Sunday, January 08, 2006

This little community is growing and I'm excited about delving into the many unique aspects of Mr. Lovecraft. Like a jewel, it glitters differently depending on the angle one views it.

J. T. O'Connor writes frequently of HPL and the Mythos perspective. I'm delighted to be able to share this essay.

H.P. Lovecraft was the bridge between traditional horror and modern horror. Traditional horror, with few exceptions, was concerned with werewolves, vampires, ghosts and creatures from myth. Even Arthur Machen's "little people" horrors were based on his interpretation of Welsh and Irish mythology.

Lovecraft was the first writer of horror to actually put forth a "scientific" explanation for the horrors and creatures in his works. The famous "creatures of black magic who were cast out" quote was from August Derleth, not Lovecraft, but it aptly, if somewhat simplistically, explains Lovecraft's concepts.

Eons ago, there was a war between two groups of beings, the Great Old Ones and the Elder Gods. Neither was a creature even remotely related to man. The Elder Gods won, but since neither group could be "killed", the Elder Gods imprisoned the Great Old Ones in various places throughout our universe, and in some spaces between our spaces. What is imprisoned can be freed, and the Great Old Ones are no exception. When the "stars are right", Cthulhu, or other Great Old Ones can be freed, but only by an outside source. It's for that reason that Cthulhu contacts human beings through dreams, hoping that one of them will help free him when R'Lyeh rises above the waves. There are also nonhuman servants of the Great Old Ones who exist on our plane, and can be bad news for humans who become involved with them. These include the "fish men" of Innsmouth, the Sand Dwellers and several others, although most of them have been created by the followers of Lovecraft, not by Lovecraft himself.

The concepts are far wider than this essay, and have influenced many other writers to "borrow" Lovecraft's concepts for their own writing. First, of course, was August Derleth, the founder of Arkham House, and the single most important person to preserve the writing of Lovecraft. Other writers who started with Lovecraftian works are Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Lin Carter, Robert Bloch and a host of much more minor writers, including the poor weirdo writing this essay. The influence of Lovecraft appears in the tales of every writer, whether that writer acknowledges it or not. Even Stephen King has used 'Lovecraftian mentions' in most of his stories. Lovecraft's influence will undoubtedly be felt for many years to come.

About the Author: J.T. O'Connor is the co author of The Coming Of T'Loal (Layne Books, 2004)a trained musician with two recording credits Tone Poems...That Sometimes Rhyme (Sacred Chao Records, 2000) and Fary Ring (Sacred Chao Records, 2001). His current project is another mythos tale called Opening the way.

You can contact him at with JTOC in the subject line.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Even Borges wrote an explicitly Lovecraftian tale. I believe the title is “There Are More Things,” about a man investigating the neighbors next door...

Best regards,



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