Book Review: Cthulhu Fhtagn!, by Ross E. Lockhart
Cthulhu Fhtagn!, by Ross E. Lockhart
Cthulhu Fhtagn!
Edited by Ross E. Lockhart
Word Horde
Reviewed by Karl Wolff

Cthulhu Fhtagn!, edited by Ross E. Lockhart, is an impressive anthology of short stories based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. I enjoyed the variety of the stories within, ranging from the traditional to the innovative. “Dead Canyons” by Ann K. Schwader stood out to me because it brought Lovecraftian cosmic horror into the realm of hard science fiction. On the surface it is about Dr. Susan Barnard and her research team. But Susan’s sleep is filled with nightmares. A planetary rover might be possessed. Other stories are more traditional, drawing from the well Lovecraft created in his mythology. There are stories of haunted houses, eccentric artists, and dysfunctional families. A wonderful sampler of cosmic horror. In this uncertain age filled with terrorism, racial tension, police brutality, and political strongmen, the Lovecraftian Mythos is almost reassuring. We are primitive and impotent in the face of the Old Ones, with their insanity-inducing forms and incomprehensible architectural geometries.

(Since CCLaP isn’t reviewing short story anthologies anymore, this review is part of clearing out the books still in the backlog.)

Out of 10/8.5

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Karl Wolff has been a local TV production assistant, museum curator, and undergraduate teaching assistant. He currently reviews books for CCLaP, the New York Journal of Books, runs his own blog (The Driftless Area Review), and has written features for Milwaukee's own Alcoholmanac Magazine and INFO* Magazine.