Edited by Mike Davis.
H. P. Lovecraft, the American master of horror, understood with horrible clarity that all things must die. After summer is winter, and life inevitably gives way to frozen sterility. In our modern world, we live cushioned existences, and congratulate ourselves on our supposed escape from the old dangers. We think ourselves caught out of nature’s reach by our technological wizardry. Safely cocooned. This foolishness blinds us to the truth that our elder forebears could not avoid. Engulfed by the rhythms of the world, they understood... Autumn means death.
There are far worse fates than mere death, of course. As blight spreads, the leaves wither and fall — as do the most important foundations of life. There is nothing more horrible than watching the sources of meaning in your world unravel before you. But these things we cherish are just pretty lies. In autumn’s cold grasp, the bright petals of our reality shrivel and die. Beneath them, there is nothing but the insanity of the howling void. Faced with inevitable, agonizing corruption, death is a gentle blessing.
The stories collected in Autumn Cthulhu reflect the darkest, most ancient truths of the season. Inside, you’ll find nineteen beautiful, terrifying glimpses of decay and loss inspired by Lovecraft’s work. Be sure that you want the burden of understanding before venturing further, though. The dissolving strands of mind, of love, of legacy within leave no room for merciful doubt.
The true meaning of life is that there is no meaning.
And in the autumn of the year, when the winds from the north curse and whine, and the red-leaved trees of the swamp mutter things to one another in the small hours of the morning under the horned waning moon, I sit by the casement and watch... — H.P. Lovecraft, “Polaris”