Any Lovecraft Fans? General Chat 

Franco Pinion

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Jun 8, 2020
Today 11:02 AM
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My mate has been telling me for years that I should read some of his stuff but I never got round to it. However, today I started listening to a BBC adaptation of The Whisperer in Darkness on the BBC Sounds app (which I would highly recommend) and I got instantly sucked in by the Elder Things/Gods mythos.

I fancy giving his stuff a go but would like to discover more about Nyarlathotep and Azathoth and the like after what I listened to today.

Any recommendations on where I should start and stories I really shouldn't miss or stuff by other authors on the subject?
 

Mendalla

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Aug 29, 2020
Today 6:02 AM
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One thing you will likely hear fairly quickly these days is that he was notoriously racist and bigoted in general, even by the standards of his day. It shows in his stories many times. Just a warning. It has not soured me on his writing and I still enjoy most of his stories (The Horror at Red Hook and few others that are particularly egregious are now generally avoided).

The Colour Out of Space remains my favorite of his stories. A seminal work of s-f-horror and touches on many of his usual themes but without the plethora of names and books and other elements of what we now call the Cthulhu Mythos. There was a new, but not entirely faithful, film version recently starring Nicholas Cage.

Whisperer is another good one so I'm glad you found it. I tend to think of it as a 1920s X-Files story.

At the Mountains of Madness is a good short novel that is the spiritual ancestor of John Campbell's Who Goes There? and the movies based on it, e.g. John Carpenter's The Thing.

If you're after Mythos stuff, then The Call of Cthulhu for sure. It pretty much set the stage for the Mythos as we know it.

If you want to try his Dreamlands stories, fantasies inspired by Lord Dunsany, then some of the short stories are best to start. Celephais, The Cats of Ulthar, and others capture the mood. If you find you enjoy them, then the novel-length work The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath is work a read but it can be a bit of a slog if you're not into the Dreamlands stories already.
 
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Mendalla

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Aug 29, 2020
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stuff by other authors on the subject?

Well, if you're British like most people on here, the UK's Ramsey Campbell is pretty much the gold standard for Mythos fiction over the last 50 or so years. Still going strong. Back in the eighties he did a collection of just Mythos stories called Cold Print but it is likely long out of print. Any good collection of his fiction will likely contain some Mythos stories. He also completed a trilogy of Mythos novels for Flame Tree Press in the past couple years.

That said, Campbell is a brilliant writer in his own right and if you like well-written horror that is creepy and sometimes disturbing, he's your man.
 
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Sad Professor

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Jun 13, 2020
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Before you jump in you probably need some background/context. He was born in Providence New England late 19th Century to an old New England family. As a young boy his father was detained in the Butler County Asylum with Syphillitic insanity, leaving HPL to look after his black labrador nigger. His father never came home.

His mother (also insane with syphiliis) insisted that he was home schooled by his racist grandfather Whipple Van Buren Phillips, an obsessive bigot who believed that the emancipation of the slaves had been a bad thing, and so had the American Revolution, He wanted America to re-join the British Empire

His mother dressed him in his dead, mad father's clothes, and forebade him to have friends. He had lots of pen pals, including Robert Bloch who based the character of Norman Bates on HPL's relationship with his mad mother. His mother also died in the Butler County Asylum, which HPL used as the inspiration for Arkham Asylum

Any of this stories from his period will reflect HPL's racist upbringing

With his mother dead HPL moved to Red Hook in Brooklyn, where he married a Jewish immigrant. His views changed a lot in this period, and he becomes more conventionally liberal. Some of his books do still play on racist ideas of miscegenation - Horror of Red Hook, Shadow Over Innsmouth. If you want to understand how a nation of immigrants hates immigrants HPLs tales from this period are a good starting point

His marriage breaks down and he moves back to Providence, where he lives with a sickly aunt in poverty. He becomes increasingly critical of American Conservatism in this stage of life. His only longer work "Mountains of Madness" is published which earns him some money. One of this other pen pals Robert Howard (Author of Conan) wrote to him complaining of depression, HPLs return letter was so grim that Howard shot himself with a shotgun.

Both he and his aunt are diagnosed with cancer. The royalties for Mountains of Madness were only enough to buy one course of treatment and he chose his aunt over himself. He died aged 46 of bowl cancer - the cancer destroyed his ability to absorb nutrition and he starved to death.

Have fun!
 
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8-Ball

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Aug 4, 2020
Today 11:02 AM
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My mate has been telling me for years that I should read some of his stuff but I never got round to it. However, today I started listening to a BBC adaptation of The Whisperer in Darkness on the BBC Sounds app (which I would highly recommend) and I got instantly sucked in by the Elder Things/Gods mythos.
The chap who wrote the BBC series has some other stories on SoundCloud, not all Lovecraftian, but very good:

 
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Son Of Jack

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Jun 12, 2020
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The chap who wrote the BBC series has some other stories on SoundCloud, not all Lovecraftian, but very good
They are. Plus, there's bits and pieces from those standalone BBC dramas from a while back that crop up in the Lovecraft podcasts like little Easter eggs - Pleasant Green, the Blake House murders. He's developed his own mythos, and the podcasts are blending that with the Lovecraft one. Excellent stuff.
 
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Cherub

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Jun 6, 2020
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I read Lovecraft omnibuses on my Kindle a few years ago. There were 3 of them. A mixture of total fantasy set in far-off fantasy dream-lands (Polaris, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, The Cats of Ulthar), and a more earth-bound mythology based around New England (The Call of Cthulhu, The Rats in the Walls, The Colour out of Space). I found the latter more horrifying, and IIRC it was Omnibus 3 that focussed on this type of stuff.

All three had classic stories in them so I can't really recommend one over the other but particular stories I loved were:

Dreams in the Witch House
Pickman's Model
At the Mountains of Madness
The Dunwich Horror
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour Out of Space
 
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