Tuesday, December 29, 2015

recent read; The Clock of Dreams & Spawn of the Winds (Titus Crow omnibus, volume 2)

Whereas Lumley's hero Titus Crow features in what I would classify as horror short stories, when Lumley brought Crow into novels, the tone shifted quickly from horror to pulp adventure fantasy with occult touches. That trend continues strongly in this volume.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Lumley uses more of the Derleth Mythos model than Lovecraft's. In this Mythos, Cthulhu is "evil," not just ambivalent. And opposing the Old Ones are "good" Elder Gods.

The Clock of Dreams takes place largely in the "Dreamland" realms. The first half of the novel features Crow's longtime friend, deMarigny, as the protagonist. Crow comes into play later, after deMarigny rescues him. Utilizing the grandfather clock that can fly anywhere in time & space (and between dimensions,) Crow & deMarigny battle Cthulhu entities across the Dreamlands in various feats of derring do, capture and rescue.

Spawn of the Winds is an unexpected entry in this volume - Crow isn't in this novel at all. Not even a cameo or a mention. I did notice on Lumley's webpage that he classifies the omnibuses as "Mythos" not "Titus Crow." Only one character from the previous Crow novels is here, a professor from Miskatonic.

Anyway, it still a fairly rousing adventure tale. This time around, Ithaqua, the Walker of the Winds, steals an airplane & its crew and deposits them on the alien, arctic waste world, Borea. What follows has a strong "lost world" vibe of lost races, intermingled races and skirmishes and building battles, stakes & tension.

So, if you're looking for horror, you need to look elsewhere. But it you want to read some fantasy action pulp adventure, then The Clock of Dreams and Spawn of the Winds fit the bill.

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