Lovecraftian anthologies and collections (short stories) that I recommend

Arkham Tales

Here’s a list of Lovecraftian anthologies and collections that I personally recommend.  Enjoy!  NOTE: This is not meant to a complete list of all the Lovecraftian short story collections available; in fact, just the opposite. The books in the list below are the some that I personally have enjoyed reading. 

Ancient Exhumations +2 – Short stories by Stanley C. Sargent. Containing nine imaginative tales from a darkly innovative mind, this collection features stories that range from the Lovecraftian-inspired and original Mythos creations to those that venture deeper into the realm of dark fiction. New and experienced readers of Lovecraft will be captivated by the horror and subtle humor of these carefully crafted stories.

Arkham Tales: Stories of the Legend Haunted CityNestled along the Massachusetts coast, the small town of Arkham has existed for centuries. It is the source of countless rumors and legends. Those who have visited it each telling a different and remarkable account, whisper tales of Arkham. Reports of impossible occurrences, peculiar happenings and bizarre events, tales that test the sanity of the reader are to be found here. Magic, mysteries, monsters, mayhem, and ancient malignancies form the foundation of this unforgettable centuries’ old town. Collected in this volume are the strange and terrifying stories of the legend-haunted city.

Artifacts: Memories Out of Space and Time – Short stories by William Jones. ‘Artifacts’ is a solid collection of short stories set in a variety of times and places. Ostensibly divided into two sections, one for stories set in the past and the other for stories set in the future, settings range from alien planets and space stations to the Old West. Threats come in a variety of forms, from science run amok to Lovecraftian horrors with the pervading theme being encounters with the alien unknown.

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All – Short stories by Laird Barron.  Over the course of two award-winning collections and a critically acclaimed novel, The Croning, Laird Barron has arisen as one of the strongest and most original literary voices in modern horror and the dark fantastic. Melding supernatural horror with hardboiled noir, espionage, and a scientific backbone, Barron’s stories have garnered critical acclaim and have been reprinted in numerous year’s best anthologies and nominated for multiple awards, including the Crawford, International Horror Guild, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy awards.  Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including “Blackwood’s Baby,” “The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven,” and “The Men from Porlock,” The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.

The Book of CthulhuThe Cthulhu Mythos is one of the 20th century”s most singularly recognizable literary creations. Initially created by H. P. Lovecraft and a group of his amorphous contemporaries (the so-called “Lovecraft Circle”), The Cthulhu Mythos story cycle has taken on a convoluted, cyclopean life of its own. Some of the most prodigious writers of the 20th century, and some of the most astounding writers of the 21st century have planted their seeds in this fertile soil. The Book of Cthulhu harvests the weirdest and most corpulent crop of these modern mythos tales. From weird fiction masters to enigmatic rising stars, The Book of Cthulhu demonstrates how Mythos fiction has been a major cultural meme throughout the 20th century, and how this type of story is still salient, and terribly powerful today.

The Book of Cthulhu II – Available in Kindle and paperback.  I enjoyed this one even more than the first.  There are some reprints, but the originals alone are worth the price, and if you haven’t read the reprints, this is a good anthology to add to your Lovecraftian collection.  As I said, I’m really enjoying this one.  Last year, Night Shade Books unleashed The Book of Cthulhu onto an unsuspecting world. Critically acclaimed as “the ultimate Cthulhu anthology” and “a ‘must read’ for fans of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos,” The Book of Cthulhu went where no collection of mythos tales had gone before: to The Book of the Black Sunthe very edge of madness… and beyond.  For nearly a century, H. P. Lovecraft’s tales of malevolent Great Old Ones existing beyond the dimensions of this world, beyond the borders of sanity, have captured and held the imaginations of writers and aficionados of the dark, the macabre, the fantastic, and the horrible. Now, because you demanded more, anthologist Ross E. Lockhart has risked all to dive back into the Cthulhu canon, combing through mind-shattering manuscripts and moldering tomes to bring you The Book of Cthulhu 2, with even more tales of tentacles, terror, and madness.  Featuring monstrous stories by many of weird fiction’s brightest lights, The Book of Cthulhu 2 brings you even more tales inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s greatest creation: The Cthulhu mythos.  This year, the stars are right… Iä! Iä! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

The Book of the Black Sun – From a review by Matthew Carpenter: ...his prose is highly readable and engaging. I was entertained from start to finish. His stories are driven by plot and imagery rather than dialogue or character development. Even his longer stories are often loosely connected paragraphs, almost self contained micrstories/images within a shared framework. It was all good, even if nothing stands out as a masterpiece. I will single out “There Was an Old Lady” as of special interest to shoggoth fans.

