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A seventeen-year-old freelance writer and professional editor, Jake J. Johnson is not using a pseudonym. Starting to read at any early age, he built up college-level reading comprehension on a steady diet of imaginative SF and horror before entering high school. It was around this time that he discovered a talent for writing, and, shortly thereafter, another for editing.
He is rather disenchanted by novels which appear in English curricula, and much prefers newer, original stories created using recent media. For example, the interactive stories told through the video games “The Stanley Parable” and “Dear Esther”, the concept of the “light novel”, and the community-told story of “The Fear Mythos”. He much prefers looking to the future to studying the past.
His favorite novel is both Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash” and Lawrence Miles' "This Town Will Never Let Us Go", and his favorite short story is Isaac Asimov’s “The Last Question”.
His ultimate goal is to become an anthology and manuscript editor at ACE, ROC, TOR, or DAW. For now, he's content with gaining a hold on the world of publishing.
on Sep. 13, 2012 :
I picked this up because I am a fan of Lovecraft's writing, and always love to see what other people are producing in the genre. I got to set the price for this on Smashwords, so I set it at a simple $2.99 because I thought I would at least be getting my money's worth. I was wrong, and ended up ripping myself off.
I was interested in seeing Jake Johnson, a sixteen year old published author. I was let down because he has no stories in this collection, and instead was just the head editor. Still, I decided to have a read anyway and see where they would take me.
The first story is more of a poem. “Dread Tale” by Mike Jansen is short, simple, and actually not too bad. I enjoyed it despite how short it was even though the ending was a bit...cliche, it was a good piece of flash fiction.
“The Done Witch Horror” by John H. Dromey felt like incomplete fiction to me. It was almost as if the story got cut off or was the first chapter of a novel rather than a shorter piece. I personally would have loved to see more, as this story hooked my interest. Sadly, it ended before I could really enjoy it.
"Arden Bluff" by Rick McQuiston is the longest piece in this anthology. I tried to enjoy this story. I really honestly tried, but it put me to sleep six times and took me two days to read. I struggled with this one. It's Christian Lovecraft, which I find interesting and those elements were new and facinating in the story. However, Mr. McQuiston has a terrible issue with run on sentances and the use of commas. He also tends to contradict himself when describing action. One of his characters is near death and dragging themselves along, then is suddenly running around before once again crawling. Combined with his run on sentances and over-done descriptions, I couldn't enjoy this story.
“Sitting, Waiting” by Jon Chan was an alright story, with a good amount of tension. It creates a good amount of interest and was fairly interesting.
“Memories of Inhuman Nature” by Rick McQuiston was not half bad. The concept was interesting, the story itself had the right amount of action, and all in all the rising action was fairly well done. However there seemed to be little to no climax to the entire story.
“The Fun Guy from Yoghurt” by John H. Dromey was interesting. Though short, it was really interesting. The right amount of mystery, the right amount of dialogue and characterization. All in all well put together and well executed. Possibly the best story in this collection.
“SHUB” is by David Perlmutter was...odd. Anthropormorphised characters from Lovecraft's mythos existing in a real world situation...well, real world if it included a Roger Rabbit type section of toonstyle life. I can admit, not my flavor, but the story wasn't half bad. The ending however, did feel a bit rushed and blown over. There wasn't any satisfaction to it, and it happens almost in an eyeblink.
Lastly, this anthology has more than its fair share of editing problems. There were times where I caught words that were supposed to be other words, spacings that weren't done right, and the above mentioned run on sentances. (in now way did Rick McQuiston have the only ones, he just had the most by far)
Another issue was the Lovecraft stories that were linked at the end of most of the stories. Jake included these to "illustrate the connections." between Lovecraft's stories and the ones presented in the books. Unfortunatly, (and even admitted at one point) those connections are minor at best. Personally, the people who purchase anthologies like this are already familiar with Lovecraft's works and thus don't need these links.
In the end, I don't recommend this to anyone who isn't a Lovecraft fan. If you are, then pick this up, though I recommend you do not pay as high as I did for this collection. There are elements collected here that are interesting, but the execution could have been a lot better, as could the editing.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)