When Molly Tanzer, author of fun books like Vermilion and The Pleasure Merchant, asked me to review Swords v Cthulhu, the upcoming anthology she’s put together with Jesse Bullington, I was more than happy to do so… given that the book, released in July, has been on my to-buy list more or less since it was first announced.
Apart from being an avid fan of Tanzer’s fiction, I was also charmed by Bullington’s earlier anthology, Letters to Lovecraft — also released from Stone Skin Press, who with the ‘Swords’ anthology continue playing on a motif begun with their successful 2012 release, Shotguns v Cthulhu.
But because I know there’s lots of fun to be had when Tanzer and Bullington, shameless pastiche artists both, are given full reign over a project, I decided to go about my own review in the same spirit of referential collage.
So in the coming days, weeks, months — however long it takes for this project to unspool, anyway — I will be dedicating a post to each story. But apart from dedicating a couple of paragraphs to the analysis of each piece, I will also give full vent to the cultural free-association that they inspire: be it other prose, films, art or music. You may, if you wish, think of it as an exercise of ‘The Ecstasy of Influence‘.
We will begin with Michael Cisco’s chilly and precise ‘Non Omnis Moriar (Not All Of Me Will Die): A Sequel to H.P. Lovecraft’s The Very Old Folk‘. Stay tuned.