The Children of Old Leech – A tribute anthology to the fiction of Laird Barron, edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele.  There are Things – terrifying Things – whispered of in darkened forests beyond the safe comfort of firelight: The Black Guide, the Broken Ouroboros, the Pageant, Belphegor, Old Leech…These Things have always been here.  They predate you. They will outlast you.  This book pays tribute to those Things.  For We are the Children of Old Leech… and we love you.

Cold Print – Ramsey Campbell short stories.  Ramsey Campbell’s stories are an important contribution to the development of the mythology begun by Lovecraft and continued by Derleth and others. Rather than pastiche well-developed Lovecraftian entities and places, Campbell takes the core ideas (ancient survivals, subterranean catacombs, monstrous gods of old, etc.) and builds a parallel, contemporary mythology of his own. This one is set in the forests, lakes, and beaches of Britain, different books of horror such as “The Revelations of Glaaki”, and different beings of power, such as Eihort and Y’Golonac.

Cthulhu 2000 The Shadow on the Doorstep in this collection is one of my favorite Lovecraftian stories.  Editor Jim Turner has compiled a real page turner in Cthulhu 2000. His anthology of short stories based on the works of horrorist H.P. Lovecraft is a dark gem, and of superior stuff. Although they all have the coppery tang of the eldritch, the tales aren’t strictly in the horror mien. Some of them are an alloy of horror with a sci-fi, humor, detective, vampire or even romance slant.

The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack: 40 Modern and Classic Lovecraftian Stories – This collection was put together in 2012 and if you have a Kindle, 99 cents is a STEAL for this book.  (Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can read any Kindle book on your computer with free software.)  This volume assembles no less than 40 stories set in H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Ranging from Lovecraft’s own tales (including classics such as the novel At the Mountains of Madness, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and “The Colour Out of Space”) to works by his friends and contemporaries (Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long, and Robert Bloch), to later followers (Henry Kuttner, Lin Carter, Brian McNaughton), and contemporary afficianados (Brian Stableford, Mark McLaughlin, Adrian Cole) — and many more. This is one collection no Lovecraft fan can afford to miss!

Cthulhu’s ReignSome of the darkest hints in all of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos relate to what will happen after the Old Ones return and take over the earth. What happens when Cthulhu is unleashed upon the world? What happens when the other Old Ones, long since banished from our universe, break through and descend from the stars? What would the reign of Cthulhu be like on a totally transformed planet where mankind is no longer the master? Find out in these exciting, brand-new stories.

Cthulhu UnboundImagine being free. Free from everything that defines you, that makes you easily recognizable as who you are. Welcome to a place where bleak noir cityscapes share a Technicolor sky with combat fighters, where you can find gunslingers from the Old West and a lost chapter from a literary classic, all with something in common: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. This is a place where the Crawling Chaos has to solve his own murder and the Old Ones come up against the Gods of Las Vegas, a place where the new player in London’s underground isn’t human and masked heroes go toe-to-tentacle with eldritch horrors. This is a Mythos collection unlike any other. This is Lovecraft in many colors, many guises. This is Cthulhu–Unbound!

Dark Gods – Short stories by T.E.D. Klein.  Simply put, this book is one of the best collections of horror fiction written in the latter half of the 20th Century. Similar to the work of H.P.Lovecraft thematically, but with very strong characterization, striking imagery, and contemporary themes; Klein tears aside the world of (frequently humorous) mundane existence, to reveal a landscape peopled by terrible monsters.

