Lovecraft Unbound 2nd Edition

Lovecraft Unbound 2nd Edition

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Overview

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 more 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, more 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621153320
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication date: 08/19/2015
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Laird Barron is an author and poet known for The Croning, The Light is the Darkness, Swift to Chase, A Little Brown Book, and many other titles.

William Browning Spencer is a science fiction and horror writer. In 1995 he was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for his short story "The Death of the Novel." In addition to his short works, Spencer is known for Irrational Fears, Zod Wallop, Resume With Monsters, and Lovecraft Unbound. 

Joyce Carol Oates is recognized as one of the greatest living authors. She is the writer of We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, The Falls, and The Gravedigger's Daughter. Oates' stories have been nominated for and won numerous awards, and she is a mainstay on bestseller lists around the country.

Nick Mamatas is a writer known for his horror, science fiction, and fantasy works. Mamatas graduated from SUNY Stony Brook and Western Connecticut State University. Mamatas has written novels, short story collections, and poems, as well as creative nonfiction. He is the winner of a Bram Stoker Award. Mamatas is known for his work on The Damnded Highway, I Am Providence, The Last Weekend, and many other beloved titles.

Ellen Datlow is an award-winning editor of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Her work has garnered multiple Hugo Awards, Bram Stoker Awards, Locus Awards, and International Horror Guild Awards for Best Anthology. She has edited more than 100 anthologies, including The Best Horror of the Year, The Cutting Room, and Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror.

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Lovecraft Unbound 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
freddlerabbit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While it's true that many of the stories involved no tentacular horror (and therefore might not fit the definition of "mythos"), I'd like to offer a different reader perspective - Lovecraft's style is not just the syntax, the goo and tentacles and darkness. It's also about leaving stories unfinished and only party told, about horrors only partially revealed and little understood, about the smallness of people in the face of the universe and the contradictory depth of their emotions and feelings. In some ways, I always found him to be making a point about how our own experiences will never cease to matter to us, no matter how big we understand the universe to be. When I read these stories, I found many of them to remind me of Lovecraft or be connected to him in their emotional senses and points about human beings. It's not unfair to say that these stories are, as described, inspirations - but at least some readers may find them more connected to that inspiration than not.
aadyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
some eloquent renditions but the majority was not worth looking at. Overall, not a great anthology. Save your money
pinprick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up for two main reasons; a love of Lovecraft's fiction, and a love of Ellen Datlow's editing skills. When I see either the name Lovecraft or Datlow on a book, I always pick it up; so having the two combined made checking this book out a no-brainer. I wasn't disappointed. The stories in this anthology are all based on Lovecraft's work, without being complete rip offs or completely campy. There aren't a lot of tentacles or talk of cyclopean architecture, but the sense of dread, fear of the unknown and unknowable, and mention of the old ones does factor into many of the stories. Most of the stories are decidedly creepy, but some humor sneaks in. All of the stories were well written and I found myself eagerly zipping through the book. The stories are most definitely Lovecraftian, but with a modern twist. There is a lot less racism and misogyny in these stories than in Lovecraft's. To be honest, I bought this book for my soon-to-be stepson's birthday. He read the first story before I stole it and read it myself. It was really good, if you enjoy Lovecraft's work, I highly recommend this book.
Philotera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Many an afternoon in my childhood was spent huddling on the couch, clutching a book of Lovecraft's tales of nameless horrors to my as-yet undeveloped chest as I shivered through reading his tales. Almost of all of them taking place within easy driving distance o my home town, which made it all the more terrifying. He knew his New England spot-on. So I was pleased to pick up Ellen's edition, and even more pleased that this is not a series of pastiches. Instead these are short stories eliciting the feel of that nameless terror, the horror Lovecraft elicited so well, in new and different ways. For the most part, the stories were excellent. As always, some were better than others and this is one anthology where Joyce Carol Oates really is a stand out. In general I don't care for her overblown roses of prose, but it works here. Michael Chabon story, though well written, was not quite as good in the touch and feel department. Not his fault. He's just a sweeter person.It's creepy and will make you look behind you at least once or twice.
robkill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another excellent set of stories assembled by Ellen Datlow (the premier original anthologist of the science fiction / fantasy / horror world), this one aimed at honoring the work of the great H. P. Lovecraft without the misguided imitation that has marred most "Lovecraftian" fiction since August Derleth wrote his first hommages-en-pastiches. Datlow asked her writers to evoke the feeling of Lovecraft's fiction without direct borrowings from his famous "mythos", to take the "Lovecraftian" in new and unexpected directions, and they responded with impressive variety.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unlike Datlow's earlier tribute anthology, Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, where many of the stories, removed from authors' notes and the context of the book, didn't seem to have much to do with Edgar Poe, almost all these stories have an obvious Lovecraft connection. It usually isn't a listing of the blasphemous tomes and extraterrestrial entities created by the master. Datlow wisely avoided that, for the most part, along with Lovecraft pastiches.It isn't an entirely new anthology. Four of the stories are reprints. But virtually all the stories are enjoyable and work as either modern examples of cosmic horror, horrific nihilism, or interesting takeoffs on Lovecraftian themes and premises.The one exception is one of those reprints and, surprisingly, from the biggest name here. Possessing no discernable Lovecraftian theme, image, or plot element, Joyce Carol Oates "Commencement" also fails even in its internal logic. The plot concerns the allegorical cast of the Poet, the Educator, the Scientist, and the Dean and a fate they really should have seen coming at a future graduation ceremony.The connection to Lovecraft is a bit dilute in other tales but still noticeable. In Lavie Tidhar's "One Day, Soon" it's a magical book that pulls a modern Israeli man into a horrible world of Nazi genocide in the Jewish heartland. It works as horror and as an alternate history premise not explored before. Anna Tambour's "Sincerely, Petrified" isn't very Lovecraftian in its plot of scientists rationally perpetuating the hoax of a curse (though petrification shows up in Lovecraft's "Man of Stone"), but the story is entertaining, particularly the odd relationship between the two enthusiastic rockhounds. Vast, impersonal, sentient forces invading our world and literally devouring us is the revelation a woman has upon meeting a childhood friend she had, she hoped, lost track of in Mike Cisco "Machines of Concrete and Dark" but the story is marred by an end that doesn't really work. "The Din of Celestial Birds" by Brian Evenson is another reprint. The parasitism and possession encountered in the South American home of a mysterious German émigré monk is certainly in keeping with Lovecraft, but the story has more of the flavor of Lovecraft's friend Clark Ashton Smith when he was at the top of his form: lush, exotic, and morbid.Lovecraft was fascinated by polar exploration and Tibet, and some of the best tales here use those settings. Dave Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud's "The Crevasse" has some Antarctic explorers in the 1920s catching a glimpse of something. And, as in the best cosmic horror, what is glimpsed is less important than all that it implies. Thrillseeking settlers of an iceberg in the south polar seas discover something deadly and almost invisible in the ancient ice of their vessel in Holly Phillips' "Cold Water Survival". Mark Laidlaw's "Leng" adjoins that land to Tibet and sends an amateur mycologist there to explore it for legendary and new fungi. And, of course, he finds something. Effective first-person horror.What would a Lovecraft tribute anthology be without sinister cults? "Come Lurk With Me and Be My Love" by William Spencer has a very introverted 32 year old man willing to go to great lengths to win the favor of a gothish girl. That includes meeting her father and reading her tracts on intelligent design. Michael Chabon's "In the Black Mill" (another reprint) comes close to being a Lovecraft pastiche in its story of a sinister factory and its frequently maimed workers in a Pennsylvania town in 1948. Michael Shea's "The Recruiter" has an elderly man receiving some much needed money from a sinister cult in San Francisco. Shea's rhyming entities add a note of gleeful evil. Another reprint is Caitlin R. Kiernan's superb "Houses Under the Sea". Weaving back and forth in time, its narrator tells of his lover, a Velikovsky-like academic and the cult she led - straight into the sea. The Lovecraftian themes of the call of here
carpentermt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lovecraft Unbound is an anthology produced by Dark Horse Comics and edited by the respected Ellen Datlow. It is a large trade paperback with a generous 336 pages, and costs a reasonable $19.95. The cover is an appropriate if uninspiring photo of Lovecraft. Production qualities were good; I do not recall any typos. One thing I really liked was at the end of each story there was a brief biography of the author and a comment by them about how HPL influenced them or their story. This should be a model for other anthologies. In many ways Lovecraft Unbound is very important because it is the first anthology of Lovecraftian themed stories edited by a woman, at least that I know about. Ann K. Schwader and Denise Dumars have released single author collections with a fair number of Cthulhu mythos stories, and Caitlyn Kiernan has written novels with Lovecraftian themes and concepts. Back in 1997 Joyce Carol Oates edited a collection of Lovecraft tales for Harper. In spite of this, the Cthulhu mythos has, until recently, been a sort of old boys club. Lately, however, more and more women have taken up the pen and added their names to the ever widening Lovecraft circle. Elizabeth Bear just won the Hugo for "Shoggoths in Bloom." In particular, the Cthulhu Unbound series from Permuted Press had a significant number of women authors. I wonder if either editor knew the other was going to use Unbound in their title. Certainly this book has gotten more hype online than other titles in this vein; I've even seen on the shelves of local bookstores. It's good but I don't know that it's any better than other mythos books I've read lately. The purpose of the editor in compiling this anthology was to allow the authors to take Lovecraft's contributions and influences, and see what they could create, rather than asking for a new bunch of Cthulhu mythos stories. In a way, it is similar to the 1998 Golden Gryphon anthology Eternal Lovecraft (a least the last third of that book), or perhaps the 2005 Horrors Beyond from Elder Signs Press. It is roughly contemporary with Cthulhu Unbound, although in that series the editors wanted the authors stretching the limits of the Cthulhu mythos (The difference between the Cthulhu mythos and something being Lovecraftian is addressed at length by ST Joshi in The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu mythos. You can think of it as the difference between the monsters being the message vs the place of humanity as a flyspeck in an indifferently hostile cosmos.). More important than any philosophical underpinnings, whether this anthology will be successful depends on the quality of the prose. I mostly liked it, although I had quite a bit of heartburn with it too. When you ask for a Lovecraftian tale, I guess you get what you get and don't throw a fit. "The Crevasse" by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud - After WWI, a team of Antarctic explorers accidentally stumble across a crevasse in the ice. Maybe there is evidence of ancient alien life there, maybe not. Maybe they are just losing it. This was a pretty engaging tale. "The Office of Doom" by Richard Bowes - In flashback we find that as a prank, a librarian ordered an interlibrary loan of the Necronomicon from Miskatonic University. Complications ensue that echo down the years. This wasn't all that bad prose but for me it committed a major faux pas. In a mythos story if you mention HPL wrote fiction, and then it turns out that fiction was real, I find this plot device to be a major turn off. It destroys the mood/world building. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. "Sincerely, Petrified" by Anna Tambour - Some scientists spread rumors that stealing petrified wood from a national park invokes an ancient curse, trying to warp reality by changing people's expectations. Good enough if not especially original concept, but I found the prose pretty flat. "The Din of Celestial Birds" by Brian Evenson - A man in some unnamed mountain range comes across an abandoned hit and sees a ca
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The stories in this anthology are not Lovecraft pastiches. Most of them don't reference his mythology much or at all, and the ones that do tend to do so indirectly or in unusual ways. Instead, they try in various ways to capture something of the spirit of Lovecraft's writing, specifically that sense that there are older, stranger, more horrifying things lying behind the world we know, of which we can sometimes catch brief and disturbing glimpses.While these stories lack Lovecraft's overwrought prose, most of them also lack the weirdly compelling quality of his best work. They are generally solidly crafted, though, ranging from the slight-but-interesting to the engagingly creative. One or two of them left me feeling a bit lukewarm, but I didn't actively dislike or feel bored by any of them, which is rare enough in a collection like this. I was a little surprised by the fact that none of them produced any truly visceral feelings of creepiness, but a number of them did things that I can intellectually appreciate as creepy, anyway. On the whole, I'd say this is worth a look if you enjoy Lovecraft or, perhaps especially, if you like Lovecraft's themes but aren't exactly thrilled with his prose or the more problematic aspects of his writing.
Euriphides More than 1 year ago
A delightful collection of tales by modern authors, in the style of, or inspired by, the original works of HP Lovecraft.