Please note that some of the following questions and their answers have
been abbreviated from their full form in the complete FAQ. This portion
of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ was brought to you by Donovan K. Loucks
- Q: How do I get a copy of the entire FAQ?
A: There are several ways to obtain the FAQ, including:
- Anonymous FTP: Using anonymous FTP lets you access Primenet’s FTP
server directly—this is where the FAQ is kept. It can be found in the
“users/d/dloucks/ahc” directory and is stored in 9 parts. Here are the
| Password:||<your e-mail
| Files:||all files
beginning with “ahcfaq”:|
|ahcfaq0.txt_Mini-FAQ ||The Mini-FAQ|
|ahcfaq1.txt_About ||About, Sections,
|ahcfaq2.txt_General ||Newsgroup, Cthulhu, HPL,
|ahcfaq3.txt_Writings ||Stories, Letters, Mags,
|ahcfaq4.txt_Movies_TV ||Movies, Television, Books
|ahcfaq6.txt_Other_Media||Radio, Books on Tape, Music, Comics|
|ahcfaq7.txt_Internet ||Newsgroups, FTP, WWW,
|ahcfaq8.txt_Mythos_Lore||Locales, Entities, Tomes, Timeline|
Also, a ZIPped file called “ahcfaq.zip” contains all 9 parts.
- The World Wide Web: Any web browswer can be used to access the FAQ.
You may either use your web browser to obtain the FAQ via FTP, or you may
access it via The H.P. Lovecraft Archive.
- E-mail Bots: For those who don’t have FTP or WWW access, you can have
portions of the FAQ e-mailed to you automatically by my e-mail bots. This
process only requires that you send me (email@example.com) an e-mail
message with a particular Subject line. When your incoming message is
detected by my e-mail bot, it will e-mail the appropriate section of the
FAQ to you, and discard your message. With that in mind, don’t
bother sending any messages with contents, because I’ll never get it.
Also, since the mailbot handles everything automatically, don’t hesitate
to request all the parts of the FAQ. Here’s a list of the exact
Subject lines and what each gets you:
|Subject ||What it gets
|FAQ: Part 0 ||Answers to the top questions
|FAQ: Part 1 ||About the FAQ (outline and
|FAQ: Part 2 ||General (Cthulhu, Lovecraft,
|FAQ: Part 3 ||Written Works (stories, biblio,
|FAQ: Part 4 ||Motion Pictures and
|FAQ: Part 5 ||Games (board, card, role-playing,
|FAQ: Part 6 ||Other Media (radio, tape, music,
|FAQ: Part 7 ||Internet (newsgroups, FTP, WWW,
|FAQ: Part 8 ||Mythos Lore (towns, entities,
|FAQ: Mini-FAQ||Answers to the top questions asked|
- Q: What is Cthulhu?
A: The best answer to this question is found in Lovecraft’s tale
“The Call of Cthulhu.” Cthulhu is a monstrous entity who lies “dead but
dreaming” in the city of R’lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness
presently (and mercifully) sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Cthulhu appears in various monstrous and demonic forms in early myths of
the human race. Racial memory preserves Him as humanity’s most basic
nightmare. Cthulhu is the high priest of the Great Old Ones, unnatural
alien beings who ruled the Earth before humanity formed, worshipped as
gods by some misguided people. It is said that They will return, causing
worldwide insanity and mindless violence before finally displacing
- Q: How is “Cthulhu” pronounced?
A: There are basically three different pronunciations that I have
heard, other pronunciations being slight modifications on these.
The most commonly heard pronunciation is that suggested by Chaosium,
makers of the “Call of Cthulhu” roleplaying game. On the back of many of
their gaming products is printed the phrase, “Can you say
Another pronunciation is that used by several Lovecraftian scholars. This
form is based on Lovecraft’s revision tales where Cthulhu is often
referred to as “Clooloo” or “Clulu.” Unfortunately, this form does not
have a sound representing the “th” combination.
