Amph Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn: The works of H.P. Lovecraft

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by DorkmanScott, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Typically described as dark fantasy, the works of H.P. Lovecraft have inspired an entire generation of writers. In the same way that many writers have used the conceits of Greek mythology, and even the fantasy worlds of Tolkien to create medieval epics, Lovecraft's works -- in particular the so-called Cthulhu mythos (though Lovecraft never himself referred to them as such and Cthulhu, though the best-known, is not the most powerful in the terrible pantheon) -- have inspired an entire generation of horror and dark fantasy writers, some writing literally in the mythos itself, and others utilizing Lovecraft's style, flavor, or philosophy of a universe in which good and evil are purely concepts of limited human intelligence.

    My father was a huge fan of Lovecraft in his college days and when he found that I had a penchant for dark stories, he tried to introduce me to it. I was maybe 10 years old at the time and the writing was far too dense for me (not to mention that I didn't quite grasp the concept of expressionistic cover art, and became very confused in trying to relate what I was reading to the mostly unrelated images on the book's cover). But recently, looking for public domain works I can read on the computer at work, I've been reading Lovecraft's work, much of which is related by references to the Necronomicon, the Old Ones, the Great Ones, the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep (which appears in MANY of the stories, at least nominally), Cthulhu himself, and the high god of the void, Azathoth.

    If you haven't read Lovecraft, I highly recommend you do so. It's incredible stuff. Even today, some of the stories can get my heart racing. I can't even imagine how terrifying this must have been back in the 1920s when it was written.

    EDIT: For those who are unfamiliar with his works, the title of the thread translates from the language of the Old Ones to mean roughly "In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

    M. Scott
  2. Cobranaconda Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2004
    star 7
    I've read some of it, a good place for others to do so is DagonBytes. His writing is very good, although not quite up there with Poe in my opinion.

    Dorkman, you should have posted your Lovecraftian story :p
  3. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    The link I posted above is to Wikisource, which like DagonBytes has all the Lovecraft stories, but unlike DagonBytes is easy on the eyes. :p

    Since I wrote my story in ignorance of Lovecraft, I can't really post it here, but I have just posted it over at the Writer's Guild.

    M. Scott
  4. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Comparing Lovecraft to Poe is pretty useless, I think. Poe was a poet, a wordsmith. Lovecraft . . . well, he had a way with words -- a way of deliberately and ridiculously obfuscating to the point of driving the reader mad. ;) And they've got entirely different subject matter.
  5. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    i only heard about lovecraft through neil gaiman (dunno if anyone here is familiar with him) and i haven't read him so far. what do you recommend as a first reading?

    and the other thing that bothers me when i read: how do i pronounce cthulhu?
  6. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    It's pronounced "thool-ew" but you can throw a barely audible k onto the beginning and no one will mind.

    The best editions of Lovecraft are these volumes from Arkham House: The Dunwich Horror and Others; At the Mountains of Madness; and Dagon and Other Macabre Tales. These feature authoritative texts and a fine selection, as well as good production values. Probably the best place to start is with At the Mountains of Madness -- it contains that short novel, probably Lovecraft's best-known and most accessible, as well as several others. The other two collect many of his best stories -- read The Dunwich Horror before Dagon, though. They are a little pricey, but should be available from libraries, and used copies would be cheap.
  7. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    thank you! god, this has been bugging me for so long. *tries it tentatively* c-thool-ew... :D

    i'll look out for the books. it sounds interesting.
  8. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
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