BOOK REVIEW: WORLD WAR CTHULHU – A COLLECTION OF LOVECRAFTIAN WAR STORIES / AUTHOR: BRIAN M. SAMMONS, GLYNN OWEN BARRASS / PUBLISHER: DARK REGIONS PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Seeking to explore the idea of the Cthulhu mythos’ impact upon a world in conflict, World War Cthulhu is a collection of twenty-two tales of eldritch creatures drawn into human battles. Covering a variety of settings from ancient Greece to the near future, each story asks itself what might be unleashed in the event of humanity going too far.
The variety of stories on offer is easily World War Cthulhu’s greatest strength. Each author furnishes a different kind of Lovecraftian monstrosity, ranging from unknowable horrors, to unstoppable beings of war and even creatures the world has somewhat adjusted to. As a result, each story plays out differently, with some following a far more conventional horror route while others offer a more action-orientated style. There's a nice mixed bag of foes to choose from, with the Mi-Go, the Deep Ones and the squid-faced sleeper all putting in appearances.
Unfortunately, the tales vary in quality too. Some only retain trappings of the Cthulhu universe rather than truly embracing it, with the monsters serving as generic doomsday creatures. Similarly, few authors attempt to replicate the purple prose which made Lovecraft’s works so chillingly memorable, opting instead for more modern styles. In combination, these problems make certain tales far too generic for such a unique world.
Despite this, Word War Cthulhu remains an intriguing anthology. Any fan of the setting with an open mind should definitely take a gander at this one.