The pronunciation that I prefer is a compromise between these two. The
“h” sounds are aspirated, thus the “th” is not as in “them” or “thin,” but
two separate sounds. The first four letters of the word are run together
in something like a sneezing sound, “K’t’hoo-lhoo.”
According to H.P. Lovecraft:
“The actual sound - as nearly as human organs could imitate it or human
letters record it - may be taken as something like Khlul’-hloo, with the
first syllable pronounced gutturally and very thickly.”
“The best approximation one can make is to grunt, bark, or cough the
imperfectly formed syllables Cluh-Luh with the tip of the tongue firmly
affixed to the roof of the mouth. That is, if one is a human being.
Directions for other entities are naturally different.”
From these quotes (taken from Lovecraft’s letters), one might conclude
that the second pronunciation mentioned above is the most correct of the
- Q: Who is H.P. Lovecraft?
A: Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a writer of weird fiction who
wrote most of his tales during the 1920s and 1930s. He was born on August
20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. He
was briefly married and lived in Brooklyn for two years. After this he
returned to Providence where he died on March 15, 1937.
- Q: Where is H.P. Lovecraft buried?
A: Lovecraft is buried in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, R.I.,
which is just northeast of the Brown University and College Hill area. He
and his parents are in the plot belonging to his maternal grandfather,
Whipple Van Buren Phillips. Once you enter the cemetery, follow Holly
Avenue straight back to Junction Avenue, where you make a left. Soon
after this, Pond Avenue curves off to the right. Follow Pond until it
intersects Avenue B. The family plot is on the east side of the
intersection of these two avenues.
Lovecraft’s grave was unmarked until the mid-1970s when fans raised funds
for a tombstone. Prior to that, the only indication that he was buried
there was his name inscribed on the back of the large family
monument. On his tombstone is inscribed:
AUGUST 20, 1890
‘I AM PROVIDENCE’
The “I am Providence” quote is from a letter he wrote to James F. Morton
dated May 16, 1926.
- Q: What are the addresses of the various companies or
organizations which are mentioned throughout this FAQ?
A: The following address list is presented because folks have found
it difficult to pick and choose addresses from within the FAQ. Also, due
to repeated mentionings of various companies and organizations, this list
will prevent having multiple postings of their addresses.
- Q: What stories should I begin with?
A: Bob Cannard
(BobTheMigo@aol.com) conducted a poll to determine which tales would be
best for new readers. The top five suggested tales were:
- The Call of Cthulhu
- The Shadow over Innsmouth
- The Dunwich Horror
- At the Mountains of Madness
- Pickman’s Model
However, I felt that “At the Mountains of Madness” was a bit of a read
for those just being introduced to Lovecraft. This anomaly might be due
to the small number of voters involved (12). As such, I would recommend
“The Haunter of the Dark” in its place (which received fairly high marks
in the poll).
- Q: Where can I find Lovecraftian fiction and articles?
A: The most accessible versions of Lovecraft’s tales are paperback
editions by Ballantine/Del Rey. They are very inexpensive and are
available in most large bookstores.
The definitive versions of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories (as well as Mythos
fiction by other authors) are available in hardback from Arkham House
Publishers, Inc. They include:
|The Dunwich Horror and
|At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels
|Dagon and Other Macabre
|The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions
The prices listed include shipping and handling and these books can be
ordered directly from Arkham House. S.T. Joshi’s index to the tales
collected above is available from Necronomicon Press. Paperback
anthologies from other publishers can be found in many bookstores. Other
important publishers of Lovecraftiana are:
- Necronomicon Press
- Pagan Publishing
- Fedogan & Bremer
- Borgo Press
- Chaosium (their ‘6000’ series of products)
- Q: Why are volumes I and II of Lovecraft’s letters so hard to
A: Volumes I and II of Arkham House’s Selected Letters are
long out of print. As of this writing (November 2000), Arkham House has
announced that volume IV was also in short supply. Here’s the publication
history of these five volumes:
|Selected Letters I
|Selected Letters II
|Selected Letters III
|Selected Letters IV
|Selected Letters V
As you can see, Arkham House reprinted volumes I and II in 1974 and
probably intended to simply delay reprinting volume III until after
volumes IV and V came out. At that point, the page proofs for volume III
were lost, and that volume was not reprinted until popular demand brought
it back in 1997. Arkham House has yet to announce plans to reprint any of
the Selected Letters volumes.
