FOREVER AZATHOTH by Peter Cannon, Dust Jacket Illustration by Jason Eckhart. Burton, MI; Subterranean Press; 2011.
Length: 232 pages.
H. P. Lovecraft once wrote: “As a rule, I don’t think that a comic or flippant style—or one with much satire—mixes well with the weird.” Peter Cannon has devoted most of his writing career to breaking this rule, usually at the expense of Lovecraft himself.
This volume collects the finest and funniest of Cannon’s parodies and pastiches, starting with the title story, a six-part sequel to Lovecraft’s “The Thing on the Doorstep.” Various Edward Derby heirs and scholars contend for control of the poet-prodigy’s literary legacy, too absorbed in their own affairs to take much heed of the supernatural mischief made possible by mind transfer.
Before there was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there were the three “Wodecraft” tales, in which P. G. Wodehouse’s characters show considerable savoir faire in the face of cosmic dread. Cannon also mashes up Lovecraft with two classic American writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald (“Tender Is the Night-gaunt”) and William Faulkner (“The Sound and the Fungi”). James Herriot, of All Creatures Great and Small fame, receives similar treatment in “All Moon-Beasts Amorphous and Mephitic.
Two selections pay homage to living horror greats Ramsey Campbell (“The Undercliffe Sentences”) and T.E.D. Klein (“The Arkham Collector”). In “Old Man,” a tale of cats and crime, Cannon posthumously collaborates with the Old Gent of Providence. The concluding novella, “Nautical-looking Negroes,” attempts to fill in some of the gaps in Lovecraft’s first major Mythos story, “The Call of Cthulhu.”
Those who like their Mythos fiction leavened with a dose of deadpan humor won’t want to miss Forever Azathoth.
Limited: 350 signed numbered hardcovers bound in full cloth.
Table of Contents:
Azathoth in Arkham ,
The Revenge of Azathoth,
The House of Azathoth,
Azathoth in Analysis,
Bride of Azathoth,
Son of Azathoth,
Scream for Jeeves:
Cats, Rats, and Bertie Wooster,
The Rummy Affair of Young Charlie,
Parodies and Pastiches:
Tender is the Night-gaunt,
The Sound and the Fungi,
Amorphous and Mephitic,
The Undercliffe Sentences,
The Arkham Collector,
From Publishers Weekly:
“Cannon (The Lovecraft Chronicles) demonstrates his deep understanding of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos in 16 playful stories… Cannon's work is affectionate and informed and will have broad appeal among fans of the weird and wacky.”
Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED hardcover edition of 350 numbered copies. Fine in fine dj.