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Delta Green: Dark Theatres Review

Posted on October 10, 2005 by Flames

Delta Green is a new take on H.P. Lovecraft’s Mythos, bringing the fight against darkness and horror to the 90’s and beyond. Delta Green is made up of government agents secretly working against a larger conspiracy of horror and madness. This anthology offers us eight tales from around the world of various agents and the missions that bring them into conflict with creatures of terror.

There is a great foreword by John Tynes giving a brief introduction to the world of Delta Green. A useful primer for those unfamiliar with the Delta Green role-playing game, the foreword offers up some details on the agency’s history and tells us about a few of their enemy conspiracies.

Each tale in this book also has a paragraph or two introduction telling us about the author of the story and teasing us with a hint regarding the tale. This is something I’d love to see more anthologies offer. These introductions let us know how the author got involved in the project and perhaps some interesting details as to why they wrote a particular story for the collection.

One of the best tales in this collection is by A. Scott Glancy, and is actually a pre-Delta Green story. “Once More, from the Top” tells us about the raid on Innsmouth that started it all. Fans of the role-playing game will recognize elements of the Escape from Innsmouth adventure in this tale. Marines and Federal Agents confront monsters in this little town that set things in motion for the government to create Delta Green. The horror and sorrow of the retired Marine recalling that fateful night comes through in this story quite well. The haunted look in his eyes as he recounts his story to two Delta Green agents reminds us of the price that must be paid. Intense combat, a chilling sense of dread and daring heroism are part of this story.

Dennis Detwiller offers a look into Delta Green during WWII with “Night and Water.” A tale about a Delta Green agent going after members of the Karotechia, the Nazi occult division. This story is almost a prelude to Detwiller’s larger Delta Green WWII novel, Denied to the Enemy. This story seemed almost too short, as if there could have been so much more detail surrounding the events and characters introduced within. However, if the reader is inclined to pick up another book, Detwiller’s Denied to the Enemy more than makes up for this if the reader wants more WWII action.

Other more modern tales in the book, such as Arinn Dembo’s “Suicide Watch” and Martin E. Cirulis’ “The Fast Track” offer other viewpoints on the status of the Delta Green conspiracy and even a few hints at possible future adventures. Characters from other Delta Green fiction and sourcebooks are mentioned and new faces make their mark on the setting. The writing styles vary considerably from story to story, but this does not hurt the overall work in any way. Some of the tales are more in line with Lovecraft and others move forward in new directions. This gives the book plenty of depth and offers readers new ways to look at the Mythos.

Dark Threatres offers us eight Delta Green tales in all, including John Tynes, Greg Stolze, Robert E. Furey and Benjamin Adams in addition to those mentioned above. Each story taking readers to different parts of the world and some to past horrors. Anyone interested in the Mythos should get this book. Delta Green continues its fight against the darkness…

Reviewer: Matt M McElroy

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