Lovecraft’s Monsters, edited by Ellen Datlow. If you see the words “edited by Ellen Datlow” on a book… buy it. Always. From Amazon: Each story is a gripping new take on a classic Lovecraftian creature, and each is accompanied by a spectacular original illustration that captures the monsters’ unique visage. Contributors include such literary luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Karl Edward Wagner, Elizabeth Bear, and Nick Mamatas. The monsters are lovingly rendered in spectacular original art by World Fantasy Award–winning artist John Coulthart (The Steampunk Bible). Legions of Lovecraft fans continue to visit his bizarre landscapes and encounter his unrelenting monsters. Now join them in their journey…if you dare.
Autumn in the Abyss, by John Claude Smith. From Amazon reviewer Brian Fatah Steele: It’s rare that you can finish a book and find that it has left you altered on multiple levels. Beyond just themes and concepts presented, it’s how the book makes you feel. Smith does this with Autumn in the Abyss, and the results are brilliant. A short collection of only five tales, no more are really needed for what Smith is trying to say. They are a loosely intertwined menagerie of human depravity as examined from a Lovecraftian point-of-view. All manner of unspeakable atrocities are spoken of and acted out, but never in a “gore porn” fashion. Instead, it is done only to strengthen Smith’s argument for humanity’s place in the universe, something he tempers with his fascination in art. Amidst all the carnage and obscenity, we are treated to details on poetry, music, sculpture, and film. It’s part of a message of balance Smith seeks to impart to us.
The Wide, Carnivorous Sky, by John Langan. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that you need to read this book. While not all stories are Lovecraftian, they can certainly be classified as “weird fiction” and any Lovecraft fan will enjoy them. From Amazon: This new collection of nine substantial stories includes such masterworks as “Technicolor,” an ingenious riff on Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”; “How the Day Runs Down,” a gripping tale of the undead; and “The Shallows,” a powerful tale of the Cthulhu Mythos. The capstone to the collection is a previously unpublished novella of supernatural terror, “Mother of Stone.” With an introduction by Jeffrey Ford and an afterword by Laird Barron.
The Whisperer in Dissonance, by Ian Welke. A scary, disturbing novel that reads like a cross between H.P. Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick. From Amazon: Annie sleeps in fitful spurts dreaming of an altered world populated by drone-like slaves and gangly masters. Her dreams leave her panicked and ragged as if she hadn’t slept at all. Is there a barely audible voice buzzing in the background hum? Or is the sleep deprivation driving her to delusions?