The Elder Ice

A couple of months back, I read the Cthulhu Mythos related fiction of David Hambling.

I’ve liked Hambling’s science column in the Fortean Times for years, and I enjoyed his non-fiction look at technological spinoffs from weapons research, Weapons Grade. So, I was intrigued when I found out he had turned to fiction.

So, I decided to do a rare bit of impulse reading and bought and read Hambling’s three fiction titles. I was not disappointed, and I’ll be doing short reviews of each.

Review: The Elder Ice, David Hambling, 2014.The Elder Ice

Hambling’s takeoff on H. P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness”.

He keeps the charming 1920s setting but moves the story to Norwood, South London (Hambling’s residence). He works in real history from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s doomed polar expedition and his family history, forteana (of course), and actual science (tardigrades, i.e. “water bears”, before they got their recent headlines), but, while Lovecraft’s story is the inspiration, the plot and characters decidedly are not a recapitulation.

Narrator Harry Stubbs is literate but no professor or bookish recluse. An ex-boxer and veteran of World War One, he works as a bill collector and process server for a London law firm. A partner has taken an interest in his career and expects Harry to write up reports of his activities in a style inspired by Kipling or H. Rider Haggard.

Harry can be a bit naïve at times but hardy and persistent. Cosmic horror rubs elbows with Harry’s near criminal associate, the Consignment Man. Hambling also brings in some British political anxieties of the time.

Definitely recommended.


More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.



12 thoughts on “The Elder Ice

  1. David Hambling March 24, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    Glad you liked it, many thanks for the kind review. Let me know if you’d like a review copy of the sequel (“Broken Meats”) or my collection of Mythos tales (“The Dulwich Horror And Others”).

  2. marzaat March 24, 2016 / 5:43 pm

    Thanks for the comment and for the offer of the review copies, Mr. Hambling.
    I’ve already purchased and read your other two Lovecraftian titles and will be reviewing then,
    I also hope to do a longer appreciation piece for another outlet or my blog. I think you did some interesting and innovative stuff in these stories.

    • David Hambling December 13, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      How do you feel about having a character named after you?

      • marzaat December 13, 2016 / 6:27 pm

        Who could object to having a character named after them? I certainly don’t

      • David Hambling December 14, 2016 / 12:32 pm

        They might die horribly 😉

      • marzaat December 15, 2016 / 6:01 pm

        I can only hope it’s in the horrible style of the last page of every issue of the Fortean Times.

  3. davidhambling February 13, 2017 / 4:45 am

    “Alien Stars” is going through the Kindle publishing process so should be out shortly — and there will be a giveaway on Saturday so you can get it for free. There is a character whose name (but no other characteristics) somewhat resembles yours…

    • marzaat February 13, 2017 / 6:53 am

      Thanks very much for the update. I’ll definitely get a copy.

  4. Pingback: South – MarzAat

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