Eighteen fantastic stories, including parodies, inspired by horrormeister H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Some are reprints from earlier Lovecraftian anthologies, but most come from original magazines, rare limited-edition chapbooks, and one from an ephemeral convention program guide. Editor Turner describes the Providence recluse, whose fame arose decades after his death, as a fantasist of cosmic wonder, a scientific materialist indifferent to the cosmos-at-large, and an atheist who nonetheless expressed fervent feelings of ""mystic adventurous expectancy."" Turner has the great good wisdom to kick off his collection with F. Paul Wilson's wonderfully mellow ""The Barrens,"" about the Piney Lights and the Jersey Devil that haunt the huge New Jersey pine barrens and grant the reader a creepy backwoods entry beyond the veil. In Lawrence Watt-Evans's ""Pickman's Modem,"" an astral modern rewrites a bad speller's prose, goes off into tirades ""of stupendous fury and venom,"" and may well have fed Pickman--the bad speller himself--live to the Internet. Kim Newman's ""The Big Fish"" mixes Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep with Lovecraftian slime, a vicious mermaid, and the Deep Ones of the Cthulhu Mythos. In her inspired hallucinatory Early Neon style, Poppy Z. Brite's ""His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood"" tells of two New Orleans decadents who've come into 50 outlawed bottles of absinthe and are at wits' end for some new perversion: They open their own personal museum or charnel house for holding the severed head of one of their mothers, stolen eyeballs, withered hands and heads, and a voodoo fetish that just happens to be a pettish vampire's lost canine tooth . . . which he wants back. Also outstanding: T.E.D. Klein's velvet ""Black Man with a Horn"" and Roger Zelazny's delicate ""24 Views of Mt. Fuji, by Hokusai."" Not a dead page in this sinless sheaf. Does Arkham and Lovecraft proud--and may Arkham someday reprint its first book ever, Lovecrafi's omnibus The Outsider.