Monday, March 21, 2011

Critic wants you to know that Lovecraft wrote science fiction, NOT horror

Over at they're discussing the issue of which genre, exactly, Lovecraft should be put in. Although he's considered one of the greatest early horror writers of all time, many of his most famous works are also science fictional, if not outright science fiction. TopDoc thinks Lovey is being neglected, and people should start thinking of him as one of the greatest science fiction authors of all time. Here's their case:
The most astonishing example of misrepresentation by critics which I have ever come across, concerns the master of horror, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). Certainly there is a side of him that conforms to the image given out by the critics. Many of his tales are admittedly of the claustrophobic, disgusting kind of horror story; full of ghoulish loathsomeness. However there is another side to him, and this side is completely ignored, so far as I know, by almost all commentators – except his biographer L Sprague de Camp and the publisher and fan August Derleth. This other side is the science fictional side.
Lovecraft’s output was meagre, yet he was one of the greatest science fiction writers. Three of his longer tales are unsurpassed in their gift for evoking the awesome, threatening vistas of time and space: At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Out of Time and The Whisperer in Darkness.
Me, I don't worry myself about such things.  Like all human affairs, this is really of no concern to the great cosmic entities that will one day inadvertently devour us all. Yes, Lovecraft wrote some kind of horror/science fiction hybrid and yes, people often call this weird fiction too. But labels aren't gonna matter when old squiddy himself the high priest Cthulhu starts waking up the Great Old Ones. Holla.

And yes, he was a horror writer. Dur.

(H.P. Lovecraft - Unrecognized Master of Science Fiction)


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