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Sha`Daa : Tales of the Apocalypse
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2010

Format: Book
By:   Michael Hanson
Genre:   Horror / sci-fi
Review Date:   August 13, 2010
RevSF Rating:   7/10 (What Is This?)

"He was headed towards the high stakes craps tables when he saw four demons hanging over there. They were screaming "Box Cars" and didn't seem worried that their true forms were showing." -- Jamie Schmidt, "Breaking Even"

Sha'Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse is a shared world anthology about unspeakable horrors stopping by the world, and the people who fight and get eaten by them.

Pretty much anyone can write a Cthulhu story. Almost everyone has. But don't tell them I said that, because I fear their wrath under a gibbous moon.

Sha-Daa is Lovecraftian, yes. It has the Mythos tropes, the monsters with the coming to our dimension, the overpowering and the consuming. My favorite thing about these stories is that the good guys might win. Cthulhu stuff is all about how puny humans can't succeed, and the best they can hope for is to go crazy first.

In these stories, there's a general sense of optimism. The protagonists don't always win. But they have a shot.

In Mythos stories, the monsters are unnameable and unknowable and beyond our understanding. But here, the very first chapter has two Sha'Daa hanging out. Chatting. Chilling out in the multiverse, talking about what crazy hijinks they're up to.

I have some concerns. There are too few commas. "Toby don't" is just not right. It should be "Toby, don't." Unless the complete sentence is, "Toby don't got no time to put in commas."

The "Sha'Daa" name is a perpetrator of the dusty, moldy writing hangup of apostrophes to make names look alien. It probably sounds like "shadow." But I want to pronounce it like "Ta-Da!"

Sha'Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse has a mix of action, horror, and funny stuff. The Lovecraftian genre makes it familiar, but it's different from the ruts those stories dig. That makes it worth checking out.

Here's the Sha`Daa book site. RevolutionSF's Joe Crowe is from Alabama, so he knows all about the unspeakable.

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