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Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror

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Featuring stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Molly Tanzer, Lois H. Gresh, Nancy Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Bear, Gemma Files and many more fully color illustrated by Daniele Serra, Dreams from the Witch House highlights some of the very best women writers of weird fiction and Lovecraftian horror. The history of the Old World is shrouded in secrecy. Creatures an Featuring stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Molly Tanzer, Lois H. Gresh, Nancy Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Bear, Gemma Files and many more fully color illustrated by Daniele Serra, Dreams from the Witch House highlights some of the very best women writers of weird fiction and Lovecraftian horror. The history of the Old World is shrouded in secrecy. Creatures and forces unimaginable inhabited this realm for eons, long before any human navigated the surface of the earth. As the Old Ones have slumbered or observed from afar, humans have assembled civilization upon this fragile planet. Yet the whispers from the elders have been growing stronger, their energy once again seeping into the world. These whispers are being felt throughout the earth; from the roots of our flora to the dreams of our children. They are preparing us for what is to come. In Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror the most intuitive dreamers have been assembled to give us glimpses into these ancient terrors and their whispered warnings. Featuring authors Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Lois Gresh, Gemma Files, Nancy Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Bear, Storm Constantine and others accompanied by the lavish artwork of Daniele Serra, Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror is a representation of some of the finest cosmic horror and weird fiction from female authors in the field today.


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Featuring stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Molly Tanzer, Lois H. Gresh, Nancy Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Bear, Gemma Files and many more fully color illustrated by Daniele Serra, Dreams from the Witch House highlights some of the very best women writers of weird fiction and Lovecraftian horror. The history of the Old World is shrouded in secrecy. Creatures an Featuring stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Molly Tanzer, Lois H. Gresh, Nancy Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Bear, Gemma Files and many more fully color illustrated by Daniele Serra, Dreams from the Witch House highlights some of the very best women writers of weird fiction and Lovecraftian horror. The history of the Old World is shrouded in secrecy. Creatures and forces unimaginable inhabited this realm for eons, long before any human navigated the surface of the earth. As the Old Ones have slumbered or observed from afar, humans have assembled civilization upon this fragile planet. Yet the whispers from the elders have been growing stronger, their energy once again seeping into the world. These whispers are being felt throughout the earth; from the roots of our flora to the dreams of our children. They are preparing us for what is to come. In Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror the most intuitive dreamers have been assembled to give us glimpses into these ancient terrors and their whispered warnings. Featuring authors Joyce Carol Oates, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Lois Gresh, Gemma Files, Nancy Kilpatrick, Elizabeth Bear, Storm Constantine and others accompanied by the lavish artwork of Daniele Serra, Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror is a representation of some of the finest cosmic horror and weird fiction from female authors in the field today.

30 review for Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ctgt

    The first half of this collection was solid but not earth shattering. It turned a corner with All Gods Great and Small by Karen Hueler a story about insects and Dearest Daddy by Lois H. Gresh was a real gut punch. The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear was a fantastic take on the future of Lovecraft followers. 7/10

