Say Hello to Horror’s Undisputed Queen and Her New Lovecraftian Monsters


As part of his regular column Permanent Midnight for Complex Pop Culture, Matt Barone first gets all excited about Lovecraft’s Monsters, the new anthology from Ellen Datlow…

Her latest collection is Lovecraft’s Monsters (now available from Tachyon Publications), a follow-up to her 2009 book Lovecraft Unbound. Both, of course, are homages to genre fiction icon H.P. Lovecraft. For Lovecraft’s Monsters, Datlow collected reprints of older Lovecraftian stories, as well as one original tale, from writers like Neil Gaiman, Laird Barron, Elizabeth Bear and Joe R. Lansdale that modernize the legendary author’s otherworldly creatures, like Cthulhu, the Shoggoths, the Elder Things and Yog-Sothoth. (Trust, they’re scarier than those tongue-twisting names suggest.) Adding to the book’s excellence, illustrator John Coulthart provided gorgeous new black-and-white artwork for each story.

…and then interviews Daltow herself.

Thanks to the recent success of True Detective, H.P. Lovecraft and “weird,” cosmic horror fiction were big topics of conversation earlier this year. Thus, the timing of Lovecraft’s Monsters is ideal. For you, though, what made now seem like the right time to re-explore Lovecraft again in this new Monsters anthology?

I edited Lovecraft Unbound several years ago. It had mostly new stories, with four reprints in it. It sold, and is still selling, well for the publisher, Dark Horse. I was approached back in early 2012 by Victoria Blake, who at the time, was the publisher at Underland Press. It was her idea for me to edit an all-original anthology of Lovecraftian monsters, to be illustrated.

But within a month of discussions Victoria realized that she couldn’t afford to publish such a book, so the idea died—until Jacob Weisman and I brainstormed about my next all-reprint anthology for Tachyon Publications. I mentioned the dead idea of Lovecraft’s Monsters and he was interested.

The timing of publication is a happy coincidence. We didn’t even know True Detective was in the works when I put out my call for suggestions.

For the rest of the interview and Barone’s thoughts on horror fiction, visit Complex Pop Culture.

For more information on Lovecraft’s Monstersvisit the Tachyon site.

Cover and illustrations by John Coulthart