With so many Cthulhu inspired anthologies on the market it is sometimes difficult in choosing one. Generally speaking, I haven’t been disappointed with too many that I have read, though they can sometimes become a little tiresome if they contain a seemingly endless amount of stories that come at the expense of quality. Thankfully Lovecraft Ezine Press have succeeded in assembling a throng of Lovecraftian veterans along with some voices that I have not heard before. I was immediately drawn to the cover art for ‘Autumn Cthulhu’. It is simple but striking and the list of contributors reads like a who’s who of the current weird fiction scene.
The opening story in any anthology should be one of the strongest stories in the collection, I believe. This story then sets the tone for the rest of the book by drawing you in throwing down the gauntlet to the other writers. The first two tales are brilliant, particularly the second one by Damien Angelica Walters which made my eyes leak a little.
The two stories by weird fiction heavyweights Laird Barron and John Langan didn’t work too well for me. The Barron tale had a great ending but not enough in the build-up. Similarly with the story by John Langan which was far too ponderous and I found myself skip reading through this one. I am a huge Langan fan having recently finished The Fisherman, which is terrific, but this one didn’t do anything for me. The fact that these two stories were the longest in the collection is the reason for this anthology not getting the full five star treatment. I have heard others think that these stories are wonderful but for me they were a little too slow.
My favourite tale was by Evan Dicken-a brilliant, creepy tale about some strange neighbours and a house that acts as a gateway to the void. A Brilliant read this one, I absolutely loved it. Elsewhere S. P. Miskowski, Orrin Grey and Gemma Files also enhance their reputations as writers of quality fiction with engaging tales of darkness.
Autumn Cthulhu is a fine read. Chock full of creeping darkness. The great thing about anthologies is in finding new authors and here I have discovered some absolute gems.
Pick up a copy of ‘Autumn Cthulhu’ from here.