First Lines: Cthulhurotica & In Situ

Last year, I backed a Kickstarter project by Dagan Books. The aim was to release more collections of short fiction. So far, I received two (digital) volumes, with two more to follow.

The first one I read was Cthulhurotica, an anthology of erotic horror, inspired by the writing of H.P. Lovecraft. Now, Lovecraft’s work isn’t even remotely sexy. In fact, it is devoid of even the smallest traces of romance, let alone, dare I say it?, love. There are few women in his stories, and the men don’t bend that way either.

So how does an anthology of erotic fiction inspired by the Cthulhu mythos work? Well, pretty much as you’d expect it to go: some arcane, hidden knowledge better left forgotten gets uncovered, and then gruesome, sexy stuff happens. Not 50 Shades of Gray sexy, but, for the most part, in a vague and oblique way. It’s hinted at, and when we get to see it, it’s often ugly and gruesome and better left unimagined. Quite like Lovecraft’s horrors, really.

Cthulhurotica (edited by Carrie Cuinn)
First line
The book that you are holding in your hands started out, as so many others have, in a half-serious conversation about the future of Weird Erotica. (from the introduction by Carrie Cuinn)

The second volume, In Situ, is filled with science fiction stories featuring alien archeology, hidden mysteries, and things that are better off left buried.

I know what you’re thinking: isn’t that Lovecraft all over again? Well, no. And sometimes, yes. Hidden in the desert sands (or deep in a cave, or in the jungle, or some distant planet or in a spaceship near the inhabitable edge of the galaxy) something mysterious and probably of alien origin is uncovered. And, as it turns out, some things you don’t want to mess with, ’cause it’ll mess you up. Well, so, uhm, yeah. It’s a bit Lovecraftian, here and there. But I dig that.

In Situ (edited by Carrie Cuinn)
First line
My dear Mademoiselle Taggart, please accept my apologies for the lengthy delay that has preceded this missive. (from Donning the Helm by Dawn Vogel)