Dark Wisdom – Short stories by Gary Myers.  The 12 simply narrated tales of terror in Myers s second collection (after 1975 s The House of the Worm) perfectly accommodate their stripped-down Lovecraftian themes. In ‘The Web’ two Web-surfing teens get more than they bargained for when they hack into an online edition of the Necronomicon and activate one of its spells. ‘The Big Picture’ Dead But Dreaming 2tells of an ordinary guy whose fascination with stereoscopic games and picture puzzles sensitizes him to horrors that lurk behind the facade of the visible world. In ‘Understudy’ a Hollywood special effects artist who sculpts lifelike rubber monster outfits saves the day on an underwater monster flick when he brings in his living model to body-double for the movie s star. ‘What Rough Beast’ chronicles a terrified hitchhiker s flight from the eerie cult leader who arranged her impregnation. Myers often leavens the horror with wry humor, avoiding the cardinal horror sin of overdramatization. Fans of the Cthulhu mythos will welcome this new compilation from one of horror s most able contemporary practitioners.

Dead But Dreaming – In my opinion, one of the best Lovecraftian anthologies ever.  A fiction anthology of fifteen original tales of Lovecraftian horror, edited by MRP’s Kevin Ross, with Keith Herber. Originally released in 2002 by DarkTales Publications, only seventy-five copies were printed before DarkTales was forced to close its doors. The book quickly became a prized collectors’ item, sometimes selling for over $300 on Ebay.  More importantly, DBD was highly regarded by readers and critics, frequently cited as one of the best Lovecraft-inspired anthologies of the past decade. Stories by Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Mark Rainey, Darrell Schweitzer, Adam Niswander, Mike Minnis, and others deal with star-spanning science fiction, a zombie holocaust, the horrors of two different wars, the pyschology of cultists, voices from other dimensions and outer space, and frightening revelations about the origins of man.  Revised & corrected edition, with author profiles and a new afterword by the editor.

Dead But Dreaming 2No one is safe. You aren’t safe. Ancient and inimical, the alien influences of the Cthulhu Mythos are all around us. In our cities, our nightclubs, our backyards, and heading for our front porches right now. From the dreaming city of Kingsport, Massachusetts, to the lonely northern woods and the barren western deserts. The urban sprawl and the distant lake. The depths of the Pacific and the freezing ruin of a starless Earth. They are here, destroying us, devouring us, shattering our minds with the one truth we cannot bear to admit: that no matter what we do we cannot escape the fact that, deep down, we are very much like them. Dead But Dreaming 2 is the second volume of the critically-acclaimed anthology series from Miskatonic River Press.

The Disciples of CthulhuWell-edited volume with an eye for quality fiction, no clinkers here, and the quality isn’t as uneven as some of the Chaosium anthologies seem to be. If you’re an HPL fan, this book is a must. If you’re not-a really good place to start. Most of he stories here are couched in contemporary language and are very accessible to the novice Cthuvian.

The Disciples of Cthulhu IIBad things tend happen to people who go where they are not wanted, or who over-stay their welcome once they reach their destination. This book contains thirteen new personal explorations of the Cthulhu Mythos. As its title suggests, this is a companion volume to Edward P. Berglund’s earlier classic Mythos collection, The Disciples of Cthulhu. Both books are published by Chaosium, but their contents are entirely different. Twelve of the stories in Disciples II are original and have never been published before. All the stories record the dire fates of people whose destinies intertwine with the Mythos.

The Fungal Stain – By W.H. Pugmire.  There you go: When I wrote “by W.H. Pugmire”, that’s really all the reason you need to buy this book.  But if you need more: The theme of the book, as the author explains it, are “Lovecraftian dreams as thresholds to alien emotion, dimension, salvation, damnation.” Cross the threshold with one of the very few practitioners of Mythos fiction to win accolades from S. T. Joshi. Many and multiform are the pleasures this volume offers to Lovecraftians, including a hotly anticipated novelette set in Pugmire’s trademark locality, Sesqua Valley; a lengthy prose poem sequence; decadent, dreamlike vignettes in the style of Oscar Wilde, and much other new material.

