Fiction Reviews

The Taint

(2007/2008) Brian Lumley, Solaris, 7.99, pbk, 473 pp, ISBN 978-1-844-16592-6

This volume was first published by Subterranean Press in 2007 but Solaris are now (2008) opening it up to a wider readership with their mass market paperback. Brian Lumley, in case you did not know, is a reasonably prolific author of fantasy and horror with currently nearly two score novels under his belt and half a dozen short story collections. This collection brings together seven substantial short stories (most of which are novella length) of his that were originally published over some three decades. The stories are: 'The Horror at Oakdene' (1977), Born of the Winds' (1975), 'The Fairground Horror'(1975), 'The Taint' (2005), 'Rising with Surtsey' (1971), 'Lord of the Worms' (1983) and 'The House of the Temple''(1980).

What links all these stories is their Lovecraftian style and their being a type of fantasy that - if you know H. P. Lovecraft's works - might be considered as part of the 'Cthulhu Mythos'. If you don't know of H.P. L's works but are a horror-fantasy fan then you really should jump in. This Lumley anthology will give you a taste.

Jonathan Cowie

Also reviewed elsewhere on this site: Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H. P. Lovecraft which includes the story 'The Call of Cthulhu'.

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