I’m working on a page that will list my favorite Lovecraftian books. It will be divided into 4 sections: Novels, anthologies, non-fiction, and poetry. Here’s part of the novel section, in case you’re looking for something to read. If you have novel suggestions, comment below.
The Amulet, by William Meikle – Derek Adams is a Glasgow PI with plenty of time on his hands. Until the Bogart Case walks in. A priceless family heirloom has been stolen and everyone in town is looking for it. The stars are right once more, and an ancient evil has been awakened from its dreaming sleep. It was supposed to be an easy case, fast money. But pretty soon Derek is up to his armpits in bodies, femme fatales and tentacles. The city’s dark side has him. And it doesn’t want to let the Midnight Eye go!
The Color Out of Time, by Michael Shea – Here’s a review from none other than our friend W.H. Pugmire: Michael evokes a wonderful sense of macabre place, as must be done with such a book concerning a haunted and tainted region… THE COLOR OUT OF TIME captures that sense of evil superbly, It is a thing of cosmic disease that infiltrates and region and affects its horror. The creature is indeed an enemy to humanity, as Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu are enemies who thirst for human destruction and extinction. Shea’s novel expertly catches this sense of cosmic threat. The introduction of the star-stones is always a bit problematic for me, they were so poorly used by Derleth and Lumley; but it must be remembered that it was Lovecraft himself who introduced this device, in AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. Those looking for a well-written novel of the Cthulhu Mythos, that has its roots in the wondrous fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, this is a book you may certainly enjoy.
Darkness on the Edge of Town, by Brian Keene – A favorite of mine. I picked it up on a whim one night at the bookstore because the premise sounded promising; as I read it, I realized how Lovecraftian this book was. Read it, you’ll see what I mean. One morning the residents of Walden, Virginia, woke up to find the rest of the world gone. Just . . . gone. Surrounding their town was a wall of inky darkness, plummeting Walden into permanent night. Nothing can get in – not light, not people, not even electricity, radio, TV, internet, food, or water. And nothing can get out. No one who dared to penetrate the mysterious barrier has ever been seen again. Only their screams were heard. But for some, the darkness is not the worst of their fears. Driven mad by thirst, hunger, and perpetual night, the residents of Walden are ready to explode. The last few sane prisoners of this small town must prepare a final stand against their neighbors, themselves, and something even worse . . . something out there . . . in the darkness.
The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich, by Fritz Leiber – One of my favorite books. Written in the 1930s, lost in the 1950s, and finally published in 1990s, this is one of Fritz Leiber’s more eclectic works. Part horror story and part science fiction whodunit, the tale begins as George Cramer arrives in Smithville, California, home of his college friends Daniel Kesserich and John Ellis. Ellis’s wife has died under mysterious circumstances, and now both he and Kesserich have gone missing. The townspeople seem to be hiding a hideous secret, and Cramer suspects all the clues lead back to unusual experiments Kesserich was conducting. A gripping tale in the style of H. P. Lovecraft but told with the grace of Leiber… In 1936, young Leiber, then in correspondence with the famous writer H.P. Lovecraft, drafted this eerie story.
Deeper, by James A. Moore – I really enjoyed this one; I’ve read it twice. An off-shore expedition ends in a fascinating discovery for a team of divers near New England. The thing they bring ashore is certainly unusual. Big mistake thinking it couldn’t survive on land. Bigger mistake thinking that it’s the only one of its kind.
Deep Night, by Greg F. Gifune – For Seth Roman and his younger brother Raymond, it was supposed to be a getaway from their dull, corporate jobs and empty, troubled lives, a week of card playing and drinking at a cabin in the remote woods of northern Maine. But when a young woman staggers into their camp with her clothes covered in blood, their lives are changed forever. The woman brings with her something ancient, deadly and inhuman. Held in its clutches, they must fight an all-consuming evil from which there is no escape, an evil born of the darkest corners of human existence.
John Dies at the End, by David Wong – STOP. You should not have touched this book with your bare hands. NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late. They’re watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you’ll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it’s too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me. The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. Unfortunately for us, if you make the right choice, we’ll have a much harder time explaining how to fight off the otherworldly invasion currently threatening to enslave humanity. I’m sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.
Nightmare’s Disciple, by Joseph S. Pulver, SR – Even a man of faith will find it no easy matter to discern and to follow the guidance of his god. What if that god is one of the Great Old Ones of the Necronomicon? And what if the will of that deity is for you to become its messiah? Will you prove worthy? How will you know? The more real this faith feels, the more insane it will seem to those outside—especially if they are marked for sacrifice! Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., has conjured up just such a scenario, one in which two planets are slowly swinging into one another’s orbits: one a would-be Mahdi and serial killer, the other an embittered detective pursuing him from murder to hideous murder, eager to prevent others from bearing the cross of suffering he carries. Between them these adversaries launch a battle between worldviews. One is Nightmare’s disciple, the other the champion of daylight sanity. It quickly becomes evident that the insanity as just as likely to be true as the sanity we take for granted. What is at stake here? A man-monster of murder who must be stopped for the sake of his victims’ safety? Or an awakening into a horrific enlightenment that will scour the world clean of humanity? It is the human worldview, the world of humanity itself that lies in the balance. Will one man’s faith in the Lovecraft Mythos be revealed as a rationale for mind-sick killers? Or will he be revealed as the Christ of Cthulhu, the herald of universal madness? You will feel you have met these engaging and unsettling characters. You will find yourself making cameos here and there on the page. And when you are done, you will find that you, too, have become Nightmare’s Disciple.
Resume With Monsters, by William Browning Spencer – A dark-humored employee-angst novel, seasoned liberally with the Cthulhu Mythos. Spencer has a wonderful antic wit… His hapless hero bounces from one dead-end job (Ralph’s One-Day Resumes) to another (corporate giants with names like MicroMeg and Pelidyne), but he can’t seem to get away from those monsters. Great scenes in which Xerox machines and fax machines and the industrial sprinklers they install overhead in offices interact with Lovecraft’s Elder Gods. Lightweight, as horror novels go, but unusually good fun. Winner of the 1995 International Horror Critics Guild Award for Best Novel.
That Which Should Not Be, by Brett J. Talley – Probably the BEST Lovecraftian novel I have ever read. Winner of the 2011 JournalStone horror writing contest. Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston’s professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn’t hesitate to begin the quest. Weston’s journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when he ventures into a tavern in the small town of Anchorhead. Rather than passing the evening as a solitary patron, Weston joins four men who regale him with stories of their personal experiences with forces both preternatural and damned. Two stories hit close to home as they tie the tellers directly to Weston’s current mission. His unanticipated role as passive listener proves fortuitous, and Weston fulfills his goal. Bringing the book back to Miskatonic, though, proves to be a grave mistake. Quickly, Weston realizes he has played a role in potentially opening the gate between the netherworld and the world of Man. Reversing the course of events means forgetting all he thought he knew about Miskatonic and his professor and embracing an unknown beyond his wildest imagination.
The Things That Are Not There, by Robert Morgan – Tough-as-nails detective Teddy London is skeptical of beautiful Lisa Hutchinson’s claim that she is being stalked by winged monsters until one crashes through his thirteenth floor window. Original.