The Cthulhu Mythos, the original tales by H.P. Lovecraft and for a long time the vast majority of the stories written by his friends and successors are lacking one thing (both the stories and the successors):
Both the stories and the the league of authors are almost devoid of women and I was only aware of Sonia Greene, as far as female authors are concerned. So I was delighted when a friend pointed me towards She Walks in Shadows, an anthology written entirely by female devotees of the Mythos and featuring female protagonists.
I was also a little weary since I have had mixed experiences with anthologies in the past andShe Walks in Shadows is all about my favourite fictional universe, I knew I would react a bit touchy if the anthology was a disappointment.
I need not have worried, She Walks in Shadow is a jewel, a jewel more akin to a Shining Trapezohedron, but a jewel none the less.
While I did not enjoy every story, the ones I did enjoy far outweight the ones I did not.
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” by Inkeri Kontro and “Bring the Moon to Me” by Amelia Gorman share the #1 spot in my personal list, both blending science and the Cthulhu Mythos in delightfully creative ways and being bone-chilling at the same time.
Another great one is “Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ by Sharon Mock. The style of the story really drags you into the brutal reality of an insane asylum and then there is some Cthulhu Mythos sprinkled on top.
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” by Molly Tanzer is really delightfully different and not slapsticky at all, although you might think it is, judging from the title.
But the review would not be complete without mentioning the final story of the anthology:
“Queen of a New America” by Wendy N. Wagner, a tale featuring everybody’s favourite evil lady pharao: Nitocris,truly a lady with a plan.
She Walks in Shadows is a great and delightfully different Cthulhu Mythos anthology that opens new perspectives on old tales and spins new ones, adding more facettes to the cosmic horror that is the Cthulhu Mythos.
The Anthology contains 25 original short stories, there is a lot more to discover than the stories I mentioned in this review. Get a copy, you will not regret it…
8 out of 10 screaming Haunting Horrors