The Further Adventures of Batman – Edited by Martin H. Greenberg. BATMAN?  Seriously?  Yep.  Actually, though I’m a Batman fan, I did notcare for most of these short stories.  There’s one story in this anthology, though, that’s worth the price all by itself: Subway Jack, by Joe R. Lansdale.  It’s truly a Lovecraftian Batman story, and it’s a great one (well, what else would you expect from Joe R. Lansdale?)  I’ve returned to this story many times over the years.  Well worth a read.

The Great God Pan – The classic short story by Arthur Machen that every Lovecraft and horror fan should read.  Plus, it’s free for Kindle.  This novel has a wonderfully unique premise. The themes of the darker aspects of Greek Myth, sinister woods and what lurks within them, unreality right beneath our world, make for a delightful story. While the plot is a bit mundane towards the center of the book, overall this is compensated for. If you’ve ever let your mind wander into the origins of ancient myths, and have been a bit shocked by what you imagine this is the book for you. The sexual aspect of the supernatural events is key, and overall adds to the one’s attraction and repulsion to the concepts beneath the surface of this book. Machen was akcknowledged by HP Lovecraft as a major influence, and one sees this here.

Horror for the HolidaysHolidays. Special days of commemoration and celebration. Feasts and festivities. Remembrance and revelry. But what dark things lurk just out of sight, in the shadows of those celebrated days? Forces beyond our comprehension, yearning to burst into our warm and comforting world and tear asunder those things we hold most dear. As the wheel of the year turns and we embrace our favorite occasions, let us not forget that beyond the light is a darkness, and in that darkness something stirs. Some nameless thing that brings us Horror for the Holidays!

Horrors Beyond: Tales of Terrifying RealitiesRevealing that the world is filled with lurking creatures from other places and dimensions—creatures locked away by the laws that govern the universe—these tales explore what happens when mankind tampers with these laws and the barriers protecting them from such horrors are destroyed.

Horrors Beyond 2: Stories of Strange CreationsFeaturing uncanny contraptions, weird devices, and technology beyond man’s control, these 21 tales of dark fiction explore the horrors outside everyday reality. Mad science, terrifying creatures, and dangerous discoveries are stretched across time and space, ultimately showing that when science pushes the boundaries of understanding, terrible things push back.

The Imago Sequence – Short stories by Laird Barron, one of the very few writers who can make me turn on lights and look over my shoulder while reading his work.  To the long tradition of eldritch horror pioneered and refined by writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, and Thomas Ligotti, comes Laird Barron, an author whose literary voice invokes the grotesque, the devilish, and the Lovecraft's Legacyperverse with rare intensity and astonishing craftsmanship. Collected here for the first time are nine terrifying tales of cosmic horror, including the World Fantasy Award-nominated novella “The Imago Sequence,” the International Horror Guild Award-nominated “Proboscis,” and the never-before published “Procession of the Black Sloth.” Together, these stories, each a masterstroke of craft and imaginative irony, form a shocking cycle of distorted evolution, encroaching chaos, and ravenous insectoid hive-minds hidden just beneath the seemingly benign surface of the Earth.

Letters to Lovecraft, edited by Jesse Bullington.  What an original idea.  Never before has an anthology taken its inspiration directly from the literary manifesto behind his entire mythos…until now.  Like cultists poring over a forbidden tome, eighteen modern masters of horror have gathered here to engage with Lovecraft’s treatise. Rather than responding with articles of their own, these authors have written new short stories inspired by intriguing quotes from the essay, offering their own whispers to the darkness. They tell of monsters and madmen, of our strange past and our weirder future, of terrors stalking the winter woods, the broiling desert, and eeriest of all, our bustling cities, our family homes.

Lovecraft’s LegacyNo works by the eponymous legator himself are included in this tribute to the master of horror in his centennial year. His “legacy” is the theme around which these 14 stories are assembled, with an introduction by Robert Bloch, who acknowledges his personal debt to Lovecraft, and afterwords to each of the tales by such authors as Gene Wolfe, Hugh B. Cave and Ed Gorman. Gahan Wilson’s “H.P.L.” manages to sustain Lovecraft’s antiquated and baroque style. F. Paul Wilson invokes the concept of “cosmic horror” in the afterword to final story, “The Barrens . ” Indeed, the progression of the stories suggests that they were arranged to lead up to this “concept of another reality impinging on ours,” giving rise to an all-encompassing fear that lies beyond humanity’s comprehension.

