IDOLATERS OF CTHULHU edited by H David Blalock
There are those who chant the eldritch songs, who wait at the angled gates, who gather in blasted, nameless places to celebrate the return of the great Old Ones. For centuries, for millennia, their tales have not been told. Within these haunted pages you will find their stories of yearning, terror, murder, and a faith that defies the commonplace understanding of humanity. Come and look into the minds of the Idolaters of Cthulhu.
Table of Contents
Beyond The Wall Of Sleep by H.P. Lovecraft
PART THE FIRST: INCURSION
Fane of the Faceless God by DJ Tyrer
Fatwa by Amanda Hard
Slave To Unkind Gods by Matthew Wilson
Names by James Victor
Sentry by Herika R. Raymer
PART THE SECOND: BATTLEGROUND
Sublime Architecture for the Proper Devotional Praise of Dagon by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd
The Ones Who Remember by Robert J. Krog
The Meat Junkies by E. Dane Anderson
Breakwater by Gregory L. Norris
Torn Asunder by Michael Krog
He Who Hesitates by H David Blalock
PART THE THIRD: THE COMING
The Arms Of the Gods by Jonathan Dubey
Cthulhu In Autumn by Robin Wyatt Dunn
Dreaming Of A Darker Tomorrow by Ben Stewart
Leap of Faith by Tyree Campbell
Casual Blasphemies by Harding McFadden
A Better View by Brian Fatah Steele
AFTERWARDS by Clark Ashton Smith
This…will be an odd review to read, probably. So, with that in mind, read this in its entirety.
This is a book I will never read again. It left me with intense emotional feelings, even though the intent was simply to tell stories out of a popular mythos, and the feelings it left me with weren’t ones that I’d want to revisit. And that has nothing to do with the fact that this mythos isn’t one I tend to read anyway, at least tales written so true to the mythos as these were.
Having said that, this is a book any fan of genre fiction, horror tales, intense emotional rollercoasters through reading, and particularly ALL Lovecraft fans should read. At least once. Guaranteed.
The tentpole of the anthology, created by editor H. David Blalock, is captured in the title. Although a ton of work exists set in the world of Cthulhu, both written by Lovecraft and countless others, very few pieces are written solely from the perspective of those who might worship the giant bipedal squid and the other Ancient Ones in his gruesome pantheon. Blalock, using both historical pieces by Lovecraft and Smith, as well as utilizing brand new tales from a plethora of authors, puts together a collection that not only takes readers deep into the twisted minds of those who pledge their life and fealty to monstrous gods, but also connects readers to these poor souls. Several stories in the book will cause readers to see people they know in the doomed lead characters, and scarily enough, even see themselves.
There are several very strong tales in this book and only one or two that I feel could have been better. The strongest by far for me was Sentry by Herika R. Raymer. Now, I’ll admit, this is probably because it is the one story in the book that leans more to what I prefer to read, which is a hero attempting to stand against the unstoppable foe. But there’s more to why this one is the best in the book. Raymer presents a character who has given his life to his mission and even before the conclusion of the story, the reader understands just how much of a sacrifice, how much loss this individual has experienced. This tale is very intense on an emotional level and perhaps is the best mirror in the entire collection for readers to look into.
This book is definitely a Five for me on the Book In The Bag scale. Anytime a written work can elicit a variety of strong responses, from revelation to revulsion, in a reader, then it is something everyone should read. Even if I will only ever read it once.
---- Tommy Hancock, author of Yesteryear (source: https://bookinthebag.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/book-review-the-idolaters-of-cthulhu-edited-by-h-david-blalock/)