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy Mills

    Very good collection overall. There were two that I loathed*, and a few I was indifferent to, but most of them were quite good. *Both have a protagonist with no agency who is sexually exploited. Not to my taste. The star rating is how good I think it is as a story. The tentacle rating is how well I think it deserves the "Lovecraftian" label. Shadows of the Evening by Joyce Carol Oates (4 stars, 2.5 tentacles) - Well written vampiric ghost yarn. When I finished, it took me a while to figure out wh Very good collection overall. There were two that I loathed*, and a few I was indifferent to, but most of them were quite good. *Both have a protagonist with no agency who is sexually exploited. Not to my taste. The star rating is how good I think it is as a story. The tentacle rating is how well I think it deserves the "Lovecraftian" label. Shadows of the Evening by Joyce Carol Oates (4 stars, 2.5 tentacles) - Well written vampiric ghost yarn. When I finished, it took me a while to figure out why all the back story had been included (seemed like enough for a novella) ... then I made the connection. (view spoiler)[The reason the aunt seemed so old was that she had also visited the ghost, and not been lucky enough to be a lousy singer. (hide spoiler)] Lacked the creeping dread I would expect in a Lovecraftian tale, but may actually have been the better for it, story-wise. The Woman in the Hill by Tamsyn Muir (4 stars, 5 tentacles) - Good creeper. Inevitable doom. Note: I'd read this one before from an online posting. The Face of Jarry by Cat Hellisen (3 stars, 4 tentacles) - Nice use of Lovecraftian themes. Starts out like it's going to be a Dreamlands tour, then turns into something else. (view spoiler)[Don't eat blue stones given to you by strange people (hide spoiler)] I'm only giving it 3 stars because it ends rather abruptly, with a complete change of tone and pace. Our Lady of Arsia Mons by Caitlin R. Kiernan (4 stars, 4 tentacles) - Beautifully written "Elder Gods on Mars" tale. Doesn't quite make 5 stars/tentacles because while there was an attempted in-story resolution at the end, it's the sort of resolution you don't actually expect to work in a Lovecraftian setting. It feels like the start of a longer work (and I really REALLY want to see this work). The Body Electric by Lucy Brady (3 stars, 5 tentacles) - Emulates Lovecraft's distancing style to good effect. I wonder if it could have been done with more journal entries and less exposition in-between. Would-be programmer believes she's created/summoned a god in her attempt to make a learning program. The Child and the Night Gaunts by Marly Youmans (3 stars, 3 tentacles) - I felt like I was missing something on this one. Series of vignettes about a child with an ancestor who, er, produced a human-nightgaunt-hybrid. Unclear to me whether the hybrid is also an ancestor, or what the nightgaunts getting faces means. Well written, but I couldn't make heads or tails of the content. All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts by Sonya Taaffe (4 stars, 4 tentacles) - This almost works as a contemporary addition to Emrys' Innsmouth universe, but a few details don't match up. One that's creepy due to human actions rather than "monster" ones. Very enjoyable. Every Hole in the Earth We Will Claim As Our Own by Gemma Files (4 stars, 4 tentacles) - Eerily creepy one. What wouldn't a mother do to "save" a child? Makes better use of the first person unattached observer than Lovecraft ever did. But Only Because I Love you by Molly Tanzer (4 stars, 4 tentacles) - Impressive tomb raid gone wrong, from the local guide's POV. Very nicely done. Uses the "Colour" and takes place on Leng. Cthulhu’s Mother by Kelda Crich (3 stars, 2 tentacles) - Odd humor piece, dialogue only. I think it would work better acted out than read. I can certainly picture the Python players doing a sketch like this. All Gods Great and Small by Karen Heuler (3 stars, 5 tentacles) - Mixed feelings on this one. On the plus side, you have a racist jackass getting his comeuppance. Unfortunately, it's via the Magical Indian trope. Could have been better and more effective with a more generic "uprising of nature," imo. Dearest Daddy by Lois H. Gresh (1 star, 2 tentacles) - Hopeless squalor, filth, and misery, with mysterious mushrooms and an abusive, contortionist father. Not at all to my taste. I will admit that it's well-written and constructed, but I did not enjoy it at all. ADDENDUM: Occurred to me that this protagonist has almost no agency. The one time she exercises any agency is rather horrific, and (view spoiler)[probably ruined her one chance of getting out of the caves (hide spoiler)] . Eye of the Beholder by Nancy Kilpatrick (1 star, 3 tentacles) - The human "friends" in this one are nearly as horrific as the monster. My biggest gripe is that the protagonist has absolutely no agency; she just agrees to whatever is suggested, whether by her "friends" or the monster. Down at the Bottom of Everything by E.R. Knightsbridge (2 stars, 2 tentacles) - Semi hallucinatory pastiche about someone who became trapped while diving to investigate one of the large ocean garbage patches. Reads like it could just be panicked hallucination rather than anything eldritch. Leaves the POV character with PTSD about water. Spore by Amanda Downum (4 stars, 2 tentacles) - Very interesting take on creepy mushroom assimilation. More eerie than creepy, imo. Pippa’s Crayons by Christine Morgan (4 stars, 3 tentacles) - A child's version of Colour Out of Space. I would recommend reading Colour Out of Space before this one, if you have not. The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette (4 stars, 5 tentacles) - I loved the other two "boojum" stories. This one is equally good. This time we have a crew sent to investigate a dead boojum run into a mad reanimator. From the Cold Dark Sea by Storm Constantine (5 stars, 4 tentacles) - Beautiful story. Innsmouth inspired. I like that Cara avoided looking too closely because she wanted the story to be true, rather than because she feared it was. Mnemeros by R.A. Kaelin (4 stars, 3 tentacles) - Enjoyable Weird West tale. The creep is more visceral than Lovecraftian, though Lovecraftian themes are used.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    Dark Regions Press should be congratulated for putting out so many great anthologies in the time of their existence and for focusing much of their output on the endurable but esoteric sub-genre, Lovecraftian horror. This year they have published a beautiful, heavily illustrated (one full page color plate for each story) anthology titled Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror.. The collection has 20 pieces of short fiction either based on H. P. Lovecraft's Chtulhu Mytho Dark Regions Press should be congratulated for putting out so many great anthologies in the time of their existence and for focusing much of their output on the endurable but esoteric sub-genre, Lovecraftian horror. This year they have published a beautiful, heavily illustrated (one full page color plate for each story) anthology titled Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror.. The collection has 20 pieces of short fiction either based on H. P. Lovecraft's Chtulhu Mythos or influenced by them. All of the stories are by female writers and the range of authors goes from legendary to established to rising stars. There is little bad I can say about this collection. I don't think there is one poorly written story among the 20. For the most part with a few exceptions, these are atmospheric tales relying on what is implied rather than what is spelled out on the print. This is in keeping with Lovecraft's emphasis on the horrors that creep in the mind. The Ancient Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos may be fine with tearing up a victim now and then but it is what is done to the mind that haunts the reader. The first story is representative of that and is by a legendary writer, Joyce Carol Oates. "Shadows of the Evening " does not evoke the Cthulhu Mythos directly but suggests the dreamlike qualities of many of Lovecraft's works. More importantly it is a typically beautiful Oates work, introspective and suggestive. Two of my other favorite stories are more directly connected with the Chtulhu Mythos. "Our Lady of Aria Mons" by Caitlin R. Kiernan and "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward" are also excursions into science fiction with a Lovecraftian tinge. Both excellent tales, they would be at home in either Weird Tales or Analog magazines. There are a good many other stories here. Just selecting a couple, I am especially fond of Karen Heuler's All Gods Great and Small, a environmental revenge story with the usual shaman avenger that one often sees in this type of storytelling. Yet I loved the idea of gods existing in the tiniest of bodies. "Eye of the Beholder" is another crafty tale with some social implications. I am not sure of the Lovecraft connection on this one but it is certainly quite creepy and a bit indulgent in the "Ewww!" department. But despite there being much good short fiction here. overall it feels a little uneven. I don't think that is because of the quality in writing but because there seems to be too many stories that have too loose of a connection, or none at all, to Lovecraft's primary themes. Overall this ise a introspective collection of tales and I wanted more of H. P.'s evocation of "unspeakable horrors". Lovecraft may have implied a lot but he still "creeped" the hell out of you. Nonetheless, it is a anthology worth reading and not least for showcasing some of the finest female writers working in the genre of horror. Editor Lynne Jamneck did a commendable job of editing and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the cover design and the color illustrations by Danielle Serra. Three and a half stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Earwen