Lovecraft’s Monsters, edited by Ellen Datlow – In Lovecraft’s Monsters, H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous creations—Cthulhu, Shoggoths, Deep Ones, Elder Things, Yog-Sothoth, and more, appear in all their terrifying glory. 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.

Lovecraft UnboundThe stories are legendary, the characters unforgettable, the world horrible and disturbing. Howard Phillips Lovecraft may have been a writer for only a short time, but the creations he left behind after his death in 1935 have shaped modern horror more than any other author in the last two centuries: the shambling god Cthulhu, and the other deities of the Elder Things, the Outer Gods, and the Great Old Ones, and Herbert West, Reanimator, a doctor who unlocked the secrets of life and death at a terrible cost. In Lovecraft Unbound, more than twenty of today’s most prominent writers of literature and dark fantasy tell stories set in or inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft.

Mountains of Madness – Edited by Robert M. Price.  This one’s not out yet, because… well, we’re all not sure why.  But you might want to visit the Amazon page and sign up to be notified when it does come out.  Because I have a copy, and I can tell you that this book is worth reading.  The frozen continent of Antarctica still harbors mysteries, slowly being revealed by intrepid scientists and by melting ice caps. The stories in this new collection offer more revelations still, as our frostbitten authors chip away at the legacy bequeathed by H.P. Lovecraft in his historic novella At the Mountains of Madness. Lovecraft’s epic is itself a continent teeming with lurking fears and horrors unknown. What mysterious entities did his star-headed crinoids serve? What genetic secrets gestated within the shifting masses of the unholy shoggoths? Can a mere human fathom or describe the thought patterns of such creatures? If the Elder Things survived, what further nefarious mischief might they have spread? Had there been other, earlier or later expeditions to the Lovecraftian tundra? Did the cyclopean metropolis of the Old Ones exist in this or some other dimension? Could there be unsuspected links between the Miskatonic Expedition and characters or events in other Lovecraft tales? What if The Twilight Zone had adapted At the Mountains of Madness for television? These are some of the icy secrets thawed out for our inspection by a team of parka-clad authors including: Stephen Mark Rainey, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Will Murray, Cody Goodfellow, Ken Asamatsu, C.J. Henderson, Edward Morris, Glynn Owen Barrass, Laurence J. Cornford, Pete Rawlik, Brian Sammons, and Pierre Comtois. These are guaranteed to be chilling tales in more ways than one!

Mysteries of the Worm – Short stories by Robert Bloch.  Mysteries of the Worm is a collection of early Robert Bloch stories, several of which had not seen print in over four decades, based on the Cthulhu Mythos cosmology created by H. P. Lovecraft. As a teenaged burgeoning author, Bloch attained a place in the lofty Lovecraft Circle in the two or three years before HPL’s untimely death, and his early writing was heavily influenced by Lovecraft. The earliest of these stories dates back to 1937.

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird – Mostly reprints, but if you haven’t read these stories you will enjoy this book.  For more than eighty years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history — written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread — remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it. In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction — bizarre, subtle, atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures and stranger characters — eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darkly appealing.

The New Lovecraft Circle H. P. Lovecraft was the eerily prescient genius who first electrified readers in Weird Tales magazine. His tales changed the face of horror forever and inspired the bloodcurdling offerings of a new generation. These brilliant dark visionaries forge grisly trails through previously uncharted realms of mortal terror.

