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The Innsmouth Cycle: The Taint of the Deep Ones

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"Iä! Y'ha-nthlei! City of our blood / Where ancient kinfolk call for my return / To long-drowned altars where strange votives burn / For Him who dreaming waits beneath the flood... / My journey to your depths begins tonight / To serve immortal till the stars turn right."These lines from a poem by Ann K. Schwader are the coda for this fine collection of tales about H.P. Lov "Iä! Y'ha-nthlei! City of our blood / Where ancient kinfolk call for my return / To long-drowned altars where strange votives burn / For Him who dreaming waits beneath the flood... / My journey to your depths begins tonight / To serve immortal till the stars turn right."These lines from a poem by Ann K. Schwader are the coda for this fine collection of tales about H.P. Lovecraft's Innsmouth--that decadent, smugly rotting New England town where half-human creatures with forbidding batrachian faces follow the arcane practices of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. In his erudite and witty introduction, Robert M. Price calls Innsmouth "the most effective, most evocative ... example of Lovecraft's full-blown alien civilizations." The Innsmouth Cycle includes 13 stories and 3 poems, including the three tales by Lord Dunsany, Robert W. Chambers, and Irvin S. Cobb that inspired Lovecraft's "The Shadow over Innsmouth." This collection is planned as the first of a pair, the second half of which will be Tales of Innsmouth, containing (according to Price) all new works of "fishy fiction."A fun detail: this book is "respectfully dedicated to Ben Chapman, the Creature from the Black Lagoon." --Fiona Webster


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"Iä! Y'ha-nthlei! City of our blood / Where ancient kinfolk call for my return / To long-drowned altars where strange votives burn / For Him who dreaming waits beneath the flood... / My journey to your depths begins tonight / To serve immortal till the stars turn right."These lines from a poem by Ann K. Schwader are the coda for this fine collection of tales about H.P. Lov "Iä! Y'ha-nthlei! City of our blood / Where ancient kinfolk call for my return / To long-drowned altars where strange votives burn / For Him who dreaming waits beneath the flood... / My journey to your depths begins tonight / To serve immortal till the stars turn right."These lines from a poem by Ann K. Schwader are the coda for this fine collection of tales about H.P. Lovecraft's Innsmouth--that decadent, smugly rotting New England town where half-human creatures with forbidding batrachian faces follow the arcane practices of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. In his erudite and witty introduction, Robert M. Price calls Innsmouth "the most effective, most evocative ... example of Lovecraft's full-blown alien civilizations." The Innsmouth Cycle includes 13 stories and 3 poems, including the three tales by Lord Dunsany, Robert W. Chambers, and Irvin S. Cobb that inspired Lovecraft's "The Shadow over Innsmouth." This collection is planned as the first of a pair, the second half of which will be Tales of Innsmouth, containing (according to Price) all new works of "fishy fiction."A fun detail: this book is "respectfully dedicated to Ben Chapman, the Creature from the Black Lagoon." --Fiona Webster

30 review for The Innsmouth Cycle: The Taint of the Deep Ones

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Rock

    An interesting anthologies that collects the tales that which influenced H.P Lovecraft "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" such as Robert W. Chambers "The Harbor-Master" and Fish Head by Irvin S. Cobb to stories and poetry inspired by his work such as " The Deep Ones" by James Wade and After Innsmo by Ann K. Schwader An interesting anthologies that collects the tales that which influenced H.P Lovecraft "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" such as Robert W. Chambers "The Harbor-Master" and Fish Head by Irvin S. Cobb to stories and poetry inspired by his work such as " The Deep Ones" by James Wade and After Innsmo by Ann K. Schwader

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kyle J. Durrant

    By now, pretty much everyone who follows me knows that I am a massive fan of cosmic horror and Lovecraft (as a writer, not a person). As such, it will be no surprise that I have devoured yet another anthology dedicated to this genre. The stories in this collection are dedicated to the mythology of Innsmouth and the Deep Ones; this includes the infamous "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft himself, as well as a couple of stories predating that legendary tale that provided inspiration for By now, pretty much everyone who follows me knows that I am a massive fan of cosmic horror and Lovecraft (as a writer, not a person). As such, it will be no surprise that I have devoured yet another anthology dedicated to this genre. The stories in this collection are dedicated to the mythology of Innsmouth and the Deep Ones; this includes the infamous "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by H.P. Lovecraft himself, as well as a couple of stories predating that legendary tale that provided inspiration for it. I enjoyed all of these stories. They stuck close to the titular subject and introduced new ideas whilst also fleshing out old ones. I disliked certain concepts used - such as the idea that Lovecraft and his stories about Innsmouth and Cthulhu exist in the same universe as the events of those stories - but it is easy enough to overlook those in favour of the powerful stories I read. Other than "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", a few favourites were "The Innsmouth Head", "Live Bait" and "Devil Reef". I was perhaps less fond of the two James Wade entries in this collection - they didn't connect with me in the same way as the others - but that is not to say they are bad pieces of writing. If you are a fan of Lovecraft, this is definitely one worth picking up, and it's also a good read if you want some creepy stories about humans turning into fish monsters. All of these Chaosium editions also include introductions by Robert M. Price, as well as short editorial passages for each story that contextualise them and give his thoughts on how they relate to central themes. These are always entertaining to read. I have to give this collection 5/5⭐. I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. Iä, iä, Cthulhu fhtagn.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

