AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
"It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth's dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be left alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests."
Lovecraft's gripping tale of terror was initially rejected by his publisher is now considered a classic by horror fans. The disturbing, nightmarish story of a journey through Antarctica and a discovery of secrets hidden in a frozen mountain range has influenced writers and film-makers for decades.
THE CALL OF CTHULHU
First published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in February 1928, The Call of Cthulhu is a terrifying trilogy of horror stories that has influenced writers like William S. Burroughs, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti and Stephen King.
THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN
Lovecraft considered "The Music of Erich Zann" one of his best stories, in part because it avoided the 'over explicitness' that he saw as a major flaw in some of his other work.
The story was frequently anthologized even during Lovecraft's lifetime, including in Dashiell Hammett's 1931 collection 'Creeps by Night.'
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About the Author
Lovecraft was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. His father was confined to a mental institution when Lovecraft was 3 years old. His grandfather, a wealthy businessman, enjoyed storytelling and was an early influence. Intellectually precocious but sensitive, Lovecraft had begun composing rudimentary horror tales and had begun to be overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety by the age of 8. He encountered problems with peers in school, and was kept at home by his highly strung and overbearing mother for illnesses that may have been psychosomatic. In high school Lovecraft found his contemporaries were accepting and he formed friendships. He also involved neighborhood children in elaborate make-believe projects, only regretfully ceasing the activity at 17 years old. Despite leaving school in 1908 without graduating — he found mathematics particularly difficult — Lovecraft's knowledge of subjects that interested him (like history and linguistics, as well as inorganic chemistry and astronomy) was formidable.
Although he seems to have had some social life, attending meetings of a club for local young men, Lovecraft in early adulthood was established in a reclusive 'nightbird' lifestyle without occupation or pursuit of romantic adventures. In 1913 his conduct of a long running controversy in the letters page of a story magazine led to his being invited to participate in an amateur journalism association. Encouraged, he started circulating his stories; he was 31 at the time of his first publication in a professional magazine. Lovecraft contracted a marriage to an older woman he had met at an association conference. By age 34, he was a regular contributor to newly founded Weird Tales magazine; he turned down an offer of the editorship.
Lovecraft returned to Providence from New York in 1926, and over the next nine months he produced some of his most celebrated tales including "The Call of Cthulhu", canonical to the Cthulhu Mythos.