Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday H.P. Lovecraft

The eldritch master himself, Howard Philips Lovecraft, was born today, one hundred and nineteen years ago, and imaginative fiction has never been the same since. Thank goodness.

Lovecraft was, in fact, largely responsible for shifting my own creative energy from acting in the theater, and illustrating, to writing fiction. I still vividly remember snatching up HPL's Del Rey paperback series, pictured here, with their brilliantly atmospheric Michael Whelan cover art. I was instantly hooked. Soon afterward, I even upgraded my Lovecraft collection with Arkham House hardcover first editions, which are still prominently displayed upon my bookshelf.

Never before, and perhaps never again, has there existed an author of such original terrifying cosmic power as H.P. Lovecraft. His is the long and ponderous shadow by which all modern horror writers are measured. There have been many times, I confess, when the heights of his imagination have left me with the feeling that my own work is quite insignificant. I love this guy.

Special thanks to my old pal, fellow Lovecraft enthusiast, and writer of the weird, Christopher Mills, for reminding me of the significance of August 20th. Otherwise, I would never have forgiven myself.


  1. I read a bunch of Lovecraft when I was ten or eleven and he scared my short pants off. I haven't returned since. I guess I should. I'm a big boy with big boy pants now.

  2. Great post! Thanks for adding another great author to my TBR list. Cheers!

  3. I too am a Lovecraft fan from my earliest days!

    I suspect the character of Johnny Littlejohn, one of Doc Savage's five aides, was based on Lovecraft. As I understand it, both men had similar speech patterns; they would "never use a one-syllable word if they could think of a five-syllable one". And the names are somewhat similar as well: Howard Phillips Lovecraft, William Harper Littlejohn.

  4. Well, I'll be superamalgamated!

    I never thought of that! HPL and Johnny rather physically resemble each other, too.

    Full marks, TotalToyz!