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posted by chromas on Friday August 24 2018, @05:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the into-the-darkness dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow4408

In the realm where science fiction, horror and fantasy meet lives the work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, who endures as one of the world's most imaginative writers. His mythos of interstellar deities and sinister forces has inspired generations of storytellers, with the word "Lovecraftian" used today to describe a specific, chilling tale. As with most people who are posthumously labeled geniuses in their fields, Lovecraft's work never took off during his short lifetime. Only after his death in 1937 did he gain the kind of popularity that's made him one of the most famous writers in the world.

[...] He created the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts, and the fictional Miskatonic University, which show up again and again in his stories about the Necronomicon, a forbidden book of dark magic, and the Old Ones — the most famous of which, Cthulhu, is practically a meme. His stories appeared in pulp magazines like Weird Tales, sometimes serialized, never particularly popular while he lived, and he died having used up the remains of an inheritance down to the last penny. He was a visionary (with, uh, documented racist views); his work was influenced by a post-World War I awareness of the horrors men can inflict on other men, which inspired his darkest, most chilling tales of murder, suspense, and otherworldly evil.

Lovecraft was a pioneer of the "speculative fiction" genre, and started the Cosmicism movement, which is marked by the belief that there are interstellar beings far outside the realm of human perception, and humans are an insignificant part of a very large, very terrifying universe. His narrators are unreliable, often addicted to substances, their minds altered and broken by the horrors they've witnessed. Lovecraft's work traditionally features humans catching glimpses of a bigger universe our minds were never built to comprehend.

If you've ever wanted to dip a toe into this universe but never knew where to start, we've compiled a list of Lovecraft's best, weirdest, and most iconic tales to keep you up at night, questioning the nature of what's real and what's just your imagination.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27 2018, @12:40AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27 2018, @12:40AM (#726748)

    '..but one of the prominent ones was that he'll spend the entire story building up to some awful monster, and you really want to know what kind of horror it could be, only to have the thing described as "indescribable."'

    seriously?, you wanted to be spoon-fed? Ok, maybe you should start on this guy's [] reworkings of the Old Gentleman's tales first..

    You're a WRITER. Describing things is your FUCKING JOB. Sheesh

    I think the point was he's setting up the scene for you to then use your frigging imagination...his mental idea of 'indescribable horror' might not be your mental idea of 'indescribable horror' which might not be mine.

    As I'm almost falling asleep (looking after a chronically Ill relative), I can't currently provide any good 'bad' examples of where the writer should have just stopped with the verbiage (in genre, picking up any Clive Barker book should provide you with at least a couple of examples of why writers should just stop when they're ahead..) though, having just watched both of these films again in the past week, I can throw up two appropriate examples from cinema of the mistake of 'describing the indescribable', the 'cartoony' ID monster in 'Forbidden Planet', closely followed by the 'Just a frigging awful puppet' Demon in 'Night of the Demon'. In both cases, though I'd have to dig through boxes of books to find the references, the writers didn't want the beasties to be visible, but the studios/producers insisted. The result? Risible monsters.

  • (Score: 2) by Kalas on Wednesday August 29 2018, @11:02PM

    by Kalas (4247) on Wednesday August 29 2018, @11:02PM (#728057)

    Well that sure was an interesting collection of art. []