THE DEEP ONES: "Vastation" by Laird Barron

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THE DEEP ONES: "Vastation" by Laird Barron

set. 18, 2020, 12:04pm

Gotta dig out my Cthulhu's Reign. I still remember this story pretty vividly, though.

Editat: set. 22, 2020, 2:27am

Found it! It was more hidden than I thought it would be. I have moved house three times since I last read in this book.

set. 22, 2020, 3:08am

>3 paradoxosalpha:

It's a great little anthology that takes its title seriously. Plenty of existential dread and despair. In a good way, of course!

Editat: set. 24, 2020, 8:23pm

Wow, talk about an unreliable narrator. I'm inclined to believe him for the most part, though. The explanation regarding the Chinese scientists messing with the supercollider actually sounds like the plot of a Laundry Files novel. I appreciated the idea that the black hole Ur-Nyctos will eventually swallow everything anyway, Old Ones included. Even they are ultimately doomed! Now that's a pretty bleak idea. Also got a kick out of things like the "brains in cylinders" reference to "The Whisperer in Darkness". There is no pastiche here (same with most if not all of the stories in Cthulhu's Reign, as I recall), just a natural extrapolation of Lovecraftian ideas into a pretty nasty contemporary view.

In a similar fashion to the ingenious way that HPL would make incongruous words come together to imply a newer and usually more dire meaning, there are great lines like "What kind of monsters eat Yokahama and leave Tokyo standing?" and "Eventually, we did what men do best and aimed our fear and rage at one another", that fuse pop culture and sadly accurate observation into new horror.

Editat: set. 23, 2020, 12:47pm

It occurred to me that this story could be from the perspective of Anthony in "It's a Good Life." Of course, with this sort of solipsist premise, it axiomatically is from his perspective.

I loved the "essential saltes" shout-out to Herbert West at the end.

Editat: set. 24, 2020, 7:28pm

I'm still thinking about this one after reading it a second time (the first time years ago in Cthulhu's Reign). My initial feelings are that it, for me was overstuffed and too much of either an unreliable narrator or just a plot that confusingly careens through space and time.

I'll grant that catching all the Lovecraft allusions sans any of his names except "Old Ones" was entertaining.