    I read this after Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 2 which although doesn't advertise itself as female weird fiction it more or less is (one or two stories by men I believe). If you are interested in the subject I'd suggest that book over this. I found the stories in this book much more of a mixed bag. Although there are some standout stories: 5 stars Our Lady of Arsia Mons by Caitlín R. Kiernan The Body Electric by Lucy Brady Every Hole in the Earth We Will Claim As Our Home by Gemma Files 4 stars F I read this after Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 2 which although doesn't advertise itself as female weird fiction it more or less is (one or two stories by men I believe). If you are interested in the subject I'd suggest that book over this. I found the stories in this book much more of a mixed bag. Although there are some standout stories: 5 stars Our Lady of Arsia Mons by Caitlín R. Kiernan The Body Electric by Lucy Brady Every Hole in the Earth We Will Claim As Our Home by Gemma Files 4 stars From the Cold Dark Sea by Storm Constantine The Woman in the Hill by Tamsyn Muir The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette Sadly the other stories bored me, besides the few I outright hated. I think I would have enjoyed some more if I was familiar to the Lovecraft stories they were based on, so it might be on me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ozsaur

    I was eager to read a collection of stories showcasing women writing in the Lovecraftian style. I always expect a mixed bag when I start a story collection, and that's what I got. Considering the authors, I couldn't help but hope for more. There were a couple of gems that stood out, a few that were okay, and more or less fit the theme, and a couple of clunkers. One was godawful, and I'm not sure I want to read that author again. Some standouts: The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward - a nice Lovecr I was eager to read a collection of stories showcasing women writing in the Lovecraftian style. I always expect a mixed bag when I start a story collection, and that's what I got. Considering the authors, I couldn't help but hope for more. There were a couple of gems that stood out, a few that were okay, and more or less fit the theme, and a couple of clunkers. One was godawful, and I'm not sure I want to read that author again. Some standouts: The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward - a nice Lovecraftian feel, plenty of action, more science fiction than fantasy, characters that I wanted to know more about. From the Cold Dark Sea - lovely descriptions that twined through a powerful story. Too grounded to be considered cosmic horror, but still had the feel that I was looking for. Mnermeros - Suspense! Dread! They should have turned back, BUT THEY DIDN'T! My heart raced through the last part of the story. Pretty good: All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts - Melancholy, loss, trying to live with what you have instead of longing for what you don't. But Only Because I Love You - Three characters that fascinated me, treasure hunting, plenty of action. All Gods Great and Small - A mean little horror story. Don't mess with things you don't understand. The Body Electric - Lovecraftian horror crossed with artificial intelligence. Worked for me! AWFUL: Dearest Daddy - I have no idea why this is in the collection. Adding poison mushrooms doesn't make it Lovecraftian. It's about a girl being beat down by everyone around her. Distasteful. The rest of the stories are more or less okay. It's a shame the collection started with one of the weaker stories. It was more like a dreamy ghost story than anything else, and didn't really go anywhere. Overall, I'm glad I read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    This is an impressive and varied anthology of short stories from some remarkably talented female writers. There wasn’t a single bad story in the book and I discovered some fantastic writers that I was previously unaware of, I’d highly recommend this! I also loved the art throughout the book by Daniele Serra, it’s unique and fits alongside these stories perfectly.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan Johnson

    It's refreshing to have a woman's perspective in Lovecraftian stories. Lovecraft himself neglected women in his own writing, and I'm sure it's more obvious today than it was in his own lifetime. Each of these stories adds to the depth of what any of us call "Lovecraftian." I'll be watching for more of these author's works, no matter the genre. It's refreshing to have a woman's perspective in Lovecraftian stories. Lovecraft himself neglected women in his own writing, and I'm sure it's more obvious today than it was in his own lifetime. Each of these stories adds to the depth of what any of us call "Lovecraftian." I'll be watching for more of these author's works, no matter the genre.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Dorneman

    This collection of Lovecraftian horror and/or weird stories by women authors is a superb addition to the corpus (pun intended), and each story is illustrated with an original (and creepy) color illustration by Daniele Serra as a Kickstarter bonus. Only one or two stories didn't ring true, and the female perspective and many female characters only add freshness to a genre that can seem stale. Stories range from the almost uplifting and fairytale-like to science fiction to more traditional Mythos This collection of Lovecraftian horror and/or weird stories by women authors is a superb addition to the corpus (pun intended), and each story is illustrated with an original (and creepy) color illustration by Daniele Serra as a Kickstarter bonus. Only one or two stories didn't ring true, and the female perspective and many female characters only add freshness to a genre that can seem stale. Stories range from the almost uplifting and fairytale-like to science fiction to more traditional Mythos fare, but all are worth your time -- particularly the final three, somewhat longer, pieces, and the Elizabeth Bear / Sarah Monette collaboration. Recommended to anyone with an interest in the Lovecraft oeuvre.

