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At the Mountains of Madness

An antecedent of our contemporary, highly-speculative ancient astronaut craze, this story perhaps best exemplifies Lovecraft’s worldview. The author wasn’t confined to dusty mansions with replete with vengeful spirits and family curses. The cosmos, for Lovecraft was the unfathomable void from which the most pure horrors emanated from. Many of his tales serve as a warning to those who uncover arcane knowledge or seek to continue forbidden research. For the characters in this work, the arctic yields evidence of extraterrestrial dread, that would confirm the idle speculation of many a modern pseudo archaeologist.

The Shadow over InnsMouth

Lovecraft’s observation of the deterioration of New England is manifested in this yarn of aquatic resurrections and anthropomorphic amphibious monstrosities. The writer had a decidedly antiquarian lean, and combining that with his raucous xenophobia resulted in one of his finest moments as a scribe of the weird. Acolytes who worship in the elder god cults often exhibit hideous mutations; alterations which are highly sought among Dagon’s priests, and they celebrate their abominable endowments in the ruins of puritan America.

The Call of Cthulhu

Being influenced by the apocalyptic romanticism of Lord Alford Tennyson’s The Kraken, The Call of Cthulhu is point of origin for the Cthulhu mythos. Lovecraft’s writing process was one of attrition and refinement. His earlier tale, Dagon, showcases the primordial components that were fleshed out to a more sophisticated result. All of the classic tropes of Providence’s favorite weird raconteur are here in all of their tentacular glory: strange letters of an agitated scholar discovered by a curious relative, fanatical cults writhing in an end-times frenzy, and of course, the titular old one; surfacing from beneath the vast chasm of time and space.