I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When a writer is murdered at the Summer Tentacular, the annual Providence-based HP Lovecraft convention, Colleen Danzig plumbs the depths of the assembled fandom to find his killer. Can she stay alive long enough to find the murderer?
I Am Providence is a murder mystery set at an HP Lovecraft convention. It shows the dark underbelly of fandom, putting the fans under the microscope.
Colleen Danzig, the plucky heroine, goes through quite a bit of hell over the course of the book, both in her sleuthing and in the way fandom sometimes treats women in general. The other patrons of the convention remind me all too much of the kind of vocal fans one finds online.
The plot was very serpentine, or squamous, I guess. I had no idea who the killer was up until the end. Mamatas threw a barrel's worth of red herrings into the mix.
I really liked the parallel structure of the book, alternating between Colleen's point of view and that of the murder victim as his body decayed on a slab at the morgue. While free of Lovecraftian beasties, the book still had a undercurrent of nihilism and cosmic horror throughout.
I guess my only gripe would be that I didn't care for the ending. However, it rang true to most Lovecraft endings so it was pretty fitting.
With I Am Providence, Nick Mamatas tears the face off of Lovecraftian fandom and shows what lies beneath, warts and all. Four out of five stars.
View all my reviews