|H.P. Lovecraft is an author who teaches that you don't have to travel far afield for unusual or bizarre settings for your stories. Much of his ouvre takes place in New England, near his home in Providence, Rhode Island.
Lovecraft was the inventor of the “cosmic horror” genre, and that is where he drew his inspiration.
Though during his lifetime his readership was limited, his reputation has continued to grow through the decades. He is now regarded as one of the most influential and prolific writers of horror, fantasy and science-fiction in American history. Directly or indirectly, his influence is widespread.
Lovecraft’s work always had a sense of impending doom… that life was just a thin shell, and it could easily be cracked exposing realities so alien that they jeopardize one’s sanity. Indeed, sanity in the face of the incomprehensible is a common theme. The mythos created by Lovecraft was comprised of ancient alien creatures of unspeakable horror -- the most well-known of which is his Cthulhu Mythos.
He is most often compared to Edgar Allen Poe in the style and tone of his writing.
Many modern authors, artists and filmmakers cite Lovecraft as a heavy influence in their work: John Carpenter, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, H.R. Geiger, F. Paul Wilson, Bentley Little, Guillermo del Toro, Thomas Ligotti, T.E.D. Klein, Stuart Gordon, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Ramsey Campbell, Bernie Wrightson, Brian Lumley, Clive Barker and Joe R. Lansdale to name but a few.
Most of his work is in the public domain, and can be found online. There are plenty of collections available as well as graphic novel interpretations.
One of my favorite’s is a story he co-wrote with author Kenneth Sterling, In The Walls of Eryx. If you are a sci-fi fan and new to Lovecraft this may be a good place to start.
Bibliography and Webography
Biographical Wikisource’s H.P. Lovecraft Page
Wikipedia’s H.P. Lovecraft Page
H. P. Lovecraft, by S. T. Joshi, at The Scriptorum
H.P. Lovecraft's Afterlife, Wall Street Journal, Mar. 15, 2005.
Film Makers and Festivals
Lurker Films: bringing you the best weird tale and literary horror dvd collections.
The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival: promoting the works of H.P. Lovecraft, literary horror, and weird tales by showcasing cinematic adaptations by professional and amateur filmmakers
Unfilmable: dedicated to promoting cinematic adaptations of Lovecraft and other Mythos and Weird fiction authors
Arkham Bazaar: online source for weird tale and literary horror merchandise (books, dvds, cds, t-shirts, posters, stickers statues and much more… inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert W. Chambers and others).