Lovecraft’s Monsters is a collection of Lovecraftian tales edited by the great Ellen Datlow that was published in 2014. Some of the top names in weird fiction are included in this collection and it delivers the goods! As Robert Price has said, there is a difference between Cthulhu Mythos stories and Lovecraftian stories. Cthulhu Mythos stories are pastiches of H.P. Lovecraft; such tales typically involve a specific set of tropes such as referencing forbidden tomes and uncovering the existence of ancient alien civilizations and entities that are so advance and different from us that some would consider them gods. If you are looking for pastiches of the Cthulhu Mythos then Lovecraft’s Monsters is not for you.
However, if you are looking for interesting and different Lovecraftian tales, again applying Price’s terminology, then this is the book for you! Lovecraftian tales are broader in scope and presentation, focusing more on the cosmic horror of Lovecraft’s themes and monsters. Also, these tales are not limited to stuffy New England academics uncovering eldritch horrors. Many of the tales are set in different times and cultures but at the same time explore the cosmic horror associated with Lovecraft’s entities.
While all of the tales are good, some really stand out. For example, I have not read Thomas Ligotti’s “The Sect of the Idiot” since the 1990s and I forgot how powerful it is in its cosmic horror. “Red Goat Black Goat” by Nadia Bulkin is a loose interpretation of Shub-Niggurath from different culture perspective and is absolutely fascinating. Another favorite of mine is by Brian Hodge called “The Same Deep Waters as You” and involves the Deep Ones and Cthulhu. Other authors contributing toward this excellent collection include Neil Gaiman, Laird Barron, Fred Chappell, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Joe R. Lansdale and John Langan, just to name some of them. Ms. Datlow put together a first rate collection of Lovecraftian stories focusing on the old gent’s entities and I can’t recommend the book enough!