“The Dog Who Wished He’d Never Heard of Lovecraft”, by Anna Tambour

Let’s talk about women weird fiction writers again.

While impatiently waiting for She Walks in Shadows, I decided that I would go through my thankfully growing stack of women Lovecraftian types one more time to make way for the new bounty. I settled on “The Dog Who Wished He’d Never Heard of Lovecraft”, by the impeccable Anna Tambour.

Tambour’s writing is that hard-to-explain, genre busting, “yeah I want some more of that” prose, the kind you end up chasing and not even realizing it. This short story is no different. Let’s be honest, fans: have you ever tried to tell your friends about Lovecraft, only to watch their eyes roll up completely to view the back of their skull and their flesh melt away from sheer apathy? That’s exactly what this story describes in the best way–a faithful, loyal companion who grimly puts up with the most overwrought, copycat prose and poetry night after night from a rather inconsiderate friend.

I’m sure we’ve all been there, if not been that person. It’s okay to admit, were all writers here. And you’ll be glad when the sudden but inevitable tentacle’d doom is unleashed.

Tambour’s story is frankly hilarious, capturing the spirit and language of Lovecraft (the author, not the verb) in a wink-and-nod way to aficionados and bystanders alike. I love the way the story is segmented in different styles, from gloomy Gothic wannabe novel, to play, to silent film. Every section had me muttering softly, “oh my god” as I flashed back to writing groups and poetry classes filled with at least one person trying to imitate “Nyarlathotep” (“It’s supposed to be ironic!” I yelled. Cringe.).

If you’re ready to not take yourself very seriously at all, give it ago. And don’t forget to pick up your copy of She Walks in Shadows anthology right here!