From the publisher’s website:
“That is not dead which can eternal lie,
and with strange aeons even death may die.”
At the time of his death in 1937, American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was virtually unknown. The power of his stories was too great to contain, however. As the decades slipped by, his dark visions laid down roots in the collective imagination of mankind, and they grew strong. Now Cthulhu is a name known to many and, deep under the seas, Lovecraft’s greatest creation becomes restless… This volume brings together seventeen masterful tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft’s work. In his fiction, humanity is a tiny, accidental drop of light and life in the endless darkness of an uncaring universe – a darkness populated by vast, utterly alien horrors. Our continued survival relies upon our utter obscurity, something that every fresh scientific wonder threatens to shatter.
The dazzling stories in Cthulhu Lives! show the disastrous folly of our arrogance. We think ourselves the first masters of Earth, and the greatest, and we are very badly mistaken on both counts. Inside these covers, you’ll find a lovingly-curated collection of terrors and nightmares, of catastrophic encounters to wither the body and blight the soul. We humans are inquisitive beings, and there are far worse rewards for curiosity than mere death.
The truth is indeed out there – and it hungers.
I got this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. I enjoy Lovecraft’s stories – they are the perfect mix or terror, madness, scifi, and creepiness that make his stories utterly wonderful. A tribute to Lovecraft sounded like it was right up my alley, and I happily found that this collection of short stories stays true to what Lovecraft created.
Like with any collection of short stories, some of these are definitely better than others. Unfortunately, the collection started slow – the first story was a lot more scientific than I like my stories to be, but once I started up the second story things picked up quickly.
I normally find it hard to read short stories, because there’s no time to really get to know the characters before the story ends and you have to start all over again. This collection was actually good because I didn’t feel like I constantly had to reacquaint myself with the characters every time. The characters, in all honesty, really don’t matter too much. It’s the horror that matters, and what happens to the characters. In the end, it doesn’t matter who you are, meeting the Elder Gods, and the evilness they bring to this world, it turns you into a raving madman.
The ones that I found to be particularly good were Hobstone (G.K. Lomax), 1884 (Michael Grey), Visiting Rights (Joff Brown), On the Banks of the River Jordan (John Reppion), Dark Waters (Adam Vidler) and Demon in Glass (E. Dane Anderson). Some of these were really good because of the atmosphere that was created and some of them because they were actually very scary. Really scary, actually. Like, some of these gave me nightmares of tentacled monsters scary.
The name of the book itself, Cthulhu Lives! is a bit of a misnomer though, as Cthulhu himself doesn’t really make an appearance. We do have a few mentions of him, but the majority of this deals with other absolute horror that inhabits the universe.
All in all, this was a solid book of short stories, and definitely one that I enjoyed.
The Bottom Line
I’d definitely recommend this to fans of the horror genre.