Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos by H.p. M. LovecraftTales of the Lovecraft Mythos by H.p. M. Lovecraft

Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos

Contribution byH.p. M. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Stephen King

Paperback | October 1, 2002

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When H. P. Lovecraft first introduced his macabre universe in the pages of Weird Tales magazine, the response was electrifying. Gifted writers—among them his closest peers—added sinister new elements to the fear-drenched landscape. Here are some of the most famous original stories from the pulp era that played a pivotal role in reflecting the master’s dark vision.
FANE OF THE BLACK PHARAOH by Robert Bloch: A man obsessed with unearthing dark secrets succumbs to the lure of the forbidden.
BELLS OF HORROR by Henry Kuttner: Infernal chimes ring the promise of dementia and mutilation.
THE FIRE OF ASSHURBANIPAL by Robert E. Howard: In the burning Afghan desert, a young American unleashes an ancient curse.
THE ABYSS by Robert A. W. Lowndes: A hypnotized man finds himself in an alternate universe, trapped on a high wire between life and death.
THE THING ON THE ROOF by Robert E. Howard
THE SEVEN GEASES by Clark Ashton Smith
THE INVADERS by Henry Kuttner
ITHAQUA by August Derleth
THE LAIR OF THE STAR-SPAWN by August Derleth & Mark Schorer
THE LORD OF ILLUSION by E. Hoffmann Price
THE WARDER OF KNOWLEDGE by Richard F. Searight
THE SCOURGE OF B’MOTH by Bertram Russell
MUSIC OF THE STARS by Duane W. Rimel
THE AQUARIUM by Carl Jacobi
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1890 - 1937 H. P. Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island. His mother was Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft and his father was Winfield Scott Lovecraft, a traveling salesman for Gorham & Co. Silversmtihs. Lovecraft was reciting poetry at the age of two and when he was three years old, h...
Title:Tales of the Lovecraft MythosFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.2 × 0.84 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.2 × 0.84 inPublished:October 1, 2002Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345444086

