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Non-pony Reading 2

05 Jan

Time for some more science fiction Lovecraftian goodness. I just finished up the collection Space Eldritch 2. Let’s start with what I thought about the first one. Here is the recommendation I posted about it almost exactly two years ago:

Space Eldritch by various

This book is a collection of short stories all based around Lovecraftian science fiction. Not the same collection I mentioned in the 14 section above. This one is really good. It is all Lovecraft inspired horror set in space. Most of the stories take place on spaceships of one type or another. One story is even from the point of view of aliens. Some set in the future, one that spans from ancient Egypt to the future of FTL space travel, one that involves using secrets man was not meant to know to travel the stars (and the consequences of that). The stories are many, varied, and almost all of them are above average to excellent in quality.

Now I ended up rereading just about every story in here while I worked my way through number two. Mostly because some of the stories in two are connected to stories in one. So I wanted to read those again to refresh my memory. Which lead to me reading others that I really enjoyed. So I double the recommendation for the first one. The stories I read were just as good reading them again two years later.

Space Eldritch 2 by various

I enjoyed just about every story here. They varied in quality, but none of them were below average. Even though there were more stories than the first collection and more varied situations, it actually felt less creative than the first one. Might be just because the concepts aren’t new and surprising. Or might just be because the collection had more stories. Almost twice as many and there are only so many good Lovecraftian horror in space situations you can play with. Even so, some of them were very creative individually. So it must just be a perception thing mixed with my current mental state. I would praise a lot of the stories in here for their originality. At least so far as premise goes.The one set in a space prison especially.

I think what makes me enjoy these so much more than most ‘traditional’ Lovecraftian stories is the variety. I gave up on the other Lovecraftian horror collection I was reading a few months ago because they were just so dull. Pretty much cookie cutter plots/monsters/endings. Whereas in this collection I was never sure what was going to happen. Or what the horror/danger was going to be. It really took the idea of larger-than-human concepts as monsters in new directions. Sometimes it was something small and personal, but dangerous. Other times it was unfeeling cosmic forces. Sometimes the mortals were snuffed out, other times corrupted, sometimes even victorious. Though often that victory is a pyrrhic one with the victorious mortal dying as well.

One story even has the implication of benevolent to humans Lovecraftian style/power gods. They are out there and incomprehensible and unknown, but leave us alone, and even protect us from other more dangerous powers. Though more out of a ‘those other gods are trying to steal our stuff!’ than any real concern for humanity. The best metaphor I thought up was humanity is basically a goldfish in a glass bowl in their office. Just a little meaningless organic thing they like looking at from time to time when taking a break from important stuff.

So highly recommended. Get the first collection, read that. Then buy this one and read it. The second collection doesn’t seem as nice physically though. The cover is bending more just from one read, there is no introduction, and it looks like they tried cramming the last story into too few pages for some reason. Still readable and it isn’t falling apart or anything. Was just kinda odd that the physical and/or production quality dropped a notch or two. Like maybe they had to rush it out the door? I do hope they manage to put together a third one at some point.

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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Reading 2016

 

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