The unimpeachable taste of Christine Morgan strikes once again with her Horror Fiction Review take on Cthulhu Attacks! (I just want to say that the typos she mentions were definitely in the Advance Reading Copy she had, but are fixed now in the finished book.) Have a look and then buy a copy, or maybe two—the holidays are fast approaching!
CTHULHU ATTACKS! by Sean Hoade (2015 Severed Press / 220 pp / trade paperback & eBook)
Dear Hollywood: THIS is the Lovecraftian movie you need to make, the surefire big-budget blockbuster special effects extravaganza. This book, right here. It’s perfect. Gets around the various issues of directly adapting one of ol’ H.P.’s works, while acknowledging them in glorious triumphant homage. Plus, geek-cred galore.
And seriously, the scene describing Cthulhu’s emergence … best I’ve ever read. So beautifully done. Short, sweet, simple, evocative, and haunting.
A lot of giant monster or cosmic horror fiction struggles to express the sheer sheer size and scale and scope. Sean Hoade nails it, not only nails it but takes it several steps beyond. Reading this book is to shiver from an overwhelming sense of immensity, of alienness, of strange inhumanity so far outside our comprehension as to bend the mind. I think Lovecraft himself would be impressed with just how well that’s all conveyed.
Okay, sure, so Lovecraft would probably be a little less impressed with how fun and funny it also is. There’s humor mixed with the horror, a humor almost of surrendering to madness so you just gotta give in and laugh. There are winks, nods, nudges, and in-jokes. A few familiar names pop up; those in the know will cackle and chortle like fiends (I did, anyway).
Yet, let us not forget, there’s that horror in the mix, too. The perfect kind for something like this. The helpless, humanity-is-utterly-insignificant, Total Perspective Vortex kind of sanity-shredding horror. On a global level. We’re talking body counts in the millions, before the Big C even surfaces.
Which is followed, of course, by the desperate scrambling of world leaders, scientists, and military to try and defend against something they can’t explain. Or don’t want to accept. You know how in some movies (looking at you, Independence Day), nations chuck their differences to band together against a far greater common threat? Yeah, right. Not happening.
A few minor typos and bloopers are the only flaws in this book, and in a weird sort of way I’m almost glad they’re there. Otherwise, it’d be too perfect. Now I just have to wait, with wild impatience, for the sequel!