Chris has become obsessed with works of H. P. Lovecraft and the authors who've tried to emulate him, to the point that he couldn't get enough of it and started writing his own stories. However, all his work thus far has been rejected by publishers, so after sending off one last story, he seeks help from a support group for people like himself. On the way home from the meeting, Chris encounters a mythical being who tells him he absolutely cannot stop writing, and the reason he's given is truly a surprise to this aspiring writer.
"The Eldritch Pastiche from Beyond the Shadow of Horror" is a stand-alone short story about a guy named Chris, who has devoured all the works of H. P. Lovecraft and other similar authors. Yet he still couldn't get enough of this type of horror story, so he began writing them himself, only to have all of his efforts rejected by publishers. He decides to put an end to his obsession by going to a 12-step group for addicts of this literary style, but on his way home from the meeting, he's followed by a mythical entity who makes him an offer he cannot refuse.
I can't really say that I got a lot out of this story. I understood the basic gist of it, but since I've never read Lovecraft, all the specific references were completely lost on me. In fact, I felt like I was missing a lot throughout reading it. Since the main character shares a first name with the author, I can't help wondering if the story was meant in any way to poke fun at himself, but since I don't really know the author, I can't say. I was mildly amused by a guy who became so obsessed with this type of literature that he simply couldn't control himself anymore, and perhaps even more so by how the story ended up with his writing turning out to be pretty important after all. However, any small amount of enjoyment I felt wasn't enough to offset the sense of feeling lost and struggling to understand all the references. That said, though, a true fan of Lovecraftian writing would probably thoroughly enjoy it. "The Eldritch Pastiche from Beyond the Shadow of Horror" can be found in the anthology Blood Lite.
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