Book Review: Cthulhurotica an anthology published by Dagan Books
This collection of short stories, art, and poetry pay homage to H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos by adding an erotic twist. Lovecraft was notoriously up-tight about sex, yet his mythos inspires erotica. Stories, poetry, and art draw inspiration from everything from Nyarlathotep, to the Old Ones, to Cthulu himself. These works of art promise spine tingles of both horror and pleasure.
I knew the instant I saw the gorgeous cover and read the title of this book that I had to read it. I am completely taken with the Cthulu mythos and always felt the only thing it was missing was some raunchy sex. This collection definitely tastefully delivers on both. You won’t find pages and pages of sex, rather the sexual encounters occur as a key plot point to the various stories, rather like well-written sex scenes in romance novels. Only with tentacles. And gore.
Naturally as with any short story collection there are tales deliciously pulled off and others less so. Thankfully, most of the short stories fall into the previous category. Three in particular–“The Fishwives of Sean Brolly”, “The Assistant from Innsmouth”, and “The Summoned”–really rocked my world as they are not only deliciously entertaining, but also offer thoughtful commentary on gender roles and relationships. In fact this is what moves the collection from just a bit of fun to thought-provoking territory, and that is always the sign of a good story.
Further, I am quite pleased to point out that the collection is very GLBTQ friendly. Multiple stories feature non-heteronormative relationships, and the GLBTQ characters are as well-rounded as the straight ones. I offer my applause to Dagan Books for its choices of stories to include.
As far as the artwork, it is all beautiful and impressive. Enough so that I’m seriously considering acquiring a paper copy to keep kicking around my apartment. The pictures suck the viewer in in the tradition of the classic piece of tentacle erotic art “The Fisherman’s Wife.”
Overall, this is a highly entertaining read. Although some of the stories fall short of others in the collection, most of them offer up chills and delights in addition to social commentary. I highly recommend it to those fond of the Lovecraft universe as well as those with an interest in gender/sexuality.
4 out of 5 stars