Night Shift – Short stories by Stephen King.  WHAT is this book doing here, you may ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.  King has written several very good Lovecraftian short stories, and this book contains one of them: I Am the Doorway.  It won’t cost you much to pick it up at a used bookstore or at Amazon, so if you haven’t read it, you should.  Besides, if you’re a Lovecraftian then you’re also a fan of general horror, and these are some great horror stories.  I particularly enjoyed Night Surf, The Boogeyman,and One For the Road.  In addition, King’s forward to this book is fantastic — it made me feel like I was right there with King on a rainy night.  It begins: “Let’s talk, you and I.  Let’s talk about fear.  The house is empty as I write this; a cold February rain is falling outside.  It’s night…” and ends with: “Where I am, it’s still dark and raining.  We’ve got a fine night for it.  There’s something I want to show you, something I want you to touch.  It’s in a room not far from here — in fact, it’s almost as close as the next page.  Shall we go?”

Nocturnes – Short stories by John Connolly.  I can’t recommend this short story collection highly enough.  Not every story is Lovecraftian, but several are, and any horror fan will enjoy every story in this collection.  Bestselling author John Connolly’s first collection of short fiction, Nocturnes, now features five additional stories — never-before published for an American audience — in a dark, daring, utterly haunting anthology of lost lovers and missing children, predatory demons, and vengeful ghosts. In “The New Daughter,” a father comes to suspect that a burial mound on his land hides something very ancient, and very much alive; in “The Underbury Witches,” two London Shadows Over Baker Streetdetectives find themselves battling a particularly female evil in a town culled of its menfolk. And finally, private detective Charlie Parker returns in the long novella “The Reflecting Eye,” in which the photograph of an unknown girl turns up in the mailbox of an abandoned house once occupied by an infamous killer. This discovery forces Parker to confront the possibility that the house is not as empty as it appears, and that something has been waiting in the darkness for its chance to kill again.

Occultation and Other Stories – Short stories by Laird Barron.  He returns with his second collection, Occultation. Pitting ordinary men and women against a carnivorous, chaotic cosmos, Occultation’s eight tales of terror (two never before published) include the Theodore Sturgeon and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story “The Forest” and Shirley Jackson Award nominee “The Lagerstatte.” Featuring an introduction by Michael Shea, Occultation brings more of the spine-chillingly sublime cosmic horror Laird Barron’s fans have come to expect.

Secret Hours – Short stories by Michael Cisco.  From a review by Joe Pulver: There are lands and textures and frequencies few dare explore, fewer still are the wordsmiths, their fingers laced with magic and whorls ornamented in terrible and rich dreams, who return from chaos with such beguiling tales to tell. Cisco is one of the few. The music that issues from the 14 doors in this volume of bar-raising short works is among the finest in contemporary weird literature. Unsettling or haunting, these gifts of imagination transport the reader to districts in close proximity to the master of the modern weird tale, Thomas Ligotti.

The Shadow of the Unknown – Edited by A.J. French.  Madness and the Mythos, the Surreal and the Sinister. Editor A.J. French has collected 29 tales of horror inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and the element of the unknown in supernatural fiction. Featuring stories by Gary A. Braunbeck, Gene O’Neill, Michael Bailey, Glynn Barrass, P.S. Gifford, Lee Clark Zumpe, James S. Dorr, Geoffrey H. Goodwin, Erik T. Johnson, R.B. Payne, and Ran Cartwright. Warning: Once you open the pages of this book, you willingly unleash a whirlwind of delirium and insanity that will creep into your mind. Think your sanity can withstand the assault…?

Shadows Over Baker Street – Another of my favorites.  Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous literary figures of all time. For more than a hundred years, his adventures have stood as imperishable monuments to the ability of human reason to penetrate every mystery, solve every puzzle, and punish every crime.  For nearly as long, the macabre tales of H. P. Lovecraft have haunted readers with their nightmarish glimpses into realms of cosmic chaos and undying evil. But what would happen if Conan Doyle’s peerless detective and his allies were to find themselves faced with mysteries whose solutions lay not only beyond the grasp of logic, but of sanity itself.

Shadows Over InnsmouthInspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s classic, today’s masters of horror take up their pens and turn once more to that decayed, forsaken New England fishing village with its sparkling treasure, loathsome denizens, and unspeakable evil.

Skeleton Crew – Short stories by Stephen King.  There are two Lovecraftian short stories in this one — The Mist, and Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut.  Everyone knows about the former, but Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut doesn’t seem to be as well known, and that’s a shame.  It’s one of King’s best stories, very Lovecraftian, and very nostalgic.  In terms of general horror, I also enjoyed The Jaunt quite a lot.

