Lovecraft Unbound | Page 1 of 197

Author: Ellen Datlow | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 3232 Views | Add a Review

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Ellen Datlow

THE CREVASSE

Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud

THE OFFICE OF DOOM

Richard Bowes

SINCERELY, PETRIFIED

Anna Tambour

THE DIN OF CELESTIAL BIRDS

Brian Evenson

THE TENDERNESS OF JACKALS

Amanda Downum

SIGHT UNSEEN

Joel Lane

COLD WATER SURVIVAL

Holly Phillips

COME LURK WITH ME AND BE MY LOVE

William Browning Spencer

HOUSES UNDER THE SEA

Caitlín R. Kiernan

MACHINES OF CONCRETE LIGHT AND DARK

Michael Cisco

LENG

Marc Laidlaw

ONE DAY, SOON

Lavie Tidhar

COMMENCEMENT

Joyce Carol Oates

VERNON, DRIVING

Simon Kurt Unsworth

THE RECRUITER

Michael Shea

Marya Nox

Gemma Files

MONGOOSE

Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear

CATCH HELL

Laird Barron

THAT OF WHICH WE SPEAK WHEN WE SPEAK OF THE

UNSPEAKABLE

Nick Mamatas

INTRODUCTION

ELLEN DATLOW

H. P. LOVECRAFT’S WORK, and fiction inspired by his entire mythos, continue to sell . . . and sell . . . and sell. In 1997, Ecco Press published Tales of H. P. Lovecraft, selected and edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Library of America recently collected Lovecraft’s major novels and short stories in a volume introduced by Peter Straub. Even though so many reprint and original anthologies continue to be published, the taste for new Lovecraftian fiction seems to be growing rather than fading.

I read most of Lovecraft’s fiction in my early teens, and even then, although I enjoyed it immensely, I noticed the difference between the wonder and embrace of the unknown in sciencefiction and the dread of the unknown in Lovecraft’s work. Most of his fiction is characterized by this sense of dread. I’ve also read the multitudes of pastiches in anthologies of work

“inspired” by Lovecraft, but most—for me, at least—are too obvious and bring little new to the table.

The title, Lovecraft Unbound, came to me in a flash, and from that came the idea. First, I took a few of the best under-reprinted subtley Lovecraftian stories I’ve read over the last several years. While I complain about the numerous Lovecraftian pastiches published, there is also a relatively small but solid body of Lovecraftian short fiction that is not pastiche—from those I chose four stories that have not been overexposed by appearing in a lot of other Lovecraftian anthologies (or elsewhere). Second, I commissioned the rest, eager to provide a showcase for writers whose Lovecraftian work I’ve enjoyed, such as Michael Shea, Marc Laidlaw, Michael Cisco, Elizabeth Bear, William Browning Spencer, Nick Mamatas, Sarah Monette, and Laird Barron.

Third, some of the above suggested other writers with an interest in Lovecraft

—a few of whom also submitted new stories that I bought for the anthology.

I asked for stories inspired—thematically and possibly—by plot points in Lovecraft’s mythos. What I wanted was variety: in tone, setting, point of view, time. In fact, I’d prefer not to have any direct reference in the story to Lovecraft or his works. No use of the words “eldritch” or “ichor,” and no mentions of Cthulhu or his minions. And especially, no tentacles.

As with most original theme anthologies, sometimes a story slips in with elements that go against the guidelines; so, yes, there are a few tentacles; and yes, there might even be some other overtly Lovecraftian trappings—and at least one story that uses them in a subversive celebration of H. P. Lovecraft’s

amazingly resilent universe.

THE CREVASSE

DALE BAILEY & NATHAN BALLINGRUD

WHAT HE LOVED was the silence, the pristine clarity of the ice shelf: the purposeful breathing of the dogs straining against their traces, the hiss of the runners, the opalescent arc of the sky. Garner peered through shifting veils of snow at the endless sweep of glacial terrain before him, the wind gnawing at him, forcing him to reach up periodically and scrape at the thin crust of ice that clung to the edges of his facemask, the dry rasp of the fabric against his face reminding him that he was alive.

There were fourteen of them. Four men; one of them, Faber, strapped to the back of Garner’s sledge, mostly unconscious, but occasionally surfacing out of the morphine depths to moan. Ten dogs, big Greenland huskies, gray and white. Two sledges. And the silence, scouring him of memory and desire, hollowing him out inside. It was what he’d come to Antarctica for.

And then, abruptly, the silence split open like a wound: A thunderous crack, loud as lightning cleaving stone, shivered the ice, and the dogs of the lead sledge, maybe twenty-five yards ahead of Garner, erupted into panicky cries. Garner saw it happen: the lead sledge sloughed over—

hurling Connelly into the snow—and plunged nose first through the ice, as though an enormous hand had reached up through the earth to snatch it under.

Startled, Garner watched an instant longer. The wrecked sledge, jutting out of the earth like a broken stone, hurtled at him, closer, closer.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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