/ Fiction suggestions - similar to Lovecraft

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The Potato - on 07 Nov 2017
Not long ago I finished reading h p Lovecraft stories and novels, I find myself craving some more horror in a similar style - I tried MS Frankenstein but found it rather dull, as with day of the triffids, although I am legend was good.
What do you ghoulish fiends and shadowy forms lurking on the borders of sanity suggest?
Stichtplate on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

The Ritual by Adam Neville . I read it a couple of years ago, just been made into a film. It's genuinely atmospheric and properly, clammy hands creepy. Swedish wilderness survival with added Scandi black metal, a truly original monster and hints of Blair Witch without being derivative .
I wouldn't say it was similar to Lovecraft, but then I'd say Lovecraft was pretty much unique.
nastyned - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer is very Lovecraftian
Stichtplate on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to nastyned:

I read Annihilation on the strength of all the hype, found it pretty boring and didn't bother with the other 2. Lovecraftian ? Can't see it.
RX-78 on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Try the fantasy by Lord Dunsany. Not really horror but written around the same time.
HansStuttgart - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

haven#t read Lovecraft...

Maybe Clark Ashton Smith
wercat on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Have you read "The House on the Borderland" by William Hope Hodgson?

Any MR James stories? Or more modern "Dark Matter" by Michelle Paver?
Bobling - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

There are a couple of good Cthulu Mythos short story selections from Brian Lumley - Dagon's Bell and other Discords and the Burrowers Beneath. Good stuff from Stephen King too - The Mist is a classic and "The Arrowhead Project" is the source of a few of the evils that bedevil Maine in his works. A bit different but one of the only books to reliably give me nightmares - World War Z is stunning. Huge set pieces, really well thought through. About the only thing it shares with the film is the title (and zombies I suppose) if you have seen that.

Happy reading!
Big Ger - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Edgar Allan Poe's works?
hokkyokusei - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

If you like lovecraftian horrors, and don't mind a bit of IT support and James bond mixed in, try Charles Stross' Laundry Novels.
Paul Evans - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to hokkyokusei:

Another vote for the Laundry novels - fantastic, and really need to be read in order. But as the OP was looking for more books "like Lovecraft"... well the Laundry novels are "like Lovecraft" in the same sense that Led Zeppelin were "like Robert Johnson"....
Wilberforce - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Try The Fisherman by John Langan; it doesn't score so highly on the tentacle front but it still has that same cosmic horror sense of human frailty and is definitely a step up in tension and prose. If you really want to jump in the deep end, Livia Llewellyn's Furnace is definitely type 2 fun...
Ramblin dave - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to RX-78:

> Try the fantasy by Lord Dunsany. Not really horror but written around the same time.

Dunsany was a big influence on Lovecraft, I think, but the stuff of his that I've read has more in common with Lovecraft's more fantasy-oriented stuff (the Dream Quest of the Unknown Kadath in particular) than the creepy cosmic horror stuff.

MR James was writing at about the same time as Lovecraft but is pretty much the opposite sort of writer - classic ghost stories with no great cosmic sweep, but superbly written.

A more modern writer who hasn't been mentioned yet is Laird Barron. I've only read his short story collection, The Imago Sequence, but it was pretty solid. It's very Lovecraftian in the general setting (unspeakably alien cosmic horrors want to consume the world and there's probably not a lot we can do about it) but with much tighter writing and sort of Ballardian interest in coked-up emotion-free alpha male protagonists - from gunslingers to businessmen - whose hardman poses always feels like they're about one shock away from shattering. Top stuff.
toad - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Perdito st station by China Mieville heavily influenced by lovecraft vut much more sophisticated plotting
RX-78 on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Thanks for the info, will have to look up some of the names mentioned in this thread
nathan79 - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a nice little collection of stories.
defaid - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:
Another vote for Charles Stross' series, the Laundry Files. Ian Fleming crossed with HP Lovecraft.

Despite his having a bit of a thing about neo-nazis, or rather, persistent originals, and using an American English spell-checker, he's consistently funny and compelling. And occasionally just horrible...
Post edited at 13:35
The Potato - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:
thanks everybody, looks like ill have plenty to read over winter
Heres something I wrote along the lines of H.P.L / Jules Verne


The visitor

He had washed up on the beach several hours ago, unconscious. His craft and crew were no where to be seen.
As he slowly regained consciousness, he became aware of the waves lapping at his feet and the dwindling rays of sun warming his battered body. Mustering what strength he had left, he hauled himself to his feet and surveyed his predicament. He recalled the ship had struck something, unknown, leading to chaos and panic on deck, they had sunk and he had found himself in a life raft with two of the deckhands. After that… his head hurt with the effort of recollection, or perhaps from a blow he had sustained.

