Samstag, 6. Juli 2013

The Lurking Fear by H. P. Lovecraft

The Lurking Fear and other Stories
By H. P. Lovecraft

Cry Horror (2nd Avon edition of “The Lurking Fear)
Avon Books. 1958. $0.35
WDL UK Edition. 1956 2/6

Panther 1970
Beagle Books Arkham House Edition 1971

Ballantine 1973
Ballantine 1982

Wordsworth Editions 2013

                                                              One of my copies (Richard Powers cover)
                                                                    Another of mine.(John holmes cover)

                                                           And still another of mine.

                                                                  Michael Whelan cover.

                                                         And this one should be arriving next week!

“The Lurking Fear” is one of my all time favourite HPL collections. These are mostly, but not all, transitional stories that bridge his Dunsany phase and his more mature “Cthulhu Mythos” phase.  Some of these tales are not Mr. Lovecraft’s best writing endeavours, but as sheer entertainment this isn’t a stinker in the bunch. It’s being re-released next week by “Wordsworth Books” next week and it’s available at And it’s a very affordable edition. What’s interesting about the publishing history of this collection was that it was first published by Avon back in 1947and then re-released in 1958 under the title “Cry Horror2 with an amazing cover by Mr. Richard Powers. One year later WDL in the UK published an edition that was identical to the Avon 1958 edition. This WDL edition is the book that introduced Mr. Ramsey Campbell to HPL and thus inspired Mr. Campbell into becoming a writer! Thank you WDL! The Beagle and Panther editions are also identical to one another. The l1973 Ballantine edition sports so extremely bizarre cover art by John Holmes (no not that John Holmes!) as part of a uniform series. The 1982 Ballantine edition was part of the uniform series which all had cover art by Michael Whelan.

Now let’s take a look at them there stories!
Inbred Dutch cannibal mole-men chow down on hillbillies while chewing of a few faces along the way. There’s lots of lightening in this one!
It seems that a house plagued by a century’s long series of unexplained deaths has a jelly vampire buried in the basement.
A cheapskate mortician gets locked in over night in a vault full of cheated customers and hilarity ensues.
  • 51 • Arthur Jermyn • (1939) • shortstory by H. P. Lovecraft (variant of The White Ape 1920)
  • A bigot’s worst nightmare comes true. Grandpa brought Grandma back from darkest Africa. Fellow discovers why< non one ever took any photos of granny and ends up doing the pissed of Buddhist monk trick.
  • 59 • Cool Air • (1928) • shortstory by H. P. Lovecraft
  • HPL’s nastier version of Poe’s “The Case of M. Valdemar”.
  • 66 • The Moon-Bog • (1926) • shortstory by H. P. Lovecraft
A rich Yankee moves back to Englad to restore his family old seat of power and drain the local bog. The villagers warn against it. He don’t wanna listen though. Only when it’s too late does he realize that maybe he should have listened after all.
An archaeologist goes digging in some ruins of a lost city in the Arabian Desert.  He ends up waking some lizard men. There’s tons of wonderful atmosphere in this one!
Puritan family locks up freak child in the attic. It naturally breaks out and kills a lot of folks after it grows up big and strong on the fish heads that they’d been feeding it. A couple of centuries later two knuckle head investigators  decide to spend the night on it’s graves. They almost get killed by something that attacks them in the middle of the night.
“And I was too dazed to exult when he whispered back a thing I had half expected—
      “No—it wasn’t that way at all. It was everywhere—a gelatin—a slime—yet it had shapes, a thousand shapes of horror beyond all memory. There were eyes—and a blemish. It was the pit—the maelstrom—the ultimate abomination.
Carter, it was the unnamable!”
Duuh! If you can describe it, then I’m also pretty sure that you can give it a name!
A stranded motorists seeks shelter in a New England Hillbilly shack.
Lesson: don’t give crazy old hillbillies picture books. They tend to get ideas!
In Kingsport there lives a crazy old recluse who pays his bills exclusively with old Spanish Doubloons and who the entire town is frightened of. A trio of burglars discover to their dismay that the “Terrible Old Man” turns out to have some serious home canning issues.
Two necrophile collectors of the bizarre just have to go and dig up something that should ever have been dug up. They then go and make matters worse by plundering the grave. It’s a shame that they didn’t count on “Repo-hound’ paying them a visit..

It’ beginning to look a lot like Fish-Men!!
Can you say Batrachain?
Sure, I knew you could!

Creepy mind swapping from the depths of time!
With a “GASP” shock ending that gets telegraphed from almost the very beginning.
What I do find really cool in this story is that even though Mr. Lovecraft wasn’t a continuity freak if you read it carefully enough he clearly states that Cthulhu will not rise up from the depths during many tenure on the Earth!

Well that’s it this time around.
Take care and thanks for stopping by!

1 Kommentar:

  1. I like your HPL posts. I have the John Holmes Panther among my HPL editions.

    This is an interesting line-up. Vintage stories and in contrast some classics.