  9. 4 out of 5

    SpookyBird

    Solid collection of stories. I wouldn’t say all of them would be horror stories, but most have a dream-like quality that fits for the Lovecraft-inspired theme of this collection. Some lean heavier towards science fiction and fantasy, but that’s necessarily a bad thing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    (3.5 Stars)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeffry van der Goot

    It's refreshing to see Lovecraft stories written by women and the stories actually address head-on some of the very racist and bigoted elements of the original mythos. However, the actual quality of the stories, as _stories_, varies wildly. It starts with a clunker by Joyce Carol Oates, which almost put me off the collection. There are some really excellent stories, but most of them are kinda, just fun meh horror stories. The perspective is fresh, but the actual content leaves a little to be desire It's refreshing to see Lovecraft stories written by women and the stories actually address head-on some of the very racist and bigoted elements of the original mythos. However, the actual quality of the stories, as _stories_, varies wildly. It starts with a clunker by Joyce Carol Oates, which almost put me off the collection. There are some really excellent stories, but most of them are kinda, just fun meh horror stories. The perspective is fresh, but the actual content leaves a little to be desired.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    The printing of this is gorgeous and the full color plates are spectacular. However, since this book is to highlight women artistically interacting with the milieu of Lovecraft, I wish they had pulled in a female artist to round out the whole package. That detail creates a dissonant note in the message. I was not as impressed with this collection of Lovecraftian stories by women as I was by “She Walks in Shadows” (now sold under the terrible name “Chtulhu’s Daughters” or something equally obviou The printing of this is gorgeous and the full color plates are spectacular. However, since this book is to highlight women artistically interacting with the milieu of Lovecraft, I wish they had pulled in a female artist to round out the whole package. That detail creates a dissonant note in the message. I was not as impressed with this collection of Lovecraftian stories by women as I was by “She Walks in Shadows” (now sold under the terrible name “Chtulhu’s Daughters” or something equally obviously manufactured by the marketing department.) I found this to be less frequently thoughtfully interacting with cosmic horror and the unpleasant themes in Lovecraft’s works. There were some excellent offerings. “The Woman in the Hill” by Tamsyn Muir took a standard Lovecraft frame and, like any good cover song, made it completely her own. This was a great bit of period cyclical epistolary awesomeness that would appeal to fans of Stephen King’s “N.” But there’s other layers underneath this to tease out about agency and women being trapped by their roles. “The Body Electric” by Lucy Brady fantastically had a simulation program inhabiting the role of the esoteric text. Artificial Intelligence as the Cosmic Horror is really nicely done, and definitely creepier than Wintermute. “The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward” by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear first appeared on the Drabblecast and is an excellent dark future of spacefaring in an uncaring cosmic void that brings in elements of Herbert West: Reanimator. No one can cast aspersions that this story is not fresh enough. “Spore” by Amanda Downum was an excellent story about belonging and accepting yourself. “Mnemeros” by R.A. Kaelin was a fun weird western with interesting monsters and relentless pacing. “The Face of Jarry” by Cat Hellisen was nicely evocative of dream quests in a more compelling fashion, but this time the human isn’t the ubermensch in the dream realms, but just a tin key that thinks it’s silver. “Our Lady of Arsia Mons” by Caitlín R. Kiernan was very cinematic. The multiple recordings that showed different events based on perspective was excellent. Fewer stories worked for me than did, though. “Shadows of the Evening” by Joyce Carol Oates wouldn’t be my first choice to introduce people to the usually excellent JCO. It’s got a hint of a “Thing on the Doorstep” and a dash of “Innsmouth” with a scoop of “Erich Zann”. I found more Jamesian or Whartonesque class analysis than Lovecraft. While there were some sidebars about catcalling and the male gaze, I didn’t find much that held the story together as a cohesive whole. “The Genesis Mausoleum” by Colleen Douglas felt more like a scene than a story. It captures the writing style of the pulps, but not the good parts. And there’s a gibbering horde of others I can’t bring myself to transcribe my notes for.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    An anthology of Lovecraftian writings by female authors. It does sometimes raise the question, "What constitutes a Lovecraftian tale?", as many of the stories are not specifically Mythos-related (though others most certainly are) and could quite as readily be described as fiction in the vein of Blackwood, Machen or James. Perhaps it's time to simply start describing non-Cthulhu Mythos writing simply as good old 'weird fiction'? But regardless of that, this is a remarkable and wonderful collection An anthology of Lovecraftian writings by female authors. It does sometimes raise the question, "What constitutes a Lovecraftian tale?", as many of the stories are not specifically Mythos-related (though others most certainly are) and could quite as readily be described as fiction in the vein of Blackwood, Machen or James. Perhaps it's time to simply start describing non-Cthulhu Mythos writing simply as good old 'weird fiction'? But regardless of that, this is a remarkable and wonderful collection of weird fiction, both Mythos and otherwise. I don't know whether it's because the writers are all female or whether it's because (apart from two or three) I haven't read their work before, but in either case this collection has a fresh perspective. Here is weird fiction that is melancholy, haunting, unsettling and strangely beautiful. I have often felt that so much weird material could constitute cosmic beauty just as readily as cosmic horror with just a little twist in the telling. There are too many stories to comment upon them all. There are no duds, not one. At their worst, they're very good, at their best they're refreshing and deep. Particular standouts for me were 'Shadows of the Evening', 'Dearest Daddy', 'But Only Because I Love You', 'Mnemeros' and 'Pippa's Crayons'. For me, the best story in the collection was 'From the Cold Dark Sea' by Storm Constantine, which makes its Lovecraftian themes so melancholy and achingly beautiful that it turns all expectations upon their heads. The sense of loss and sadness at the end is palpable. The art by Daniele Serra is evocative and interesting. I don't know if it was a good fit with all of the stories for me, but regardless of that it's worth seeing in its own right. In short, there's nothing here not to like. Probably the best collection of contemporary Lovecraftian stories I've read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Glyn

