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New Treasures: Cthulhu Lives!, edited by Salomé Jones

Saturday, February 7th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Cthulhu Lives-smallI don’t know much about Ghostwood Books, but I know they produce attractive books. They have a small but intriguing back catalog, including the story cycle/anthology Red Phone Box, with contributions from Warren Ellis and Salomé Jones, and Marion Grace Woolley’s Iranian historical fantasy Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran.

Jones has assembled a diverse array of contributors for her new anthology Cthulhu Lives!, including Michael Grey, Tim Dedopulos, G. K. Lomax, and many others. There’s also an afterword by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi. Here’s the book description.

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”

At the time of his death in 1937, American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was virtually unknown. The power of his stories was too vast to contain, however. As the decades slipped by, his dark visions laid down roots in the collected imagination of mankind, and they grew strong. Now Cthulhu is a name known to many and, deep under the seas, Lovecraft’s greatest creation becomes restless…

This volume brings together seventeen masterful tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft’s work. In his fiction, humanity is a tiny, accidental drop of light and life in the vast darkness of an uncaring universe a darkness populated by vast, utterly alien horrors. Our continued survival relies upon our utter obscurity, something that every fresh scientific wonder threatens to shatter.


The dazzling stories in Cthulhu Lives! show the disastrous folly of our arrogance. We think ourselves the first masters of Earth, and the greatest, and we are very badly mistaken on both counts. Inside these covers, you’ll find a lovingly-curated collection of terrors and nightmares, of catastrophic encounters to wither the body and blight the soul. We humans are inquisitive beings, and there are far worse rewards for curiosity than mere death.

The truth is indeed out there — and it hungers.

Salome Jones

Salome Jones

Salomé Jones has two additional anthologies coming up from Ghostwood: Cthulhu Lies Dreaming and Haunted Futures.

In an interview over at Ginger Nuts of Horror, she talks a little about the type of horror she prefers, and what she was looking for with Cthulhu Lives!:

I like eerie horror. I like to keep thinking about what was really going on. Did you ever see The Machinist? That’s a kind of horror, in my mind. The horror of revealing the truth, basically…

I think [Lovecraft] was ahead of his time. He wasn’t very well known in his own lifetime. So his notoriety has only grown to its potential after his death at a young age. I don’t know. Maybe the things he wrote about reflected a common human sentiment, one no one likes to admit to. The sense that actually underneath all the beliefs we cling to in order to keep ourselves sane, things are actually quite bleak and we’re tiny little dust specks being tossed around by an uncaring universe. I think we try not to look there, but he makes us do that and it gives us a frisson of strangeness…

[Cthulhu Lives!] is Lovecraftian in that it’s grounded firmly in cosmic horror, so it’s not just a mythos checklist wrapped around non-horror tales. But it does have a bit more of a modern feel to it, in spite of some of the stories being set in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I mean, there’s actual dialog and everything! I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll like at least some of the stories if you like weird fiction.

Also, Ghostwoods Books shares the proceeds equally with the writers. So when you buy it you’re supporting writers and good books. Pretty much all the money goes to either getting the books out or paying the writers.

Here’s the complete table of contents:

Foreword by Leeman Kessler
“Universal Constants” by Piers Beckley
“1884” by Michael Grey
“Elmwood” by Tim Dedopulos
“Hobstone” by G. K. Lomax
“On The Banks of the River Jordan” by John Reppion
“Dark Waters” by Adam Vidler
“Ink” by Iain Lowson
“Demon in Glass” by E. Dane Anderson
“Scales From Balor’s Eye” by Helmer Gorman
“Of the Faceless Crowd” by Gábor Csigás
“Scritch, Scratch” by Lynne Hardy
“Icke” by Greg Stolze
“Coding Time” by Marc Reichardt
“The Thing in the Printer” by Peter Tupper
“The Old Ones” by Jeremy Clymer
“Visiting Rights” by Joff Brown
“The Highland Air” by Gethin A. Lynes
Afterword by S. T. Joshi

Cthulhu Lives! was published by Ghostwoods Books on August 26, 2014. It is 271 pages, priced at $10.99 in trade paperback, and $3.03 for the digital edition. The cover is by Gábor Csigás. Read more at the Ghostwood website.

