BOOK Lovecraft Unbound

PDF Ð BOOK Lovecraft Unbound FREE ¶ ELLEN DATLOW Â The stories are legendary the characters unforgettable the world horrible and disturbing Howard Phillips Lovecraft may have been a writer for only a short time but the creations he left behind after his death in 1937 have shaped modern horror than any other author in theEte Light and Dark • short story by Michael Cisco 213 • Leng • short fiction by Marc Laidlaw 239 • In the Black Mill • 1997 • short story by Michael Chabon 267 • One Day Soon • short fiction by Lavie Tidhar 277 • Commencement • 2001 • novelette by Joyce Carol Oates 305 • Vernon Driving • short fiction by Simon Kurt Unsworth 315 • The Recruiter • short fiction by Michael Shea 331 • Marya Nox • short fiction by Gemma Files 347 • Mongoose • Boojum • novelette by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette 375 • Catch Hell • short fiction by Laird Barron 413 • That of Which We Speak When We Speak of the Unspeakable • short fiction by Nick Mamat I love the horror genre especially in short story form to which I think it’s ideally suited but I’m not as well read in the classics as I’d like I haven’t read any Lovecraft stories until recently when I checked out this book I checked out a book of Lovecraft stories to read first so I could experience what I’d heard about his writing style and his themes firsthand I read like skimmed to be honest five stories before giving up entirely I hate to admit it but even though I find the ideas behind the stories fascinating I couldn’t get through the turgid prose So maybe this collection is for people like me because these stories are expressions of what the various authors appreciate about Lovecraft written in their own style not hisEverything I find fascinating about Lovecraft and couldn’t get to in his writing is evident in these stories the cosmic horror yeah I know everyone uses that phrase but it’s such a good one; the idea that we are blind to true reality which would drive us mad if we got a glimpse of what was really going on; the monsters that are so alien as to defy description and yet are also so entrancing; the sense of impending doom of dread of the end of the world lurking just over our shoulders; the sense of isolation in knowledge of what it’s like to know the terrible truths of the universe when no one else even suspectsI thought this was a pretty even collection; like with every book of short stories I have favorites and I have stories I didn’t really like but in this case I thought they were all well written A couple have blended together in the days since reading “The Crevasse” and “Cold Water Survival” were excellent stories but they both took place in the arctic and involved an exploratory party finding evidence of nonhuman life in the ice or are they going insane from cold isolation and altitude? knowledge of which bewitches some characters into madness and death At least one struck me as a little out of place – “Vernon Driving” is excellent as a dark psychological tale of murder but seems only tangentially related to Lovecraft with no supernatural elements at allI have several favorites so here’s the basic list ranked in order of favoritism“Houses under the Sea” by Caitlin R Kiernan – a journalist attempts to understand and write about his ex lover’s involvement in the mass suicide of a cult This is a weird weird disturbing story about people walking into the sea the worship of unspeakable gods and a video connecting the two told from the point of view of someone who missed the boat so to speak and isn’t sure if that’s a blessing or a curse The narrator is so haunted and distressed that it made me agitated just reading it and Kiernan’s writing is just perfect“Leng” by Marc Laidlaw – a mycologist study of fungi traces the steps of a missing scientific duo to a temple in the mountains of China guarding Leng a place where untold undiscovered species of mushroom are supposed to exist I found this story really creepy and actually had to put the book down after reading and go watch something funny on TV The wormy tendril protruding from the forehead of the “enlightened” almost did me in“In the Black Mill” by Michael Chabon – an archaeologist professor researching a long dead violent primitive society is distracted by uestions about the “famous” Plunkettsburg Mill in which all the men seem to work despite the freuency of maiming and death This seemed to me the most straight up horror story of the bunch written with intensity and slow building mystery What I liked most about this one besides the detailed description of the mill and the creepy black train is the inevitability of the ending Once the poor doomed narrator steps off the safe path to satisfy his curiosity you can only wait for his mistakes to catch up to him“Mongoose” by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear – inter dimensional monsters proliferate in space and a hunter is hired to eradicate them in a space station along with his companion cheshire Mongoose who is an alien species itself that no one really understands People impatient with science fiction in which you must infer or wait for world building details won’t get into this one I like them but otherwise it’s a good old