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       Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre, p.1

           H. P. Lovecraft
 
Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre


  Howard Phillips Lovecraft is probably the most important and influential author of supernatural fiction in the twentieth century. A life-long resident of Providence, Rhode Island, many of his tales are set in the fear-haunted towns of an imaginary area of Massachusetts, or in the cosmic vistas that exist beyond space and time. Since his untimely death, Lovecraft has become acknowledged as a master of fantasy fiction and a mainstream American writer second only to Edgar Allan Poe, while his relatively small body of work has influenced countless imitators and formed the basis of a world-wide industry of books, games and movies based on his concepts.

  H.P. Lovecraft’s tales of the tentacled Elder God Cthulhu and his pantheon of alien deities were initially written for the pulp magazines of the 1920s and ’30s. These astonishing tales blend elements of horror and science fiction and are as powerful today as they were when they initially appeared. This companion volume to the best-selling Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft brings together in chronological order all of Lovecraft’s remaining major stories, his ‘Fungi from Yuggoth’ cycle and other important weird poetry, a number of obscure revisions and some notable nonfiction, including the seminal critical essay ‘Supernatural Horror in Literature’.

  ‘Lovecraft opened the way for me, as he had done for others before me’

  Stephen King

  ‘H.P. Lovecraft built the stage on which most of the last century’s horror fiction was performed. As doomed as any of his protagonists, he put a worldview into words that has spread to infect the world. You need to read him – he’s where the darkness starts’

  Neil Gaiman

  ‘As a writer he stands among the best in the field’

  August Derleth

  ‘H.P. Lovecraft is not only the essential link between Edgar Allan Poe and the present day, he has become an almost unimaginably influential force throughout the whole of our popular culture’

  Peter Straub

  ‘H.P. Lovecraft is the most important single writer of the weird . . . his achievement lies not so much in his influence as in the enduring qualities of his finest work’

  Ramsey Campbell

  ‘In his case the highest literary genius was allied to the most brilliant and most endearing personal qualities’

  Clark Ashton Smith

  ‘It’s hard to name a single modern writer of weird fiction who hasn’t to some extent, often profoundly, felt the influence of Howard Phillips Lovecraft . . . It’s possible that I personally would never have written anything if I hadn’t first read H.P. Lovecraft. And I fancy I’m but one of many . . .’

  Brian Lumley

  ‘The thing that particularly drew me to Lovecraft as a young and innocent child was the way his stories and the concepts in them would – in a genuinely eerie way – activate the creative machinery in my head’

  Gahan Wilson

  ‘One of the twentieth century’s most original writers’

  Arthur C. Clarke

  ‘He’s an American original, whose influence on subsequent writers in the field is all-pervasive’

  Joyce Carol Oates

  ‘In a genre blessed with many great stylists, H. P. Lovecraft’s baroque imagination and outrageous use of language still manages to stand head and shoulders above the rest. A timeless master of the macabre, and the true connoisseur of dread’

  Michael Marshall Smith

  ‘There will never be another like him’

  Edmond Hamilton

  For

  S.T. JOSHI

  and

  ROBERT M. PRICE

  for also keeping the

  Nightmares alive.

  ELDRITCH TALES

  A Miscellany of the Macabre by H.P. Lovecraft

  SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION

  Edited with an Afterword by

  STEPHEN JONES

  Illustrated by

  LES EDWARDS

  GOLLANCZ

  LONDON

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following individuals, whose work was consulted (and in some cases quoted from) in the compilation of this volume: August Derleth, Victor Gollancz, Otis Kline Associates, Laurence Pollinger, Mr J.J. Jeffery, John Bush, E.D. Nisbet, Mr R. Denton, Giles Gordon, Forrest D. Hartmann, Les Edwards and Gahan Wilson.

  Special thanks also go, as always, to my editor Jo Fletcher, Malcolm Edwards, Lail Finlay Hernandez, Val and Les Edwards, Charlie Panayiotou and Marcus Gipps for all their help and support.

  ‘History of the Necronomicon’, originally published in A History of the Necronomicon (1938).

  ‘The Alchemist’, originally published in The United Amateur Vo.16, No.4, November 1916.

  ‘A Reminiscence of Dr Samuel Johnson’, originally published (as by Humphry Littlewit, Esq.) in The United Amateur Vol.17, No.2, September 1917.

  ‘The Beast in the Cave’, originally published in The Vagrant No.7, June 1918.

  ‘The Poe-et’s Nightmare’, originally published in The Vagrant No.8, July 1918.

  ‘Memory’, originally published in The United Co-operative Vol.1, No.2, June 1919.

  ‘Despair’, originally published in Pine Cones Vol.1, No.4, June 1919.

  ‘The Picture in the House’, originally published in The National Amateur Vol.41, No.6, July 1919 (1921).

  ‘Beyond the Wall of Sleep’, originally published in Pine Cones Vol.1, No.6, October 1919.

  ‘Psychopompos: A Tale in Rhyme’, originally published in The Vagrant, October 1919.

