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by Chambers,Wagner,James Blish,Lujroff,Ramsey Campbell,Dreyfus,Nacher

Category: Genre Fiction
Subcategory: Fiction
Author: Chambers,Wagner,James Blish,Lujroff,Ramsey Campbell,Dreyfus,Nacher
ISBN: 1568820941
ISBN13: 978-1568820941
Language: English
Publisher: Chaosium; Revised edition (February 1, 1997)
Pages: 313
Fb2 eBook: 1115 kb
ePub eBook: 1562 kb
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Chambers, Wagner, Blish, James, Nacher, Published by Chaosium (1997)

Chambers, Wagner, Blish, James, Nacher, Published by Chaosium (1997). ISBN 10: 1568820941 ISBN 13: 9781568820941.

My first Cthulhu Mythos Fiction book, but not my last. THE HASTUR CYCLE was a very entertaining book of frightening short stories. The Cthulhu Mythos was created by . com User, May 27, 1998. Some of the stories didn't make sense to me(this may be because I'm just a teenager), but most of them were good. I enjoyed this book immensely, especially Lovecraft's short story "THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. Lovecraft in a series of short stories published in the 1920's and 30's.

Many fictional works of arcane literature appear in . Lovecraft's cycle of interconnected works often known as the Cthulhu Mythos. The main literary purpose of these works is to explain how characters within the tales come by occult or esoterica (knowledge that is unknown to the general populace). However, in some cases the works themselves serve as an important plot device

The Hastur Cycle: Tales That Created and Defined Dread Hastur, the King . The Hastur Cycle Call of Cthulhu Fiction Chaosium fiction Chaosium mythos fiction.

The Hastur Cycle: Tales That Created and Defined Dread Hastur, the King i. .Часто встречающиеся слова и выражения. He also wrote some fiction which titles include "The Beast in the Cave" (1905), "The Alchemist" (1908), "The Tomb" and "Dagon" (1917). On May 24, 1921, his mother died from a gall bladder operation.

The Cthulhu Mythos was created by . But we'll take it, as Blish manages to put the various quotes together into a cohesive whole that is rather freaky. This volume tracks the history of writing about one of those entities, Hastur. They are loosely connected by the mythology of Hastur. The Hastur Cycle begins to stray with "The Novel of the Black Seal" by Arthur Machen.

Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today", while S. Joshi has said that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood.

The Hastur Cycle book . The Hastur Cycle would be worthy of a footnote in weird fiction history by virtue of being the first in the now extensive list of fiction titles published by Chaosium. Thankfully it's worthwhile for rather more than that. Names like Ramsey Campbell, Lin Carter and Karl Edward Wagner are no slouches and worth being familiar with for any fan of dark fantasy, horror and the weird. In short, this is a book that does what it sets out to do and is essential for any nascent geek of masks pallid and mantles tattered.

Cthulhu Mythos Fiction Series.

Chambers, Wagner, James Blish,. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Cthulhu Mythos Fiction Series.

Call of Cthulhu Fiction Singers of Strange Songs Cthulhu Mythos Lovecraft Horror.

Includes stories by H. P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, August Derleth, C. J. Henderson, Richard A. Lupoff, Ben Indick and Robert M. Price. Call of Cthulhu Fiction Singers of Strange Songs Cthulhu Mythos Lovecraft Horror.

The stories in this book evoke a tracery of evil rarely rivaled in horror writing. They represent the whole evolving trajectory of such notions as Hastur, the King in Yellow, Carcosa, the Yellow Sign, the Black Stone, Yuggoth, and the Lake of Hali. A succession of writers from Ambrose Bierce to Ramsey Campbell and Karl Edward Wagner have explored and embellished these concepts so that the sum of the tales has become an evocative tapestry of hypnotic dread and terror, a mythology distinct from yet overlapping the Cthulhu Mythos. Here for the first time is a comprehensive collection of all the relevant tales.
Comments to eBook The Hastur Cycle (Cthluhu Mythos Fiction Series)
LoboThommy
After playing the D20 adventure, "Death in Freeport," my interest was piqued in the Unspeakable One and the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign. As it turns out, both were inspired by Hastur and the Yellow Sign. So I decided to go to the source and read the original stories that helped craft the mythology of the Great Old One known as Hastur and his crazy book, "The King in Yellow."

Briefly, Hastur is both a place and a being. He/it is loosely connected to the cities of Carcosa, Yhtill, and Alar. Hastur and Alar are divided in a battle of succession. Yhtill is a city of the past, while Carcosa is a haunted city of the future. All of the cities are near Lake Hali. The cities are on a planet near the star Aldebaran in the Hyades, a planet with two moons and two suns. The inhabitants may be black or white (sources disagree).

