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Greatest Lovecraft Story!  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Which HPL fiction work do you enjoy the most?

    • The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
      3
    • The Call of Cthulhu
      4
    • The Dunwich Horror
      0
    • At the Mountians of Madness
      6
    • The Shadow Over Innsmouth
      3
    • Herbert West - Reanimator
      0
    • The Colour out of Space
      3
    • The Dream Quest of Unknon Kadath
      3
    • The Whisperer in Darkness
      1
    • The Dreams in the Witch House
      3
    • The Shadow out of Time
      5
    • The Tomb
      0
    • Dagon
      0
    • The Picture in the House
      0
    • The Rats in the Walls
      2
    • The Horror at Red Hook
      0
    • Pickman's Model
      0
    • Through the Gates of the Silver Key
      0
    • The Shunned House
      1
    • The Hound
      0
  2. 2. Also, which of the following to you believe to be better?

    • Howard Philips Lovecraft
      19
    • Clark Ashton Smith
      10
    • Robert Bloch
      0


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As chosen by you!

I added 20 cannon stories to the list, if you need more, let me know.

If you can think of any other mainly Mythos horror writers whom you would vote for, let me know and I'll add them to the poll.

Edited by Dethstrok9
I added a second question to see how many people actually think HPL himself is the foremost cosmic horror writer, or some other tortured soul.

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I've read literature critics that claim "Shadow Out of Time is H.P.'s best work, but "Shadow Over Innsmouth" is the tale that fired my imagination the most.  The thought of being stalked through a rickety small town at night by things that used to be human (and they know the territory better than you) still sends shivers down my spine.  "Dunwich," "Dexter Ward" and "Kadath" are also favorites but just not as personal as "Innsmouth."  Wilbur is after the manuscript and his brother will eat anybody.  The events of "Dexter Ward" are happening off in a corner somewhere and murder sprees are commonplace these days.  "Kadath" seems more of an Indiana Jones type romp, maybe with a bit of Baron Munchausen thrown in.  But the creatures in "Innsmouth" are after YOU!

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It is widely accepted in literary circles that "At the Mountains of Madness" is Lovecraft's most original piece of writing.  Not only does it provide the most context for the whole C'thulhu Mythos, but it is also the very first novel to ever introduce Geological Time as a major literary theme.  On the other hand, the question the survey asked was which story I enjoyed the most, and that is unequivocally "The Whisperer in Darkness".  I love the rural isolation, the embarrassment over buying more guard dogs, the whole alien quasi-abduction theme, the folkloric hints, and the unfolding of the alien plot.  I also voted for Smith, because while Lovecraft is more original, Smith is more poetic, has plenty of great ideas, and is eminently more readable, and doesn't get enough credit for his impact on the Mythos.  Smith is a master of the weird tale, and people treat him as a footnote to Lovecraft when he deserves better imo.

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

It is widely accepted in literary circles that "At the Mountains of Madness" is Lovecraft's most original piece of writing.  Not only does it provide the most context for the whole C'thulhu Mythos, but it is also the very first novel to ever introduce Geological Time as a major literary theme.  On the other hand, the question the survey asked was which story I enjoyed the most, and that is unequivocally "The Whisperer in Darkness".  I love the rural isolation, the embarrassment over buying more guard dogs, the whole alien quasi-abduction theme, the folkloric hints, and the unfolding of the alien plot.  I also voted for Smith, because while Lovecraft is more original, Smith is more poetic, has plenty of great ideas, and is eminently more readable, and doesn't get enough credit for his impact on the Mythos.  Smith is a master of the weird tale, and people treat him as a footnote to Lovecraft when he deserves better imo.

I personally didn't love "At the Mountains of Madness" (mainly because of the main character and his writing style), but I also have heard that it's super important to his mythos. I have never read Smith's writing, so I can't really comment on his work. I voted for Charles Dexter Ward because of its amazing storytelling and the fact that it is a complete story which actually has an ending, however, some other personal favorites include The Whisperer in Darkness and Reanimator.

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15 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

I personally didn't love "At the Mountains of Madness" (mainly because of the main character and his writing style), but I also have heard that it's super important to his mythos. I have never read Smith's writing, so I can't really comment on his work. I voted for Charles Dexter Ward because of its amazing storytelling and the fact that it is a complete story which actually has an ending, however, some other personal favorites include The Whisperer in Darkness and Reanimator.

There is no doubt that Charles Dexter Ward is a good story.  The theme of mysterious ancestral inheritance provides the initial investigative impetus of the story without telegraphing what is going to happen.  Loss of identity and being subsumed and subordinated into something evil is a very powerful theme in horror, and I admit it is one of my favorites, as it is genuinely unsettling to me.  And yes, the resolution is well handled.  I understand well why you like it.

As I said before, the literary scholars think At the Mountains of Madness is the most original, and personally, I like "Whisperer" for its UFO-abduction-before-UFO-abductions-were-a-thing, theme.

