H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast
October 21, 2009 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Awesome Podcast about Lovecraft! Check out this awesome podcast made by fans of Lovecraftian stories, movies, comics and the like. In each podcast, they discuss a specific H.P. Lovecraft story - what it's about, how it reads, why it may have been written and what other works of art it's influenced. Check it out at iTunes or www.hppodcraft.com
posted by Parasite Unseen (33 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Thanks to Parasite Unseen for the disclosure that this is actually kind of a self-link by proxy from someone else using his computer, which isn't really okay and whoever that was should really look into not posting to websites using other people's accounts. -- cortex



 
I've always been interested in Lovecraft's writing as it is often touched upon in pop culture references. I've never read anything by him. Would you recommend this cast to someone with no Lovecraft experience? Or if I were to start reading some of his stuff what would be a good place to start? Thanks HiveMind!
posted by theButterFly at 3:24 PM on October 21, 2009


I'd start by reading The Call of Cthulhu.
posted by waraw at 3:31 PM on October 21, 2009


Or if I were to start reading some of his stuff what would be a good place to start?

He writes short stories, so most Lovecraft anthologies have the classics: "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Shadow over Innsmouth," and "At the Mountains of Madness," are probably best-known, and for good reason.
posted by reverend cuttle at 3:32 PM on October 21, 2009


Or if I were to start reading some of his stuff what would be a good place to start?

I really recommend the penguin collections of H.P. Lovecrafts work, edited by S.T. Joshi (who is an expert on Lovecraft, and just generally rad):

Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories

The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories

Between these three volumes is pretty much everything Lovecraft ever wrote, and they're all annotated.
posted by supercrayon at 3:37 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did they do this just so they could call it the "HP Podcraft"? Also, where's L.P. Hatecraft when you need him (only for his username).

Finally, NEEDS MORE UNKNOWN KADATH.
posted by GuyZero at 3:42 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the note of HPL collections, Barnes & Noble has a "bargain books" hardcover complete collection of HPL's short stories, with great annotations and notes about the inspirations for the stories and dates when they were written/published. I have a lot of HPL collections, but that one's my favorite.
posted by runaway ballista at 3:44 PM on October 21, 2009


I stumbled shambled across this podcast via your comment in an earlier Lovecraft thread and have enjoyed it very much. I like how the guys know their stuff and obviously have a great love for HPL's work, but they aren't so serious they can't laugh and poke fun at it too.

Yes. Call of Cthulu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and At the Mountains of Madness are your Lovecraft primer. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for The Dreams in the Witch House.
posted by marxchivist at 3:45 PM on October 21, 2009


I would like to single out "Pickman's Model" as a great place to start with Lovecraft. It's short, atmospheric, and entertaining.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:49 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been listening to it as well. I'm not yet sure if the jokeyness is a bug or a fetaure, but I'm warming to the presenters so I'm going to go with feature for now.

Note that the podcast doesn't seem to have covered many of Lovecrafts big stories yet, and in fact some of those covered in the first few episodes are fairly weak early works.
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on October 21, 2009


"The Call of Cthulhu" is his most famous work. "The Colour Out of Space," however, is perhaps his most legitimately frightening, the "The Dreams of Unknown Kadath" his most beautiful.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:54 PM on October 21, 2009


I think The Music of Erich Zahn is one of Lovecraft's stronger works. I think the cosmic horror is a little more accessible to the Lovecraft newbie in that one.

The problem I'm trying to address with that recommendation is that, while Lovecraft is still just as much fun to read, it's not really so horrifying anymore, I think. Most smart people these days already know the universe doesn't care about us, although we stop short of inventing horrible squid gods to personify that impersonality. The Music of Erich Zahn is lighter on Lovecraft's trademark writing weirdnesses, like people writing out their screams of agony or supposing that they're actually screaming unpronouncable things.

(Aside: I recently picked up the HPLHS's generally excellent Dark Adventures Radio Theatre production of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and also the Atlanta Radio Company's production of At The Mountains Of Madness. Each production requires, at one point, an actor to say the word that is represented in text as something like "Tikilili." Neither does it in a convincing way, and it's hard to imagine a way in which that word could be said convincingly. It's just one of those Lovecraft things. We don't love him despite stuff like this, but because.)
posted by JHarris at 3:55 PM on October 21, 2009


Everyone who likes Lovecraft and has not read Michel Houellebecq's wonderful, biting, hilarious, absurdly depressing essay on the man and his work, get thee to this link now.
posted by matthewstopheles at 3:55 PM on October 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


And that link is to a PDF download, I should have mentioned, probably. Sorry!
posted by matthewstopheles at 3:56 PM on October 21, 2009


Mine is a minority opinion, but my favorite's always been "Shadow Out of Time." Can't gainsay the recommendations of "Call of Cthulhu" and "At the Mountains of Madness", of course.

Here are one Lovecraft afficionado's picks for best Cthulhu Mythos stories not by Lovecraft.
posted by Zed at 3:57 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Me, if I had to pick 3, I'd go for Shadow over Innsmouth, Mountains of Madness, and Whisperers in Darkness, with lots of stiries in competition for fourth place (Shadow out of Time I've always had a soft spot for, for instance). I guess I lean mostly towards the mad SFish stuff and Shoggoths.