    Really I would give this book 4 1/2 stars for the sheer entertainment factor.The stories,by and large,are well written and touch on some of the unknowns that I have read over the course of many books about Innsmouth. The first part of the book starts with Lord Dunsany and Robert Chambers to give an idea of what was out there being written before Lovecraft came on the scene.Also there was a story by Irvin S. Cobb that nicely describes the 'fish-faced' critters that inundate Innsmouth. We then have Really I would give this book 4 1/2 stars for the sheer entertainment factor.The stories,by and large,are well written and touch on some of the unknowns that I have read over the course of many books about Innsmouth. The first part of the book starts with Lord Dunsany and Robert Chambers to give an idea of what was out there being written before Lovecraft came on the scene.Also there was a story by Irvin S. Cobb that nicely describes the 'fish-faced' critters that inundate Innsmouth. We then have Lovecrafts' story which I have to say is one of my favorites by him. Then we are on to the meat of the book with stories by James Wade x 2,Frank Searight,Henry Vester,Roger Johnson,Stephen Rainy,Stanley Sargent,John Glasby and Lewis Theobald. The book even ends up explaining what ever happened to Zadock Allen with a happy ending to boot. Overall I was very satisfied and did not find a single story that I didn't like which is unusual for me and anthologies.It may have helped that there was only 13 stories in the book but the editor did a fine job in picking stories for clarity of point and interest in what is beyond Lovecrafts' story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Whitehead

    The Robert-Price-edited, Chaosium-published Call of Cthulhu fiction series takes to the shadow-haunted streets of Lovecraft’s abode of the Deep Ones and their semi-human kin. This volume follows what is turning out to be a familiar pattern for many of the volumes in the set: lead off with some of the stories that inspired (or may have inspired) the central tale, insert Lovecraft’s opus, and then follow up with several variations on the theme. This time around nearly all of the entries are worth The Robert-Price-edited, Chaosium-published Call of Cthulhu fiction series takes to the shadow-haunted streets of Lovecraft’s abode of the Deep Ones and their semi-human kin. This volume follows what is turning out to be a familiar pattern for many of the volumes in the set: lead off with some of the stories that inspired (or may have inspired) the central tale, insert Lovecraft’s opus, and then follow up with several variations on the theme. This time around nearly all of the entries are worth a look. I admit I wasn’t fond of one of the pre-Lovecraft tales, an unpleasant, trite little bit of racist crud called “Fishhead,” though Lovecraft’s explicit mention of it in his own work suggests that including it was a good idea for scholarly rather than aesthetic reasons. Other than that, though, fans of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” should thoroughly enjoy what most of the authors herein included have done with the icthyous, batrachian horrors from beneath the waves.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cedric

    Interesting collection including the source stories for HPL's original and and 8 subsequent stories set around the Innsmouth mythology. Some take the location elsewhere; some take the story into times after the end of HPL's story, one is set around the same time. I found them all enjoyable. Interesting collection including the source stories for HPL's original and and 8 subsequent stories set around the Innsmouth mythology. Some take the location elsewhere; some take the story into times after the end of HPL's story, one is set around the same time. I found them all enjoyable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sylri

    If I were a Deep One…. glub glub. :D This was such a welcoming breath of fresh air after some of the eye rolling moments of Winter Tide. Some of these stories even managed to present the point of view of more benign Deep Ones without taking away the eerie atmosphere of most Weird Fiction stories or completely turning them into helpless victims. Robert M Price’s “The Transition of Zadok Allen” was a delightful example of this, with poetic prose and dialogue that reminded me of the Bible (given Pri If I were a Deep One…. glub glub. :D This was such a welcoming breath of fresh air after some of the eye rolling moments of Winter Tide. Some of these stories even managed to present the point of view of more benign Deep Ones without taking away the eerie atmosphere of most Weird Fiction stories or completely turning them into helpless victims. Robert M Price’s “The Transition of Zadok Allen” was a delightful example of this, with poetic prose and dialogue that reminded me of the Bible (given Price’s background, I can’t stay I’m surprised). I love that epic fantastical style. I’ll always love Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, and it was a delight to read here again with the lens of insightful commentary provided by Price’s introduction. Reading the precursor stories by Lord Dunsany and Irvin S. Cobb were entertaining as well as informative. Chamber’s “Harbormaster” was unfortunately less so; it builds up well and then kind of falls on its face. I think that’s one of the best things about these Chaosium Cycle books: they’re good collections of all of some of the most relevant stories surrounding a Mythos monster/place. You get all of the stories that likely inspired Lovecraft, and then some of the most relevant stories that were created based around Lovecraft’s own story. And to help save a lot of these stories from disappearing forever in obscure out of print fanzines. Some of my other favorites included Custos Sanctorum, Darker Shadow Over Innsmouth, Live Bait, Devil Reef, Innsmouth Gold, and After Innsmouth…. Needless to say, I basically loved the entire collection (with the biggest miss for me being Wades’ The Deep Ones, which seems to be a minority opinion). This was overall a really strong anthology and highly recommended for fans of the Cycle series and Deep Ones.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Sutch