monster hunt in space with a pretty happy ending especially for this collection“Catch Hell” by Laird Barron – a couple with a strained relationship and an interest in perverse dark rites stay at a lodge in tiny backwoods community outside of Seattle where their attempts to get pregnant end with horrific results This is a great example of the dark turn a relationship between damaged people can take with a sort of demonic Rosemary’s Baby twist that I expected but then was still surprised by because it didn’t turn out how I thought“The Crevasse” by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud – a scientific expedition high in the mountains of Tibet I believe finds a crevasse in the ice when one of their members falls to his death and they believe they find evidence of an ancient civilization in the crevasse but can’t seem to document it This is the first story in the collection and it sets the scary suspenseful mood perfectly“That of which we speak when we speak of the unspeakable” by Nick Mamatas – three teens hang out drinking in a cave in a post apocalyptic world taken over by shoggoths This story has a bleak ending and a totally appropriate one but what struck me the most is how matter of fact the teens take the end of the world With no hope left they cling to their blasé cool demeanors until the end“Commencement” by Joyce Carol Oates – a young scholar performs the role of Assistant Mace Bearer for the first time in a large prestigious university commencement but what that really means slowly becomes known as the ceremony progresses This one was predictable but the oratory style of the telling and the pointed commentary on overblown self congratulatory commencement ceremonies in general sold it for me Academia is full of ritual after allI think the best stories in this collection either scared me or gave me an unnerving sense of reality vertigo or both I put stories like “Leng” and “Houses under the Sea” in the “both” category as well as “Catch Hell” “The Crevasse” and “Cold Water Survival” All of them had some truly weird imagery a slow building sense of dread some really scary scenes and disturbing endings that were both final and open ended at the same time as if the story continues past the page

Ellen Datlow ã Lovecraft Unbound READER

The stories are legendary the characters unforgettable the world horrible and disturbing Howard Phillips Lovecraft may have been a writer for only a short time but the creations he left behind after his death in 1937 have shaped modern horror than any other author in the last two centuries the shambling god Cthulhu and the other deities of the Elder Things the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones and Herbert West Reanimator a doctor who unlocked the secrets of life and death at a terrible cost In Lovecraft Unbound than twenty of today's most prominent writers of literature and dark fantasy tell stories set in or inspired by the works of H P Lovecraft 9 • Introduction Lovecraft I thought about rating this one 4 stars because of a number of really fine stories However there are at least a 100 pages wasted on pretty lame material I think when you get to a 100 the sin for an anthology becomes unforgivable I have notes for the individual stories but I left them elsewhere Maybe I'll put them up later In the mean time the good stuffThe Crevasse by Dale Bailey and Nathan BallingrudCold Water Survival by Holly PhillipsHouses under the Sea by Caitlan Kiernan Best StoryThe above 3 are terrfic and interestingly the most Lovecraftian something Datlow in her introduction was seeking to distance herself from I could easily reread these 3 again and again They are certainly good enough for me not to take Lovecraft Unbound down to the used book story for trade in My wife says that I always say that The next few are also uite goodIn the Black Mill by Michael Chabon Starts out a bit too slick and had me thinking I've seen this movie before But Chabon earns bonus points for the ending He didn't pull any punches Really good I was glad to see a name author bringing his A gameVernon Driving by Simon Unsworth Probably the closest to Datlow's desire to make Lovecraft new Here I believed it worked The Din of Celestial Birds by Brian Evenson I need to read by this guyCome Lurk with Me and be my Love by William Browning Spencer I really like this one The setting is a familiar one for meThere are several other stories that I was ok with But the above made the anthology worthwhile 7 stories out of 21? I could probably bump it up to half but here's what hurt the collectionSincerely Petrified by Anna Tambour She can write but there's no dread and it's way too long and way too boring 28 pagesLeng by Marc Laidlaw Man I wanted to like this Set in Tibet on some hard to reach plateau Meant to recall in tone at least At the Mountains of Madness Meant Very little dread but there was one good scene but that's not enough after 24 pages It felt like 50Commencement by Joyce Carol Oates Stale crap I know she admires Lovecraft but this story doesn't reflect that admiration A good example of an author appearing in an anthology because of their name and not the uality of the story 24 pages that also felt like 50One Day Soon by Lavie Tidhar Only 9 pages but it has zero to do with Lovecraft It's a Holocaust story and not a particularly good one This one had me uestioning Datlow's editorship At this point I figured she was stuffing stuff in to make some sort of page count As I said above pick off a few weak stories and you have an anthology that's a hundred pages lighter and thus leaner and meaner Given the core strength of the good stories she missed a golden opportunity here That's too bad

