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Written Works

This portion of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ was brought to you by Donovan K. Loucks (webmaster@hplovecraft.com).

  • Q: What stories did Lovecraft write?

    A: Since Lovecraft only lived to be 46, one would expect his literary output to be rather small. And, if one merely examines his short stories, this is the case. However, Lovecraft was a voluminous letter-writer, corresponding with hundreds of individuals throughout his lifetime. Some speculate that his letters, many of which no longer exist, might number nearly 100,000, some of which ran to 70 pages in length!

    This FAQ cannot hope to list all the material written by Lovecraft, including letters, stories, articles, and poems. Nonetheless, here is a list of most of his significant fiction, lifted from Arkham House’s Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, edited by S.T. Joshi:

    • The Noble Eavesdropper (1897?; nonextant)
    • The Little Glass Bottle (1897)
    • The Secret Cave or John Lees Adventure (1898)
    • The Mystery of the Grave-Yard (1898)
    • The Haunted House (1898/1902; nonextant)
    • The Secret of the Grave (1898/1902; nonextant)
    • John, the Detective (1898/1902; nonextant)
    • The Mysterious Ship (1902)
    • The Beast in the Cave (21 April 1905)
    • The Picture (1907; nonextant)
    • The Alchemist (1908)
    • The Tomb (June 1917)
    • Dagon (July 1917)
    • A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1917)
    • Polaris (May? 1918)
    • The Mystery of Murdon Grange (1918; nonextant)
    • The Green Meadow (with Winifred V. Jackson; 1918/19)
    • Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1919)
    • Memory (1919)
    • Old Bugs (1919)
    • The Transition of Juan Romero (16 September 1919)
    • The White Ship (November 1919)
    • The Doom That Came to Sarnath (3 December 1919)
    • The Statement of Randolph Carter (December 1919)
    • The Terrible Old Man (28 January 1920)
    • The Tree (1920)
    • The Cats of Ulthar (15 June 1920)
    • The Temple (1920)
    • Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family (1920)
    • The Street (1920?)
    • Life and Death (1920?; lost)
    • Poetry and the Gods (with Anna Helen Crofts; 1920)
    • Celepha‹s (early November 1920)
    • From Beyond (16 November 1920)
    • Nyarlathotep (early December 1920)
    • The Picture in the House (12 December 1920)
    • The Crawling Chaos (with Winifred V. Jackson; 1920/21)
    • Ex Oblivione (1920/21)
    • The Nameless City (January 1921)
    • The Quest of Iranon (28 February 1921)
    • The Moon-Bog (March 1921)
    • The Outsider (1921)
    • The Other Gods (14 August 1921)
    • The Music of Erich Zann (December 1921)
    • Herbert West—Reanimator (September 1921-mid 1922)
    • Hypnos (May 1922)
    • What the Moon Brings (5 June 1922)
    • Azathoth (June 1922)
    • The Horror at Martin’s Beach (with Sonia H. Green; June 1922)
    • The Hound (September 1922)
    • The Lurking Fear (November 1922)
    • The Rats in the Walls (August-September 1923)
    • The Unnamable (September 1923)
    • Ashes (with C. M. Eddy, Jr., 1923)
    • The Ghost-Eater (with C. M. Eddy, Jr., 1923)
    • The Loved Dead (with C. M. Eddy, Jr., 1923)
    • The Festival (1923)
    • Deaf, Dumb, and Blind (with C. M. Eddy, Jr., 1924?)
    • Under the Pyramids (with Harry Houdini; February-March 1924)
    • The Shunned House (16-19 October 1924)
    • The Horror at Red Hook (1-2 August 1925)
    • He (11 August 1925)
    • In the Vault (18 September 1925)
    • The Descendant (1926?)
    • Cool Air (March 1926)
    • The Call of Cthulhu (Summer 1926)
    • Two Black Bottles (with Wilfred Blanch Talman; July-October 1926)
    • Pickman’s Model (1926)
    • The Silver Key (1926)
    • The Strange High House in the Mist (9 November 1926)
    • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (Autumn? 1926-22 January 1927)
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (January-1 March 1927)
    • The Colour Out of Space (March 1927)
    • The Very Old Folk (2 November 1927)
    • The Last Test (with Adolphe de Castro; 1927)
    • History of the Necronomicon (1927)
    • The Curse of Yig (with Zealia Bishop; 1928)
    • Ibid (1928?)
    • The Dunwich Horror (Summer 1928)
    • The Electric Executioner (with Adolphe de Castro, 1929?)
    • The Mound (with Zealia Bishop; December 1929-early 1930)
    • Medusa’s Coil (with Zealia Bishop; May 1930)
    • The Whisperer in Darkness (24 February-26 September 1930)
    • At the Mountains of Madness (February-22 March 1931)
    • The Shadow Over Innsmouth (November?-3 December 1931)
    • The Trap (with Henry S. Whitehead; late 1931)
    • The Dreams in the Witch House (January-28 February 1932)
    • The Man of Stone (with Hazel Heald; 1932)
    • The Horror in the Museum (with Hazel Heald; October 1932)
    • Through the Gates of the Silver Key (with E. Hoffmann Price; October 1932-April 1933)
    • Winged Death (with Hazel Heald; 1933)
    • Out of the Aeons (with Hazel Heald; 1933)
    • The Thing on the Doorstep (21-24 August 1933)
    • The Evil Clergyman (October 1933)
    • The Horror in the Burying-Ground (with Hazel Heald; 1933/35)
    • The Book (late 1933?)
    • The Tree on the Hill (with Duane W. Rimel; May 1934)
    • The Battle That Ended the Century (with R. H. Barlow; June 1934)
    • The Shadow Out of Time (November 1934-March 1935)
    • “Till A’ the Seas” (with R. H. Barlow; January 1935)
    • Collapsing Cosmoses (with R. H. Barlow; June 1935)
    • The Challenge from Beyond (with C. L. Moore; A. Merritt; Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long; August 1935)
    • The Disinterment (with Duane W. Rimel; Summer 1935)
    • The Diary of Alonzo Typer (with William Lumley; October 1935)
    • The Haunter of the Dark (November 1935)
    • In the Walls of Eryx (with Kenneth Sterling; January 1936)
    • The Night Ocean (with R. H. Barlow; Autumn? 1936)

