Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Horror at Martin's Beach by H.P. Lovecraft

The Horror at Martin's Beach
by H.P. Lovecraft and Sonia H. Green

This story has been called by some "wild" and "improbable", and I must admit that both of these adjectives fit the bill quite well.  But how many of Lovecraft's stories do you read and then think, "Yeah...I could see that happening"?

A group of sailors kill an enormous fish-like sea monster after a lengthy fight at sea. Bringing the carcass back to Martin's Beach, a small makeshift museum is set up to house it, and everyone and their mother is more than happy to fork over a few bucks to see the beast up close and personal.

Scientific probing has discovered that this monster, large though it may be, is actually an infant, a virtual newborn. Meaning that were its natural lifespan not interrupted, it could have grown many times its current size. And also meaning that somewhere out there in the murky waters lurks the mother. A mother who is probably none too happy about the murder of her child.

The vengeance that Big Mama wreaks upon the beachcombing populace could have come across as a Cthulu-meets-Jaws scenario (and honestly, I was kind of hoping that it would), but instead we're given a vengeance so melancholy that it would feel right at home in some imported slice of Japanese cinema.

Which isn't necesarily a bad thing...but it is certainly far from what you might expect. It's worth reading if only to see where it ends up...strange and subtle as it is.


1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool idea. Even if it's not quite "Cthulhu-meets-Jaws" (pure terror!) it sounds good. I haven't read this one but it's probably in HORROR IN THE MUSEUM, which is the collection with all his collaborations.


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