Home     His Life     His Writings     His Creations     His Study     Popular Culture     Internet Resources     About This Site  

After Engulfment:
Cosmicism and Neocosmicism in
H. P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick,
Robert A. Heinlein, and Frank Herbert

By Ellen J. Greenham


Back Cover Text

In this pioneering work of criticism, spanning the genres of weird fiction and science fiction, Ellen J. Greenham examines H. P. Lovecraft’s influence on canonical science fiction writers and the use of Lovecraft’s cosmicism as a lens through which selected works by Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, and Frank Herbert can be interpreted. Put simply, After Engulfment examines the experience of being human in an impersonal universe.

In Greenham’s analysis, Lovecraft’s cosmicism offers human beings limited options in madness or death as responses to the inescapable revelation of their own insignificance and ephemerality in the universe. The neocosmicism of Dick, Heinlein, and Herbert offers another pathway in the framework for how humans might respond when facing engulfment. Rather than yielding to despair, neocosmicism offers an experience that leads to the revitalisation of the human’s relationship with the universe it inhabits.

In its broad reach and keen, sensitive study of many of the leading texts of 20th-century horror and science fiction, After Engulfment presents a new way of looking at Lovecraft and his literary legacy.

Ellen J. Greenham is a Lecturer in Career Learning at Murdoch University
in Perth, Australia. She is the author of papers on Jim Morrison,
neocosmic apocalypse, and American and Russian science fiction.


Glossary of Terms
Abbreviations for Major Works
Part I: Universe
    Chapter 1: Universe and Cosmos
    Chapter 2: Cosmologies
    Chapter 3: Fractured Universe
Part II: Cosmicism
    Chapter 4: Cosmicism Is
    Chapter 5: Schizophrenic Universe
    Chapter 6: Heimlich Universe
    Chapter 7: Frozen Universe
    Chapter 8: Perihelion
Part III: Neocosmicism
    Chapter 9: Neocosmicism Is
    Chapter 10: Aphelion
    Chapter 11: Psychotic Universe
    Chapter 12: Chimeras and Cannibals
    Chapter 13: The Romance of the Universe

Bibliographic Information

After Engulfment: Cosmicism and Neocosmicism in H. P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, and Frank Herbert. By Ellen J. Greenham. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2022; ISBN 978-1-61498-377-4 (paperback); 342 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in paperback from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Hippocampus Press.

  Return to Literary Criticism This page last revised 16 September 2022.
  Contact Us     Site Map     Search    
Copyright © 1998–2024 by Donovan K. Loucks. All Rights Reserved.