Review of “Cthulhu Unbound 3” by Permuted Press
Cthulhu Unbound 3 consists of four novellas, each with their own slant on Lovecraft’s mythos. Overall, the writing and storytelling is solid and the stories are what you both desire and expect of tales told about the realm of dark gods and menacing monsters.
Unseen Empire by Cody Goodfellow is a western that takes place primarily on and beneath an abandoned Indian reservation in Oklahoma, where a half-Indian tracker must go beneath the earth to find out what happened to the people who suddenly disappeared from the reservation. As he and the detachment of U.S. soldiers go deeper into the underground lair where they suspect the Indians have fled to, the reader is treated to several flashbacks of the main character’s past life and it slowly becomes clear what dark forces he is being compelled to face within the dark depths.
Mirrorrorrim by D.L. Snell focuses on an odd therapy group and its even odder therapist. The main character has blank spots in his memory and another member of the group, a woman who he is drawn to, shares a very strange connection with him. They fit with one another like pieces of a puzzle, or like the title suggests, mirror image parallels.
Nemesis Theory by Tim Curran introduces the reader to a maximum security prison and a select group of inmates who are beginning to realize that they are on a crash course with a gruesome nightmare that none of them will be able to avoid. Death and far worse is creeping closer and closer to them all every night, from far out in the galaxy. If you are familiar with Tim Curran’s work, you know he is a maestro when it comes to describing gore in loving detail and this story is no exception.
The R’lyeh Singularity by David Conyers & Brian M. Sammons is a tale of espionage and the efforts of two spies to stop greedy governments and corporations from tampering with inter-dimensional ‘goodies’ they have discovered on earth, as well as preventing the end of all humanity when darkness tears through a rift at the bottom of the pacific ocean where a mega-corporation is drilling…not for oil, but for something far more menacing and alien.
I enjoyed each story for their unique spin on the Cthulhu mythos, with my favorite being the last member of the quartet. The story was high energy spy thriller that integrates the horror of the Cthulhu mythos effortlessly. My one critique of this story is that there were a noticeable amount of typos that weren’t as prevalent in the other three stories. It was a minor distraction but worth mentioning. The other three stories were equally entertaining, for different reasons. Tim Curran does an excellent job in his tale building the dread levels to an almost unbearable level for the inmates in his doomed prison, with both mysterious events and visions riddling them with newfound terrors on a daily basis. D.L. Snell has created an intimate tale of technology gone amuck and strange interpersonal relationships, while Cody Goodfellow’s plunge into the old west and an underground city of the damned felt like a diabolical quest that I was cursed to complete alongside the main character.
For fans of Cthulhu and Lovecraft, this is a solid contribution to the mythology and one worth checking out.
Cthulhu Unbound 3 can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009O3XFBA/ref=cm_cr_thx_view