The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture

Overview

Nearly half of all Americans believe in the existence of extraterrestrials, and many are also convinced that aliens have visited earth at some point in history. Included among such popular beliefs is the notion that so-called ancient astronauts (visitors from outer space) were responsible for historical wonders like the pyramids. In The Cult of Alien Gods, author Jason Colavito reveals for the first time that the entire genre of ancient astronaut books is based upon fictional horror stories, whose author once ...

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Overview

Nearly half of all Americans believe in the existence of extraterrestrials, and many are also convinced that aliens have visited earth at some point in history. Included among such popular beliefs is the notion that so-called ancient astronauts (visitors from outer space) were responsible for historical wonders like the pyramids. In The Cult of Alien Gods, author Jason Colavito reveals for the first time that the entire genre of ancient astronaut books is based upon fictional horror stories, whose author once wrote that he never wished to mislead anyone.
In this entertaining and informative book, Colavito traces the origins of the belief in ancient extraterrestrial visitors to the work of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937). This amazing tale takes the reader through fifty years of pop culture and pseudoscience highlighting such influential figures and developments as Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods), Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods), Zecharia Sitchin (Twelfth Planet), and the Raelian Revolution. The astounding and improbable connections among these various characters are revealed, along with the disturbing consequences of Lovecraft’s "little joke" for modern science and public knowledge.
Beyond documenting Lovecraft’s influence on ancient astronaut theories and Raelian cloning efforts, Colavito also argues that the appeal of such modern myths is a troubling sign in an age when science is having its greatest success. He suggests that at the dawn of the 21st century Western society is witnessing a deep-seated erosion of Enlightenment values that are the basis of the modern world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fans of fantasy/horror writer H.P. Lovecraft must add The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture to their reading lists."
- California Bookwatch
"Combining literary theory, cultural criticism and muckraking, Colavito aims to debunk alternative history…He does a fair job of presenting his case, using a great deal of textual analysis, but believers will dismiss it as yet another attempt to suppress the "truth," while those who haven't been immersed in the literature are likely to be bewildered or indifferent…the writing is engaging and the topic intriguing…"
- Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591023524
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Colavito is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Skeptic magazine, among other publications.

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