  • Q: Which of these are considered Mythos tales?

    A: A great deal of controversy rages over which tales should be considered part of the Cthulhu Mythos. Some argue that none of Lovecraft’s stories are part of a “Mythos,” since the mythic elements are merely plot devices used to further a particular theme. Nonetheless, for those tales that impart information about the Mythos, I recommend the following list, which takes a very liberal view:

    • Dagon
    • Nyarlathotep
    • The Nameless City
    • Herbert West—Reanimator
    • Azathoth
    • The Hound
    • The Lurking Fear
    • The Rats in the Walls
    • The Unnamable
    • The Festival
    • The Shunned House
    • The Call of Cthulhu
    • Pickman’s Model
    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
    • The Colour Out of Space
    • History of the Necronomicon
    • The Curse of Yig
    • The Dunwich Horror
    • The Mound
    • Medusa’s Coil
    • The Whisperer in Darkness
    • At the Mountains of Madness
    • The Shadow Over Innsmouth
    • The Dreams in the Witch House
    • The Horror in the Museum
    • Out of the Aeons
    • The Thing on the Doorstep
    • The Shadow Out of Time
    • The Haunter of the Dark

  • 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:

    1. The Call of Cthulhu
    2. The Shadow over Innsmouth
    3. The Dunwich Horror
    4. At the Mountains of Madness
    5. 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: What other authors wrote stories set in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos?

    A: An amazing number of writers set their stories in Lovecraft’s world. The best known amongst these are Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell, Lin Carter, August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, Frank Belknap Long, Brian Lumley, and Clark Ashton Smith. Also, Lovecraft borrowed terms and ideas from such writers as Ambrose Bierce, Robert W. Chambers, Lord Dunsany, and Edgar Allan Poe. Some Bierce and Chambers tales are considered as part of the Mythos, despite being written before Lovecraft.

    Rather than give a list of all the tales written by these authors (there are literally hundreds), I suggest you refer to Chris Jarocha-Ernst’s extensive bibliography (see below).

  • Q: What are the “posthumous collaborations”?

    A: After Lovecraft’s death, August Derleth took fragments of Lovecraft’s writings (from his Commonplace Book, for example), and incorporated them into stories entirely of Derleth’s own design. According to S.T. Joshi’s Bibliography, Derleth’s The Lurker at the Threshold is 50,000 words long, and only incorporates 1,200 words by Lovecraft—that’s about 2.4%. None of these “posthumous collaborations” should be considered to have been authored by Lovecraft. In spite of this, these stories have been published as being authored by Lovecraft and Derleth, or, worse yet, solely by Lovecraft. Both the Carroll & Graf paperbacks, The Lurker at the Threshold and The Watchers Out of Time include only Lovecraft’s name on their covers, although they are almost wholly Derleth’s work.

  • 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 Others               (037-8)$19.95
    At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels (038-6)$19.95
    Dagon and Other Macabre Tales               (039-4)$19.95
    The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions (040-8)$19.95

    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:

  • Q: Where can I find a bibliography of Lovecraft’s works and the Cthulhu Mythos in general?

    A: After significant debate, and lots of thought in general, I have decided not to attempt a Lovecraft and Mythos bibliography. There already exist several bibliographies but one in particular is easily available. This is Chris Jarocha-Ernst’s substantial (174,367 bytes), A Bibliography of the Cthulhu Mythos which is available via anonymous ftp from ftp://sflovers.rutgers.edu/pub/sf-lovers/bibliographies and is called cthulhu-mythos.92bib.

    I have contacted Chris, and have agreed to send him all of the bibliography information I’ve received. He, in turn, has stated that he is working on a new version of his bibliography (release date has not yet been set). This FAQ has gotten too big for its britches, and certainly doesn’t need another 180k of bibliography to weight it down!