What they all agree on is that the Phantom of Truth appears during the siege between the two cities. The Phantom wears a mask and tells everyone else to wear a mask to avoid the appearance of the King in Yellow, who will ultimately usurp all royal successors thereafter.

So everyone wears a mask, including the jaded and bitter Queen Camilla, her clueless daughter Cassilda, and her two sons Thale and Uoht. The plan is that by wearing masks, everyone will be saved from the King in Yellow's inevitable appearance. But the King in Yellow easily thwarts the Phantom of Truth, and he thereafter declares that everyone must wear a mask as well as the yellow sign, a squiggly three-armed symbol.

Sometimes Hastur is described as the King in Yellow, sometimes he's described as the Phantom of Truth, and sometimes he looks an awful lot like Cthulhu.

Oh yeah, someone transcribed all of this down into a play. If you read it or watch it, you go mad. Or you slowly get drawn into the play. Or the characters from the play come after you. It's complicated.

The Second Edition of the Hastur Cycle contains 14 different stories, all of them collected by Robert M. Price into one volume. They are loosely connected by the mythology of Hastur. I'll try to elaborate on each story and make sense of it all...without going mad.

"Haita the Shepherd" and "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" are both by Ambrose Bierce, he of the "Devil's Dictionary." In "Haita the Shepherd", a shepherd struggles in a relentless pursuit of a beautiful woman, who turns out to be an ideal. It's a bittersweet commentary on life. In "Inhabitant," we discover that Bierce invented the Sixth Sense plot twist before M. Night Shyamalan. They're both short and neither are particularly riveting to a modern audience.

HASTUR: In "Haita," Hastur is a benevolent deity of shepherds that Haita prays to. Occasionally, Hastur does nice things for Haita. But he doesn't have much of a role. In "Inhabitant," we have...well, an inhabitant of the city of Carcosa. He refers to Hali as a person, not a lake.

Robert W. Chambers wrote the next two stories, "The Repairer of Reputations" and "The Yellow Sign." In "Repairer," the play known as The King in Yellow appears for the first time. It establishes the subsequent madness that ensues by any who read The King in Yellow, as evidenced by the narrator of "The Repairer of Reputations." What's not immediately clear is that this story takes place in the future, where suicide chambers are government sanctioned. The future twist muddles the story a bit, as the setting isn't relevant to the plot. But it keeps you guessing. "Yellow," on the other hand, is just an out-and-out creep fest, with a zombie who keeps muttering, "Have you found the Yellow Sign?" Good stuff, dramatic endings, and in both cases the characters aren't yammering about the horrors they witnessed from the safety of the afterword, a trait all too often found in Lovecraft and his imitators.

HASTUR: These two stories lay the foundation that reading the King in Yellow drives you bonkers. They both hint at what happens in the first act of the play, which involves the Phantom of Truth. And this, unfortunately, is where we learn about the hearse-driver zombie. He will be rammed into just about every story afterwards, even where he doesn't belong. But that's not Chambers' fault.

"The River of Night's Dreaming," by Karl Edward Wagner, is a decidedly modern take on the King in Yellow mythos. It's scarier than the others, but a little less creative in forcing the main character (a young woman who has escaped prison) into the story itself, in a sort of Gothica/Misery movie scenario. One character refers to "The King in Yellow" as "vintage porno," and that's an adequate description of this story. I felt a little dirty after reading it.

HASTUR: Unlike the other stories in this volume, "River" makes no attempt to expand or include the King in Yellow. Instead, it focuses on repressed Victorian desires. Which is a bit of an assumption in the first place that anything in the King in Yellow has to do with the Victorian-era.

That brings us to "More Light" by James Blish, the crown jewel of the collection. As a story, it's not very entertaining. It's basically a guy reading "The King in Yellow" on a dare. It also establishes a trope that gets old fast: the narrator refers to Lovecraft's writings as if they were real. Oh, the irony!

HASTUR: This is the mother of all Hastur resources. It gives us almost the entire play of The King in Yellow. The story itself is bland, but the narrative of the play is fantastic and incorporates all the elements from the other stories. One thing that does get a bit silly is the insistence by authors of including EVERY bit of trivia about the Hastur mythos. The undead hearse driver from "The Yellow Sign" isn't just in the story, he's the Phantom of Truth. In "The Yellow Sign" someone remarks that the hearse driver's finger broke off (a consequence of being a zombie) and sure enough, it's mentioned in the play. If anything, the play is almost too thorough. But we'll take it, as Blish manages to put the various quotes together into a cohesive whole that is rather freaky.