The beach was empty aside from some driftwood, nothing of any immediate use, but then the trickling of a stream drew his gaze towards the forest. It seemed endless, sprawling from the sea upwards to some distant hills, and as far as the fading horizon. The island had not appeared on any map or chart, which would not be that uncommon for a small island in the topics, yet it did not appear that small, and the lookout had not sighted land for several days before they sank.

There was little else to do so he decided to head upstream, in the hopes of finding some shelter and food. The forest was humid and close, the trees were familiar, but yet he could not place them. Further upstream, in the denser areas, some trees bloomed flowers in vibrant colours, filling the air with sweet aromas; others bore fruit or nut, but none he had seen before on his travels.
The sun now a red fireball on the horizon gave way to the first stars that pricked through the thickening canopy. Shortly the stream wound its way to the edge of a clearing where the trees gave way to thorny bushes that slowed his progress, and good that they had or he would have stumbled headlong in to the water.

As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, he saw the stars blurred by the lazy ripples that moved across the surface of the emerald green pool. To say it was murky would not be correct, perhaps its depth and colour lent it a mirror like quality, but he could not see the bottom.

He gazed wearily at the glinting pool, but as the moments passed he felt the hairs on his neck prickle and his blood pumping faster. Aside from the trickling stream, there had been no other sound; a forest such as this should be a cacophony of life, droning insects, birds, rustling of small creatures in the undergrowth….. yet it was silent. Feeling his fear rising he gazed back towards the pool, straight in to those luminous yellow eyes. He had seen cats eyes reflecting yellow in torchlight, dogs eyes shining red in firelight but here there was no light. Those eyes sunken deep in their sockets had a dim light of their own, and they glowed malevolently, unblinkingly, directly at him.

The face was like no face he had ever seen before, it was as green as the water from which it protruded; except those loathsome eyes it was featureless, smooth, where would be a mans beard there were dripping tentacles rising slowly from the water. Gripped with fear he could not move, yet IT did. Sliding slowly through the water, its motions would have been described as graceful if it weren’t so hideous and inhuman. Slowly and deliberately it reached the edge of the pool, raising one shiny webbed foot on the bank, a stark contrast to the scaly clawed hand that was now pointing directly at him. The tentacles parted to reveal a toothless mouth, from which came no audible sound, and yet it spoke clearly, in no tongue he had ever heard.

He wanted to scream, he wanted to flee, but his muscles were gripped with terror. His pulse beat beyond count, sweat poured, his mouth dry and paralysed. Again he felt the prickling hairs on his neck. Slowly he forced his gaze towards the forest. In the deepening gloom were rows and rows of eyes, tens, maybe hundreds of glowing yellow eyes, the eyes of the ones who had come to see, the visitor.
Post edited at 12:53
Blue Straggler - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

I asked a friend who is into all this stuff. He gave a comprehensive reply:

"Arthur Madchen, Edward Bulywer Lytton, Robert E Howerd, Robert Bloch, Lord Dunsany, Gustav Meyrink, Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, E.Nesbitt, Charles Dickens there's probably a whole load of these on the Internet Archive.org in various book formats. Dunsany was Lovecraft big influence as well as a book called The King in Yellow... I stupidly can't think of the authors name... I might have named him. Lytton and Meyrink were both 'occult' practitioners so they're both interesting from that POV. There's more of a metaphysical edge to them in the true keeping of gnosis. If they want more like that they should look into Manly P. Hall and books put out by the Theosophical Society.
I'd also recommend a good dose of folklore reading. Robert Kirks book on his experience with fairies and The Arabian Nights, Brithers Grimm and Andrew Langs fairy books are all good.
Anything modern on similar phenomenon and the psychology of it Patrick Harper, Jacques Vallee and John Keel spring to mind... but we're now straying into forteana and not fiction. I suppose it depends on how far down the Rabbit Hole they want to go. If all they want is horror fiction there's tonnes of stuff there to wade through and the Fortean stuff isn't necessary."
Pursued by a bear - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to The Potato:

You should try and read a short story called Black Man with a Horn, by TED Klein. Very much in the Lovecraft mould.

And yes, I realise that paragraph is rife with innuendo. But nevertheless, it's a good short story.

T.

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