The Ithaqua Cycle

PDF-file by Robert M. Price

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One of the minor keys in Chaosium's largely excellent collection series on various aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos, focusing as its title would suggest on Ithaqua, the wind walker, an entity originating not with Lovecraft but with August Derleth by way of Algernon Blackwood, and expanded on via Lumley and Comptois et al in forteen short stories. This is mythos enity the hungry thing born of the wind and the cold skies writ large, and as elemental predator/dark traveler rather than cosmic indifference or malign intelligence too alien to understand, and as such a subject which veers towards more traditional northern folklore-as-horror than lovcraftian trope at its core.

As with many such collections gathered by overlaying theme, your millage here may vary, as does for methe quality of the tales in this one, from the solidly excellent of which there are several (with Pierre Comtois's "The Country of the Wind" being the standout for me), to the stories which set the idea of the Walker in the Wastes up to begin with which are at the least interesting (even if Blackwood's prose I confess has never struck a cord with me stylistically), to some middle of the road pastiches of the old guard and a couple of outright clangers, which for me just shouldn't have made the cut and sadly defected me enough to put me off finishing for a while when I hit them (and are the only reason I didn't rate this one a star higher!)

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