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Tombcool
21-08-08, 03:54
H.P. Lovecraft has recently become my new favourite author after I read many of his short yet extremely intelligent and horrific short stories (and a novel he did with August Derleth entitled The Lurker at the Threshold). Is there anyone else here who is also a fan of his works?

I think his stories are full of so much atmosphere, and they are probably the only ones that have actually succeeded in scaring me.

If no one has read his stuff, I would highly suggest first picking up the novel The Lurker at the Threshold then the book The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. You can also read many of his short stories online here if you don't want to buy the book that has them:
http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/

I recently read "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and his Family" which wasn't really scary, but it did freak me out.

silver_wolf
21-08-08, 04:32
I never read the guy, but I am a fan if that makes sense.

Tombcool
21-08-08, 04:40
Well, I did mean fan of his written stuff. :p

Tyrannosaurus
21-08-08, 04:50
I like The Outsider, The Picture in the House, and The Nameless City myself. I haven't read all of his stuff, but I do have one volume of his work, and more of his partner in crime, R. E. Howard.

T.rex is a pretty Lovecraftian deity, if I might say so myself. Mysterious, powerful, prehistoric, dead and dreaming . . .

Kamrusepas
21-08-08, 06:50
Definitely. My favorite story has to be The Shadow Over Innsmouth for it's incredibly dark and pressuring mood :D Well I love every Cthulhu -story of his. Actually my next tattoo will be related to the mythos :D

Survival
21-08-08, 07:53
My favourite horror writer... I read everything he wrote and got published :tmb:

My favourite story has to be a "Colours from Space" - sorry if thatīs not the exact title but I only remember it in czech.

Voni
21-08-08, 07:57
I keep meaning to pick up some of his stuff. As a horror fan, it's disgusting I've not read any of his work yet!

silver_wolf
21-08-08, 07:59
Is his work genuinely frightening? I've yet to read a book that gives me the willies.

oculi
21-08-08, 08:13
Absolutely, i read "the reanimator" or somethign similar that was great, love the universe/mythos he and others invented too.

Must look for more of his stuff

Kamrusepas
21-08-08, 08:52
I keep meaning to pick up some of his stuff. As a horror fan, it's disgusting I've not read any of his work yet!

Shame on you, filthy girl :D

Voni
21-08-08, 10:52
Shame on you, filthy girl :D

I know, I'm ashamed of myself! *Hangs head in shame*.

Where should I start? Payday tomorrow, I could grab a book off Amazon...

Elysia
21-08-08, 11:30
*tiptoes in clutching her cuddly cthulhu and grins...*

HP Lovecraft? I *might* have heard of the bloke... :p

Voni
21-08-08, 11:32
*tiptoes in clutching her cuddly cthulhu and grins...*

HP Lovecraft? I *might* have heard of the bloke... :p

I wondered when you were going to show up! :p

Elysia
21-08-08, 15:55
I wondered when you were going to show up! :p
*grins*

Let's just say that I have a slightly scary collection of Lovecraft miscellanea, ranging from books to DVDs to toys to slightly bizarre card games....

Tyrannosaurus
21-08-08, 19:42
I'm remembering that hilarious line from the first Doom novel:

"Who, I wanted to know, was H. P. Lovecraft, and if he had anything to do with this, I wanted to punch his lights out."

TombRaiderLover
21-08-08, 19:56
"You killed him,"

"No. I gave him life."

:p

Endow
21-08-08, 23:41
I never read the guy, but I am a fan if that makes sense.

Same. His influence in some of my favourite movies and games and art is pretty big.

Ward Dragon
21-08-08, 23:45
I'm remembering that hilarious line from the first Doom novel:

"Who, I wanted to know, was H. P. Lovecraft, and if he had anything to do with this, I wanted to punch his lights out."

:vlol:

Same. His influence in some of my favourite movies and games and art is pretty big.

Same here. I haven't directly read anything of his, but apparently a lot of stories I like were influenced by his work.

Tombcool
21-08-08, 23:57
Didn't expect to see many fans! I am a new fan, so I don't know a lot. :ton:


Where should I start? Payday tomorrow, I could grab a book off Amazon...I would suggest getting his book, "The Call of Cthulthu and Other Weird Stories", it has all his most popular stuff (and of course lots of others), plus if you don't get any of the short stories, there is a giant explanation section in the back.

There was only one story I didn't get (so far), was "Nyarlathotep" (even after reading the explanation).

Is his work genuinely frightening? I've yet to read a book that gives me the willies.


Well, I think is frightening in the way of atmosphere. A lot of people at my school have read his stuff and think it is cliched, which is absolutely absurd. In no way is it cliched, and they also need to think that the stories were written a long time ago.

*grins*

Let's just say that I have a slightly scary collection of Lovecraft miscellanea, ranging from books to DVDs to toys to slightly bizarre card games....

Seeing from your avatar, I wouldn't be surprised. :ton: Have you played the game "The Call of Cthulthu: Dark Corners of The Earth"? I beat it twice and I still think its great. Although the stealth system is a little bland and buggy.

Elysia
22-08-08, 10:00
Seeing from your avatar, I wouldn't be surprised. :ton: Have you played the game "The Call of Cthulthu: Dark Corners of The Earth"? I beat it twice and I still think its great. Although the stealth system is a little bland and buggy.
I haven't played that one (if that's the more recent one... I looked at it, but my crappy old PC won't run it!). I have, however, played a hell of a lot of Lovecraft inspired games, including the tabletop roleplaying game (we didn't play it for too long, because my Lovecraft knowledge was waaaaaaaay ahead of our DM's and I spent the entire time giggling through it - a fan I may be, but I am not immune to taking the mick where HP's obsession with 'un-nameable horrors... that all have tentacles and vaguely resemble cuttlefish' gets too much!). I am also writing my own Lovecraft-inspired novel, and Spawn's (yes, I gave my unborn child a Lovecraftian nickname!) first teddy is an orange cuddly squid... :p.

