Letters To Lovecraft
Essay- inspired anthology
Release Date: OUT NOW!
280 pages | Paperback Editor: Jesse Bullington Publisher: Stone Skin Press
If your skin crawls at
HP Lovecraft pastiche or sub- par mythos shenanigans, don’t be put off reading this. The premise is intelligent: to engage with the author through his 1927 essay “Supernatural Horror In Literature”. Eighteen authors each picked a quote, then wrote a story inspired by it. The results are variable, but although non- Euclidean geometries and Deep Ones raise their fish- eyed heads, refreshingly the majority of the stories are non- mythos, and all are fiction of the better sort.
Chesya Burke’s “The Horror At Castle Of The Cumbernauld” is the most affecting. This tale of gross injustice shocks with its real- world horror, and is also genuinely “weird”. In fact, Burke’s story is so effective it highlights the problem with modern horror: few of these stories are horrifying, frightening, or even that weird. Lovecraft’s fiction is chilling because it came from the real ( if repugnantly erroneous) terror he felt for the Other. Burke’s story works because it too is powered by strong emotion: she is an AfricanAmerican writer directly engaging with the terrible engine of Lovecraft’s creativity.
Life in the 21st century is too lacking in pain, madness and fear to inspire terrifying literature. Many of us have spare pennies to spend on Cthulhu plushies. Letters To Lovecraft reflects that. Guy Haley Out 28 February: Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth, a third collection inspired by Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”.