Aaron J. French has a long track-record as a successful editor, with many years of experience working with NY Times bestselling authors and well-known figures in the film and art worlds. He is best known for editing several popular anthologies, including the Bram Stoker and British Fantasy Award-nominated There Is No Death, There Are No Dead, The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft, The Demons of King Solomon, Songs of the Satyrs, and the Monk Punk & Shadow of the Unknown Omnibus. He is also a scholar of religions and esotericism working in Germany.

The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft edited by Aaron J. French

The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft: a brand new anthology that collects the twelve principal deities of the Lovecraftian Mythos and sets them loose within its pages. Featuring the biggest names in horror and dark fantasy, including many NY Times bestsellers, full of original fiction and artwork, and individual commentary on each of the deities by Donald Tyson.

Lovecraft's bestiary of gods has had a major influence on the horror scene from the time these sacred names were first evoked. Cthulhu, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth—this pantheon of the horrific calls to mind the very worst of cosmic nightmares and the very darkest signs of human nature. The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft brings together twelve all-new Mythos tales from:

Cthulhu (Adam Nevill) – Yog-Sothoth (Martha Wells) – Azathoth (Laird Barron) – Nyarlathotep (Bentley Little) – Shub-Niggurath (David Liss) – Tsathoggua (Brett Talley) – The Mi-Go (Christopher Golden & James A. Moore) – Night-gaunts (Jonathan Maberry) – Elder Things (Joe Lansdale) – Great Race (Rachel Caine) – Yig (Douglas Wynne) – The Deep Ones (Seanan McGuire)



  • "...memorable [and] well-written."

    – Readers’ Favorite
  • "[A] book that serves as an excellent introduction to the Mythos for novices but that also will be grabbed up by Lovecraft enthusiasts, who will love seeing their beloved cosmic horror deities of the past being reinterpreted by some of their favorite writers of today.... This is must for all horror collections."

    – Booklist (starred review)



Upon sand the colour of rust and beneath a sulphur sky, a great shape stretched the length of a long, flat beach. Black salt water slapped the grey mass of lifeless flesh and cloaked the corpse with foam. Embedded haphazardly about the vast bulk were scores of milky eyes that stared at nothing. In the far distance, unto the reddish headlands at either end of the shore, the body remained shiny where unbroken, and pulpy where deterioration had ulcerated the smooth flanks.

In the yolky light that fell through thickening, stationary clouds obscuring the sun, a long beak was visible, lined with small killer whale teeth that always seemed to suggest a smile. What might have been a great fin, or flipper, was as ragged as a main sail hit by grape shot, but still pointed at the heavens. In other places, on a shoreline that might have bordered an empty lake on Mars, long pellucid protrusions of jelly streaked the sand, as if the wall of flesh had been disembowelled during a battle of leviathans in the lightless depths of the black ocean. It may merely have rolled upon another vast form and squashed it, or perhaps the mostly transparent tendrils were a part of the corpse. Cleo could not tell. No birds dropped and alighted around this fallen giant. Or was this thing only a substance improperly formed and cast from the ocean as flotsam?

Her appalled study of the thing occurred upon a shore she now recognised as the old esplanade of Paignton. A place as much transformed as the atmosphere, ocean and colour of the sand. When she realised that her inquiry into what it was, and where she was, was less significant than when this was happening, Cleo noticed that she was no longer alone on the beach.

Behind some dark, red rocks, a few hundred feet away from where she stood gaping, two black, whiskered heads appeared. They were as sleek as seals, but upon the necks of creatures with shoulders and arms.

She moved away about as fast as one can move on loose sand in a dream, which was not fast or far, all the time looking over her shoulder at the rocks. The heads disappeared only to reappear closer to her position, and beside a wall as waterworn as a pebble. The black things behind the rocks raised their snouts in the way of dogs detecting the fragrance of food.

Somewhere behind the long headland of rubble and red rock at the rear of the beach, a great shriek rent the air; air in which not a single seabird was visible. A terrible whimpering followed the roar, issued from a second party. The cry of distress broke a piece from Cleo's heart. Beyond the rocks, the dull thump of a heavy body thrown to the ground could be felt through the vibrations of the impact as much as heard. What sounded like the breaking of the great woody limbs of a tree, amidst a series of excited shrieks, reinforced her belief that something large was being put to death by something both larger and fiercer than itself.

The thing she then ran over felt crispy beneath her feet and recoiled into itself as she trod it deeper into the sand. She looked down and a face that she was sure had once been human peered at her, but only briefly. The expression was that of a living thing reaching the end of a deep suffering, and an all-too-human mouth gasped and gulped at the air, pinkish gills fluttering in an increasingly transparent neck. The long and now bleaching body beneath the face was that of a seahorse. The spiny tail flicked hopelessly in the sand.

Cleo let forth a sob and wished, madly, to crush this delicate head with a rock to end its misery, but her own pursuers had drawn closer and now seemed to be leaning over their rocky perches and hissing as her panic and weariness increased.

The way ahead was barred by the mottled trunk or appendage, white-spotted by disease, that had been flung up the beach from the great, dead bulk at the shoreline.

Cleo's belief that her attempt to escape in any direction would be futile was horribly complemented by an instinctive assurance that her end in the sand would not come easy. And among the corpses on the beach, and amidst the audible splinterings of bone behind the seawall of rubble, she understood that in this place this was the way of things. Her realisation of such was the worst thing of all.