Selected by August Derleth. Edited by S. T. Joshi. Introduction by James Turner.
Here at last is the definitive Lovecraft – the second in a three-volume set of the collected macabre fiction that embodies the author's own final thoughts and stylistic preferences. Based upon S.T. Joshi’s extensive and painstaking collation of extant manuscript materials, this new Lovecraft edition from Arkham House is the only completely authoritative text and supersedes all previous editions.
Of the three short novels included in the present volume, "At the Mountains of Madness" remains one of the few works of American science fiction from the 1930s that can be read today for genuine literary pleasure rather than dutiful historical interest, while "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" is perhaps Lovecraft’s most precisely wrought masterpiece of demonic horror. The third short novel, "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," presents an odyssey through the byways of dream-land and is one of the several narratives featuring Lovecraft's alter ego, Randolph Carter.
In the whole range of fantastic literature, Lovecraft created a new form that is neither pure fancy nor pure science fiction. He combined a factual and accurate scientific knowledge with its extension to the absolute limit in supernatural bizarrerie. His work defies classification, for it is as much myth as reality – both lore and legend at their haunting, haunted best, and at the same time science at its most provocative. His tales have been termed the finest weird fantasy ever written, and yet also the most superbly literate science fiction. Lovecraft's work has achieved an honored eminence among the great visionary fiction of the ages precisely because, while betraying no trace of the commonplace, his stories are based convincingly in the world of everyday reality, yet lure the mind into the farthest reaches of the imagination, the star-flung spaces of the universe, the cosmic realm of a master mythmaker.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937) is a well known American horror, fantasy and science fiction author. He is especially known for creating the Cthulhu Mythos.
H. P. Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, but his reputation has grown over the decades and he's regarded as one of the greatest and most influential horror writers of the 20th century. Lovecraft's short stories have inspired many authors, artists and directors.
Picture by Dominique Signoret. Source: Wikimedia Commons.