- Q: What Lovecraft information is available at World Wide Web
A: There are dozens of Lovecraft-related pages dotting the web.
Many of them consist of nothing but collections of links, but those in the
list below provide their own unique information.
- “The H.P. Lovecraft Archive”
- The URL is: http://www.hplovecraft.com
- Maintained by Donovan K. Loucks (firstname.lastname@example.org), the keeper of
- Includes over 30 photographs of Lovecraftian locations in New
- Chaosium’s Page
- The URL is: http://www.sirius.com/~chaosium
- “De Web
Mysteriis” (Laurent Alquier)
- The URL is: http://www.eerie.fr/~alquier/cthulhu.html.
- Necronomicon Press Page
- The URL is: http://www.necropress.com.
- Maintained by Marc Michaud (email@example.com)
- The NetherReal
- A very thorough site devoted to the fiction and art of H.P. Lovecraft
and the “Cthulhu Mythos.”
- The URL is http://www.netherreal.de
- Maintained by Jim Hawley
- Q: Where can I get a copy of the Necronomicon?
A: “The” Necronomicon, i.e. the book written about by Lovecraft,
cannot be found anywhere because it was never written - anyone who
disagrees with this statement is invited to produce a copy. Several
commercial Necronomicons have been published. The easiest to find is the
Avon paperback by Simon, which is mainly a re-hash of Sumerian mythology
with a few Mythos names dropped in; some practitioners of magick consider
it useful, but it has very little to do with Lovecraft’s creation.
The 1973 Owlswick Press edition, prefaced by L. Sprague de Camp, is
reputedly a facsimile of an old manuscript but actually contains only 8
pages of Arabic text repeated over and over again.
“H. R. Giger’s Necronomicon” is a collection of that gentleman’s art;
if you are not familiar with his work, watch the “Alien” movie.
“The Necronomicon: The Book of Dead Names” by Colin Wilson et al claims to
be the rediscovered work.
There are many known library references to the Necronomicon by Abdul
Alhazred, Michael Tice’s entry at UCLA being perhaps the most notorious;
these are pranks engineered by students or librarians. The newsgroups
alt.necromicon and alt.necronomicon are suggested for those who wish to
discuss the historical authenticity, translations and publications of this
- Q: What is the etymology of the word “Necronomicon”?
A: Lovecraft himself provides us a translation in a letter to Harry
O. Fischer dated late February, 1937: “The name Necronomicon
(necros, corpse; nomos, law; eikon, image = An Image [or Picture] of the
Law of the Dead) occurred to me in the course of a dream, although the
etymology is perfectly sound.”
Some will argue that this etymology is not perfectly sound, but since
Lovecraft invented the book, I feel his etymology is the correct one.
However, for those interested in a more correct translation, the following
was provided by S. A. T. Haldane (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Nekros/nekr-o- (noun) ‘dead (person)’
nomos/nom-o- (noun) ‘law’, ‘custom’
-ikos/-ike/-ikon (adjectival suffix) ‘to do with’, ‘concerning’,
hence nekr-o- + nom-o- + -ikos > nekronomikos (adjective) concerning the
customs of the dead’. Functioning as a noun in the neutral gender, to
Nekronomikon ‘(The Thing) Concerning the Customs of the Dead’.
End of Part 0 of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ, “Mini-FAQ.”