    Woof, okay. In this, there's more meh stories than there are good ones. The not-good ones are pretty bad. But the good stories are pretty quality. A lot of the bad ones didn't feel Lovecraftian. Also in the paperback edition, the pictures are greyscale, which is a shame. Also a shame that the author is a dude, when all the others are women. A breakdown, story by story: meh-Shadows of the Evening: very meandering. Vaguely reminiscent of Lovecraft's story "The Haunter of the Dark" but overall, meh go Woof, okay. In this, there's more meh stories than there are good ones. The not-good ones are pretty bad. But the good stories are pretty quality. A lot of the bad ones didn't feel Lovecraftian. Also in the paperback edition, the pictures are greyscale, which is a shame. Also a shame that the author is a dude, when all the others are women. A breakdown, story by story: meh-Shadows of the Evening: very meandering. Vaguely reminiscent of Lovecraft's story "The Haunter of the Dark" but overall, meh good-The Woman in the Hill - very good, very Lovecraftian. meh-The Face of Jerry - more-so ubran fantasy than Lovecraftian, imo. I enjoyed the narrative voice but not the ending. good-Our Lady of Arisa Mons - Story is a bit fragmented but what I understand is great. I'm here for Lovecraftian Modern Sci-fi. meh-The Body Electric - A good sci-fi/cyberpunk yarn but not very Lovecraftian meh-The Child and the Night Gaunts - kinda interesting but too short to judge good-All Our Salt Bottled Heart - Very good; interesting look at Innsmouth descendants not chosen for the sea. Very grounded feeling. good-Every Hole in the Earth We Will Claim as Our Home - Set in a hospital which I have a personal connection to, which is very cool. Vaguely Lovecraftian? But a very good horror tale. meh-But Only Because I Love You - I don't get how the title relates to the story. Lovecraftian elements of adventurers finding a cursed object + a colour of space but not very horrific. good-Cthulhu's Mother - Funny and charming but very short. Good to see stuff that pokes fun at the mythos. meh-All Gods Great and Small - very atmospheric. Main character is insufferable, glad he got his in the end. Definitely good insect-based horror. AWFUL-Dearest Daddy - horrible and disgusting, about a NINE YEAR OLD DRUG ADDICT PROSTITUTE. I hated this story. Absolutely hated it. AWFUL-Eye of the Beholder - Also horrible and disgusting. About a woman who's friends have regressive gender politics, also she gets repeatedly drugged and raped okay-Down at the Bottom of Everyhing - short, effective horror. Lovecraftian-ish in terms of sanity being threatened. Used the word 'trebling' - not sure if it was supposed to be 'trembling'? I think there's another story that might've misused a word but I can't remember which. meh-Spore - AAAY LESBIANS!! LETS GO LESBIANS LET'S GO. is there some Lovecraft story about mushrooms I'm missing out on?? Cos that seems to be a reoccurring theme in the collection. Overall meh tho. meh-Pippa's Crayons - a take on "The Colour Out of Space" but eh, short with annoying child speak. I prefer "Violet is the Color of Your Energy" good-The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward - Here for modern sci-fi Lovecraftian horror. Chuckled at a ship being named Caitlin R Kiernan. Story lets you figure out aspects of the world for yourself, ie ships and creatures, which is a bit confusing. I want Hester and Cynthia to smooch. good-From the Cold Dark Sea - Fanciful and melancholic. Lighter and softer than Lovecraft's stuff usually is. Sticks with you after you're done reading it. good-Mnermeros - Like reading a modern Lovecraft story. Very suspensful and well-written.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    The good news about this book is that its a horror collection featuring all women writers. The bad news is that it only features white women. Can editors pay attention to the diversity of the writers they select, please and thank you? Im not going to individually go through every stories rating because most of them were decent if not a little underwhelming. I will highlight only the stories I found to be particularly excellent (i.e. if you dont want to read this collection, read these) or particul The good news about this book is that its a horror collection featuring all women writers. The bad news is that it only features white women. Can editors pay attention to the diversity of the writers they select, please and thank you? Im not going to individually go through every stories rating because most of them were decent if not a little underwhelming. I will highlight only the stories I found to be particularly excellent (i.e. if you dont want to read this collection, read these) or particularly bad (i.e. please dear god just skip these) The Woman in the Hill by Tamsyn Muir was amazingly spooky. Always love a good “death as disease” narrative and this adds an interesting spin. All Our Salt Bottles Hearts by Sonya Taaffe was more darkly haunting macabre then murder spree but man do I love me some mermaids. Especially when those mermaids are described in creepy/body horror-esque ways. But Only Because I Love You by Molly Tanzer had all the diversity I wish the collection had and some really great characters. Eye of the Beholder by Nancy Kilpatrick thrilled me because I am always here for thriller as social commentary. The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. I am of the firm belief that Elizabeth Bear can do no wrong. Everything about this was amazing. Living space ships, Lewis Carroll creatures (but in space!), zombies?, space opera, and literary references out the wazoo. I really want to cuddle a bunch of cheshires. Mnemeros by R.A. Kaelin was a wild ride (literally) and had me both enchanted and horrified. Wild west gunfights with oily tentacled hogs and creepy churches = yes, please. A lot of readers really loved one of the ones I really disliked so take this with a grain of salt. Our Lady of Arsia Mons is an expansive ancient planet archaeological expedition gone wrong. It was certainly imaginative but it was like wading through mud with all of the technical language. I have no idea if the things the characters were saying were accurate or not because I had no idea what they were saying. Example: “plus, we’ve covered the petrological curiosities by the constituent talc, chlorites, and amphiboles relative to terran porphyry.” I am all about books that make people look things up and learn but theres a point where the learning requires an entire other book to understand or more where it becomes overkill. The other one that should be avoided is Dearest Daddy. Seriously, the f***ing name says it all. A drunk emotionally manipulative father leaves his daughter (who is 8 years old) to become a child prostitute who then gets moved from a bordello into this underground place where this now-9-year-old girl is still a child prostitute but is also drugged daily. To top it off the writing is really bad.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    A new and refreshing collection of Lovecraftian tales by female authors. There is a lot of Cthulhu Mythos fiction out there, so it is good to find some that has a fresh take on the themes that Lovecraft passed down to generations of authors. These stories certainly do give new perspectives to the tried and true motifs of elder gods and forbidden lore. In this collection, it is female writers that bring the new ideas, ones that we might not expect. Like the themes of motherhood, told from the pers A new and refreshing collection of Lovecraftian tales by female authors. There is a lot of Cthulhu Mythos fiction out there, so it is good to find some that has a fresh take on the themes that Lovecraft passed down to generations of authors. These stories certainly do give new perspectives to the tried and true motifs of elder gods and forbidden lore. In this collection, it is female writers that bring the new ideas, ones that we might not expect. Like the themes of motherhood, told from the perspectives of a aging lady seeking to meet a husband and have a child before it is too late, and a small seaside town with women who may or may not be expecting to have little girls emerge from the sea on a special night as foretold in an ancient book. I also liked the way some stories are essentially science fiction, like one that features an ancient vault on Mars that contains small statues of hideous aspect, and a tale in deep space on the undead boojum bio-ship “Charles Dexter Ward.” There is a rural tale set in the plains of Texas, where a lady becomes too curious about strange stones near the Brazos River. We even have a short piece involving Cthulhu’s Mother! Yes, the tales in “Dreams from the Witch House” are satisfying, but I also wanted to comment on the excellence of the e-book version from Dark Regions Press. This is one of the nicest e-book editions I’ve seen. It is well edited and the typography is flawless. There are nice intros, biographical information for the authors, and editors notes. Definitely added value information in my opinion. However, it is the breathtaking color illustrations that are the icing on the cake. These are both beautiful and disturbing in equal measure, which is actually just what one would want from such a book. Bravo to all involved in the production of this work, and thank you for making such a great product.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    As always with a collection like this it's hard to say much about the book as a whole. I was impressed with how differently the authors interpreted "Lovecraftian." I'm not a huge Lovecraft fan by any means, but I would associate that term most with the mood or tone of existential horror created by incomprehensible, maddening forces. Some of these stories go for that, but many of them are funny, righteous, or creepy in different ways. I liked almost all the stories. There were just a couple of the As always with a collection like this it's hard to say much about the book as a whole. I was impressed with how differently the authors interpreted "Lovecraftian." I'm not a huge Lovecraft fan by any means, but I would associate that term most with the mood or tone of existential horror created by incomprehensible, maddening forces. Some of these stories go for that, but many of them are funny, righteous, or creepy in different ways. I liked almost all the stories. There were just a couple of the shorter ones that didn't speak to me, partly because there wasn't enough space for me to get the mood right. Quite a few were about loners who found some kind of connection through the supernaturally horrible and I tended to like those. "The Face of Jarry" by Cat Hellisen and "Spore" by Amanda Downum were highlights for me. You could say "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward" was another example, but I liked that one mainly for how much information about the world was parcelled out with minimal exposition. Two of the stories -- "But Only Because I Love You" by Molly Tanzer and "All Gods Great and Small" by Karen Heuler -- did some interesting magical-realist-adjacent things with an imperial setting that I liked. Karen Crich's "Cthulu's Mother" was funny in a Life of Brian kind of way: "he's not an elder god, he's a very naughty boy." I originally got the collection for the Tamsyn Muir story, "The Woman in the Hill," which was quite different from The Locked Tomb but still very good. I'm not often a fan of the epistilatory conceit, but as usual with Muir she did it for a very good reason.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Driscoll