As to Clark Ashton Smith, I must make a point of recommending him pretty highly.  Simply put, he doesn't opt for the report writing style of 1930s realism that HPL uses, but opts for a rather florid and poetic style of prose that can be quite beguiling.  His Hyperborea cycle of stories is the most Mythos-relevant, dealing as it does with Tsathoggua, Eibon, the Book of Eibon, the Voormis, and other mythos themes.  I personally love his Averoigne stories, but there is quite a collection.  If you are in a mood to listen to some audio-book style recordings, I recommend hopping on YouTube and looking up Clark Ashton Smith, as you will find a plethora of readings to listen to.  I think my favorite story of his is "the Colossus of Yglourne". 

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On 12/28/2019 at 10:05 PM, Dethstrok9 said:

WOW! 

The Shadow Out of Time is number one on the charts right now!

That surprises me, too. Among the major canon, The Shadow Out of Time is among my least favorites. It's easy for the reader to get ahead of the narrator in terms of knowing what it's going on, and I find the themes it covers better handled in At the Mountains of Madness or in The Whisperer in Darkness. (Incidentally, those two are my two favorites.)

I'm also a bit surprised The Colour Out of Space isn't doing better. I think of that one as widely highly regarded, though perhaps it's simply not many people's overall favorite.

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35 minutes ago, Joe Kenobi said:

That surprises me, too. Among the major canon, The Shadow Out of Time is among my least favorites. It's easy for the reader to get ahead of the narrator in terms of knowing what it's going on, and I find the themes it covers better handled in At the Mountains of Madness or in The Whisperer in Darkness. (Incidentally, those two are my two favorites.)

I'm also a bit surprised The Colour Out of Space isn't doing better. I think of that one as widely highly regarded, though perhaps it's simply not many people's overall favorite.

Yeah, color out of space would be my pick for most original, at least to me. When I read that story, I was mainly thinking WTF the whole time. Also, Whisper in the Darkness' atmosphere is the most compelling (in my opinion) of his work. 

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Must be the hot chocolate and ski babes.

Oh wait, that was "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."  Darn!  Why can't Delta Green have as much fun as George Lazenby?

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1 hour ago, seneschal said:

Must be the hot chocolate and ski babes.

Oh wait, that was "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."  Darn!  Why can't Delta Green have as much fun as George Lazenby?

James Bond vs the church of Dagon would be fun to see.

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Well, it all has come down to this. Neck to neck as they approach the goal is "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Shadow Out of Time"

Vote now to discover the truth...

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On 12/31/2019 at 1:22 AM, EricW said:

Masters of Horror did an excellent take on Dreams in the Witch House.

 

Thank you EricW  for sharing! I loved this, do these creators have other, similar, creations?

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2 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Thank you EricW  for sharing! I loved this, do these creators have other, similar, creations?

Yes. This should be a Cthulhu story, about an attack on humanity so subtle yet utterly devastating only a handful of people realise what is happening. Think what the deep ones might do if they wanted to kill off all the humans.

 

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Just "discovered" this thread.

While I love most of HPL's work, my top three favourites are The Shunned House, The Haunter of The Dark and The Lurking Fear.

The first because it shows how much research can be done  - and in fact should be done - before an investigation. The second because the horror is implied rather than shown. Finally, the third is a grand introduction to the world of a CoC Investigator.

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4 hours ago, Stormkhan Cogg of Pavis said:

Just "discovered" this thread.

While I love most of HPL's work, my top three favourites are The Shunned House, The Haunter of The Dark and The Lurking Fear.

The first because it shows how much research can be done  - and in fact should be done - before an investigation. The second because the horror is implied rather than shown. Finally, the third is a grand introduction to the world of a CoC Investigator.

I haven't read The Shunned House, but I'm pretty high on The Lurking Fear myself. I think it probably suffers in votes like this, though, because it falls much closer to traditional/Gothic horror than the cosmic/Mythos horror Lovecraft is uniquely associated with.

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9 hours ago, Stormkhan Cogg of Pavis said:

Just "discovered" this thread.

While I love most of HPL's work, my top three favourites are The Shunned House, The Haunter of The Dark and The Lurking Fear.

The first because it shows how much research can be done  - and in fact should be done - before an investigation. The second because the horror is implied rather than shown. Finally, the third is a grand introduction to the world of a CoC Investigator.

Welcome to the discussion!

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I think much of HPL's work suffers for it's exposition. The stories, and concepts, are grand but it's amazing how his characters turn into narrators of ancient history.

Look at how much information is garnered from the bas reliefs on the walls of the ctiy 'in the mountains of madness'. Wonderful history lesson, studied, photographed then sketched, detailing the history of The Elder Things, only to be remembered in detail back home.

Recall the amount of minute description in The Shadow Out of Time, as the hapless victim recalls his dreams.

It was like HPL had so much background to impart that he used his characters to read out from his notes rather than recount their experiences. At least Call of Cthulhu was more 'natural' in the storytelling, leaving it up to the reader to make conclusions.

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