Edited by S. T. Joshi. Cover artwork by Fergal Fitzpatrick. 1600 pages (three volumes). Individual volumes not sold separately. Limited hardcover edition: 500 sets only.
In the 1980s, S. T. Joshi prepared revised editions of H. P. Lovecraft’s stories for Arkham House. Basing his work on consultation of manuscripts, early publications, and other sources, Joshi corrected thousands of errors in the existing texts of Lovecraft’s fiction, allowing readers to appreciate the stories as Lovecraft originally wrote them.
In the thirty years that have followed, Joshi has continued to do research on the textual accuracy of Lovecraft’s stories, and this comprehensive new edition is the result. For the first time, students and scholars of Lovecraft can see at a glance all the textual variants in all relevant appearances of a story — manuscript, first publication in magazines, and first book publications. The result is an illuminating record of the textual history of the tales, along with how Lovecraft significantly revised his stories after initial publication.
Along the way, Joshi has made small but significant revisions to his earlier corrected texts. He has determined, for example, that Lovecraft slightly revised some stories when a reprint of them was scheduled in Weird Tales, and he has altered some readings in light of a better understanding of Lovecraft’s customary linguistic usages.
The result is the definitive text of Lovecraft’s fiction—an edition that supersedes all those that preceded it and should endure as the standard text of Lovecraft’s stories for many years.
In this first volume, Lovecraft’s earliest stories are printed in chronological order by date of writing. Included are such early triumphs as “Dagon” and “The Outsider,” along with the many tales Lovecraft wrote under the inspiration of Lord Dunsany. The celebrated “Herbert West — Reanimator” and “The Rats in the Walls” show Lovecraft experimenting with longer narratives — a tendency that will culminate in the novelettes and novellas of his final decade of writing.
In this second volume, the tales that Lovecraft wrote immediately after returning to his native Providence, R.I., from two years of “exile” in New York are presented. The landmark tale “The Call of Cthulhu” was only the tip of the iceberg of a flood of stories he wrote in 1926–27, which include the two short novels The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. “The Colour out of Space” is a pioneering tale that initiates Lovecraft’s distinctive melding of horror and science fiction, while “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Whisperer in Darkness” are rich novellas simultaneously evoking terrors from outer space and the brooding darkness of the New England backwoods.
In this final volume, the tales of Lovecraft’s final years are presented. The Antarctic novella At the Mountains of Madness is perhaps Lovecraft’s most finished work, a superb fusion of weirdness and science fiction that he referred to as “cosmicism.” “The Shadow over Innsmouth” is a chilling evocation of the terrors inherent in a lonely New England backwater, while “The Thing on the Doorstep” and “The Haunter of the Dark” feature physical horrors with cosmic implications. “The Shadow out of Time” is the culmination of Lovecraft’s portrayal of the vast vistas of space and time — his signature contribution to literature.
S. T. Joshi is a leading Lovecraft scholar and author of H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990), I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (2010), Lovecraft and an Age in Transition (2014), and other critical and biographical works. He has also done significant research on such writers as Lord Dunsany, Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, and Ramsey Campbell.
H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION will be published in celebration of the 125th anniversary of H. P. Lovecraft's birth.
Editor S. T. Joshi presents all the relevant textual variants from all the stories that Lovecraft wrote over his short literary career.
The first three volumes, available in November 2014 exclusively as a set, collect all of Lovecraft's canonical tales. A fourth volume, H. P. Lovecraft's Revisions and Collaborations: A Variorum Edition, is scheduled to appear in 2015 and will be offered for sale individually.
H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION will be limited to just 500 hardcover sets, featuring Smythe-sewn signatures and illustrated dust wrappers, with each copy individually shrink-wrapped. All Hippocampus Press limited editions are printed on 60# white offset paper, acid free and elemental chlorine free.
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.