Tor.com content by

Ellen Datlow

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

The Doll Collection

The Doll Collection—available March 10th from Tor Books—is an anthology designed to frighten and delight, featuring all-original dark tales of dolls from bestselling and award-winning authors compiled by one of the top editors in the field, a treasured toy box of all-original dark stories about dolls of all types, including everything from puppets and poppets to mannequins and baby dolls.

Master anthologist Ellen Datlow has assembled a list of beautiful and terrifying stories from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors. Featuring everything from life-sized clockwork dolls to all-too-human Betsy Wetsy-type baby dolls, these stories play into the true creepiness of the doll trope, but avoid the clichés that often show up in stories of this type. The collection is illustrated with photographs of dolls taken by Datlow and other devoted doll collectors from the science fiction and fantasy field. The result is a star-studded collection exploring one of the most primal fears of readers of dark fiction everywhere, and one that every eader will want to add to their own collection.

[Read Ellen Datlow’s Introduction]

A Cthulhu Christmas, some gift suggestions—part three

Some final suggestions for your favorite lover of Lovecraft:

Here’s an unusual item that alas is out of print. The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot with a manual written by Eric. C. Friedman and art by Daryl Hutchinson (Mythos Books) is a reissue of the functional tarot deck originally published in 1996 and currently out of print. The deck uses Cthulhian characters and references and comes with an eighty page book explaining the deck’s use as a divination tool. This would make a great gift for aficionados of Lovecraft or art collectors. The only place I’ve seen it for sale is on the web for a little under $600.

[More below the fold…]

Series: December Belongs To Cthulhu

A Cthulhu Christmas, some gift suggestions—part two

Hippocampus Press published five volumes of Collected Essays by Lovecraft, all edited by S.T. Joshi. The volumes cover Amateur Journalism, a rich volume demonstrating Lovecraft’s deep involvement in amateur criticism; Literary Criticism, with essays about Lord Dunsany, Frank Belknap Long, and Clark Ashton Smith, “Weird Story Plots,” and the famous “Supernatural Horror in Literature; Science, with essays for the layman about the solar system; Travel, a fascinating trip report by Lovecraft of his travels along the east coast in the last ten years of his life; and Philosophy; Autobiography and Miscellany featuring opinion pieces on a wide range of political subjects. Also, his memorials for Henry S. Whitehead and Robert E. Howard, a “Confession of Unfaith,” “Instructions in case of Decease,” and a variety of odds and ends that provide insights into the man. Unfortunately, only a few of the volumes are still available new (and from the Tor.com bookstore) but the rest might be found used.

Here’s a handful of entertaining Lovecraftian novels, in and out of print.

[See the list below the fold!]

Series: December Belongs To Cthulhu

A Cthulhu Christmas, some gift suggestions—part one

Despite the fact that he’s been dead for over seventy years, and his prose considered purple and overwrought by many, H.P. Lovecraft’s work is still widely read, and has remained influential for generations. Evidence of this is in the 2005 publication of H. P. Lovecraft: Tales by Library of America, that bastion of literary respectability. The 850 page volume includes twenty-two works of fiction selected by Peter Straub. The stories use Lovecraft expert S. T. Joshi’s definitive texts. Included in the appendix is a chronology of Lovecraft’s life productivity and notes. The book is a lovely little hardcover with a ribbon bookmark, making it the perfect gift for oneself or one’s loved ones. (so inclined).

Another gift for the aficionado, which is pricey but gorgeous, is A Lovecraft Retrospective: Artists Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft from Centipede Press. The extraordinarily heavy volume was published in 2008 and is a massive, beautifully rendered undertaking with a preface by Stuart Gordon, introduction by Harlan Ellison, and afterword by Thomas Ligotti. The book is divided into three sections covering: the early art, created in the 1920s to 1950s and including such artists as Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, and Lee Brown Coye; the middle art, created in the 1960s and 1970s including Bernie Wrightson, Harry O. Morris, Stephen Fabian, H. R. Giger; and modern art, including J. K. Potter, John Jude Palencar, Ian Miller, Les Edwards, Bob Eggleton. In all, there are at least eighty-five artists represented, and text by Stefan Dziemianowicz introducing the three sections and some of the artists (except for the entry on H. R. Giger, written by Harlan Ellison). In the back is a section of thumbnails of each piece of art found inside the book, and mini-biographies of each artist. The book is two feet high, with full page illustrations in color and in black and white.

And finally, here are two editions of Lovecraft’s infamous fictional grimoire, which figures in many of his stories and novels: Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred by Donald Tyson from Llewellyn Books and The Necronomicon by Simon from Avon. Lovecraft always admitted to its imaginary nature and even wrote pseudo-history of the book in 1927, that was published in 1938, after his death.


Ellen Datlow is currently tied (with frequent co-editor Terri Windling) as the winner of the most World Fantasy Awards in the organization’s history (nine). She has also won, with co-editor Windling, a Bram Stoker Award for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #13, and with co-editors Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, a Bram Stoker Award for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #17. She has also won the International Horror Guild Award for her anthologies The Dark and Inferno; the Shirley Jackson Award for Inferno; the Locus Award for Best Editor in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and the Hugo Award for Best Editor in 2002, 2005, and Best Editor Short Fiction in 2008. In addition, SCIFICTION won the Hugo Award for best Web site in 2005 as well as the Wooden Rocket award as best online magazine for 2005. Ellen was named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre.”

Series: December Belongs To Cthulhu