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Chaosium "Call Of Cthulhu Fiction" Books


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#1 BloatedStar

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 05:44 PM

Hey guys, a long time lurker first time poster! Sorry if this is a beat to death question...

I just wanted to get a feel of what people felt were some of the better Chaosium "Call Of Cthulhu Fiction" series books. There are so many, and my wife got me "The Innsmouth Cycle" which has picked my interest to look at more. I'm looking mostly for the ones that will best fill in the "histories" of the Old Ones and Outer Gods, and give me a deeper glimpse into their "personalities" of sorts...

Thanks for your help!


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#2 csmithadair

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:44 PM

Hey guys, a long time lurker first time poster! Sorry if this is a beat to death question...

I just wanted to get a feel of what people felt were some of the better Chaosium "Call Of Cthulhu Fiction" series books. There are so many, and my wife got me "The Innsmouth Cycle" which has picked my interest to look at more. I'm looking mostly for the ones that will best fill in the "histories" of the Old Ones and Outer Gods, and give me a deeper glimpse into their "personalities" of sorts...

Thanks for your help!


I have a large number of them, and for the most part enjoy them, and don't have specific ones to generally call out.

If you're looking for "histories" of the entities, there were a number of Cycle books for particular ones published: Hastur, Shub-Niggurath, Cthulhu, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Tsathoggua, and Ithaqua (and maybe some I'm forgetting momentarily). Some of these are hard to find now, though. Some of the stories can be a bit tenuous, especially the ones that served as inspiration for Lovecraft and his peers.

The Xothic Cycle by Lin Carter might be worth a look as well, since Carter spent most of his time trying to fill in the gaps that he saw in the Mythos and systematize it.

#3 Ningauble

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:52 PM

I agree with the preceding speaker. I have the entire series! :-)

There are some books I would like to single out:

* Thematic books, whether it be an entity (The Hastur Cycle) or an author (The Xothic Legend Cycle)
* The non-Mythos stuff (the Chambers collection!!!)
* The Scroll of Thoth by Richard L. Tierney

Ummm... I just realised that covers most of the series... OK, I wasn't to keen on The Book of Eibon. But the rest of the series is pretty damn good. Especially all the books with "Cycle" in the title.

#4 csmithadair

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 11:07 PM

While I, on the other hand, thought The Book of Eibon was a great concept. It contains both standard Mythos stories (mostly Clark Ashton Smith) that would have been included in the "actual" Book of Eibon, as well as rituals and liturgical writings. Certainly a different kind of book and not necessarily to everyone's liking.

#5 tlynch999

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:18 AM

Dead But Dreaming.

:twisted:
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#6 hamster

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:36 AM

I'd have to recommend the Book of Iod, a collection of Henry Kuttner's mythos stories, including my personal favourite 'Bells of Horror'.

I also enjoyed Delta Green Dark Theatres (if you're looking for some modern campaign inspiration and a new take on 'The Shadow over Innsmouth'

Oh and The Yellow Sign and other stories collects a lot of the fiction that inspired the King in Yellow and John Tynes take on the 'Hastur Mythos'

#7 jasonw1239

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:48 PM

Dead But Dreaming.

:twisted:


Shameless plug that it may be... :lol: I have to agree.
After having read many of the Cthulhu mythos anthologies, DBD is outstanding!

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#8 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 04:51 PM

I just started reading Nameless Cults which contains most if not all of Robert E. Howard's mythos stories and so far am enjoying it a lot.
I also plan on getting Mysteries of the Worm, a collection of Robert Bloch's mythos fiction.

#9 Evans

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 05:46 PM

I just started reading Nameless Cults which contains most if not all of Robert E. Howard's mythos stories and so far am enjoying it a lot.
I also plan on getting Mysteries of the Worm, a collection of Robert Bloch's mythos fiction.


I'm waiting for the Mysteries of the Worm but there was a roumour that an updated version would come out in November. Sadly there has been no sign of it yet.

#10 cjbowser

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 09:46 PM

My advice would be to choose a collection that includes numerous authors and then buy additional books based on which authors you liked. Some of the authors can be a little inscrutable at times.

My favorites in the Chaosium collections are:

Scroll of Thoth
Book of Eibon
Book of Iod

I could have completely lived without:

Arkham Tales
Singers of Strange Songs
Songs of Cthulhu

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#11 Evans

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:02 PM

I could have completely lived without:
Arkham Tales
Singers of Strange Songs
Songs of Cthulhu


Thanks for the information. That saved me making a topic about Singer of Strange Songs.

#12 cjearkham

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 11:12 PM

I've been updating the "Cthulhu Cycle Books" entries in the CthulhuWiki here at ysdc, so there should be one for everything which has seen print to date. (I'm working on other books, too, but these seemed to be the most needed.)

