As the header of this post states, there is, indeed a new review of the Future Lovecraft anthology out from Publisher’s Weekly. Although, technically, this is a review of the Prime Books re-release of Future Lovecraft. Said re-release edition will be out in August. It’s a nice review, and there are some lovely shout-outs for several of the authors in the piece.
However, the review has one glaring problem. And it’s this line:
Though most of the stories evoke only the superficial aspects of Lovecraft’s fiction …
This is not only not true of the Future Lovecraft anthology, but that statement bespeaks a complete lack of understanding, on the part of the reviewer, of what Lovecraft was writing about.
As I’ve already said elsewhere this afternoon (so I hope you’ll all forgive me if I just quote myself to save time):
Future Lovecraft isn’t about name-dropping the Mythos creatures (though some of the stories do), or aping Lovecraft’s plots themselves. Nor was FL about trying to capture HPL’s writing style. The anthology worked so well because what the stories and poems captured was the elemental aspects of Lovecraft’s nightmare vision: the awe, terror, and mind-shattering otherness of existence, and the stripping away of the self in the face of things so incomprehensible that only madness, pain, and death can follow. HPL’s work was about alienation, isolation, and the fact that humanity must inevitably fail in its ability to comprehend what lies beyond the borders of its understanding, and suffer for it.
Ordinarily, one should not be offended in the face of praise of something in which one is involved, but I am so very, very tired of seeing people take the major cultural misunderstanding about the basis of Lovecraft’s work and run with it.
So, while I’m excessively pleased that Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles (the editors of Future Lovecraft), and a number of the contributors, got most well-deserved praise, I’m rather depressed that it had to come in spite of a fairly standard misrepresentation of what Lovecraft’s writing is actually concerned with.
Of course, now I’m curious to see what kind of review comes down the pipeline next since the Prime Books re-release seems to have opened up the anthology to further review. Which is excellent, incidentally, since it deserved more than it got – being put together exceptionally well and all.
And so what if I’m biased. I’m an editor and reviewer, remember? Hell, all I do these days is spout off on one thing or another :)
Thanks for listening.