The Taint of LovecraftDo you dare unearth the secrets of cosmic horror? Within these pages lie the horrifying resolutions to mysteries that have long haunted the devotees of H.P. Lovecraft. The infamous Lovecraft did his best to warn his readers of the unspeakable abominations lurking at the edges of our cosmos, awaiting the opportunity to slaughter mankind. Although Lovecraft died unexpectedly before he could tell all, another voice has taken up the crusade where Lovecraft left off, daring to provide answers vital to humanity’s survival. Lovecraft fans will be thrilled by a beautifully illustrated novella, short stories and even essays contained therein, all of them expounding on the work of the Master of Supernatural Horror.

Tales Out of InnsmouthInnsmouth is a half-deserted, seedy little town on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It is rarely included on any map of the state. Folks in neighboring towns shun those who come from Innsmouth, and murmur about what goes on there. They try not to mention the place in public, for Innsmouth has ways of quelling gossip, and of taking revenge on troublemakers. Here are ten new tales and three reprints concerning the town, the hybrids who live there, the strange city rumored to exist nearby under the sea, and those who nightly lurch and shamble down the fog-bound streets of Innsmouth.

Tales of the Lovecraft MythosA glance at the table of contents would make this book seem to be a mixed bag; while it contains plenty of little-known stories by Mythos greats, it also has soem commonly reprinted stories by equally great authors such as Howard, Kuttner, and Bloch. This is the risk any anthologist runs in the Cthulhu Mythos; some stories are going to overlap with the contents of other books the reader owns. Price makes up for this in part by including variants of stories: “The Fire of Asshurbanipal,” for instance, is not the same as in most of its other print appearances. Ironically, this version is less a Cthulhu Mythos story here than in its more common version, but the story still has that Mythos atmosphere. All in all, considering the strength of the collection as a whole, few Mythos readers are going to mind rereading a few stories.

Teatro Grottesco – Short stories by Thomas Ligotti.  Need I say more?

Terrors – Short stories by Richard Lupoff.  But even then, what is a mere 2,000,000 years, even 5,000,000 years, in the history of a planet six billion years of age? What mighty species might have evolved in the seas or on the continents of this world, might have learned to think and to speak, to build towering cities and construct great engines, to compose eloquent poems and paint magnificent images… and then have disappeared, leaving behind no evidence that ever they had walked this Earth… or at least, no evidence of which we are aware?

Torn RealitiesTorn Realities is not the typical Lovecraft Cthulhu anthology. Torn Realities deals with Lovecraft’s themes of forbidden knowledge, the idea that we are essentially untethered from the workaday world. Torn Realities explores lunacy-inducing creatures predating the dawn of man- keeping Lovecraft’s most famous theme (the idea of mind-boggling other gods) more general. The stories in this book actively seek the gray area in horror with tales of regular people in irregular situations.

Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities – Short stories.  What lurks in the damp recesses of urban existence? These new tales of weird fiction are a blend of urban horror, pulp noir and dark fantasy. Lovecraftian horrors and Cthulhu Mythos monsters have never been this gritty. From haunted Kingsport across the globe to shadowy Berlin and the otherworldly music of Bangalore. From kind, sexy neighbors to cyberpunk paranoia an The King in Yellow. A journalist’s search with unexpected results. What really happened to Walter Gilman, and what is the origin of the witch Keziah Mason? And witness humanity fail against the forces from beyond. From weird sounds to screams of madness. Entropy. Chaos. Disorder. Death. Beneath cities, on the outskirts of ruined, aeon-old cities and INSIDE cities. The stench, the decay, the hopelesness… it is everywhere. Welcome to URBAN CTHULHU: NIGHTMARE CITIES.

Unholy Dimensions, by Jeffrey Thomas – Not only a great writer, but also a great guy.  UNHOLY DIMENSIONS collects 27 excursions into realms Lovecraftian and H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, through the mind’s eye of Jeffrey Thomas, author of PUNKTOWN and TERROR INCOGNITA.