maj 2017
M T O T F L S
« apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Arkiver

Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities / red. Henrik Sandbeck Harksen

Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities / red. Henrik Sandbeck HarksenJeg er tit lidt doven, når det gælder om at få læst udgivelser på engelsk. Men på en ferie fik jeg endelig taget mig sammen til at læse Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities, som er nyeste bind i HPLMythos serien, der udgives af danske Henrik S. Harksen, som er Lovecraft entusiast, og har tidligere udgivet flere novelleantologier på både dansk og engelsk. Det viste sig (selvfølgelig burde jeg vel næsten skrive), at da først jeg gik i gang, kunne jeg nærmest ikke lægge bogen fra mig igen. De ti noveller er generelt af høj kvalitet, og jeg må endda med glæde konstatere, at de to danske bidragsydere er helt i topklasse.

I forordet skriver Harksen om novellerne:

Welcome to a book rife with urban nightmares – each nightmare a disturbing twist to the dark vision of the world first presented to us by H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Some of the stories include Cthulhu Mythos elements, sure, but first and foremost the words you find herein demonstrate a varied and powerful wrestling with the underlying, pessimistic or indifferentist ideas that were the essential core of Lovecraft’s writings. All of these tales, one way or the other, in a shadowy and eerie urban setting.”

Novellerne spænder vidt både geografisk og indholdsmæssigt, men fælles for dem er mørket, forfaldet og desillusionen.

Som sagt er de to danske bidrag blandt de bedste. Thomas Strømsholt fortæller i “Architect Eyes” historien om Luka, der lider af søvnbesvær blandet med mareridt om en forladt by. Da han bliver fyret, må han flytte fra sin lejlighed, og det bringer ham til Tawil Street i Old Town, hvor han flytter ind i et pensionat. På sine gåture rundt i området støder han en dag på en bygning fra sin drøm, og det bliver starten på en lang søgen.

The houses stood dense and brooding, but as I rounded a corner, something at the end of the street caught my eye, and I was unable to move. What I saw was a black tower, its smooth surface and shape marking it out from its old and drab surroundings. Everything around me seemed to vibrate while my mind tried to make sense of the visual input. So reminiscent was this tower of the buildings in my nightmare that for at brief moment I thought the latter had segued into reality, or, more likely, that I was the victim of a halucination; neither possibility was preferable to the other. It was extremely tempting to simply turn around and walk away, but in order to prove the reality of the thing, I willed it otherwise.”

Thomas Strømsholt har bl.a. fået udgivet novellesamlingen De underjordiske, som jeg synes var interessant, velskrevet, uhyggelig og stemningsfuld læsning. Her i “Architect Eyes” lykkes det ham igen at fange læserens interesse med sit fine sprog og sin fascinerende vinkel på Lovecrafts verden.

Også Morten Carlsen skal fremhæves for “Ozeelah’s Lake”. Hovedpersonen er journalist og skriver for bladet Bizarre Legends & Occult Myths. I den forbindelse leder han efter Ozeelah’s Lake, og det fører ham til Raleygh Creek, hjemsted for 93 indbyggere og for baren The Crooked Room. Her spørger han om vej til søen, men intet er som det ser ud til.

Well, I think I can guide you back on track, he said with his eyebrows raised, nodding his head slowly. His face went dark and mysterious. But I wouldn’t recommend you to visit Ozeelah’s Lake, son. It’s not a friendly place, to say the least. In my humble opinion that place ought to be blocked off forever. He poured himself a shot of bourbon and hurled i down. Look, like I said, I’ve come all the way from Boston. I can’t go back without having visited the place and made some first-hand observations for my piece. Besides, I’ve been tracking down these haunted places for almost ten years and lived to write about every single one of them. It’s what I do, it’s my job. And you know what? I haven’t pissed my pants from fear yet.”

Morten Carlsen blander western-stemning med Lovecraftian horror, og det lykkes overraskende godt i denne velskrevne, underholdende og svimlende novelle.

Blandt de øvrige bidrag vil jeg også fremhæve “The Neighbors Upstairs” af John Goodrich. Hovedpersonen Jeremy lider af søvnløshed. Hver weekend hører han ovenboerne feste, men en aften ender festen med mærkelige lyde – som om nogen bliver dræbt!

With a thump, the conversation stopped. In the silence, Jeremy still listened, and when that provided nothing, he stood on his bed, and trying to hear more. No more conversation, no more noise at all. He was wondering if there had been an accident when he heard something being dragged. Toward the bathroom. Following the sound, he stole toward his bathroom, directly under theirs, quiet as he could. Was someone hurt? Had they gotten drunk and fallen over? Somebody grunted and what sounded like at pile of books slammed into the bathtub upstairs. After that, silence, and the sound of blood hammering in his ears. The long, empty hush was broken by a black and hateful laugh. And then a sloppy sound like a jowly Saint Bernard working its way through a trough of chopped meat. Nauseated, Jeremy stared up at the dark ceiling. What was going on up there?”

Også Robert Tangiers “Slou” skal fremhæves for sin skræmmende vision af en bys forfald, og T. E. Graus novelle “The Screamer” skal fremhæves for sin nærmest poetiske fortælling om undergang og død.

Endelig vil jeg også gøre opmærksom på Tom Kristensens fantastiske illustrationer, som understøtter og fremhæver historierne. Flot flot arbejde. Tom Kristensen er i øvrigt også aktuel med online tegneserien Made Flesh, som jeg med stor fornøjelse læser et nyt afsnit af hver fredag.

Om bogen:

Udgivelsesår: 2012
Omslag: Paul Carrick
Illustrationer: Tom Kristensen
Forlagets danske hjemmeside

Indhold:

Introduction: Urban Nightmares af Henrik Sandbeck Harksen
Dancer of the dying af Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
The Neighbors Upstairs af John Goodrich
Cacosapunk af Glynn Owen Barrass
Architect Eyes af Thomas Strømsholt
Slou af Robert Tangiers
Ozeelah’s Lake af Morten Carlsen
The Statement of Frank Elwood af Pete Rawlik
The Shadow of Bh’Yhlun af Ian Davey
The Screamer af T. E. Grau
… the guilt of each … at the end … af Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

Skriv en kommentar