Cosmic horror is gaining more and more fans as the year go by. However, once a fan is finished with all of the works of Lovecraft himself, they often run into a dead end in not being able to find anything else to read afterwards. Well, have no fear! Your friends here at Bookstr got you covered with a reading list of five books to read to expand your dark, Lovecraftian fantasies.
1. The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers
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The King in Yellow is not only the name of a deity, but also Chambers’ largely celebrated work. The book is a collection of ten short stories, all of which refer to, in some way, shape, or form, a cursed play read throughout the book. The play shares the same name as the title and is talked about as a book that has been banned because of its imminent secrets and belief that it causes immediate madness. For anyone obsessed with Hastur or the origins of the idea of The Yellow Sign, this is a must read and indeed a classic inspiration on Lovecraft himself.
2. The Three Impostors by Arthur Machen
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Arthur Machen’s The Three Impostors is a collection of short stories that served as another of Lovecraft’s inspirations. Machen’s collection of short stories all revolve around a species that descended from man, but began to differ as evolution continued. Our ancestors and townsfolk would have called them Devils and Fairies. Within Machen’s collection, The Novel of the Black Seal and The Novel of the White Powder stick out the most as the closest to Lovecraft’s own horror.
3. Dark Gods by T.E.D. Klein
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Klein will blow you away with Dark Gods. As a collection of four novellas, each story draws significantly from Lovecraft’s way of storytelling as well as including the Cthulhu mythos and further expanding it in the author’s own unique way. Reading it may feel as a genuine tribute, but Klein’s own style is ever present in his writing. Another must read for fans; one that came after Lovecraft as opposed to the previous two entries.
4. The Inhabitant of the Lake and Other Unwelcome Tenants by Ramsey Campbell
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Another collection of stories, The Inhabitant of the Lake and Other Unwelcome Tenants, contains Ramsey Campbell’s best additions to the Cthulhu mythos. Campbell’s work was highly regarded by Lovecraft scholars and was even hailed as one of the best weird stories available for its time. This stays true to present times and is a highly recommended read for anyone wishing to continue their Lovecraftian adventures.
5. Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti
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Many updated fans highly recommend Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe since Ligotti portrays Lovecraftian horror very differently. Instead of dark gods and eldritch monsters, Thomas Ligotti uses insects, clowns, mannequins- more grounded real things that further explore the horror of our own existence. Although hard to read for beginners because of structure and vocabulary, a fan of Lovecraft can enjoy Ligotti’s masterwork if they have read Lovecraft’s own classics.
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