In the short space of a few months, Brian Lumley has become one of my favorite horror writers. His work is generally versatile, engaging, and exciting. Even when it comes to something familiar, such as the Cthulhu Mythos, Lumley brings a fresh element to the table. I've read about 20 of his books and it has been a great investment.

His Cthulhu stories manage to capture the weirdness and some of the dread of Lovecraft but with a more down to earth style. Some of my favorite tales include "Haggopian," "Born of the Winds, " and "The Horror of Oakdeene." While Lovecraft's protagonists are passive bookworms who wilt at their horrific discoveries, Lumley created Titus Crow, who stood up to them. Crow is one of the most substantial and effective psychic detectives that I've ever read. My favorite tales of Crow include The Caller of the Black," and "Lord of the Worms." The Titus Crow novels evolve from battling Cthulhu's minions to intergalactic travel that brings to mind Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter novels and Dr Who while maintaining horrific elements. They are lots of fun and bring optimism to a subgenre steeped in defeat. As Lumley said, "My guys fight back. Also, they like to have a laugh along the way."

I was pleased to see that Lumley wrote sword and sorcery as well, incorporating the feel of Robert E Howard's Conan stories and combining it with the Cthulhu Mythos, and doing what I have never seen before: tales that are set during Cthulhu's earliest days. "The House of Cthulhu" is an effective tale of an attempt to sack his temple. I also enjoy his stories featuring the barbarian Tarra Khash. Also impressive is Lumley's novel Khai of Khem, a tale of war and sorcery in ancient Egypt that melds sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. An excellent book.

Also wonderful are Lumley's non-series horror stories. "Fruiting Bodies," is a weird, yet plausible tale of fungus which also makes deeply disturbing. "The Waiting Place" is vivid and memorable. "The Whisperer" stands out for its malevolent unfairness.

Lastly, I read Lumley's first two Necroscope novels. They tell the story of Harry Keogh, a man who can communicate with the dead and learns to travel through dimensions. He takes on vampires and other forces that threaten the safety and sanity of the world. Lumley's creative powers are in full display in these books and I am lucky to have read them.

The rewards of traversing the Lumleyverse are numerous, so find his work and dive in.

Written by Nicholas Montelongo

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