In the December 2015 issue of SUSPENSE, Mary Lignor praises THE MONSTROUS.
The reader will realize there are many types of monsters, both good and horrible. But it is the monstrous wonders that come from the intelligent minds of these authors that make the book amazing.
The book starts off with a great story by Neil Gaiman titled, Only the End of the World Again. We find a werewolf in Innsmouth who incidentally saves the world by stopping the arrival of the elder gods. It is an enjoyable read because of its comical aspects.
And then we have the story by Thomas Ligotti called Sect of the Idiot, which I had already read in his anthology, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, but was happy to revisit here. A man enamored by a small but unusual town unlocks a hidden cosmic horror. As his curiosity leads him into the malignant hidden underbelly of the town, he will forever become a participant in the madness. This is close to reading an actual story by Lovecraft if he were alive today. Ligotti has all the mannerisms, atmosphere and stylings of Lovecraft without ever feeling derivative and he rarely touches upon tentacles or Cthulhu things from the sea.
<Review also discusses stories by Nadia Bulkin, Brian Hodge, and Joe R. Lansdale>
There are some other high points in the book and some stories I liked less. As with all collections there are stories that you will favor. I’ve listed my favorite here and to me, these alone made Lovecraft’s Monsters worth a read.
Daniel Powell on THE BYPRODUCT focuses in on Brian Hodge’s contribution to LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS.
I’ve been reading LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS (expertly edited by Ellen Datlow) and really enjoying the diversity of the stories and the strength of the writing. It’s a diverse collection, with a lot of unique voices. Most of the stories stray from the verbose prose style that plagues so much Lovecraftian fiction (particularly the entries by Laird Barron and Kim Newman), and I found Brian Hodge’s “The Same Deep Waters as You” particularly unsettling.
It’s a very creepy tale, unfolding at first very quickly and then stretching out over weeks and months. Kerry is a fully formed protagonist given an impossible task, and its her human ties–her fear of the water and love for her daughter–that makes it so easy to relate to her.
I wasn’t expecting the ending of this one, and it was delightful to be surprised like that. It took me a day to process it, as I had to decide whether I liked the story or not.
It’s a horrible, terrible, unsettling final act, so it succeeds as top-shelf horror. Kudos to Brian Hodge on this one…
For more on THE MONSTROUS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Reiko Murakami
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info on LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS, visit the Tachyon page
Cover and illustration by John Coulthart.