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8.3.14: The Cthulhu Mythos, by August Derleth.  By the end of The Watchers Out of Time, I figured that I needed to give Derleth another chance.  Hence, the Mythos.  We shall see.

7.29.15-8.1.15: The Watchers Out of Time, by August Derleth and H.P. Lovecraft.  Ummmmm.  Uhhhh.  Don’t read this one.  There will be a review coming soon, I promise.  In the meantime, let me suffer on your behalf.  EDIT: While I stand by my original assertion (it’s not quite worth reading), I have to say my ultimate opinion was far more complex.  Look for a post coming 8.6.15 on this book, but the progression of stories were quite interesting.  They’re arranged chronologically, and there’s a very clear linear trend from absolutely piss-poor to decent–I’ve never really seen an author’s work evolve before my eyes, and I’m glad I got that chance.  And–while in general I’d say that Lovecraft was a much more judicious editor than Derleth–there are a few areas in which Derleth treads much more surely than Lovecraft would have.  Furthermore, it contains one of the most beautiful short story tributes to Lovecraft I’ve ever read, clearly the work of someone who knew and loved him very deeply.  So…yeah, I would say it’s not reeeeally worth reading, but you’ll have to use your own judgment, and you could certainly do worse than this book.

7.26.15: Acolytes of Cthulhu, edited by Robert M. Price.  In terms of ranking, I’d say this falls squarely in the middle of Lovecraft anthologies I’ve read.  It has some good, solid stories, but as the name intentionally or unintentionally indicates, most* of the authors are more concerned with being true to Lovecraft stylistically, which (in my opinion) results in a far less interesting creation.  Some of the stories are quite good, most are a little bland.  S.T. Joshi contributed a piece, which surprised me, and so did Jorge Luis Borges–neither one is good enough to justify buying the work entirely.  My recommendation is to find it from a library.  (And don’t get excited about the story by Neil Gaiman–he’s done some INCREDIBLE Lovecraftian pieces, but the one included in this work is “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar”, which is featured in every other Lovecraft anthology.  It’s quite funny the first time you read it, but it doesn’t really need re-reading this constantly.)

*One author did dare to shatter the bonds of traditional Lovecraft writing.  Unfortunately, he did it in literally the most ineffective way imaginable.  This intrepid soul has won the honor of producing THE WORST Cthulhu mythos story I’ve ever read.  So much so that a post devoted to his creation is already in the works.

7.20.15: Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy, by Jeff VanderMeer: A truly amazing book that likely warrants its own post in the near future.  I’m not much of a sci-fi buff, but this book is something else.  I’m so eager to find out how everything is (or isn’t–hopefully is) resolved that I’ve been dreaming about reading it the past couple of nights.

 

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