ISBN - 13:9780345444080

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Read from the Book

The Thing on the Roof   Robert E. Howard   They lumber through the night With their elephantine tread; I shudder in affright As I cower in my bed. They lift colossal wings On the high gable roofs Which tremble to the trample Of their mastodonic hoofs.   —JUSTIN GEOFFREY: Out of the Old Land.   Let me begin by saying that I was surprised when Tussmann called on me. We had never been close friends; the man’s mercenary instincts repelled me; and since our bitter controversy of three years before, when he attempted to discredit my Evidences of Nahua Culturein Yucatan, which was the result of years of careful research, our relations had been anything but cordial. However, I received him and found his manner hasty and abrupt, but rather abstracted, as if his dislike for me had been thrust aside in some driving passion that had hold of him.   His errand was quickly stated. He wished my aid in obtaining a volume in the first edition of Von Junzt’s Nameless Cults—the edition known as the Black Book, not from its color, but because of its dark contents. He might almost as well have asked me for the original Greek translation of the Necronomicon. Though since my return from Yucatan I had devoted practically all my time to my avocation of book collecting, I had not stumbled onto any hint that the book in the Düsseldorf edition was still in existence.   A word as to this rare work. Its extreme ambiguity in spots, coupled with its incredible subject matter, has caused it long to be regarded as the ravings of a maniac and the author was damned with the brand of insanity. But the fact remains that much of his assertions are unanswerable, and that he spent the full forty-five years of his life prying into strange places and discovering secret and abysmal things. Not a great many volumes were printed in the first edition and many of these were burned by their frightened owners when Von Junzt was found strangled in a mysterious manner, in his barred and bolted chamber one night in 1840, six months after he had returned from a mysterious journey to Mongolia.   Five years later a London printer, one Bridewall, pirated the work, and issued a cheap translation for sensational effect, full of grotesque wood-cuts, and riddled with misspellings, faulty translations and the usual errors of a cheap and unscholarly printing. This still further discredited the original work, and publishers and public forgot about the book until 1909 when the Golden Goblin Press of New York brought out an edition.   Their production was so carefully expurgated that fully a fourth of the original matter was cut out; the book was handsomely bound and decorated with the exquisite and weirdly imaginative illustrations of Diego Vasquez. The edition was intended for popular consumption but the artistic instinct of the publishers defeated that end, since the cost of before the Spaniards came.   “I would have liked to have broken into the sealed-up chamber, but I had neither the time nor the tools for the task. I was hurrying to the coast, having been wounded by an accidental gunshot in the foot, and I stumbled on to the place purely by chance.   “I have been planning to have another look at it, but circumstances have prevented—now I intend to let nothing stand in my way! By chance I came upon a passage in the Golden Goblin edition of this book, describing the temple. But that was all; the mummy was only briefly mentioned. Interested, I obtained one of Bridewall’s translations but ran up against a blank wall of baffling blunders. By some irritating mischance the translator had even mistaken the location of the Temple of the Toad, as Von Junzt calls it, and has it in Guatemala instead of Honduras. The general description is faulty, the jewel is mentioned and the fact that it is a ‘key.’ But a key to what, Bridewall’s book does not state. I now felt that I was on the track of a real discovery, unless Von Junzt was, as many maintain, a madman. But that the man was actually in Honduras at one time is well attested, and no one could so vividly describe the temple—as he does in the Black Book—unless he had seen it himself. How he learned of the jewel is more than I can say. The Indians who told me of the mummy said nothing of any jewel. I can only believe that Von Junzt found his way into the sealed crypt somehow—the man had uncanny ways of learning hidden things.   “To the best of my knowledge only one other white man has seen the Temple of the Toad besides Von Junzt and myself—the Spanish traveller Juan Gonzalles, who made a partial exploration of that country in 1793. He mentioned, briefly, a curious fane that differed from most Indian ruins, and spoke skeptically of a legend current among the natives that there was ‘something unusual’ hidden under the temple. I feel certain that he was referring to the Temple of the Toad.   “Tomorrow I sail for Central America. Keep the book; I have no more use for it. This time I am going fully prepared and I intend to find what is hidden in that temple, if I have to demolish it. It can be nothing less than a great store of gold! The Spaniards missed it, somehow; when they arrived in Central America, the Temple of the Toad was deserted; they were searching for living Indians from whom torture could wring gold; not for mummies of lost peoples. But I mean to have that treasure.”   So saying Tussmann took his departure. I sat down and opened the book at the place where he had left off reading, and I sat until midnight, rapt in Von Junzt’s curious, wild and at times utterly vague expoundings. And I found pertaining to the Temple of the Toad certain things which disquieted me so much that the next morning I attempted to get in touch with Tussmann, only to find that he had already sailed.   Several months passed and then I received a letter from Tussmann, asking me to come and spend a few days with him at his estate in Sussex; he also requested me to bring the Black Book with me.   I arrived at Tussmann’s rather isolated estate just after nightfall. He lived in almost feudal state, his great ivy-grown house and broad lawns surrounded by high stone walls. As I went up the hedge-bordered way from the gate to the house, I noted that the place had not been well kept in its master’s absence. Weeds grew rank among the trees, almost choking out the grass. Among some unkempt bushes over against the outer wall, I heard what appeared to be a horse or an ox blundering and lumbering about. I distinctly heard the clink of its hoof on a stone.   A servant who eyed me suspiciously admitted me and I found Tussmann pacing to and fro in his study like a caged lion. His giant frame was leaner, harder than when I had last seen him; his face was bronzed by a tropic sun. There were more and harsher lines in his strong face and his eyes burned more intensely than ever. A smoldering, baffled anger seemed to underlie his manner.   “Well, Tussmann,” I greeted him, “what success? Did you find the gold?”   “I found not an ounce of gold,” he growled. “The whole thing was a hoax—well, not all of it. I broke into the sealed chamber and found the mummy——”   “And the jewel?” I exclaimed.   He drew something from his pocket and handed it to me.   I gazed curiously at the thing I held. It was a great jewel, clear and transparent as crystal, but of a sinister crimson, carved, as Von Junzt had declared, in the shape of a toad. I shuddered involuntarily; the image was peculiarly repulsive. I turned my attention to the heavy and curiously wrought copper chain which supported it.   “What are these characters carved on the chain?” I asked curiously.   “I can not say,” Tussmann replied. “I had thought perhaps you might know. I find a faint resemblance between them and certain partly defaced hieroglyphics on a monolith known as the Black Stone in the mountains of Hungary. I have been unable to decipher them.”   “Tell me of your trip,” I urged, and over our whiskey-and-sodas he began, as if with a strange reluctance.   “I found the temple again with no great difficulty, though it lies in a lonely and little-frequented region. The temple is built against a sheer stone cliff in a deserted valley unknown to maps and explorers. I would not endeavor to make an estimate of its antiquity, but it is built of a sort of unusually hard basalt, such as I have never seen anywhere else, and its extreme weathering suggests incredible age.   “Most of the columns which form its facade are in ruins, thrusting up shattered stumps from worn bases, like the scattered and broken teeth of some grinning hag. The outer walls are crumbling, but the inner walls and the columns which support such of the roof as remains intact, seem good for another thousand years, as well as the walls of the inner chamber.   “The main chamber is a large circular affair with a floor composed of great squares of stone. In the center stands the altar, merely a huge, round, curiously carved block of the same material. Directly behind the altar, in the solid stone cliff which forms the rear wall of the chamber, is the sealed and hewn-out chamber wherein lay the mummy of the temple’s last priest.