The Hastur Cycle begins to stray with "The Novel of the Black Seal" by Arthur Machen. It's nearly unreadable, because of the stilted Victorian prose. Suffice it to say that the story involves the "little people" and their worship of the Yellow Sign, but takes such a long time to get there that you no longer care about the ending.

HASTUR: None. Price posits that this story served as the inspiration for "The Whisperer in the Darkness" by H.P. Lovecraft. Which is a bit of a tangent, as "Whisperer" has almost nothing to do with Hastur.

"Whisperer in the Darkness" is one of those stories that would actually be more entertaining if it were updated. Most of it takes place between two characters exchanging letters, with one of the authors continually updating his pen pal. It would play much better as an email exchange. It's even a little creepy, given that it deals with intelligent lobster fungi called Mi-Go.

HASTUR: Lovecraft's sole contribution mentions the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and Hastur in passing. Supposedly, "there is a whole secret cult of evil men...devoted to the purpose of tracking [the Mi-Go] down and injuring them on behalf of monstrous powers from other dimensions." Presumably those monstrous powers are Hastur.

Unfortunately, Price now takes the connection of Mi-Go and goes crazy with it, spiraling off into a series of short stories that are focused on them instead of Hastur. So we have "Documents in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley," by Richard A. Lupoff, which is essentially a sequel to "Whisperer." It's followed by two short stories about humans visiting the home planet of the Mi-Go, called Yuggoth (or, as we call it, "Pluto"). They're fast reads but are wasted space for anyone who wants to learn more about Hastur.

We finally get back to Hastur with "The Return of Hastur" by August Derleth. Reading this, I discovered a few things: 1) Derleth's narrative leaves much to be desired, and 2) he apparently thinks a Godzilla vs. King Kong type fight between Hastur and Cthulhu makes for scary stuff. It really, really doesn't.

HASTUR: Derleth helps lay the groundwork for the Unspeakable Oath, gives Hastur the title "He Who is Not to be Named," demonstrates what happens to the Chosen of Hastur, and (sadly) tries to make Hastur the half-brother of Cthulhu; like we need some big family tree of ancient horrors to make it all make sense. Bless Derleth's heart, he does try hard.

"The Feaster from Afar" turns Hastur into a flying boogeyman. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it contains the noteworthy death of a character. As opposed to a character safely talking about how he narrowly escaped mind-rending horror (but is all too eager to tell us about it).

HASTUR: Hastur sounds a lot like Cthulhu: all tentacles with a taste for brains.

"Tatters of the King" by Lin Carter contains all kinds of interesting tidbits about Hastur. It's actually three fragments, including a poem titled "Litany to Hastur," a "Carcosa Story about Hali" and "The King in Yellow" in verse.

HASTUR: Carter connects Byakhee to Hastur in "Tatters." Then we follow Hali (the guy, not the lake, harkening back to Bierce) as a necromancer trying to undo the curse of the undead in Carcosa. Hastur is the Thing in the Lake (he apparently sleeps in it), and the citizens practice human sacrifice to him. The verse is noteworthy for Price's intrusion as editor...he actually ADDS verse to the parts that are missing from Carter, who in turn took it from Blish. I thought editors were supposed to edit, not write...and certainly not provide completely new verse into someone else's work. But I digress.

Ultimately, The Hastur Cycle is an important but flawed survey of Hastur mythology. It's much less about Hastur than it is about Price's personal tastes on what stories influenced Lovecraft...as if the entire mythology's importance hinges upon Lovecraft's slim contribution. What's missing are other stories by Chambers, such as "The Mask" and the "The Court of the Dragon." Also missing are John Tynes' contributions, which have become part of the Hastur mythology mostly through Chaosium's support.

