Mapping the Terrain of Used and Rare Books
The Cthulhu Mythos. What are they? I don’t think anyone actually knows. People just make it up as things go along. Of course they deal with the writings of Howard Phillip Lovecraft, but in what way? So many authors just regurgitate names of otherworldly demons and cut and paste them into less than average prose.
Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Shub-Niggurath – Just learn to spell them and inject them into a bad horror story. Holy Shit! I’m part of the Mythos!
Michael Shea is not average. He tells the story of two prostitutes. Two people who are just trying to make a living. And they live and love until they each meet an untimely death. And the deaths are frightening.
The story – “Fat Face” – is a scary thing. The seemingly benign prose is riddled with statements such as, surfacing from a long deep drowning; like sea-things of blue and rose and gold, bannering and twisting cryptically over the drowned pavements; the silence she was hearing contained a presence not an absence….
And so on.
This book is a perfect example of the Cosmic Horror that Lovecraft originated, but it does not emulate him. Not until it is totally necessary.