"British novelist Lumley began his writing career as an H.P. Lovecraft emulator. This nostalgic collection, the second of two volumes (after 2007's The Taint and Other Novellas) of Lumley's best Cthulhu Mythos tales, demonstrates that his work improves the more he moves away from his model, as in the simple and unflinching title story." – Publishers Weekly
"Lumley's knack for spinning inventively gruesome scenarios provides hours of agreeably unsettling entertainment." – Booklist
"Still, the contents include over twenty stories, a meaty volume indeed, and one that will keep any fan of Lumley's Cthulhu mythos work well satisfied for a good long while. Each story has an introduction by the author, mainly detailing the story's genesis and publication. Along the way, other little tidbits get tucked in – I, for one, had no idea that Lumley used to be an avid hang glider – which gives the collection as a whole the sense of an old friend walking the reader through his bookshelf. Clearly, the book was put together with love, and with affection for the stories it contains. Many of them were written in the '60s and '70s, and as such they deserve some veneration as important landmarks in the evolution of Lovecraftian writing." – Green Man Review
Prior to the first American publication of Brian Lumley's ground-breaking, dead-waking, best-selling Necroscope in 1988 – the first novel in a long-lived, much-loved series – this British author had for twenty years been earning himself something of a reputation writing short stories, novellas, and a series of novels set against H. P. Lovecraft's cosmic Cthulhu Mythos backdrop. A soldier in 1967, serving in Berlin with the Royal Military Police, Lumley jump-started his literary career by writing to August Derleth, the then dean of macabre publishers at his home in Sauk City, Wisconsin, telling of his fascination with the Mythos, and purchasing books by the "Old Gentleman of Providence, RI." In addition, he sent a page or two of written work allegedly culled from the various forbidden or "black books" of the Mythos. Suitably impressed, the master of Arkham House invited Lumley to write something solid in the Mythos as a possible contribution to a new volume he was currently contemplating, to be titled – what else but? – Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. And as might well be imagined, that set everything in motion.
Forty years have passed since then and a good many words of Mythos fiction written, including critically acclaimed and award-nominated work, stories that have appeared in prestigious magazines such as Fantasy & Science Fiction, and hardcover volumes from publishers all over the world from the USA to China and the United Kingdom to Russia. But while Lumley's novels are all currently available, many of them in hardcover format, his Mythos short stories and novellas have until now remained uncollected.
Subterranean Press is proud to correct that omission in volumes that are guaranteed to be the pride of any collector's library of Mythos fiction other than tales written by H. P. Lovecraft himself. Here in this book are found the shorter stories. Thus the best of Brian Lumley's works in this sub-genre are collected and presented for the first time in this much more worthy and durable format...
Brian Lumley (born 1937) is an English horror fiction writer.
Born in County Durham, he joined the British Army's Royal Military Police and wrote stories in his spare time before retiring with the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 in 1980 and becoming a professional writer.
He added to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos cycle of stories, including several tales featuring the character Titus Crow. Others pastiched Lovecrafts's Dream Cycle and featured the characters David Hero and Eldin the Wanderer. Lumley once explained the difference between his Cthulhu Mythos characters and Lovecraft's: "My guys fight back. Also, they like to have a laugh along the way."
Later works included the Necroscope series of novels, ... (more)