Eighteen fantastic stories, including parodies, inspired by horrormeister H.P. Lovecraft (18901937). 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 modem rewrites a bad speller's prose, goes off into tirades ``of stupendous fury and venom,'' and may well have fed Pickmanthe bad speller himselflive 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, Lovecraft's omnibus The Outsider.