Weirdly I never rated Call of Cthulhu itself that highly, despite it being the obvious one everyone points at.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on October 21, 2009


That Houllebecq essay is wonderful; I actually bought it in book form.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:59 PM on October 21, 2009


The Haunter in The Dark is another one I've always liked, despite it being the result of some weird literary one-upmanship game he was playing with his pen pal mates.
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Part of what's so great about The Colour Out of Space is that it touches on quite a lot of what turned Lovecraft's crank- body horror, cosmic horror, backwoods New England, and so on.

Here are one Lovecraft afficionado's picks for best Cthulhu Mythos stories not by Lovecraft.

For the record, that's Kenneth "Fuck yeah, it's Ken Hite" Hite.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:00 PM on October 21, 2009


Oh, and seconding The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. It's really nice. I heard it was unpublished in HPL's lifetime. I can kind of see why, it's not his usual style, and it also presents rather a softer side to big-heavy Nyarlathotep than we see elsewhere. It is nice to see Carter come back, and Pickman and his friendly Ghouls, and troops of fighting cats, and many other wonders. I hear it's rather derivative of Lord Dunsany but it's really hard to care about that.
posted by JHarris at 4:01 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think another aspect that undermines the horror of Lovecraft's stories is his racism. It's hard to take him seriously when he says that a space monster is noisome, foetid and eldritch with physical proportions that will literally drive you insane when he's already said the same thing about Sidney Poitier.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 4:02 PM on October 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm listening right now to episode 7 of the podcast, good find Parasite Unseen!
posted by supercrayon at 4:02 PM on October 21, 2009


Here are one Lovecraft afficionado's picks for best Cthulhu Mythos stories not by Lovecraft.

Some great stuff there, and a few stories new to me I'll have to track down.

The Mytos work of Robert Bloch and Robert E. Howard are really worth tracking down in general. My memory is iffy on this, but is Worms of the Earth one of the ones with Conan in?
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on October 21, 2009


if I were to start reading some of his stuff what would be a good place to start?

Del Rey has published a couple of great collections that combine Cthulhu and non-Cthulhu stories. Start with The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre, which includes "The Call of Cthulhu," "Pickman's Model," "The Outsider," "The Dunwich Horror," "The Shadow Out of Insmouth" and "The Colour Out of Space." Those last two are among the creepiest things I've ever read.

Your 2nd purchase is either the novella "At the Mountains of Madness," probably *the* classic Lovecraft story (get that Modern Library edition with a great intro by China Mieville), or the Dreams of Terror and Death collection, with "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, "The Silver Key," "The Statement of Randolph Carter" and "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath."

That brings you up to speed on Lovecraft.
posted by mediareport at 4:07 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will never forgive Del Toro for getting to At The Mountains of Madness before me. Then again, I can't think of a single person who could do it better.

Also, this is great! Thanks, Parasite Unseen.
posted by brundlefly at 4:07 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think another aspect that undermines the horror of Lovecraft's stories is his racism.

Well, his racism is pretty undeniable - if you're thinking of denying it pop ever and read this and pop back - but I don't necessarily think it undermines it. China Mieville makes an interesting argument that in a way it reinforces it.
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on October 21, 2009


I will never forgive Del Toro for getting to At The Mountains of Madness before me.

Hmm. Last I heard he wasn't doing it. But he keeps teasing us on that.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on October 21, 2009


previously
posted by empath at 4:20 PM on October 21, 2009


Remember, brundlefly, he has to actually do it first. Considering the first time I heard it was going to be his "next project" was 2006, and at this point it's still in the planning stages, well... Let's just say I'll believe it's actually going to happen when I start seeing trailers.
posted by Caduceus at 4:23 PM on October 21, 2009


his racism is pretty undeniable

Hell, his racism is essential to some of his creepiest stories. "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is nothing if not a shit-in-your-pants shriek about the horrors of race-mixing.
posted by mediareport at 4:23 PM on October 21, 2009


The Whisperer in the Darkness and the Colour out of Space, I think, are probably the best introductory stories.

I believe all of his stories are at wikisource.
posted by empath at 4:23 PM on October 21, 2009


Heh. Of course the thing about insmouth is I always think more about inbreeding than interbreeding when I think of it. Holiday trips to the weirder parts of Cornwall will do that I guess.
posted by Artw at 4:25 PM on October 21, 2009


"The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is nothing if not a shit-in-your-pants shriek about the horrors of race-mixing.

15 years ago, I wrote a sequel to Shadow Over Innsmouth set in the modern day after Innsmouth was reborn as a modern beach community -- go-karts, boardwalk, carnival rides and everything.

The Deep Ones' descendants are all employed as carnies. The haunted house is built over the old temple, etc.. ,
posted by empath at 4:27 PM on October 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dude, there's like fifty adaptations of that, and we can't get a Mountains of Madness?
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on October 21, 2009


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