RETURN TO LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, edited by Scott David Aniolowski

Imelod # 7

RÉSUMÉ WITH MONSTERS, by William Browning Spencer

SINGERS OF STRANGE SONGS, edited by Scott David Aniolowski

RETURN TO LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, edited by Scott David Aniolowski. Lockport [NY]: Triad Entertainments, 1997.

[Reviewed by James Ambuehl]

Although not QUITE the winner that editor Aniolowski's other books are (MADE IN GOATSWOOD: A CELEBRATION OF RAMSEY CAMPBELL, 1996, and especially the very powerful and original SINGERS OF STRANGE SONGS: A CELEBRATION OF BRIAN LUMLEY, 1997; both by Chaosium, Inc.), this book is still certainly a worthwhile buy.

Many of the stories are not exactly Cthulhu Mythos tales, being more in the spirit of tribute to HPL: "Connect the Dots" by Donald R. Burleson is more of a straight horror story involving his love of cryptograms and word puzzles and the like; Peter Cannon's "The Arkham Collector" seems basicaly a rehash of his "The Fantasy and Mystery Bookshop," which originally appeared in Crypt of Cthulhu #47; "Dark Providence" by Don D'Ammassa seems at least marginally Lovecraftian, but perhaps is more of a science fictional piece with its alternate worlds plot device. Yet, like T.E.D. Klein's (whose 'E', by the way, stands for 'Eibon'! Look it up if you don't believe me!) "The Events at Poroth Farm," also included here, there is SOMETHING more behind the scenes than just mere monsters in these stories. Maybe it's the Old Ones -- I'm not sure ...

But the Great Old Ones definitely make the scene in many of these stories as well: Richard A. Lupoff's "The Doom That Came to Dunwich" brings that backwoods hamlet into the modern age -- and yes, Yog-Sothoth too!; "Tuttle," by James Robert Smith, brings to mind those crazy UFO cults of today's headlines -- and Shub-Niggurath too!; C. J. Henderson's "The Horror at Columbia Heights" takes that old semi-classic, HPL's "The Horror at Red Hook" and adds morre than a touch of the Mythos in the mix; Robert M. Price's "The Shunpike" takes the recently re-discovered Lovecraftian hamlet of Foxfield and gives us A REASON why it was shunned and forgotten! And there are other memorable stories here as well.

Upon further reflection, during the course of writing this review, I've come to re-examine Return to Lovecraft Country with its constant updatings of the trapppings of the work of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos and I hereby revise my opinion of it: This isn't just a great buy -- it's a necessary one!


Imelod # 7 (the Lovecraft issue)
For copies, send $3 postage paid to 406-1540 Victoria Park Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, M1L 4S1.

[Reviewed by James Ambuehl]

Yet another necessary buy! Aside from the Mythos tales and poems here by the likes of Jeffrey Thomas, Stanley C. Sargent, Ron Shiflet, D. F. Lewis, Todd H. C. Fischer and yours truly, this issue is just PACKED with information on HPL and the Mythos! Where to find him on the Net; some of the major and small press publishers of HPL and the Mythos; an article on Lovecraftian fiction master Wilum Pugmire; interviews with members of Cthulhu's Favorite Good-Time Boys, the rock band THE DARKEST OF THE HILLSIDE THICKETS, and a whole lot more! For instance, did you know that there were a few Mythos episodes of that sci-fi favorite Babylon 5? Or that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic # 42 (Dec. 1991) was a mythos issue? Get this issue and get Illuminated!


RÉSUMÉ WITH MONSTERS by William Browning Spencer. New York: Permanent Press, 1995. 212pp. $22.00. ISBN 1-877946-53-2.

[Reviewed by Peter A. Worthy]

This novel follows heart broken failed novelist and typesetter, Philip Keenen from bad job to worse job and the monsters from the Cthulhu Mythos follow him. Philip is desperate to win back the heart of his beloved Amelia. It is divided into three sections, "The Estranged Lovers", "The Doom That Came to MicroMeg" and "The Perils of Pelidyne".

I was dubious at first about this novel, and started to read it after having left it to sit glaring at me from my bookshelf for two weeks. However, once started, the book is an easy to follow, enjoyable read. Not too heavy, so it is quite easy to put down and return to later. It is a compelling read and quite humorous about Keenan and his run-ins with the Cthulhu Mythos from his job at MicroMeg to Ralph's One-Day Résumé to the corridors of Pelidyne without being silly and maintains a god atmosphere, grim in parts and light in others.

Spencer has well paced the book and makes good use of the Mythos without letting it be a crutch to support his novel. It is either a book you'll like or hate, depending on your rigidity to Lovecraft, but I personally found it a book I would recommend as in introduction in how to write a new style HPL tribute without relying too much upon the Mythos.

It is certainly refreshing and it would be nice to see more work like this bring attention back to H. P. Lovecraft and the Mythos from a wider audience.

You can get the paperback of the novel from White Wolf # WW13351 $8.99 US/$7.99 Canada.


SINGERS OF STRANGE SONGS edited by Scott David Aniolowski. Oakland: Chaosium Books, 1997. 238pp. $12.95. ISBN 1-56882-104-2.

[Reviewed by Peter A. Worthy]

This latest offering from Chaosium is a joy to read, also the second anthology edited by Aniolowski for Chaosium, and a must for fans of Brian Lumley, this year's Guest of Honor at NecronomiCon.

I single out praise for John Tynes' 'Nullity of Choice', Gregory Nicoll's 'Subway Accident', Stephen Mark Rainey's 'Shudder Wyrm' and Benjamin Adams' 'Not to Force the Rhymes' as well written and thoroughly enjoyable. The other stories are good and certainly worth the price of the book. It is the usual high quality output that is expected from Chaosium.

Brian Lumley could not write some new tales for the book and so offered some rarites, however, Aniolowski wanted to put his own favourites in -- "What Dark God", "The Horror at Oakdeene" and "The Fairground Horror". I can understand the first two as most new fans won't have seen them, but the last has just been reprinted in Chaosium's revised edition of the The Disciples of Cthulhu, so why?

Included here are 'Spaghetti', a poem 'City Out of Time' and rather disappointingly 'Cement Surroundings' which most Mythos fans will have. I for one would rather have seen the corrected text of 'In the Vaults Beneath'.

Contributors include well-knowns such as: C. J. Henderson, Donald R. Burleson, Stephen Mark Rainey and John Tynes. New faces include: Benjamin Adams, James Robert Smith and Tina L. Jens.

A worthy addition for every Mythos Collector.



© 1997 Edward P. Berglund
All reviews: © 1997 by their respective writers.
Graphics © 1997 Old Arkham Graphics Design. All rights reserved. Email to: Corey T. Whitworth.

Created: October 21, 1997; Current Update: August 9, 2004