Book of the Week: Winter Tide.

I quite liked Ruthanna Emrys’ Winter Tide, albeit for slightly different reasons than perhaps the ones for why she wrote it.  The attempt here was to take Lovecraft’s mythology and, well, turn it on its head; the basic facts would remain, but the motivations and whatnot would be different — and in a way that would present the Deep Ones as basically sympathetic characters who got the short end of a very nasty stick in 1928.  There’s also a not-unexpected amount of social commentary about the imperfections of our grandparents’ generation (well, my grandparents’ generation), but you have to expect that from current literary fads.

It’s successful, but partially because Ms. Emrys could pick and choose which elements to use — for example: ghouls are remarkably absent from this book*, and so were the events found in The Dunwich Horror — and partially because HPL’s own monsters have themselves been culturally tamed by the passage of years. This happens to all horror icons, and I can’t believe that Lovecraft wouldn’t have anticipated it.  Still, Winter Tide is an interesting, thoughtful book; and a reminder to everyone that HP Lovecraft continues to utterly define and dominate the horror genre, decades after his death. Even when it comes to the people who would no doubt like to move past him, it seems.

And so, adieu to The Silmarillion.

*I presume the sequel will address that.

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