  ‘The White Ship’, originally published in The United Amateur Vol.19, No.2, November 1919.

  ‘The House’, originally published in National Enquirer Vol.9, No.11, December 11, 1919.

  ‘The Nightmare Lake’, originally published in The Vagrant No.12, December 1919.

  ‘Poetry and the Gods’ originally published (as by Anna Helen Crofts and Henry Paget-Lowe) in The United Amateur Vol.20, No.1, September 1920.

  ‘Nyarlathotep’, originally published in The United Amateur Vol.20, No.2, November 1920.

  ‘Polaris’, originally published in The Philosopher Vol.1, No.1, December 1920.

  ‘The Street’, originally published in The Wolverine No.8, December 1920.

  ‘Ex Oblivione’, originally published (as by Ward Phillips) in The United Amateur Vol.20, No.4, March 1921.

  ‘Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family’, originally published in The Wolverine No.9, March 1921.

  ‘The Crawling Chaos’ originally published (as by Elizabeth Neville Berkeley and Lewis Theobald, Jr) in The United Co-operative Vol.1, No.3, April 1921.

  ‘The Terrible Old Man’, originally published in The Tryout Vol.7, No.4, July 1921.

  ‘The Tree’, originally published in The Tryout Vol.7, No.7, October 1921.

  ‘The Tomb’, originally published in The Vagrant No.14, March 1922.

  ‘Celephaïs’, originally published in The Rainbow No.2, May 1922.

  ‘Hypnos’, originally published in The National Amateur Vol.45, No.5, May 1923.

  ‘What the Moon Brings’, originally published in The National Amateur Vol.45 No.5, May 1923.

  ‘The Horror at Martin’s Beach’ originally published under the title ‘The Invisible Monster’ in Weird Tales, November 1923.

  ‘The Festival’, originally published in Weird Tales, January 1925.

  ‘The Temple’, originally published in Weird Tales, September 1925.

  ‘Hallowe’en in a Suburb’, originally published (as ‘In a Suburb’) in The National Amateur Vol.48, No.4, March 1926.

  ‘The Moon-Bog’, originally published in Weird Tales, June 1926.

  ‘He’, ori
ginally published in Weird Tales, September 1926.

  ‘Festival’, originally published (as ‘Yule Horror’) in Weird Tales, December 1926.

  ‘The Green Meadow’ originally published (as Translated by Elizabeth Neville Berkeley and Lewis Theobald, Jr) in The Vagrant, Spring 1927.

  ‘Nathicana’, originally published in The Vagrant, Spring 1927.

  ‘Two Black Bottles’ originally published in Weird Tales, August 1927.

  ‘The Last Test’ originally published in Weird Tales, November 1928. (A revision of ‘A Sacrifice to Science’, originally published in In the Confessional and the Following, 1893.)

  ‘The Wood’, originally published (as by Lewis Theobold, Jr) in The Tryout, Vol.11, No.2, January 1929.

  ‘The Ancient Track’, originally published in Weird Tales, March 1930.

  ‘The Electric Executioner’ originally published in Weird Tales, August 1930. (A revision of ‘The Automatic Executioner’, originally published in The Wave, November 14, 1891.)

  ‘Fungi from Yuggoth’

  ‘1: The Book’, originally published in The Fantasy Fan Vol.2, No.2, October 1934.

  ‘2: Pursuit’, originally published in The Fantasy Fan Vol.2, No.2, October 1934.

  ‘3: The Key’, originally published in The Fantasy Fan Vol.2, No.5, January 1935.

  ‘4: Recognition’, originally published in Driftwind Vol.11, No.5, December 1936.

  ‘5: Homecoming’, originally published in The Fantasy Fan Vol.2, No.6, January 1935.

  ‘6: The Lamp’, originally published in Driftwind Vol.5, No.5, March 1931.

  ‘7: Zaman’s Hill’, originally published in Driftwind Vol.9, No.4, October 1934.

  ‘8: The Port’, originally published in Driftwind Vol.5, No.3, November 1930.

  ‘9: The Courtyard’, originally published in Weird Tales, September 1930.

  ‘10: The Pigeon-Flyers’, originally published in Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1943).

  ‘11: The Well’, originally published in The Providence Journal Vol.102, No.116, May 14, 1930.

  ‘12: The Howler’ originally published in Driftwind Vol.7, No.3, November 1932.

  ‘13: Hesperia’, originally published in Weird Tales, October 1930.

  ‘14: Star-Winds’, originally published in Weird Tales, September 1930.

  ‘15: Antarktos’, originally published in Weird Tales, November 1930.

  ‘16: The Window’, originally published in Driftwind, April 1931.

  ‘17: A Memory’, originally published (as ‘Memory’ by Lewis Theobold) in The United Co-operative, April 1921.

  ‘18: The Gardens of Yin’, originally published in Driftwind, March 1932.

  ‘19: The Bells’, originally published in Weird Tales, December 1930.

  ‘20: Night-Gaunts’ originally published in The Providence Journal, March 26, 1930.

  ‘21: Nyarlathotep’, originally published in The United Amateur, November 1920.