    Some of these stories are more Lovecraftian than others, and some aren't Lovecraftian at all, in my opinion. Not to get into weirdological arguments, but to me Lovecraftian = cosmic horror, and not all of these stories contain that crucial element. That said, all of them are definitely weird fiction, and some are first-rate. I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who appreciates speculative fiction, even readers who don't care for H.P. Lovecraft's writing. The premises on which the stories Some of these stories are more Lovecraftian than others, and some aren't Lovecraftian at all, in my opinion. Not to get into weirdological arguments, but to me Lovecraftian = cosmic horror, and not all of these stories contain that crucial element. That said, all of them are definitely weird fiction, and some are first-rate. I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who appreciates speculative fiction, even readers who don't care for H.P. Lovecraft's writing. The premises on which the stories are constructed, and the narrative voices, vary wildly. Here are the stories I found most intriguing: "The Genesis Mausoleum" by Colleen Douglas. You will never look at plants the same way after reading this one. "The Face of Jarry" by Cat Hellisen. Intense weirdness beautifully rendered. "The Child and the Night Gaunts" by Marly Youmans. A series of prose-poems perhaps imagining the dreams and visions of HPL the child. "All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts" by Sonya Taaffe. A really different and poignant take on the Deep Ones. "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward" by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette. What can I say? Think Re-Animator in outer space, with a twist.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lee

