I love me some Lovecraft. Pure and simple. Sure, i know that Stephen King, Mr. Literary Diarrhea himself, says Lovecraft couldn’t write a scene worth a damn (just look it up on Youtube, he fucking said it), but that never stopped my love for that weak chinned racist and all his first person, adjective strewn stories of unspeakable eldritch horrors happening under gloomy gibbous moons. I love Lovecraft so much that i even got conned into buying a shitty book just because it had his face on it. I won’t go into the story, it’s rather embarassing (basically i’m just one of those shitty customers who didn’t read the package before buying the product), but still, i will post my amazon review (touched up and a bit unabridged) and warn you of this shitty, pandering book of slop.
Lovecraft Unbound, by Ellen Datlow (1 star):
As pointed out by another review left on this product (as well as stated in smarmy introductory notes), the “author” of this book had asked the various writers in this anthology to write stories inspired by plot points and themes created by Lovecraft, but the author did not want any of the writers to use any of the mythos created by Lovecraft. What, was she fucking high when she formulated the premise of this anthology? The individual short story writers weren’t allow to mention Cthulu, the Necronomicon, and they weren’t even allowed to use the words “eldritch” or “ichor,” which, correct me if I’m wrong you stupid cunt (and I just did a google search, and it tells me I’m right), these are words that existed long before Lovecraft’s sickly body was squatted onto this planet.
Hey, Ellen Datlow (that’s the author’s name, by the way), while we’re at it can we make sure that the writers don’t use the words “gibbous” when they’re talking about the moon, or how about the word “shambling” in relation to mass, or how about “unnamable,” does everything have to have a name? I know Lovecraft also used the words horror, terror, and slop, should they not use them as well? What about “it,” or “the,” or “I,” or “are…” Lovecraft used those fucking words as well. Are they not allowed to write in first person, either?
Okay, so right there I was a little bummed out. I was expecting something about Shoggoth or Dagon, hell I would have settled with a sequel to Color Out of Space; but no. Nothing, not a fucking thing that made Lovecraft a recognizable fixture in the literary world. Alright, well if we aren’t going to use Lovecraft mythos or characters, are we going to write like Lovecraft at least? Are we going to build a rich, detail slathered canvas nearly doubling over itself from the weight of numerous adjectives clinging to it desperately in long winding, nearly completely passive, sentences?
No? We aren’t going to do that either?
Okay… so, we strip away Cthulu and characters, we steer clear away from Lovecraft’s style. How exactly does any of this relate to Lovecraft?
Oh, that’s right, sales. This relates to Lovecraft because you can make a fucking dollar while you roll his corpse over and over trying to find new holes to fuck him right in his legacy.
While I do believe that some of the writers in this book actually had some nice story telling abilities, if someone were to just read these stories as standalones, without any mention of Lovecraft, you would almost instantly say “Hey, this is like a modern day knock off of a Lovecraft story.” With all of them collected, and then a title that mockingly claims “Lovecraft inside” (its subtle, you know, with the title being Lovecraft Unbound a a picture of big stupid head), any reader will say “Yeah, that sounds like a Lovecraft story, but where’s all the rest?”
This book is a cash-grab, clear and simple. The only honest piece of this book is the subtext of the title, Unbound, and only in reference to the name Lovecraft, because this book and the stories therein are definitely far from bound to anything Lovecraft. Avoid this book if you like Lovecraft and would rather not read Deviantart level Lovecraftian Fan-Fiction that has been tweaked just enough so that it’s similar yet legally distinct enough to be sold as a new product. Ellen Datlow, you’re a ridicule deserving bucket of cunts.