Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Cthulhu Mythos Circa 1972

   I started reading John D. Haefele's A LOOK BEHIND THE DERLETH MYTHOS and in the introduction he talked about Lin Carter's 1972 book, LOVECRAFT:A LOOK BEHIND THE CTHULHU MYTHOS which was obviously a big influence on the Derleth book. I read Carter's book a long time back, but it had been a while since I gave it a look, so I dug it out of storage and as i read it,  something caught my attention.
   In the back of the book Carter had a list of the known published Cthulhu Mythos stories up to that time. Everything by Lovecraft, August Deleth, Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Henry Kuttner, Lin Carter, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Robert Bloch, Colin Wilson, and several others.
The total? 119 stories.
   Think about that for a moment. The published Cthulhu mythos stories today would run into the thousands. But in 1972, just over a hundred. But one has to keep in mind that the whole Lovecraft phenomena was just gaining steam at that time. There hadn't been a full blown biography of Lovecraft yet and only three volumes of his letters had been published. Lovecraft fandom was still sort of a niche market and the comic books, video games, role playing games, etc weren't even a glimmer on the horizon. Pretty wild.

2 comments:

Paul R. McNamee said...

Yeah, it certainly exploded since then!

Anonymous said...

Love those Gervasio Gallardo covers some of that Ballentine series had (best one was probably on the HPL "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath").