Categorized | Fiction

Monica Valentinelli

Cthulhu Week: Cthulhu’s Reign Anthology Review

Posted on August 18, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli


Available at Amazon.com

    Sometimes, when I’m itching for a story, I’ll pick up an anthology and check out some of the short stories that lurk within. To me, a good anthology has a broad range of stories; some will appeal to me, and some won’t. Released in April 2010, CTHULHU’S REIGN is a collection of tales edited by Darrell Schweitzer that gives authors like Jay Lake, Ken Asamatsu and Gregory Frost the opportunity to describe what happens after the Old Ones appear.

    My interest in this anthology is more curiosity than anything, because so much attention is often placed on summoning Cthulhu or the Old Ones. So what happens after they appear? Well, if these stories are any indication, humankind wouldn’t last long. Such Bright And Risen Madness In Our Names by Jay Lake is a great story that meshes the first person voice so common in Lovecraft’s stories with a post-apocalyptic feel. Her Acres of Pastoral Playground by Mike Allen, on the other hand, is one of my favorite stories in the anthology because it’s incredibly character-driven and manages to hold a lot of tension throughout the story. I also appreciated this particular tale because it was written in a more straightforward fashion; this tale could be read by those who know Lovecraft’s mythos or those who don’t. I also really enjoyed The Shallows by John Langan for that reason as well.

    Unlike other anthologies, the stories within CTHULHU’S REIGN also push the boundaries of narration. There’s a healthy dose of experimentation with these stories like the one that Matt Cardin wrote entitled The New Pauline Corpus. As a result, some of the stories will require a close read, which is something to keep in mind if you’re picking this anthology up.

    As I indicated above, the stories range from the surreal to the real and everything in between. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed to see that there weren’t any female authors in this anthology, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the stories in CTHULHU’S REIGN. Probably one of the most refreshing things about this anthology, was the fact that there were different cultures explored within the stories. For example, Japanese horror author Ken Asamatsu wrote Spherical Trigonometry, which was set in Tokyo.

    If you want to read a collection of tales that embraces the Cthulhu Mythos from a unique perspective, then I recommend picking up this short story collection entitled CTHUHU’S REIGN. For more information, you can read the CTHULHU’S REIGN Review on Innsmouth Free Press or the author interviews at Black Gate magazine.

    Review by Monica Valentinelli

      Tags | , , ,

      Print This Post

      3 Responses to “Cthulhu Week: Cthulhu’s Reign Anthology Review”

      1. Rob J says:

        A marvellous collection of short stories which veer from the horrific to the humourous. I read Lovecraft,
        the vastly overlooked Clark Asheton Smith and Robert
        E Howard over thirty eighy years ago, and apart from
        Ramsey Campbell and Stevie King found the majority of tales from the Mythos very tedious.

        This is a breath of fresh air. What if Cthulhu and the Old Ones had won ? The results are fascinating, to say the least.

        Beg, borrow or steal…..

        Reply

      Leave a Reply

      11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

        Monthly Newsletter Sign Up

        join our monthly mailing list
        * indicates required

        The Devil’s Night WoD SAS

        Free Devil's Night | White Wolf

        Become a Fan on Facebook!

        Reviews Wanted!

        The new Review Guidelines have been posted on the Flames Rising website. We are currently seeking a few good reviewers to help us expand our collection of horror and dark fantasy reviews. RPGs, fiction, movies, video games and more are all welcome on the site...

        What do you get out of it?

        Beyond helping out fellow Flames Rising readers by letting them know what you think of these products, we're giving away some pretty cool stuff. Regular Reviewers can earn free products to review, which is their to keep after the review is submitted to the site.

        Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

        Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.