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Book Title: Beyond the Mountains of Madness|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 488 KB
v The author of the book: Cody Goodfellow
Edition: Celaeno Press
Date of issue: April 30th 2015
ISBN 13: 9784902075700
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Beyond the Mountains of Madness:Celaeno Press seems to have come out of nowhere in trying to crack the surprisingly extensive Cthulhu anthology market. Beyond the Mountains of Madness (not to be confused with the 1999 Chaosium game book) is apparently only their second release and of the even more niche variety based on a single Lovecraft story. They obviously mean business as this is edited by he of The Lovecraft Geek podcast and a million other anthologies, Robert M. Price MD.
Thankfully, At the Mountains of Madness lends itself better than most stories to a wide range of possible sequels, and that’s essentially what’s on offer here. With the original, Lovecraft was at the peak of his powers and nailed down all the elements of the archetypal science fiction/action/survival horror hybrid story.
Countless books/films/games etc have reworked it since, not only in the obvious ones set in Antarctica or a similar location like Alaska (such as Aliens vs Predator, The Thing, Stargate SG-1, The X-Files, Helix etc), but also those that shift the location to any remote and isolated part of time and space.
All the obvious angles are covered here and some less obvious ones, too. For example:
• How would the world have reacted to Dyer’s report?
• What might subsequent expeditions have found?
• How would world powers have dealt with the region, from World War II and the Cold War to the near future?
• What else could the Elder Things and shoggoths get up to?
• What may have happened to characters like Gedney and Danforth beyond what we already knew?
• And just how much horror can be wrought from gigantic mutant penguins?
As expected the tone varies between authors. Several go for a violent, action-oriented angle and some of these are quite militaristic. Some are more traditional weird fiction with the emphasis on slowly unfolding the mystery and revealing the true horror beneath. Then there are some curve balls. ‘Tekeli-Li’ by Edward Morris is presented as a television script for a Twilight Zone episode and fell flat for me.
‘The Second Wave of Fear’ by Joseph S. Pulver Sr is the strangest story here and one of the strangest things I’ve ever read. As a kind of stream-of-consciousness narrative of the inner thoughts of shoggoths and Elder Things, it uses an unconventional staccato phraseology that largely disavows our usual understanding of grammar and syntax. It’s certainly an impressive experiment though I feel like I’d need to read an essay on it to decipher its meaning entirely.
One of my favourite stories is towards the end with ‘Static’ by Will Murray, coincidentally a mere few days after I finished his Doc Savage: Skull Island book and said I needed more to convince me of him as a writer. Consider me at least partly convinced then because this is arguably the most imaginative work of the lot, with a psychic military officer encountering an otherworldly threat strange enough to make a shoggoth seem almost ordinary.
As a neat bonus to round out the collection, there’s the 1928 short story ‘In Amundsen’s Tent’ by John Martin Leahy. This horror tale of unspeakable maddening evil at the South Pole almost certainly influenced Lovecraft in writing At the Mountains of Madness, so it’s a nice short nod to an obscure member of the Weird Tales alumni.
This is undoubtedly a collection for a niche audience, but if you’re in that niche I don’t hesitate to recommend it. Supposedly it got stuck in publishing purgatory for a number of years after a tiny initial run, so it’s good to see it being resurrected in 2015. Here’s hoping Celaeno Press continue delivering works of comparably high quality.
Read information about the authorCody Goodfellow studied Literature at UCLA. He was a contributing editor for Substance Digizine, and an undistinguished composer of scores for pornographic videos. He worked as a radio research musicologist, and performed electronic music under the monikers Deprogrammer and Worker & Parasite.
He is now a hollow, wasted shell of a human being. His appearance, since he realized he only had to groom himself for occasional author photos, would shame an island castaway.
His conversational skills--since he discovered that any idea, emotion or anecdote worth sharing is also a valuable commodity--have atrophied to functional nonexistence. He sits, stares, listens, hoping to steal yours.
His real life experiences are insignificant in the face of those he imagines for himself and others.
His loved ones are hostages.
He is, for all intents and purposes, a patient undergoing a lifelong operation; and also the surgeon, methodically transplanting all his major organs into affordable trade paperback canopic jars.
Biographical information from Amazon and as provided by the author to http://www.scifan.com, March 2004.
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