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

9 Comments »

  1. If there’s one thing all these Cthulhu books needs more of, it’s stories with a bit more action adventure tied in with them. Even Lovecraft’s originals had people doing things, whether it was escaping Innsmouth or fending of alien attackers from a country home. I’ve read several anthologies like this and most of the stories seem to want to focus on the psychological while ignoring the primal. I think we need more of the two going hand in hand. I haven’t read this book yet, so I can’t really comment on the stories in it.

    Comment by CMR - February 7, 2015 9:11 pm

  2. CMR,

    Hear, here! Well said. Lovecraft’s original stories were fast paced adventures — if they weren’t, they never would have appeared in pulp magazines — and many modern pastiches have forgotten that.

    I bought this anthology last week, and I’m more than willing to give it a try, though.

    Comment by John ONeill - February 7, 2015 10:10 pm

  3. I think it’s odd that some of the best authors of these types of stories always seem to get left out as well. It’s great to have new writers taking up the mythos, but, in my opinion, Brian Lumley should be in at least half these books by default.

    Comment by CMR - February 8, 2015 4:11 pm

  4. Brian Lumley has written some terrific mythos stories, for sure (“Fruiting Bodies” is the first one to spring to mind). But I always enjoy seeing what new writers do as well.

    Comment by John ONeill - February 8, 2015 7:17 pm

  5. Okay, perhaps I’ll be the only cad to admit it:

    * Cthulhu

    * Indescribably cute pic of Salome Jones (…could even her name be any more intriguing?!? I think not 😉

    * She writes on the product page how the majority of the proceeds goes directly to the authors…

    If that’s not a cosmological trifecta, I don’t know what is :-)

    So I bought the ebook, and I’m happy to report the first story at least is quite decent. A bit of Arthur C Clarke’s “Nine Billion Names of God” with a Lovecraftian twist.

    Thanks again for the writeup, John!

    Comment by AWAbooks - February 8, 2015 11:12 pm

  6. You’re most welcome, Anthony. Let us know what you think of the rest of the book!

    Comment by John ONeill - February 8, 2015 11:44 pm

  7. Hi John ONeill and others,
    Thank you for the write-up about CL! (I was put onto this post by Google Alerts.)

    We chose specifically to do cosmic horror with this book, and not action/adventure. Lovecraft himself did a bit of action/adventure writing but he is better known for his cosmic horror. I turned down some more action-y stories because I wanted the book to have a unified feel to it.

    As you point out, we’re in the process of putting together a follow-up book, so I’d love to have feedback about how this book works for people. I can take it into consideration as I select stories for Cthulhu Lies Dreaming. (We’re accepting open submissions, by the way. If anyone wants to submit, go to gwdbooks dot com and look at the Calls for Submissions page.)

    I think CL! came out quite well, and it’s my hope that we can improve on it with CLD.

    Very best,
    Salome

    Comment by Salome - February 9, 2015 8:36 am

  8. Great to hear from you, Salome!

    And I certainly understand the need to stay with the theme in an anthology — I think that’s very wise. That was something I learned (the hard way) when launching the print version of BLACK GATE: if your magazine doesn’t have a very clear focus, it doesn’t appeal to anyone.

    Also, kudos for accepting open submissions! More and more anthologies are moving to an invitation-only model, which makes things very hard on newcomers. It’s the open anthologies (and magazines) that really nurture talent.

    Best of luck with CTHULHU LIES DREAMING! I think you did a great job with CL!, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

    Comment by John ONeill - February 9, 2015 5:18 pm

  9. […] all books, an anthology begins with an idea. In the case of Cthulhu Lives! the idea was simply this: the eerie feel of Lovecraft’s cosmic horror stories without the lengthy […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Making of a Dark Fantasy Anthology - February 25, 2015 4:36 pm


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