Did I mention it contains the majority of "The King in Yellow?" Read it, if you dare...
Mpapa
Maybe those who are predisposed to enjoying Lovecraft, enjoy anything new, as the main Lovecraft output is finite. If you have a member of your family like this, just get them new product related to Lovecraft and watch their face light up! This is a fine collection for any fan of the genre.
JUST DO IT
The stories are good, though I imagine you know what to expect. My only complaint is that the type is so small. I'm 38, so this isn't usually a problem, but it really is very small in this book.
Ricep
Good collection of related short stories. Creepy, weird tales. Would have liked a larger point size of the font for less eye strain.
Livina
Ok
Framokay
This has got more Robert W. Chambers in it than some books about him. I love HPL's stories, and his "school," as well.
Steelcaster
In 1890, inspired by the writings of Ambrose Bierce, author Robert W. Chambers created a handful of short stories centered around "The King In Yellow" - a bizarre stage play of indeterminate authorship, the reading of which invariably learned to hallucination, horror, and sometimes even fatal visitations by its inhuman and terrifying title character. Chambers was light years ahead of his time, and the King In Yellow would fit right in today alongside Slenderman, Sadako/Samara, Doctor Who's Weeping Angels, or any other monster that plays to the modern anxiety of being attacked through the very media we so insatiably consume. But between Chamber's era and this one lies H.P. Lovecraft, who loved the King In Yellow so much that he made it an "official" part of his Cthulu Mythos. With "The Hastur Cycle" editor Robert Price attempts to curate the stories of various authors that are relevant to that evolution with mixed results.

Bierce's "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" features a twist ending that has become cliche today but was still novel when Bierce tried it and he executes it effectively. One can see why Chambers became so enamored with the enigmatic Carcosa, and Bierce's tale is significant by what it doesn't say about the bizarre place. Bierce's underrated "Haita the Shepherd" depicts a pious devotee of the gentle(?) god Hastur and his doomed quest to solve the mystery of a nameless woman who entices and torments him by turns. It is a poignant reflection on the loss of spiritual innocence made effective by Bierce's legendarily jaundiced worldview.

Chambers' "The Repairer of Reputations" and "The Yellow Sign" are generally considered the meatiest of his King In Yellow tales and are appropriate here. I feel, however, that with Chambers this collection makes its first mistake by not including his story "The Demoiselle D'ys." It is a story that mentions Hastur quite strangely and conspicuously, but because it does not reference the King or the Yellow Sign it is frequently dismissed as unimportant. Given Hastur's odd and unexplained presence I feel it is more relevant than meets the eye and if Chaosium were serious about releasing a collection called "The Hastur Cycle," they'd have included it, but they didn't.

Next is Karl Edward Wagner's "The River of Night's Dreaming" which does glorious and horrific tribute to Chambers. It also revels in the brutality and sexual degeneracy that reading "The King In Yellow" is implied by Chambers to bring, but which we never quite see in his own work. If you've ever wondered what The King In Yellow-meets-Hellraiser might look like then "The River of Night's Dreaming" is the story for you.

"More Light" by James Blish is a clever metafictional take on the mythos as well as a semi-comic take on the problem with trying to depict something "unspeakable" without ruining the scare factor. It is still a disturbing story in its own right and for its own reasons, though, and a worthy inclusion.

Arthur Machen's "The Novel of the Black Seal" is as fine a Machen tale as you'll fine, but its ties are tenuous at best and was probably included simply because Lovecraft's "The Whisperer In Darkness," which comes next, is a remake of it. "Whisperer" apart from being the story that sees the Yellow Sign, Hastur, and Carcosa officially enter the Cthulu Mythos, is a terrific example of alien invasion fiction on its own and helped the genre develop along novel lines. Unfortunately, the collection veers severely off course with its next three stories which are, in fact, all sequels of one sort or another to "The Whisperer in Darkness" but which have nothing to do with Hastur, the King, etc. The Mi-Go entities, introduced in "Whisperer" claim to be adversaries of the King In Yellow and his followers, so why the collection goes off on a tangent detailing their adventures that have nothing to do with their foe is beyond me. "Documents in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley," "The Mine on Yuggoth", and "Planetfall on Yuggoth" are fine horror stories in their own right but they don't belong here. Then there is "The Return of Hastur" written by Lovecraft disciple August Derleth. It literally returns Hastur to the pages of its own anthology but not in a good way. Derleth has become a controversial figure for the direction he took Hastur in and here its easy to see why. The exposition-laden storytelling and wallbanger ending don't help either.

Hastur gets better treatment in Joseph Payne Brennan's "The Feaster From Afar" but it fails to live up to the weirdness of Bierce, Chambers, Wagner, or Blish. Hastur's incarnation is terrific, but Brennan could have inserted literally any monster here. The collection concludes with Lin Carter's thought-provoking "Tatters of the King": three brief fragments that take us satisfactorily back into Chambers territory.

There are gems in this collection, but it just wasn't the collection I wanted it to be. I get it: Cthulu is Chaosium's bread and butter, but the "Whisperer In Darkness"- derived stories were a red herring and waste of time. If you prefer the Cthulu-Hastur blended Mythos then this is a great collection for you. If you like your Hastur/King In Yellow pure and untainted by Lovecraftian influences, then not so much.
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