    Also, a great deal of information can be found in S.T. Joshi’s An Index to the Fiction and Poetry of H.P. Lovecraft and An Index to the Selected Letters of H.P. Lovecraft, both from Necronomicon Press.

  • Q: Where I can find copies of Lovecraft’s letters?

    A: Lovecraft was a voluminous letter-writer. Some have estimated that he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime, a few of them being over 70 pages in length. His Selected Letters in five volumes can be purchased from Arkham House, although the first and third volumes are out of print (Arkham House plans to reprint both). S.T. Joshi’s index to these letters is available from Necronomicon Press. Also, available from Necronomicon Press are many collections of Lovecraft’s letters, including those to Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, Samuel Loveman, Richard F. Searight, and Vincent Starrett.

  • Q: Why are volumes I and II of Lovecraft’s letters so hard to find?

    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:

    Book                 1st Edition  2nd Edition  Total
    Selected Letters I   2,504 (1965) 3,000 (1974) 5,504
    Selected Letters II  2,482 (1968) 3,000 (1974) 5,482
    Selected Letters III 2,500 (1971) 2,500 (1997) 5,000
    Selected Letters IV  5,000 (1976)     ––      5,000
    Selected Letters V   5,000 (1976)     ––      5,000

    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: Where can I find a biography of Lovecraft?

    A: There are actually a few noteworthy biographies of Lovecraft:

    • H.P. Lovecraft: A Life by S.T. Joshi—Published in 1996 by Necronomicon Press, this is certainly the best biography of Lovecraft available. Joshi examines all aspects of Lovecraft’s life and works without whitewashing them at all. A must-read for all fans of Lovecraft.

    • Lovecraft: A Biography by L. Sprague de Camp—Originally published in 1975, this has long been the most prominent and available of Lovecraft biographies. Unfortunately, it also has many errors of fact and de Camp tends to be very judgmental towards Lovecraft. Still, it’s a good overview of Lovecraft’s life and works. It was Reprinted in 1996 by Barnes & Noble books as H.P. Lovecraft: A Biography.

    • Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside by Frank Belknap Long.

    • Lovecraft At Last by Willis Conover.

    • Autobiographical Writings by H.P. Lovecraft—This chapbook from Necronomicon Press collects many of Lovecraft’s own writings about himself.

    • Miscellaneous Writings by H.P. Lovecraft—The final chapter of this Arkham House hardback, “Personal,” includes some of Lovecraft’s autobiographical writings.

  • Q: What is the Lovecraft Transcription project?

    A: It is an effort to get all of Lovecraft’s writings down in electronic form. Currently being done by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi. This is for the purpose of both scholarship as well as publication. If you are interested in this (especially if you’re volunteering to help), e-mail David at dschultz@solaria.mil.wi.us. However, please note that all of Lovecraft’s substantial fiction and poetry has been transcribed, leaving only a scant few letters and essays to be prepared.

  • Q: What magazines discuss Lovecraft and his writings?

    A: Several periodicals are specifically devoted to Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. There are also a number that, although not devoted to Lovecraft, frequently include stories or articles of a Lovecraftian nature.

    • The Arkham Advertiser, edited by Ann Ouellette (Miskatonic University Press).

    • Crucible (Starry Wisdom).

    • Crypt of Cthulhu, edited by Robert M. Price (Necronomicon Press)—Offering “a lighter-side look at Lovecraft and his mythos,” this publication frequently has Mythos tales, letters from readers, and reviews of Mythos-related items. Originally published by Cryptic Publications, this periodical and its back stock is available through Necronomicon Press.

    • Cthulhu Codex (Necronomicon Press).

    • Eldritch Tales, edited by Crispin Burnham (Yith Press)—This digest-size fanzine has been around for over thirty issues.

    • Lovecraft Studies, edited by S.T. Joshi (Necronomicon Press)—This publication “was originally founded in 1979 to offer a forum for serious study of Lovecraft’s work.” It is available through Necronomicon Press and is “the premier showcase for modern Lovecraft research.”

    • Midnight Shambler (Necronomicon Press).

    • The New Lovecraft Collector (Necronomicon Press)—This “quarterly newsletter [is] devoted to informing subscribers as to new and recent Lovecraft publications..., films, and other...items pertaining to the old gent from Providence.”

    • The Silver Key (The Miskatonick Society)—

    • Studies in Weird Fiction, edited by S.T. Joshi (Necronomicon Press)—Similar to Lovecraft Studies, this periodical discusses weird tale authors other than Lovecraft, yet frequently touches on Lovecraftian themes.

    • The Unspeakable Oath (Pagan Publishing)—Semi-annual professional magazine devoted to Lovecraftian roleplaying games, but also including copious reviews of books, movies, and other Lovecraft/Cthulhu-related items as well as occasional articles on events such as NecronomiCon and the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

    • Yawning Vortex, edited by Perry Grayson (Tsathoggua Press)—This quarterly publication is a small press magazine devoted to “weird fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.” Issues contain short stories, articles, and reviews.

End of Part 3 of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ, “Written Works.”

  Return to The Alt.Horror.Cthulhu FAQ This page last revised 10 March 2001.
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