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Book Reviews: She Walks In Shadows, part 3 + A Mountain Walked, part 1

She Walks In Shadows edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paul R. Stiles, part 3

The Eye Of Juno
In Roman occupied Britain, a chilling warning is ignored and huge inner rage expressed leading to the drawn out inevitability of the ending.

Chtulhu of the Dead Sea
Something is found in the Dead Sea and a scientist’s perception of reality faces the loudest and wildest challenge. Okay.

Notes Found In A Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961
A woman has dislocation after encountering something in a cave. Okay.

Best Line:
“If he knew what we were going to find, why did he think he was going to survive it?”

The Cypress God
A girl goes to church and has unquestioning devotion to a god that isn’t one we know in this good story.

Best Line:
“A litany of criticisms.”

When She Quickens
A dead empress waits to be reborn only to learn she has fundamentally misinterpreted her lover. Good.

Queen of a new America
An evil Queen plots in this dismissive tale.

The Opera Singer
A woman has a long-running dispute with something. This damages dignity.

Shub-Niggurath’s Witnesses
Cultists look for a new member in this excellent, short and very funny story.

This is a bizarre and unimportant tale of a future where things are deteriorating at a rapid pace.

T’La-Yub’s Head
I have no idea what this was about.

A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu mythos edited by S.T. Joshi, part 1
This is a hefty tome of weird fic.

The House of the Worm
This 1933 story by an author nobody knows anything about sees two friends delve into exactly what is causing a wood to rot. This was okay and had a tang of machismo.

Best Line:
“I’d like to shoot some squirrels.”

Far Below
This 1939 tale sees a man talk about his job on the NY subway and his soul shuddering detestation of what lurks below. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“They’d go mad if they knew what was down here - far below.”

“Customs perfectly inexplicable unless you take into consideration what they were guarding against.”

Spawn of the Green abyss
In this 1946 tale, a condemned man tells of his ill-fated marriage. This is a daft tale of sudden credulity, increasing desperation and unlikely origins.

Best Line:
“People still talk, only now they whisper, ‘case Laz might hear.”

The Deep Ones
This 1969 tale has hippies, dolphins and people banging on about their spiritual philosophies whilst a rape is shrugged off and treated with social romanticism. This was icky.

Best Lines:
“That tiny downtown park where predatory homosexuals, drug derelicts and demented fanatics of all kinds congregate.”

“Neon-lit, screaming depravity.”

“And don’t stop for hippies or high water.”

“His portentous word choice and delivery.”

The Franklyn Paragraphs
In this 1973 tale, a horror writer recounts how another horror writer of his acquaintance had a spectacular breakdown. This is excellent and is it the supernatural or insanity of loneliness that causes such intense emotion?

Where Yidhra Walks
I’ve read this before, a tale of an old goddess and her abominable spawn. I don’t care about the insular society or the demented vaudevillian portrayal of evil.

Black Man With A Horn
I’ve read this before. An old fart finds himself finagled into a flatly impossible series of events. This was tired.

The Last Feast Of Harlequin
An unkindness of clowns. This was ridiculous.

Only The End Of The World Again
A werewolf in Innsmouth. I’ve read this tale MANY times before, it has a silky tone.

Mandelbrot Moldrot
Quantum computers, mould and the Witch House. This has Everest ambitions that are overly ambitious.

The Black Brat Of Dunwich
The real story behind the reputation flack Wilber Whateley got. This was good.

The Phantom of Beguilement
Consign this to oblivion.

A man goes mad (or maybe he always was) in a carpet of salvia and wet hands. This distains emotion.

Virgin’s island
A trip to an island goes wrong in innumerable ways. Okay.

In The Shadow of Swords
Set pre Gulf War 2, this sees UN weapons inspectors in Iraq being smug and having an uncritical celebration of themselves only to come to a rueful understanding of what is really out there. Good.

Mobymart After Midnight
A drone worker in a soulless shop learns what lurks beneath. This is very funny and a neat take on some of Lovecraft’s sanctified if long defunct tropes.
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