Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Cthulhu Who?

Ken Hite is Call of Cthulhu’s number one fan. He might not own the number one copy of Call of Cthulhu, but is more than qualified to write what is essentially an initiate’s guide to Cthulhu and the Cthulhu Mythos. His Cthulhu 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Dreamer in the Deep is that guide, a pocket-sized book from Atomic Overmind Press that explains who Cthulhu is, where he is from – both in and out of the fiction, what he does and does not do; who H.P. Lovecraft was, what he wrote, and what were his inspirations; discusses the good and the bad of August Derleth – kept Lovecraft’s writings in print, but wrote bad stories and claimed too much when it came to copyrights; all before suggesting an awful lot of bests and not-so bests. The best and not-so best stories, comics, movies, television, music, games, and toys, plus suggested next steps.

In places it gets as basic as, “How do you pronounce Cthulhu, exactly?” In others, its gets a little more complex, such as in the discussions of Lovecraft’s inspiration for his creation, and what exactly, Cthulhu might symbolise. For the most part Hite gives us just the facts, but Derleth does not come out of this in a wholly favourable light.

Much of Cthulhu 101 will be familiar, being too basic for some. Basic can still be useful though, a handy reference. It is easy to imagine Hite delivering this as the Power Point presentation from R’lyeh, so worth having.