    This collection of Mythos-inspired short fiction ranged from just fine to outstanding for me. It certainly starts strong, with "Shadows of the Evening" by Joyce Carol Oates. Other works that stood out from the pack for me were "Spore" by Amanda Downum, "The Child and the Night Gaunts" by Marly Youmans, and "Pippa's Crayons" by Christine Morgan. The highlight of the book, for me, is "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward," by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. This was a revisit for me, as I'd prev This collection of Mythos-inspired short fiction ranged from just fine to outstanding for me. It certainly starts strong, with "Shadows of the Evening" by Joyce Carol Oates. Other works that stood out from the pack for me were "Spore" by Amanda Downum, "The Child and the Night Gaunts" by Marly Youmans, and "Pippa's Crayons" by Christine Morgan. The highlight of the book, for me, is "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward," by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette. This was a revisit for me, as I'd previously read the story in another collection, but still the brightest spot for me. Midway through is "Cthulhu's Mother," a surprise piece of humor that made for a terrific palette cleanser before plunging on through the rest of the book. This is a solid collection of work, with no weak pieces and several standouts. A recommended read if you're in the mood for something Lovecraftian.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Denali

    I backed this anthology on Indiegogo for the same reason that I keep picking the "Women of HPL" variant covers when I buy issues of Alan Moore's Providence: I love the idea of reclaiming and retelling Lovecraftian horror with a focus on the voices of women. H.P. Lovecraft himself was, among other things, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. Women barely had a presence in his tales. I often find it difficult to appreciate Lovecraftian horror when it seems to be so deeply interwoven I backed this anthology on Indiegogo for the same reason that I keep picking the "Women of HPL" variant covers when I buy issues of Alan Moore's Providence: I love the idea of reclaiming and retelling Lovecraftian horror with a focus on the voices of women. H.P. Lovecraft himself was, among other things, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. Women barely had a presence in his tales. I often find it difficult to appreciate Lovecraftian horror when it seems to be so deeply interwoven with Lovecraft's own prejudices. But works like Dreams from the Witch House allow me to still enjoy Lovecraftian tales without some of the more problematic aspects of Lovecraft's own work. Overall, I enjoyed this anthology. I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, but that's really to be expected. My favorites were: The Body Electric by Lucy Brady The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear From the Cold Dark Sea by Storm Constantine I especially loved "The Body Electric." I've reread it several times now, and I keep finding myself going back to it. The concept of demonology in cyberspace is incredibly fascinating to me, and I think Lucy Brady did a fantastic job exploring philosophy and technology, and blending both with Lovecraftian themes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    despina

    A stunning view of the variety of female voices and perspectives in the vibrant and multifarious authorship of Lovecraftian narratives. Despite a few less balanced stories - some are unable to successfully balance the mundane and the supernatural when setting out to cast light into the vast unknown which lurks beyond the human experience. Nevertheless, with stories by Caitlyn Kiernan, Sonya Taaffe, Storm Constantine, and Joyce Carol Oates, you are sure to find something to delight you and expand A stunning view of the variety of female voices and perspectives in the vibrant and multifarious authorship of Lovecraftian narratives. Despite a few less balanced stories - some are unable to successfully balance the mundane and the supernatural when setting out to cast light into the vast unknown which lurks beyond the human experience. Nevertheless, with stories by Caitlyn Kiernan, Sonya Taaffe, Storm Constantine, and Joyce Carol Oates, you are sure to find something to delight you and expand your notion of the limits of this world. (Special shout out to Lucy Brady for the delirious magnificence of "The Body Electric".)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This anthology of female-authored Lovecraftian fiction covers the usual suspects. Spores! Deep Ones! Unexplained weirdness! A few stories put a refreshing spin on it and these are the best ones. I'd single out two as the stand-outs. 'All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts' is a look at Deep Ones from someone descended from Innsmouth but unable to transform. 'The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward' is a space opera/horror and I'll been seeking out the other two stories that Bear and Monette have done in that This anthology of female-authored Lovecraftian fiction covers the usual suspects. Spores! Deep Ones! Unexplained weirdness! A few stories put a refreshing spin on it and these are the best ones. I'd single out two as the stand-outs. 'All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts' is a look at Deep Ones from someone descended from Innsmouth but unable to transform. 'The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward' is a space opera/horror and I'll been seeking out the other two stories that Bear and Monette have done in that universe. A couple of stinkers brought the score down for me but your milage may vary.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jukaschar