EBOOK Ê Lovecraft Unbound ã Ellen Datlow

Lovecraft UnboundUnbound • essay by Ellen Datlow 11 • The Crevasse • short story by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud 31 • The Office of Doom • Dust Devil • short story by Richard Bowes 43 • Sincerely Petrified • short fiction by Anna Tambour 73 • The Din of Celestial Birds • 1997 • short story by Brian Evenson 85 • The Tenderness of Jackals • short fiction by Amanda Downum 99 • Sight Unseen • short fiction by Joel Lane 113 • Cold Water Survival • short story by Holly Phillips 139 • Come Lurk With Me and Be My Love • short fiction by William Browning Spencer 161 • Houses Under the Sea • 2006 • novelette by Caitlín R Kiernan 195 • Machines of Concr Probably this year's most praised book already So far I am very impressed by this anthology The authors have really managed to take inspiration from HPL without stripping away their own uniue voice and approach to storytelling and bless the Old Ones without descending at all into pastichesOCTOBER 28That of Which We Speak When We Speak of the Unspeakable by Nick MamatasAt first it is a little unclear what is going on besides the three characters being in some cave sort of hiding and talking Soon though it turns out that they are hiding because I imagine the world has been run over by other strange creatures and the human race is trying to survive in hidingThat one of the characters is they say a prophet and is eaten near the end by a shoggot and the ending despite its dry matter of factly humorous tone leaves no uestions as to the dark conclusion for mankind only made this odd story even interestingHighly recommendedOCTOBER 28One Day Soon by Lavie TidharAmazingly enough the author succeeds in treating this reader with yet another story about a book and its alluring powers; probably one of the most clicheed elements in the LovecraftianCthulhu Mythos universeThis had a fine uniue take on it all and it worked wonders how the author shifts between characters and their thoughts experiences as the protagonist drifts further and further away from the worldAnd those nightmarish scenes with people walking down a mountain without faces ShudderI like what the author says after the story as way of explaining the story its inspiration point in HPL The real horror from Lovecraft comes from futility We can rage against the dying of the light but I think Lovecraft understood best of all the futility of that grand gesture and that to me is the real horrorWell saidOCTOBER 30Commencement by Joyce Carol OatesA very very cool tale told in Oates' uniue style tone of voiceWhat appears to be simply an almost minute by minute description of the excitement connected to a University's annual ceremony the commensement ends up as a horrible tale of dark proportions and with a nightmarish punch I have rarely seen in a story What a treatWhat makes this story work in my opinion is Oates' uncanny ability to jump into the mind of a given character and with a simple line or two give us their perspective of things A marvelous talent she's got here On top of that her intimate knowledge of the Academic world and its rituals add to the story's textureFrom the start though the reader suspects that something is amiss not only do some of the lines of the University's song seem a little strange but what is this about the Pyramid where in real life it would be normal to say God this is an American University after all and that's who Americans usually pledge their allegiance to right? And what about those strange scientific studies going on at the University and the talking head appearing when we approach the show down? etc etc And why is the Assistant Mace Bearer so anxious? Is it only because this is his first time in that position or does he know something sinister will happen?All in all this is a story with amazing psychological power garnered with an insight into matters pertaining social behavior expectations this is a little oddly clumsily stated by me but I don't know how else to say it right now Oh and with the sacrifice of the three poor unknowing people the poet the educator the scientist of course; NOVEMBER 5The Office of Doom by Richard BowesThis is an original take on the whole library and the Necronomicon thing Unfortunately it didn't uite work for me The idea is great and with a fine perspective really but the actual execution never grabbed meNOVEMBER 11The Crevasse by Dale Bailey and Nathan BallingrudA marvelous suspenseful tale in the Antarctic What happened before HPL's At the Mountains of Madness perhaps? Great intense narrative that captures the wild cold of the area very well as well as human nature when things go bump in the nightOh and the cries of the wounded dog chillingNOVEMBER 14Sight Unseen by Joel LaneAccording