Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

June 10, 2013

Review – Shotguns v. Cthulhu (Edited by Robin D Laws)

An excellent anthology of stories injecting thrilling action into H.P. Lovecraft’s often rather staid cosmic horror cycle (though the editor, Robin D Laws, takes care to point out that there was a fair amount of potboiling action in the source stories themselves). With one clunking and risible exception that sounds a lot like after-play report from a particularly overwrought convention scenario, by a writer who has been around more than long enough to know better, these are all fine stories. The writers tend to keep the focus down at the individual level, showing how remarkable characters survive (or don’t) their brushes with the unnatural and various apocalyptic horrors.

A few of the best are Kyla Ward’s “Who Looks Back?” in which adventure-seeking tourists run into something nasty on a New Zealand volcano; “Old Wave” by Rob Heinsoo, about the cultural cost of encountering the Mythos in the Pacific; and Kenneth Hite’s erudite and clever archaeological case study “Infernal Devices”. Most of the rest of the collection are good; those three are great.

Stone Skin Press have put together a few of these themed anthologies over the past year. Based on this and the Aesop-updating ‘The Lion and The Aardvark’, they are a small publisher well worth watching.

Powered by WordPress