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Book Review: Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth, part 1

Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth edited by Stephen Jones, part 1
The 3rd in the trilogy after ‘Shadows Over Innsmouth’ and ‘Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth’.

The Port
A Lovecraft poem, very short and okay.

Innsmouth Bane
A prequel to ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’. Iffy.

Best Line:
“Those who did not join him also had a tendency to vanish in peculiar circumstances or were driven out of the town.”

Richard Riddle, Boy Detective In “The Case Of The French Spy”
By Kim Newman. Three kids (who are a bit like the Famous Five) solve mysteries and encounter something batrachian. This was excellent.

Best Lines:
“Some books deserve to be burned.”

“Dresses as if it were fifty years ago?”

“Followed by unmistakable chewing.”

Innsmouth Clay
A Lovecraft and Derleth sequel to ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’ about the stultifying horrors that still overshadow the town. This has no subtle emotional suspense.

The Archbishop’s Well
A man reads his distant father’s pre WW2 journals and uncovers greyness, gloom and malevolent interventions. This was an excellent joyfully nasty tale of malign elements.

Best Lines:
“You want to banish the Old Gods forever. And for what? For some damned provincial little water trough to slake the putrid tongues of cheap charabanc tourists!”

“I was so shocked at being denounced as a communist on account of my footwear that I was incapable of speech.”

“I had never seen Roman work that remotely resembled this.”

You Don’t Want To Know
PI Nick Stone has no moral obligations. He comes across an off-putting case and this is a tale of a relentless cesspit and an unpleasantly laddish protagonist who commits grievous ethical violations. This was oafish.

Best Lines:
“Some sort of lunatic cult.”

“They worship it and other very strange gods. Gods that have been around longer than the solar system.”
“They wouldn’t be gods otherwise.”

Fish Bride
By Caitlin R Kiernan. A man enjoys sexual congress with an outcast woman. This is an excellent tale of class tourism, general hostility, altruism and morality.

Best Line:
“And the name of her father, well ain’t nothing I’ll ever say aloud.”

The Hag Stone
By Conrad Williams. An old codger goes on holiday and encounters surly people, nasty play and monsters with haughty assurance. A bitterly miserable tale.

Best Line:
“We walk among you now,”

On The Reef
By Caitlin R Kiernan. The modern day descendants of Innsmouth are drawn to the ruins for a ritual full of Nabokovian euphony. This is an excellent tale of inestimable evil.

Best Line:
“No one is ever pulled out, if they should fall.”

The Song Of Sighs
A teacher does not know who she is. This is a good tale of self-delusion, unreliability and a force majeur twist.

Best Line:
“She did not take note of the fine print in the deal that was struck.”

The Same Deep Waters As You
This was previously collected in ‘Lovecraft’s Monsters’ and ‘The Best Horror Of The Year Volume 6’. A woman who can talk to animals is asked to talk to the long imprisoned citizens of Innsmouth. This is an excellent distinctive tale of the precariousness of humanity and the terrifying viciousness of which all are capable.

Best Lines:
“Inhumanly patient, just waiting.”

“Waiting in the cold, wet dark.”

The Winner
A man ends up in pub experiencing threatening social interaction and existential fears. This was slothful and infuriating with no subtleties or nuances.

The Transition Of Elizabeth Haskings
By Caitlin R Kiernan. An unprepossessing woman can’t deny her inherent traits to her despondency. This was excellent and meticulously sad.

Best Line:
“Places I never want to see awake.”
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