  ‘22: Azathoth’, originally published in Weird Tales, January 1931.

  ‘23: Mirage’, originally published in Weird Tales, February–March 1931.

  ‘24: The Canal’, originally published in Driftwind, March 1932.

  ‘25: St Toads’, originally published in Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1943).

  ‘26: The Familiars’, originally published in Driftwind, July 1930.

  ‘27: The Elder Pharos’, originally published in Weird Tales, February–March 1931.

  ‘28: Expectancy’, originally published in Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1943).

  ‘29: Nostalgia’, originally published in The Providence Journal, March 12, 1930.

  ‘30: Background’, originally published in The Providence Journal, April 16, 1930.

  ‘31: The Dweller’, originally published in The Providence Journal, May 7, 1930.

  ‘32: Alienation’, originally published in Weird Tales, April–May 1931.

  ‘33: Harbour Whistles’, originally published in The Silver Fern, May 1930.

  ‘34: Recapture’, originally published in Weird Tales, May 1930.

  ‘35: Evening Star’, originally published in Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1943).

  ‘36: Continuity’, originally published in Causerie, February 1936.

  ‘The Trap’ originally published in Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, Vol.2, No.1, March 1932.

  ‘The Other Gods’, originally published in The Fantasy Fan Vol.1, No.3, November 1933.

  ‘The Quest of Iranon’, originally published in The Galleon Vol.1, No.5, July–August 1935.

  ‘The Challenge from Beyond’, originally published in Fantasy Magazine Vol.5, No.4, September 1935. ‘Fragment from the Eltdown Shards’ was originally written for ‘The Sealed Casket’ by Richard F. Searight (Weird Tales, March 1935), but omitted from the published version.

  ‘In a Sequester’d Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walk’d’, originally published in Four Acrostic Sonnets on Edgar Allan Poe (1936).

  ‘Ibid’, originally published in O-Wash-Ta-Nong Vol.3, No.1, January 1938.

  ‘Azathoth’, originally published in Leaves No.2, 1938.

  ‘The Descendant’, originally published in Leaves No.2, 1938.

  ‘The Book’, originally published in Leaves No.2, 1938.

  ‘The Messenger’, originally published in Weird Tales, July 1938.

  ‘The Evil Clergyman’, originally published (as ‘The Wicked Clergyman’) in Weird Tales, April 1939.

  ‘The Very Old Folk’, originally published in Scienti-Snaps Vol.3, No.3, Summer 1940.

  ‘The Thing in the Moonlight’, originally published in Bizarre Vol.4, No.1, January 1941.

  ‘The Transition of Juan Romero’, originally published in Marginalia (1944).

  ‘Supernatural Horror in Literature’, originally published in The Recluse (1927) and The Fantasy Fan, October 1933–February 1935.

  ‘Afterword: Lovecraft in Britain’ copyright © Stephen Jones 2007, 2011. Originally published in slightly different form in H.P. Lovecraft in Britain: A Monograph. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

  Every effort has been made to trace the owners of any copyright material in this book. In the case of any question arising as to the use of such material, the publisher, while expressing regret for any errors, will be pleased to make the necessary corrections in future editions of the book.

  CONTENTS

  History of the Necronomicon

  The Alchemist

  A Reminiscence of Dr Samuel Johnson

  The Beast in the Cave

  The Poe-et’s Nightmare

  Memory

  Despair

  The Picture in the House

  Beyond the Wall of Sleep

  Psychopompos: A Tale in Rhyme

  The White Ship

  The House

  The Nightmare Lake

  Poetry and the Gods (with Anna Helen Crofts)

  Nyarlathotep

  Polaris

  The Street

  Ex Oblivione

  Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family

  The Crawling Chaos (with Winifred Virginia Jackson)

  The Terrible Old Man

  The Tree

  The Tomb

  Celephaïs

  Hypnos

  What the Moon Brings

  The Horror at Martin’s Beach (with Sonia H. Greene)

  The Festival

  The Temple

  Hallowe’en in a Suburb

  The Moon-Bog

  He

  Festival

  The Green Meadow (with Winifred Virginia Jackson)

  Nathicana

  Two Black Bottles (with Wilfred Blanch Talman)

  The Last Test (with Adolphe de Castro)

  The Wood

  The Ancient Track

  The Electric Executioner (with Adolphe de Castro)

  Fungi from Yuggoth

  1: The Book

  2: Pursuit

  3: The Key

  4: Recognition
<
br />   5: Homecoming

  6: The Lamp

  7: Zaman’s Hill

  8: The Port

  9: The Courtyard

  10: The Pigeon-Flyers

  11: The Well

  12: The Howler

  13: Hesperia

  14: Star-Winds

  15: Antarktos

  16: The Window

  17: A Memory

  18: The Gardens of Yin

  19: The Bells

  20: Night-Gaunts

  21: Nyarlathotep

  22: Azathoth

  23: Mirage

  24: The Canal

  25: St Toads

  26: The Familiars

  27: The Elder Pharos

  28: Expectancy

  29: Nostalgia

 
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