    Up until now I hadn't read much female authored Lovecraftian fiction. I think this collection is a perfect starting point to explore this particular corner of the Cthulhu Mythos. Aside from the common ancestor the stories are very diverse, with settings ranging from South Africa to outer space, from the early 20th century to the far future. I really loved the female perspective. For me it brought a new kind of horror into the Mythos, bred more from love than from scientific or financial interest Up until now I hadn't read much female authored Lovecraftian fiction. I think this collection is a perfect starting point to explore this particular corner of the Cthulhu Mythos. Aside from the common ancestor the stories are very diverse, with settings ranging from South Africa to outer space, from the early 20th century to the far future. I really loved the female perspective. For me it brought a new kind of horror into the Mythos, bred more from love than from scientific or financial interest which is so common in the stories of male authors.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Lynn Kramer

    3.5 Like most anthologies Dreams from the Witch House is a mixed bag. Stories like Dearest Daddy and Eye of the Beholder left me feeling either disappointed or uncomfortable in the wrong way. Fortunately the majority of pieces proved more to my taste with The Genesis Mausoleum and The Woman in the Hill starting the collection off strongly. Files, Tanzer, Downum, Bear and Monette, Constantine and Kaelin also offered up wonderful pieces and reminded me that I need to read more by each of them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maurício da Fonte Filho

    An amazing anthology, with tales that walk between the surreal and the downright terrifying. The stories approach the Mythos through a perspective in which the women become the main characters, diving in many different genres: sci-fi, horror and even comedy. My favourite stories were: - The Woman in the Hill, by Tamsyn Muir; - Our Lady of Arsia Mons, by Caitlín R. Kiernan; - All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts, by Sonya Taaffe; - But Only Because I Love You, by Molly Tanzer; - Spore, by Amanda Downum; - Pippa An amazing anthology, with tales that walk between the surreal and the downright terrifying. The stories approach the Mythos through a perspective in which the women become the main characters, diving in many different genres: sci-fi, horror and even comedy. My favourite stories were: - The Woman in the Hill, by Tamsyn Muir; - Our Lady of Arsia Mons, by Caitlín R. Kiernan; - All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts, by Sonya Taaffe; - But Only Because I Love You, by Molly Tanzer; - Spore, by Amanda Downum; - Pippa's Crayons, by Christine Morgan; - The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward, by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear - From the Cold Dark Sea, by Storm Constantine - Mnemeros, by R. A. Kaelin.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Memie

    This collection is such a mixed bag. Nothing is genuinely bad or unreadable but about half of the stories are dull or they lack any kind of horror or tension or pay off or atmosphere. I also feel that the the first handful of stories aren't as good as the latter half. But the good stories were genuinely really good. My favorites were All Gods Great and Small, Eye of the Beholder, and Storm Constantine. This collection is such a mixed bag. Nothing is genuinely bad or unreadable but about half of the stories are dull or they lack any kind of horror or tension or pay off or atmosphere. I also feel that the the first handful of stories aren't as good as the latter half. But the good stories were genuinely really good. My favorites were All Gods Great and Small, Eye of the Beholder, and Storm Constantine.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Lynserra

    In most anthologies, there are a few strong stories(=5 stars) and some rather weak ones (= 2 stars). This anthology knocked it out of the park. Only a few 'weak' stories, that were still strong 4s. I cannot recommend this book enough. In most anthologies, there are a few strong stories(=5 stars) and some rather weak ones (= 2 stars). This anthology knocked it out of the park. Only a few 'weak' stories, that were still strong 4s. I cannot recommend this book enough.

  28. 5 out of 5

    T.S. S. Fulk

    Jamneck has compiled an excellent anthology of female mythos voices. Not all the stories are great, but they are at least good. It also seems that the best stories were saved for the end of the book (I was disappointed by Joyce Carol Oates's opening story). Jamneck has compiled an excellent anthology of female mythos voices. Not all the stories are great, but they are at least good. It also seems that the best stories were saved for the end of the book (I was disappointed by Joyce Carol Oates's opening story).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Gorgeous illustrations complement the tales in this anthology—which is 100% full of amazing tales! I especially liked “But Only Because I Love You” and”Our Lady of Arsia Mons.” Some brilliant stuff in a lovely volume.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donyae Coles

    Haunting I loved every story in this book which is rare. Each one took a slightly different take on Lovecraft and they all had different moods. All horror, sure, but hopeful, despair, humor, terror, just so many different moods. A solid read.

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