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Al Edwards
01-21-2007, 12:10 AM
Being a fan of Lovecraft's literary works, I am wondering about his contemporaries like for instance Clark Ashton Smith. Any recommendations on what to start with this writer? How about other contemporary writers of Lovecraft in the similar field who are interesting or reccomended?

Randy Thomas G
01-21-2007, 03:41 AM
I have a collection of Clark Ashton Smith's horror/science-fantasy short stories which are quite good called City of Singing Flame (which includes the short story of the same name). I think he might have been a stronger writer than Lovecraft in some ways, although his style is very formal and remote.

For near-contemporaries in a similar vein, believe it or not, I would recommend Heinlein's terrific novella The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag and L. Ron Hubbard's (I know! but trust me!) intense novella Fear, which was written a number of years before he started up dianetics and scientology.

The best writer influenced by Lovecraft (they even corresponded when he was a teen) for me is Fritz Leiber, in particular his novel Our Lady of Darkness, one of the best horror novels I've ever read. Stephen King has mentioned this novel as a major influence as well.

Alex E.
01-21-2007, 05:37 AM
I would strongly recommend Robert E. Howard. He was also a member of the inner circle of Weird Tales writers, along with Clark Ashton Smith, E. Hoffmann Price, etc. They all shared similar interests, making it a point to help and encourage each other.

Howard and Lovecraft corresponded on many occasions and REH contributed many notable efforst to the Cthulu mythos. "The Black Stone" being one of his finest.

Brian Lindsey
01-21-2007, 09:31 AM
I would strongly recommend Robert E. Howard.
Ditto! Especially the Solomon Kane tales... Although the Conan stories feature a number of "Lovecraftian" monsters as well.

Earl Roesel
01-21-2007, 04:25 PM
and L. Ron Hubbard's (I know! but trust me!) intense novella Fear, which was written a number of years before he started up dianetics and scientology.


Forry is of the opinion that Hubbard (his former literary client) wrote two definitive classics of science fiction...Fear and Final Blackout. I have the second title but haven't had the chance to read it all the way through.

HPL's contemporary Frank Belknap Long wrote some exceedingly weird contributions to the Mythos a la The Space Eaters. That one really sort of freaked me out as a young nipper (and I think it was made into an episode of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE or MONSTERS, perhaps under another name). The Hounds of Tindalos was another noteworthy achievement that even found favor with Anton Szandor LaVey, who incorporated elements of it into his Satanic rituals.

Look to the early works of Robert Bloch too. He corresponded with HPL in the 30s and developed quite a warm long-distance relationship with him. Bloch's The Shambler from the Stars features a thinly-disgused Lovecraft as its main character - who meets a phantasmagorically gruesome doom in the end. HPL repaid Bloch in kind with his own The Haunter of the Dark and its main character "Robert Blake".

And don't neglect Lovecraft's antecedents...The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (with its titular play, said to drive one insane) was a direct influence on him. And elements of it were, in turn, borrowed from Ambrose "Bitter" Bierce's An Inhabitant of Carcosa...

Kristian R
01-21-2007, 05:41 PM
For R.E. Howard look for "Namless Cults" from Chaosium which collects his mythos fiction. They also put out a lot of other good collections of weird fiction including "The Complete Pegana" by Lord Dunsany who was a big influence on Lovecraft.
Necronomicon Press put out two nice Clark Ashton Smith collections worth getting: "The Book of Hyperborea" and "Tales of Zothique".

Tim Mayer
01-21-2007, 06:11 PM
Try Karl Edward Wagner. He passed away a decade ago, but managed to crank-out some amazing weird fiction and heroic fantasy tales before he went.