Friday, June 17, 2011

Favorite Lovecraft Stories

It's not directly related to gaming, although it's close, but I'm going to write about it anyway--Lately I've been re-reading some stories by H.P. Lovecraft. I'm not a huge fan of his the way some people are, but I like his stuff in general, some of it quite a bit. So I'm going to list several of my favorites of his stories.

  • The Dreams in the Witch House: My favorite. It's creepy and fascinating, and (unlike many of the other stories) the characters seem real and you care about them.
  • The Thing on the Doorstep: This story is apparently not well regarded, and I don't know why. I love it.
  • The Music of Erich Zann: Very short, but does a brilliant job of conveying horrible abysses and weirdness.
Some of Lovecraft's most famous and loved stories--such as The Call of Cthulhu and The Shadow Out of Time--seem to me more like descriptions of a weird background and history for a story, rather than stories themselves. And At the Mountains of Madness I find has way too much exposition--the narrator just goes on and on about a history of the Elder Things. These are still decent stories, but I don't get why they're so acclaimed.

Other stories--such as The Dunwich Horror and The Colour Out of Space--I just think are weak. Clearly I'm in the minority here.

Reading Lovecraft again has of course put me in the mood to play Call of Cthulhu (or to try Trail of Cthulhu). Maybe someday . . .

Note--there's a very good podcast about Lovecraft's stories, called the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. The hosts are going through all the stories Lovecraft wrote, in order, and they talk about each one. Well worth listening to.

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