For those who want a good grounding in Lovecraft - I started with the Dunwich Horror (in a horror compilation I have) when I was a teenager - I then bought the compilation Crawling Chaos, which has a good range of his stories. I then got a three volume compilation which essentially has every single thing he published, including a few unfinished stories. From Lovecraft, I got into Arthur Machen and Clark Ashton Smith (people who also wrote for the Cthulhu Mythos), and I also have quite a few of the modern Cthulhu Mythos books published by Chaosium - they're okay, but not as good as Lovecraft's own work (the main author of those is Lin Carter). Richard Shaver, although not a Cthulhu Mythos writer, is also worth a good look at because he writes about similar themes (although his stuff is arguably even more bonkers because he believed everything he wrote was all true... :D His Lemurians in 'I Remember Lemuria' are very similar to the 'Elder Things' in Lovecraft's 'At The Mountains of Madness').

Good stories (okay, ones I like!!) include Call of the Cthulhu (well, duh... :p), Dreams in the Witch House (a very influential story on my own fiction and also inspired the only Graham Masterton book I actually like - Prey), The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Shadow Out of Time, The Colour Out of Space, The Hound (I teach parts of this for my Gothic Horror scheme of work), At the Mountains of Madness (just bloody brilliant!), The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Music of Erich Zann, The Rats in the Walls, The Dunwich Horror... I could go on! Although The Horror at Red Hook is a bit of an uncomfortable read for a modern audience (it's basically Lovecraft being a dreadful racist), the themes of ancient, forbidden lore and religions surviving in secret to modern times is nonetheless interesting and has influenced my own writing as well (although my 'cult' aren't a bunch of 'degenerate foreigners'!).

If you can, getting hold of a copy of the film version of The Call of Cthulhu is well worth it - it's a silent movie made in 2005 by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and is the most faithful adaptation I have ever seen of a Lovecraft story (it comes complete with a mad Ray Harryhausen-esque Cthulhu at the end - it's simply brilliant!!). The film Dagon (basically the Shadow Over Innsmouth set in modern times) is also quite good... not excellent, but for a Lovecraft adaptation, not bad (if a bit gory in places). Obviously there is also Re-Animator, but that's really only a loose adaptation and not really something I personally rate as a piece of Lovecraftian cinema. Ironically, Hellboy - although not strictly a piece of the Cthulhu Mythos, is wonderfully Lovecraftian in influence and tone and is now one of my favourite films.

*looks around guiltily and slopes off to her own little slightly obsessively nerdish corner, clutching her Cuddly Cthulhu close...*

Naomichi
22-08-08, 10:28
To add to Elysia's rather exhaustive list I will also point out Neil Gaiman's 'Only the End of the World Again', avaliable in both graphic novel and as a short story in his Smoke and Mirrors collection. ;)

Elysia
22-08-08, 12:01
One thing I love about Lovecraft is that his concepts don't disappoint - how many times have you read a plot synopsis for a horror or supernatural book and thought 'whoa - that looks so cool!' only to read it and be totally and utterly disappointed by its lack of imagination and anything truly 'weird'? Or, indeed, started reading a book that has promise, only for the ending to let you down (Stephen King's IT leaps to mind!)? With Lovecraft, his creations are truly alien, weird and terrifying - I love the fact that there are no happy endings, and that everyone ends up going mad or killing themselves or the like, creating a really unsettling 'there really is no way of stopping this, is there?' feeling to his works. Having mentioned Stephen King, ironically my favourite work by him is (and always has been) The Mist - the most Lovecraftian of all his tales!

I adore the way Lovecraft doesn't try to tie everything up at the end in a neat little package - he leaves things to your imagination in a way that acknowledges his reader's intelligence and allows you to think beyond what he has written upon the page. The fact that he also tries to ground his mythos in mathematics (he was one of the first horror / supernatural writers to bring the concept of mathematics and geometry into play with regards to accessing other dimensions - something that the old magicians and mages of yore had been doing for centuries before) and, whilst his Great Old Ones and Elder Gods are by no means nice creations, he doesn't say 'these things are EVIL and therefore BAD!' - he essentially says 'these things are different - they play by different rules, and whilst they are undoubtedly not beneficial to humankind, they are so beyond our comprehension, we have no way of actually judging them by our own moral codes, meaning we are essentially helpless before them: we can't hope to 'understand' them and their motivations, so we can't bargain with them, and therefore if they do break loose, we're basically screwed!' - it is this hopelessness that infuses his works that makes them really quite terrifying! He takes our fear of the unknown and manipulates that in a way a lot of other horror writers simply don't (or can't...) - I can quite honestly say that he is literally the only horror writer out there who hasn't disappointed me with regards to his wonderfully imaginative creations - one thing I always find when watching or reading supernatural horror is that what is in my own head is invariably far more terrifying than what is on the page or screen and so I am always left disappointed - I remember looking at the lurid artwork for films like the Evil Dead (don't get me wrong - I love that film! - but it wasn't what I had built it up to be in my head when I eventually watched it) and the sombre, chilling reputation of the Exorcist and builing these things up to huge monoliths of imaginative, truly weird horror, only to be *really* let down with the reality of it all. Lovecraft, however, never did that - Cthulhu, Tsathoggua, Dagon, Nyarlathotep... these creations managed to retain their sense of mystery and horror all the way through his works, mainly because he didn't feel the need to lay everything out for his audience. You only glimpsed the horrors, allowing you to fill in the blanks yourself and create a very real sense of dread and fear... these things scare us because we still don't really know what they are and what they want from us!