However, I've tried to keep everything factual: what's in the books, rather than what I liked/disliked. But since the thread is about recommendations, my personal favorites (after Encyclopedia Cthulhiana for its sheer utility) tend to be the ones with older stories -- the single-author tome collections (Mysteries of the Worm, Nameless Cults, etc.) with the actual "X Cycle" ones coming in second and the more modern works (both anthologies like Singers of Strange Songs and Nightmare's Disciple) third. The older works spend more time on the atmosphere, I think.

Lin Carter's Xothic Legend Cycle, however, is not to everyone's taste. As someone mentioned, Carter was more interested in filling in perceived gaps in the Mythos than in telling an interesting story, so his tales are barely a step above most fannish Mythos stories. I happen to like Carter's works because they do provide a lot of info, but I don't kid myself that they're good stories. Rather like August Derleth's pastiches -- they intended to echo things from Lovecraft rather than tell a good story which happened to be in the Mythos.

If you also like the older stuff, seek out Robert Price's three Fedogan & Bremer anthologies: Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos, Disciples of Cthulhu, and The New Lovecraft Circle. They'll give you a taste of many different authors.

Of modern authors working in the Mythos, I look forward to anything by Richard Tierney, C. J. Henderson, and Michael Minnis. I've been waiting for someone to do a Minnis collection for at least 10 years; as it is, you can find most of his stuff on the Internet. I haven't yet reached the point of looking forward to a David Conyers story, but his The Spiralling Worm is I think the best of the recent Cycle books.
Chris Jarocha-Ernst
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#13 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 12:03 AM

I just started reading Nameless Cults which contains most if not all of Robert E. Howard's mythos stories and so far am enjoying it a lot.
I also plan on getting Mysteries of the Worm, a collection of Robert Bloch's mythos fiction.

I'm waiting for the Mysteries of the Worm but there was a roumour that an updated version would come out in November. Sadly there has been no sign of it yet.

I am also biding my time since I heared the same rumour. I think it was on this forum.

I am also curious after the mythos works of Frank Belknap Long, inventor of the Hounds of Tindalos, which seem hard to find. It would be nice if Chaosium could publish a collection of his mythos fiction someday.

#14 cjearkham

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 12:19 AM

seek out Robert Price's three Fedogan & Bremer anthologies: Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos, Disciples of Cthulhu, and The New Lovecraft Circle.


Dang! I meant Acolytes of Cthulhu, of course. Disciples is a great collection, but even more off-topic than the F&B books.
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#15 ogrepuppy

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 03:48 AM

I'm waiting for the Mysteries of the Worm but there was a roumour that an updated version would come out in November. Sadly there has been no sign of it yet.


If you can find the 2nd edition of MotW cheap (say on Amazon or whatever) it's well worth it, even if a revised edition comes out. Bloch's stories are quite fun!

#16 Ningauble

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 04:14 AM

I am also curious after the mythos works of Frank Belknap Long, inventor of the Hounds of Tindalos, which seem hard to find. It would be nice if Chaosium could publish a collection of his mythos fiction someday.


Hippocampus Press has scheduled The Tindalos Cycle for April.

#17 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 11:43 PM

I am also curious after the mythos works of Frank Belknap Long, inventor of the Hounds of Tindalos, which seem hard to find. It would be nice if Chaosium could publish a collection of his mythos fiction someday.

Hippocampus Press has scheduled The Tindalos Cycle for April.

I have no idea how many mythos stories FBL wrote, but from what I found about it online this Tindalos Cycle will contain 6 of his tales.

What's funny is that one of these is titled The Gift of Lycanthropy, a title I made up myself for use in the first CoC scenario I ran and talked about on the forum here and here while being completely unaware of the existence of this story... :o Does weird stuff like this happen more often on this forum? :wink:

#18 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 02:09 PM

I recently got William Jones' The Strange Cases of Rudolph Pearson as a christmas present. I haven't started reading it yet but it looks interesting.

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#19 Paradroid

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 06:42 PM

For the moment, I do not own a single one of Chaosium's fiction collections, probably because I find their covers exceptionally ugly. They are very consistant at that. To be fair, there aren't many pretty horror books at all, but I seriously think they should cough up the money for some decent cover art.

#20 Tigger_MK4

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:04 PM

I've always liked the covers to the penguin omnibus editions of Lovecraft...
for instance
http://www.amazon.co...31614219&sr=1-3


From the Chaosium ones, I own the Hastur cycle book. Its reasonable, but not good enough that I've bought others (they are a tad expensive to get here in the uk), altohugh I do eye up Antarktos Cycle every now and then.
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