Monday, September 11, 2017

Down and Out in R'lyeh, by Catherynne M. Valente

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(Lovecraftian Humor) R’lyeh sucks. If you’re number 997 of Shub-Niggurath’s young, it’s easy to feel neglected and bored. (7,607 words; Time: 25m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

If you’re a big Lovecraft fan, you’ve got to read this. If not, steer clear: it will make no sense to you whatsoever.

"Down and Out in R'lyeh," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 18, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The big fun of this story is the countless cute phrases with references to Lovecraft and beyond. E.g. “So Friday night, it’s hour come at last, slouched towards R’lyeh to be born.” Or about the Old Ones, “They’re old. Who cares?” Lovecraft rendered as adolescent slang is pretty entertaining. At first, anyway.

There seems to be a message about disaffected young people who feel their elders have left them few or no opportunities in the future. In this case, they actually do burn down the establishment, but it ends up making no difference.

Con: It goes on for way too long, and there’s nothing to the plot other than “Gee, we’re bored. What can we do today?”

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 18)
Catherynne M. Valente Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This was hilarious. Admittedly it's a single joke stretched quite far, but it's still a great joke.

  2. Wouldn't say I'm a Lovecraft fan, but I'm definitely a Valente fan, and this was a lot of fun. I find her amazing at making sense in a nonsensical way and sounding wonderful at the same time. This is like a novelette in the style of the Jabberwocky with a Lovecraftian twist.

    1. I like Valente the way I like carrot cake. The first few bites are delicious. A small slice is great. But it's too sweet to enjoy in large quantities.