Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos was a very good book of Lovecraftian short
stories. It is Robert Price’s attempt to collect more stories
in the same vein as the earlier Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. It weighs
in at 370 pages, and includes such well-known writers of pulp fiction
as Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, August Derleth,
and Fritz Leiber, among others. While maybe not quite as good as Tales
of the Cthulhu Mythos, it was nevertheless an enjoying read. Some of
these authors had Lovecraft’s style down pat, particularly Donald
A. Wollheim. Other than Lovecraft’s four Arkham House books and
Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, I’d recommend this book in the category
(along with several others) of most important to have.
"The Thing on the Roof"
By Robert E. Howard
Quote: "Well, sir. You'll say I'm a bit off, I fear, but to tell
you the truth, sir, it sounded like a horse stamping around on the roof!"
Comments: This one definitely has the feel of Lovecraft down pat. I
liked it a lot in spite of its relatively short length.
"The Fire of Asshurbanipal"
By Robert E. Howard
Quote: "But you know, Ali. I'll admit--it is kind of strange that
an adder should happen to be sleepin' in that skull just at that particular
Comments: This one isn't really horror, although it does have possible
supernatural elements. It was an interesting little tale although not
totally what I expected.
"The Seven Geases"
By Clark Ashton Smith
Quote: "May the ordure of demons bemire you from heel to crown!"
Comments: Ralibar Vooz runs into a sorcerer, and his vanity leads to
"Fane of the Black Pharaoh"
By Robert Bloch
Quote: "It was all familiar."
Comments: I liked the story and its description of The Black Pharaoh,
but the ending is really, really telegraphed. Too bad Cartaret didn't
see it coming due to the seal of Nephren-Ka...
By Henry Kuttner
Quote: "Driven back. As they were once before--back to their own
dimension, and the gateway locked."
Comments: Sometimes when presented with the opportunity to do something
wondrous, you go too far. And the price you pay is not worth the experience.
"Bells of Horror"
By Henry Kuttner
Quote: "He cometh sometimes within the eclipse."
Comments: Beware the eclipse...and watch your eyes! Zuchequan makes
an appearance here.
"The Thing That Walked on the Wind"
By August Derleth
Quote: "Always I have felt strange, horrible, yet invisible eyes
looking down at me from above."
Comments: The first Wind-Walker story transforming Blackwood's 'Wendigo'
into Ithaqua of the new 'Cthulhu Mythos'.
By August Derleth
Quote: "But, as the world now knows, John Dalhousie did not carry
out his plan."
Comments: Another tale of Blackwood's "Wendigo" converted
to Derleth's Cthulhu Mythos.
"The Lair of the Star-Spawn"
By August Derleth & Mark Schorer
Quote: "The Ancient Ones themselves have come!"
Comments: This one adds to Derleth’s idea of good forces versus
evil forces, not exactly what Lovecraft had in mind. It also contains
the Tcho-Tcho people (apparently their first appearance ever), vicious
little pygmies who were the creation of evil beings such as Lloigor
"The Lord of Illusion"
By E. Hoffmann Price
Quote: "Then there is change! The angle of cutting changes!"
Comments: I’ve not yet read “The Statement of Randolph
Carter, so this one doesn’t make as much sense as it will in the
future. Still, I thought it was a pretty good tale.
"The Warder of Knowledge"
By Richard F. Searight
Quote: "Like a dream within a dream he opened his eyes on a vast
panorama of cosmic grandeur unfolding with measured sweep before him."
Comments: Gordon Whitney desires omniscience from early childhood on,
and is willing to stop at nothing to achieve it. The cost is high, but
he fulfills his dream.
“The Scourge of B’Moth”
By Bertram Russell
Quote: “Come…B’Moth…Master, come!”
Comments: The primordial jungle is gathering its forces and waiting
for an opportunity to strike. How can mankind possibly stop the attempt?
“The House of the Worm”
By Mearle Prout
Quote: “Dead! Impossible! Why is it dead?”
Comments: This story reminded me a lot of Lovecraft’s “The
Colour Out of Space”. Only this time, two ordinary guys take matters
into their own hands.
“Spawn of the Green Abyss”
By C. Hall Thompson
Quote: “Think of the child. I am the daughter of Zoth Syra.”
Comments: I really enjoyed this tale of a former sailor turned consort
of the sea.
“The Guardian of the Book”
By Henry Hasse
Quote: “Now! Act now, act, act!”
Comments: Hmm. A story about a book that makes the Necronomicon and
all the rest seem like children’s bedtime stories? I liked it!
By Robert W. Lowndes
Quote: “But more dreadful than these are the seekers which they
send out into other worlds and dimensions…”
Comments: Sometimes hypnotism is more than mere hypnotism. It’s
best not to challenge near-perfect beings when they say hypnotism is
“Music of the Stars”
By Duane W. Rimel
Quote: “I think I’ve found what I am after—the rhythm
of space, the music of the stars and the universe that may be very near
or very far.”
Comments: There are several obvious influences from Lovecraft’s
short stories, including the mention of Erich Zann. This was an interesting
little story about the summoning powers of music.
By Carl Jacobi
Quote: “Yes. A low throbbing as if…well, as if a large hollow
shell were placed against the ear and held there….”
Comments: This was a decent tale about the house a conchologist left
after he died, and the strange effect it has on the women who bought
it a year after he had died.
“The Horror out of Lovecraft”
By Donald A. Wollheim
Quote: “Kichulu—does he mean Cthulhu?”
Comments: This one was definitely a pastiche, even more so than others
in the book, right down to the italics at the end. Still, I thought
it was a pretty good story, though the ending made me laugh instead
of producing chills.
“To Arkham and the Stars”
By Fritz Leiber
Quote: “Sit down, sit down, youngster! I don’t blame you
for your hesitation. We call this Emeritus Alcove.”
Comments: I liked this tribute to Lovecraft’s stories. Leiber
has a young Professor at Miskatonic University sit in among many senior
Professors describing things which have happened to them. These men
all appear in Lovecraft’s stories, so it was fun picking out everyone
and which story they “belonged” to.