"An Early Frost" by Scott David Aniolowski was likewise very enjoyable, if a tiny bit predictable. Still a solid offering.
"Scene: A Room" by Craig Anthony was MUCH more in the spirit of Robert Chambers than HP Lovecraft, but very enjoyable and cleverly executed. I'd have like to see this piece in a different collection, since I'm not sure how it relates at all to C'thulhu, but still very, very well done.
"The Seven Cities of Gold" by Crispin Burnham was reminiscent of Lovecraft's reworking of Zealia Bishop's stories- solid and very enjoyable.
"Shadows of Her Dreams" by Cary G. Osborne is another highlight of this collection. Excellently voiced and very enjoyable.
"The Herald" by Daniel M Burrello- the best thing I can say about this story was that it was only four pages long. It felt much longer.
"Typo" by Michael D. Winkle brings Miskatonic University into the modern age and is a splendid little piece.
"Star Bright, Star Byte" by Marella Sands was fair, but didn't stand out against some of the better works.
Again, for the lover of Mythos fiction I think this book is a must have, if you're not open to exploring further than Lovecraft you could probably let it slip by, but you'll be missing some gems.
Basic Premise: Modern authors take on the Cthulhu mythos.
This book was hit or miss. The good stories were really good, the bad ones were pretty out there. The problem with the stories I didn't like is that they were tapping into non-Lovecraftian Mythos that I didn't know and thus couldn't fully follow. A short story should never require a lot of background to understand.
I really wish I could give this book a higher rating but if I’m honest this anthology really doesn’t even deserve three stars. With that being said, I understand and respect that anthologies such as this book are hard to love or hate and makes it difficult to place a proper review. There were a few stories that were true to Lovecraftian style but the majority reminded me of badly written fanfiction that should have been left out. Unfortunately, they weren’t left out making this collection a true drag to read.
Despite the mostly negative review of this anthology, I do encourage others who have an interest in Lovecraft as well as horror to check it out. As I stated above, anthologies are difficult to give a proper review.
As with most Cthulhu mythos collections, this one has bad stories, good stories, and great stories. What makes this one good is that it has a few particularly good ones. Specifically “Those of the Air,” “Pickman’s Legacy,” “of Dark Things and Midnight Places,” “The Likeness,” and “Scene: a Room.”
Most collections like this only have one or two bangers. This one has five.
All the typos in this book are the kind that can't be found with spell check. There must be at least a hundred. Annoying! Most of the stories are fun for a Lovecraft fan but not near the level of Lovecraft. Some stories were wonderfully gory, Cthulhu style.
Fairly solid Cthulhu Mythos anthology, though it has a really inexcusable number of typos for a book that's allegedly been edited and proofread by professionals. Full review: https://fakegeekboy.wordpress.com/201...