to the author's note what affects him most in HPL's stories is the sense of personal loss wrapped up in the cosmic metaphors and he reads one of my favourite stories in that light The Shadow Out of Time While I do agree that personal loss family alienation is in that story I do not agree that cosmicism in HPL's writing is merely metaphoric or that the family alienation is particularly important for The Shadow Both are important for Lan'e story in this anthology though with an emphasis on the latter aspect and he writes a powerful mysterious tale with these themes underlying everythingWith a result I admire very much KudosNOVEMBER 16Houses Under the Sea by Caitlín R KiernanWowThis is the first time I read a Kiernan story but it is definitely not the last time Written in crisp gritty modern day language this story is probably the best most uniue and individual take on some of HPL's sea stories such as The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Dagon It is a tale that stands 100% on its own and it is only shades and subtle hints that reveal the Lovecraftian elements that weaves the atmosphere together as great as they doUtilizing a classic HPL approach that of the unnerved narrator this is a story where real life swearing lesbianism drinking hints of war time journalism and other present day ingredients makes a mesmerizing tale of loss love and dire hints of ancient horrors perhaps even comsicism?Apparently Kiernan's been called Lovecraft's spiritual granddaughter by some reviewers uite a feat for one who does not shy away from heavy swearing as well as eroticism and many will maybe wonder why at a superficial glance based on her writing style alone since it is a far cry from HPL But it is a deserved titelNOVEMBER 26Catch Hell by Laird BarronThis is a dark atmospheric tale but I am hard pressed looking for any Lovecraftian connection here Okay the atmosphere the secluded wooden area and something about dark rites in the night But that is pretty generic isn't it? And the rest was rather religious involving supposedly if not exactly Satan then at least some dark ancient wood god of some heathen religion as well as a dysfunctional married coupleI agree that the occult and dark religious tones exist in several of HPL's tales but this one veered too far away to really be called Lovecraftian in my opinionLeave that aside and leave expectations of such a tale at the threshold and you really have a good story mind you with sadistic sexual currentsNOVEMBER 30In the Black Mill by Michael ChabonA Pulitzer Prize winning author writing Lovecraftian fiction? Huh who would have thought?Let me say it right away and a pretty darn good one at thatThe first half of the story reminded me of Thomas Ligotti's metaphysical impenetrable story The Red Tower only Chabon's is somewhat reader friendly and accessible uite a compliment When a few years ago I first read The Red Tower I didn't really like it and partly because the story didn't grab me beyond a purely intellectual and conceptual level It has grown on me since and I now consider it a highlight in Ligotti's complete works and that's a rare high mark So it is indeed a compliment that I compare the first half of Black Mill to Ligotti's storyThe protagonist arrives in the strange town of Plunkettsburg even that city name could have been Ligotti hehe where he will be working at the college excavating an ancient mysterious indian site trying to uncover what the beliefs of a vanished indian tribe were Immediately the foreboding drab existence of the Plunkettsburg Mill attracts his attentionIt was a genuine thrill following the protagonists endeavors to find out what is going on at the mill beyond the fact that every worker all male seem to loose a limb and some even die horrible death in thereIt all turns into a plot wise rather clicheed story of an old religion where the women sacrifice the town's men to a dark twisted god which is something I found a little annoying This could have been so much I thought Then again the writing style and the approach to this hackneyed theme remained uniue so Chabon actually manages to pull it off in an interesting wayI also enjoyed the subtle insider joke hints such as the name Carlotta Brown Jenkin What a hoot Chabon clearly knows his Lovecraft; I do hope he will keep writing Lovecraftian fiction once in a while when not writing Pulitzer Prize novels; MAY 21 2010Sincerely Petrified by Anna TambourThere is a trait in this story that plays a fascinating part in the whole LovecraftCthulhu Mythos evolution How fiction becomes reality Add to that the two protagonists genuine love for the ancient somewhat related to HPL's antiuarianism at least on a general level and a discussion on the importance of fear of the unknown to move things onwardUnfortunately the story as such strikes me as rather confusing and with characters that were either underdeveloped or seemed to change in ways that are never explained or even of real importance for the story's advancement I can't decide which I must confessAll in all I found it an interesting story but mainly on an intellectual level And there wasn't any real horror in it even when such elements I imagine is the intention are in playMore reviews coming