Author: H. P. Lovecraft
Book: H. P. Lovecraft’s Tales from the Dream Cycle (Fantasy and Horror Classics)
Published: March 2016
Publisher: Fantasy and Horror Classics
This is a collection of short stories that were among the early works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. A good number of the short stories were actually from Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle, dealing with adventures in the Dreamlands. However, there are several stories set in his Cthulhu mythos. Covered in this volume are The White Ship, The Doom That Came to Sarnath, Polaris, Nyarlathotep, The Cats of Ulthar, The Nameless City, Ex Oblivion, Celephïs, Hypnos, What the Moon Brings, The Hound, The Outsider, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Strange High House in the Mist, The Dreams in the Witch House, Through the Gates of the Silver Key, From Beyond, The Quest of Iranon, At the Mountains of Madness, The Thing on the Doorstep, Azathoth, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
Because of the number of stories in the volume (798 pages!) I will only touch on a few that I found interesting. The Doom That Came to Sarnath chronicles the rise of the magnificent city of Sarnath. The founding people of Sarnath launched a genocidal war against some alien creatures in a neighboring city. It comes back to bite them one thousand years later. The Cats of Ulthar tells the story of why it is illegal to kill a cat in the town of Ulthar. An old couple who hated cats messed with the wrong kitten. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath follows Randolf Carter on his quest into the Dreamlands to find the city of Unknown Kadath. His quest puts him at odds with the darker denizens of the Dreamlands. Fortunately, he has made allies of cats and ghouls. At the Mountains of Madness, an expedition discovers interesting ancient life and gets more than it bargained for.
I haven’t done an anthology in a while. I’ve long had a fascination with Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s works. Recently I learned about his Dream Cycle and decided to take a look. The first thing you have to realize is that H. P. Lovecraft did much of his writing during the early 1900s. The fashion of the time was to write in long exposition which can try the patience of someone who is used to action and dialogue. While the concept of the Dreamlands is interesting, Lovecraft’s execution is what one would expect, a series of long expositions. The short stories were interesting if you could get through them. The last couple of novellas took some patience.