The Private Life of Elder Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald and Adam Gauntlett. Book review

The Private Life of Elder Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Keris McDonald and Adam Gauntlett , Alchemy Press 2016

Reviewed by Shona Kinsella

As is cleverly hinted at in the title, The Private Life of Elder Things is a collection of short stories in the style of HP Lovecraft. I was surprised to see Adrian Tchaikovsky’s name on this book as I associate him more with science fiction. I’m pleased to say that he’s just as skilled with horror.

This is a really well-written collection, in many ways updating some of Lovecraft’s original stories. I really appreciated the notes at the end of the book that explained the authors’ inspiration for each story and how it related to the mythos.

My favourite of the stories was The Branch Line Repairmen by Adrian Tchaikovsky, but it was hard to narrow it down to one. This story takes place in and under the London Underground, where repairs have been taking place over an extended period of time and the repairmen on the deeper works are strangely similar.

I also especially enjoyed Pitter Patter by Adam Gauntlett and The Play’s the Thing by Keris McDonald. The writing from these two authors was of such a high standard as to make me seek out more of their work and add them to my ever-growing TBR list.

I highly recommend this book to any lovers of Lovecraftian fiction, or even just those who enjoy some well-crafted short stories.