Edited by Lynne Jamneck & S. T. Joshi
H. P. Lovecraft’s stories are a natural outgrowth of the Gothic movement that began in the late 18th century and culminated in the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Such motifs as the quest for eternal life, the haunted castle, and the mystic power of incantations are found throughout Lovecraft’s fiction, however much they may be modified by his dynamic Cthulhu Mythos and his later trend toward science fiction.
In this all-new anthology, some of the leading contemporary writers of weird fiction reinterpret Gothic themes through a Lovecraftian lens, or draw out the Gothic implications of Lovecraft’s own stories. John Shirley’s “The Rime of the Cosmic Mariner” is narrated by the Romantic poet S. T. Coleridge as he encounters one of Lovecraft’s most baleful gods. Caitlín R. Kiernan, in “As Red as Red,” writes a terrifying pendant to the vampire theme as found in Lovecraft’s “The Shunned House.” Jonathan Thomas, in “Old Goodman Brown,” rewrites Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic tale in a flawless recreation of 17th-century prose. Donald Tyson does the same in his powerfully cosmic rewriting of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
Nancy Kilpatrick’s “Always a Castle?” takes us to England, where a hapless protagonist encounters Lovecraftian monsters. Donald R. Burleson and Mollie L. Burleson revise KING LEAR and A CHRISTMAS CAROL in a Lovecraftian vein, while Lois H. Gresh’s tale shows how Lovecraftian entities were present during the worst days of the Inquisition.
These and other tales show how old-time Gothic themes can be revivified by contemporary writers when they are mingled with the unique perspective of H. P. Lovecraft’s imaginative vision.