    One of my favorite Lovecraft stories is "Shadow over Innsmouth," so I'm a little disappointed in this volume of pastiches and sequels (for the record, my favorite volume in this series remains _The Hastur Cycle_, which really concerns Robert Chambers's _Yellow Sign_ stories more than any Lovecraftian material). Editor Price applies his usual erudite knowledge of anthropology, religion, and literature to the volume and the individual stories and poems, and some of the later works (particularly "L One of my favorite Lovecraft stories is "Shadow over Innsmouth," so I'm a little disappointed in this volume of pastiches and sequels (for the record, my favorite volume in this series remains _The Hastur Cycle_, which really concerns Robert Chambers's _Yellow Sign_ stories more than any Lovecraftian material). Editor Price applies his usual erudite knowledge of anthropology, religion, and literature to the volume and the individual stories and poems, and some of the later works (particularly "Live Bait") are quite good. However, most of the stories included here merely retread Lovecraft's tale in slightly different circumstances or with slightly different characters. I think this is so because Lovecraft's original story is one of the few that does not lend itself to a more Mythos-focused treatment by other authors; although Cthulhu is mentioned briefly, the story is mainly concerned with the Deep Ones and their interbreeding with humans, a limited scope for other writers to work with and make their own (not to mention that the entire issue of interbreeding raises some rather unsavory racist connotations that have grown out of favor in American society lately, thank Heaven). Even the two pieces included that display where Lovecraft got the name Y'ha-nthlei (a short plotless piece by Lord Dunsany), the idea for the Deep Ones morphology (a less-than-perfect Robert Chambers story called "The Harbor Master"), and the "Innsmouth look" (a horrible story called "Fish Head") are less than engaging. Readers interested in Mythos fiction can safely skip this volume (unless, like me, you're a completeist about this sort of thing... :) ).

  8. 4 out of 5

    The Artificer

    The Innsmouth Cycle is my favorite so far in the Chaosium "Cycle" series of books. While it is still plagued by typos (to a lesser degree than many in the series) as well as Robert Price's Spoiler-iffic introductions to each story, this collection has some genuinely surprising twists, exciting new views on a theme that can easily become pastiche, and was just generally a truly enjoyable read. Of special note were "Live Bait", "The Harbor Master", and "The Deep Ones". The Innsmouth Cycle is my favorite so far in the Chaosium "Cycle" series of books. While it is still plagued by typos (to a lesser degree than many in the series) as well as Robert Price's Spoiler-iffic introductions to each story, this collection has some genuinely surprising twists, exciting new views on a theme that can easily become pastiche, and was just generally a truly enjoyable read. Of special note were "Live Bait", "The Harbor Master", and "The Deep Ones".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    Henry J. Vester's "Innsmouth Gold" alone is worth the price of this anthology. That is absolutely one of my all-time favorite Innsmouth stories and felt like it could have been written by Lovecraft himself. Vester does a fantastic job evoking the menace and mystery surrounding everyone's favorite decaying backwater and puts his own spin on erudite Lovecraftian prose with bits of light humor. "Custos Sanctorum" is also a great alternate POV. Henry J. Vester's "Innsmouth Gold" alone is worth the price of this anthology. That is absolutely one of my all-time favorite Innsmouth stories and felt like it could have been written by Lovecraft himself. Vester does a fantastic job evoking the menace and mystery surrounding everyone's favorite decaying backwater and puts his own spin on erudite Lovecraftian prose with bits of light humor. "Custos Sanctorum" is also a great alternate POV.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marsha Altman

    My favorite Lovecraftian story collection yet.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    A collection of stories based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. These are, to me, only slightly better than the original Lovecraft stories. Just not a fan of his writings. Not recommended

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Worra

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate Griffin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danna

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

  17. 5 out of 5

    Will

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Michael

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dmarko

  22. 5 out of 5

    Merriell

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cierán Jimmy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sammons

  26. 5 out of 5

    Darren Mitton

  27. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Nobre Alexandre

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ed

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Lepistö

  30. 4 out of 5

    Larry

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