Reviews & Interviews
Click images to read reviews by independent reviewers of the horror genre.
At first this book looks like a standard Arkham House (Derleth Mythos) book circa 1980. Skillful weaving together of Lovecraftian themes -- but the book goes from an enjoyable (but not ground-breaking) read into a piece of imaginative genius. All Lovecraft/Derleth fans will like it from the beginning -- it is good, but halfway through it turns great. It works as horror, but it also works as good science fiction and as a well grounded novel of the post-Vietnam era. I hope to see further work from Mr. Craft.
In an in-depth interview with 2 Warps to Neptune, Byron Craft provides insight into the origin of The Alchemist's Notebook, aka The Cry of Cthulhu, and the influence that H.P. Lovecraft played. The interview details the progression of the project that started as a screenplay and evolved into a full length novel. [Read the Full Interview]
Byron was recently interviewed by Ginger Nuts of Horror. The Ginger Nuts of Horror website is full of the very best in horror fiction news, horror fiction reviews, and horror author interviews.
“The author Bryon Craft has written, THE ALCHEMIST'S NOTEBOOK. This story is based on his script for THE CRY Of CTHULHU. A film project I was creating production artwork for during its conception. Recently I re-encountered Bryon Craft and he told me of his plans for a novel using my paintings and watercolors as the illustrations.
I had kept my artwork, as is my habit, and although two pieces had a small bit of damage, the problems were repaired and the artwork tweaked for the better. I was a bit more hasty artist in those days. This was before Evil Dead and from what I could assess was a great opportunity to show off my imagination and artwork. We got some articles about THE CRY Of CTHULHU in Starlog and Cinefantastique Magazines and that lead to an ill fated adventure in Hollywood.
“THE CRY Of CTHULHU was one of the coolest movies never made. I was pitching it like Lovecraft meets Harryhausen. This was in 1978, before CGI so this was being planned as a live action, Stop Motion Animation, full body suits; animatronics creatures and devices, a multitude of miniatures and matte paintings were required. It was Lovecraft euphoria for me…the good old days. What a shame it hasn’t been made. With the tools available today it would be an epic…Gigantic, Overwhelming! Ah, so. Byron just sent me a copy of “The Alchemist’s Notebook” and what a great read it is. And my drawings and paintings are well presented. There is a lot more to be announced about Bryon’s book very soon.
“I have been reading Lovecraft since my association with this film and Bryon has impressively channeled the cosmic essence of Ol' H.P. in “The Alchemist's Notebook.” And it is quite an adventure.”
“Gripping…One of the scariest books I have ever read!”
Scott P Santodonato, Striplv Magazine
Read it and cheer! Lovecraft done well
This review is for: The Cry of Cthulhu (Paperback)
Byron Craft has brought us great page turner in the high standards of Lovecraft. And the look of the book is ideal. This is a must have for anyone wondering what happened to one of the coolest movies never made. Finally you can find out what all the fuss was about. And I'd love to see a film version of this classic.
By Thomas Sullivan ll; February 5, 2016
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Reviews re-posted from Amazon.com:
Defnitely worth reading
Extremely interesting and keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. Could hardly put the book down. Recommended to me by a friend and so glad I read it.
Wow! Grabs you right away
I like a book that keeps me edgy and this one pulled it off. Byron Craft reminds me of HP Lovecraft the way he weaves the story. Cthulu has a new master! I like characters that you can get attached to. Starts off with a bang and continues through to the end. Great read.
The Resurrection of Cthulhu
Back in the mid seventies, those of us spaced out teens and young adults with a passion for the literature of the macabre, represented by authors like Clark Ashton Smith, Edgar Allan Poe, and so many others, began hearing rumors of a film in the making--a film based on the soon-to-be-recognized modern master of the horror drama, H. P. Lovecraft, whose tales of ancient godlike beings who once ruled the earth but were expelled from our time and space, ever waiting to come into our dimension and rule it once again in a endless night of unending horror, was to be shot. The title: “The Cry of Cthulhu,” an allusion to Lovecraft’s pivotal tale, “The Call of Cthulhu,” was to be completed by the early eighties. Articles about the film project appeared, principally in Starlog and Cinefantastique magazines, about the screenplay, the producers, and the director assembled to film and the excitement grew. And grew.
But it was not to be. The promised film, for whatever reasons, never reached fruition. Cthulhu and his hordes would have to rise another day, it seemed. And the film never was.
But now, the author of the original screenplay drawing on Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, Bryon Craft, salvaged his screenplay and looked at it in literary, not cinematic, terms, and after three decades produced a novel based on his screenplay, to the delight of Lovecraft’s fans.
Craft demonstrates he is as capable a novelist as scriptwriter. The “Cry of Cthulhu” has all the ingredients of a classic Lovecraft tale, and some imaginative additions by Craft. An isolated mansion with mysterious beings--only occasionally glimpsed--lurking the grounds, the amphibious Innsmouth people, a fascinating dream journey through the dimension where the Old Ones are chained in eternal exile by the benevolent Ancient Ones, recalling H.P.L.'s dream voyages, and much, much more.
The story opens with the familiar haunted house tale, told with tapes, diary, and narratives, just as H.P.L. would have it; the young couple who suddenly find themselves in possession of an ancient schloss in Germany’s Black Forest, Faren and Janet, each finding themselves facing individual nightmares, each finding challenges to counter those nightmares. Janet encounters shadowy beings that leave tiny handprints; Faren learns his employers sport something called “the Innsmouth Look.” He experiences Dantean dreams of world-sized monsters shackled to planets. Events build until the Campellian Wise Old Man, Von Tassel, appears to regale Faren of the history of the house and of Faren’s deceased uncle, who has created a device designed to harness the energies of the Old One who once ruled the earth before man--and will again if the device is activated. The key to the machine is a malevolent earth elemental, served by “Pilot Demons” (Craft’s special addition to the Mythos), and should they succeed, the earth will once again be shrouded by a darkness deeper than dark. . .
(If you enjoyed this story, you may wish to take a look at Bryon Craft’s follow up, “Cthulhu’s Minions,” a novelette outing of these bizarre critters in a separate adventure, available
Anonymous on February 23, 2016