yock's Lovecraftathon: Nyarlathotep
Now this should be interesting for me. I've played in a Call of Cthulhu RPG game where we met Nyarlathotep. We all survived, but he escaped through time, off to ancient Egypt. Wonder if we will meet him again later in the campaign? Anyway that's for another day, but it is nice for me to read about a Mythos creature I've encountered in game before.
I do like the feeling of the opening. It's very atmospheric, with a well developed sense of brooding horror.
Time wise it's a somewhat strange read this one. The opening in particular feels as though it's set in a different time, even possibly an ancient world. But then it's clearly more modern later with electricity and cinema etc. On the one hand I find this contrast confusing. But it's also a nice nod to the origins of Nyarlathotep in ancient Egypt. So overall I rather like it.
The idea of Nyarlathotep telling his story through projected film shows is really nice. For a modern reader now a century on it combines a feeling of the past with something very modern. I can easily picture the flickering images that the audience is watching. Black and white of course. Or maybe even sepia toned.
After the narrator leaves the film showing there's a very strong sense of change, with the characters encountering the world altered. I particularly like the description of the "hellish moon-glitter of evil snows" - again a great series of images, well developed, that I can easily picture in my mind.
However I'm not so keen on the next bit, the ending, where the horror imagery is ramped up to its climax. It's effective, but in a way too much for me. But it does what it needs to, and it wraps up the story. I just don't like reading it. Then again that's it accomplishing what it needs to do, so I shouldn't complain really.
So a short piece, but a strong one for me, and a vast improvement on the previous story I reviewed.