hollowspine's review

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When I told my brother about this book, his initial response (he was barely listening to me) was a derisive snort. I immediately vowed to read this book, just to show him that he shouldn't be so judgmental (he hadn't even seen the cover after all).

So it is with a sigh that I pass judgment on this book after having read it, every page, from cover to cover. Including all the poetry. Every line of every poem.

I had only ever heard of one of these authors and had not read a single piece by any of them. The only one I knew was because I happened to notice a review of his on good reads, with which I disagreed. Perhaps not a good sign.

The stories in here were not all three stars, some of them were two. And of course, some were a four as well, but none really inspired any sort of thoughtfulness in me, as did Lovecraft. None of these authors has inspired me to seek out more of their work, which is really, I think, one of the points of anthologies, aside from creating a volume of themed works.

The problem with this anthology is the same as with a poorly made, rushed, mixed tape. One can always tell when the mixer got tired or ran out of time and just stuck songs in without listening to them fully, just grabbing by title. We all know that titles can be deceiving.

Although an anthology of Lovecraftian fiction set in the future could inherently involve any number of different takes, I felt that this particular series really could have used a bit more guidance. Some of the stories didn't fit either category very well. And worse than that, some of these stories seemed like tiny excerpts from much longer pieces, they had no resolution at all, just ended awkwardly.

Of the poems...there were a few exceptions to the rule, but for the most part they followed Lovecraft's example perfectly and were terrible to behold.

One thing that disturbed me, the strange obsession that seemed to catch story through story oddly...the women in these stories were either bi-sexual or suffering from motherhood (either the loss of a child or the loss of child by self-consumption). What was with that? I'm not talking about one or two examples here, throughout this anthology if there was a women in a story she was one of these two things, nearly all the time. Just weird.

Of these stories the ones worth reading,

Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Nyarlathotep by Nick Mamatas
Harmony Amid the Stars by Ada Hoffmann
The Comet Called Ithaqua by Don Webb
Go, Go, Go, said the Byakhee by Molly Tanzer
Dolly in the Window by Robyn Seale
Lottie vs. the Moon Hopper by Pamela Rentz
The Damnable Asteroid by Leigh Kimmel
The Labyrinth of Sleep by Orrin Grey
Deep Blue Dreams by Sean Craven - perhaps my favorite, really takes Lovecraft to the modern mind and into the future, the only author to have made me want to find more.