H.P. Lovecraft

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MorkTheFiddle
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H.P. Lovecraft

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Apr 20, 2024 10:02 pm

Is this a suitable question for this forum?
I like science fiction, but have never read one of its most famous writers, H. P. Lovecraft.
Can anyone recommend a good book to start with? English, Spanish, or French?
If this is not the right forum, I am prepared to endure a 100 lashes with a wet noodle as punishment. :roll:
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Re: H.P. Lovecraft

Postby themethod » Sat Apr 20, 2024 10:19 pm

You can usually find collections of his works in various formats and organizations in English, often for quite cheap. Most of his stories are pretty short.

I haven't read all of his stuff but a couple I'm partial to are The Shadow Over Innsmouth and A Colour Out of Space. I'd say The Call of Cthulhu is also worth reading if only for the influence that it has on the genre and popular culture.

By the way, there isn't a lot of straight "science fiction" in Lovecraft's works, though there is sometimes a "cosmic" element (including in two of the stories above) where things from other planets or dimensions are mentioned.

Edited to add: In general, I think it's best to read authors in their original language, if you know it, and in Lovecraft's case I'd point out that he has a particular New England/Anglo bent to a lot of his writing, both in characters and locations, as well as a very specific style. I would read him in English unless you really want to practice your French/Spanish.
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Re: H.P. Lovecraft

Postby Xenops » Sat Apr 20, 2024 10:29 pm

I would argue most of his stories are more horror than science fiction, except maybe the Reanimator. His early stuff has a definite influence from Lord Dunsany.

Something related I learned fairly recently: Edgar Allen Poe’s stories weren’t originally terribly popular in the U.S. However, the French translations were quite popular, and because of that the American readers gave him another chance.
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Re: H.P. Lovecraft

Postby DaveAgain » Sun Apr 21, 2024 3:22 am

I don't think I've ever read him either, but radio plays/readings that I remember are Mountains of Madness, Call of Cthulhu and The Shadow over Innsmouth. Of those Mountains of Madness is the one I'm not too scared to approach again :-)

YouTube have a French radio play of La Couleur Tombée du Ciel (The colour out of space) which is an odd enough title to tempt me. I remember Hooloovoo, a super-intelligent shade of the colour blue, popping up in a Douglas Adams book.

EDIT
I had to bail on la couleur tombee du ciel as it's also too unsettling! I have an old download of la guerre des mondes on my computer, so i've fled to that. :-)
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Re: H.P. Lovecraft

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Apr 21, 2024 6:22 pm

I wonder if I've read anything by Lovecraft in English. I have read most of what has been translated into Swedish, though - recently Skräckens labyrinter and Cthulhu 2. The shorter, the better.

While the line between natural and supernatural is difficult to draw in any principled way, Lovecraft's explanation for the Mythos is not "It's magic!" but "It's understandable, just not by us." So, the Cthulhu Mythos is really science fiction.


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Re: H.P. Lovecraft

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Apr 21, 2024 6:53 pm

Thanks to all, and to others, keep em coming if you have more.
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