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New Treasures: The Book of Cthulhu II, edited by Ross E. Lockheart

Monday, August 19th, 2013 | Posted by John ONeill

The Book of Cthulhu II-smallAh, Cthulhu. What could possibly explain the timeless fascination you’ve exerted over countless horror writers for the past 83 years?  Could it be that you’re roughly the size of Manhattan and you eat ocean liners? I dunno, but I bet I’m on the right track.

Well, whatever it is, I’m glad Big Green keeps popping up. Last August, we celebrated Ross E. Lockheart’s successful anthology The Book of Cthulhu, a marvelous reprint volume collecting some of the most famous Cthulhu stories of all time. I mentioned at the time that a second volume was in the works. Now I finally have a copy in my hot little hands and I’m pleased to say it doesn’t disappoint.

The Book of Cthulhu II contains two dozen tales of cosmic horror inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, including Karl Edward Wagner’s “Sticks,” Neil Gaiman’s “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar,” William Browning Spencer’s “The Ocean and All its Devices,” and John R. Fultz’s “This is How the World Ends.”

This thick volume also contains reprints by Michael Chabon, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, Fritz Leiber, Kim Newman, Jonathan Wood, and many others. There are also four original contributions, including the novella “Hand of Glory” by Laird Barron, which is currently on the World Fantasy Awards Ballot for best novella.

Ross E. Lockhart was the managing editor of Night Shade Books and the author of the rock-and-roll novel Chick Bassist. With the recent upheaval at Night Shade, culminating in the acquisition of the company by Skyhorse and Start Publishing, I don’t know if Lockhart remained with the firm. But I certainly hope so — these anthologies are some of my favorite titles to come out of Night Shade and I’d love to see them continue.

The Book of Cthulhu II was published September 2012 by Night Shade Books. It is 428 pages, priced at $15.99 for both the trade paperback and digital editions.

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

8 Comments »

  1. I loved both of these volumes. Lockhart did a good job of mixing reprints with newer stories. I like the feel of continuing in the tradition. Lovecraft Unbound, edited by Datlow is a very good Lovecraftian collection as well.

    Comment by James McGlothlin - August 19, 2013 10:34 am

  2. Also in this volume is Laird Barron’s kick-ass tale “Hand of Glory,” which is currently up for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novella…

    Overall, there are so many great stories in this book you just can’t go wrong…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - August 20, 2013 12:12 am

  3. Thanks for the kind review, John! Glad you enjoyed the book.

    While I’m no longer associated with Night Shade (since December 2012), BLACK GATE’s readers may enjoy my latest anthology, TALES OF JACK THE RIPPER, just published by my new publishing company Word Horde. TALES OF JACK THE RIPPER features 17 stories and 2 poems paying tribute to the literary legacy of the most famous serial killer in history. Authors include Laird Barron, Ramsey Campbell, Walter Greatshell, Joe R. Lansdale, E. Catherine Tobler, and Mercedes M. Yardley.

    Find out more at Word Horde, or ask for Jack by name where better books are sold.

    http://wordhorde.com/tales-of-jack-the-ripper/

    Comment by Ross E. Lockhart - August 20, 2013 1:53 am

  4. > Lovecraft Unbound, edited by Datlow is a very good Lovecraftian collection as well.

    Thanks for the rec, James! I bought this one last year, but never got around to opening it.

    Comment by John ONeill - August 22, 2013 12:25 am

  5. > Also in this volume is Laird Barron’s kick-ass tale “Hand of Glory,” which is currently up for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novella…

    Wait, what? There are original stories in this anthology too? How the heck did I miss that?

    Holy tentacles — you’re right. “Hand of Glory,” “I Only am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee,” “The Hour of the Tortoise,” and “The Drowning at Lake Henpin” are all original tales.

    That deserves an edit. I’ve added a sentence making a note of Laird’s contribution, and his nomination.

    Thanks John!

    Comment by John ONeill - August 22, 2013 12:30 am

  6. Hey Ross,

    > BLACK GATE’s readers may enjoy my latest anthology, TALES OF JACK THE RIPPER, just
    > published by my new publishing company Word Horde.

    Great to hear from you. Sorry to hear that you’ve parted ways Night Shade, but congratulations on getting Word Horde (great name!) off the ground.

    And you’re right… TALES OF JACK THE RIPPER looks right up our alley. Keep us posted!

    Comment by John ONeill - August 22, 2013 12:37 am

  7. […] Black Gate reviews The Book of Cthulhu II, saying: […]

    Pingback by Recent Review Round-Up | Hares Rock Lots - August 28, 2013 2:09 pm

  8. […] New Treasures: The Book of Cthulhu II, edited by Ross E. Lockheart […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in August - September 29, 2013 12:27 pm


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