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Appendix N Podcast - Episode 11 - The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft (Part 3)

January 14, 2015

Third part of a three-part series. My guests and I discuss The Call of Cthulhu, the most famous story by H. P. Lovecraft featuring his iconic creation, and we also talk about the roleplaying game of the same name.

Lovecraft, H. P. The Complete Works.

H. P. Lovecraft

born 1890, died 1937

Born in Providence, RI, son of a traveling salesman and a woman who could trace her ancestry back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. When Lovecraft was only 3 years old, his father was placed in a psychiatric institution and died 5 years later, as Lovecraft himself claimed, of paralysis brought on by “nervous exhaustion.” Lovecraft’s mother suffered from hysteria and depression and died at the same hospital about 23 years later.

Lovecraft was raised by his mother and his mother’s family, including his grandfather who was a businessman. It was this grandfather who encouraged him to read and interested him in tales of Gothic horror.

Lovecraft was an intelligent but sickly child who grew into a gaunt, pale adult. He suffered a nervous breakdown prior to his high school graduation and never received his diploma. Although today he is regarded by fans as one of the greatest literary geniuses of the 20th century, he was never financially successful in his own time, partly due to his own unwillingness. He was friends with many other writers of his day, including most famously Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian.

He was briefly married to a woman named Sonia Greene and lived with her in New York City, where he was famously miserable.

Lovecraft returned to Providence in 1926 and lived there until his death in 1937. He was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine and died in poverty.

Today the images of H. P. Lovecraft and his most famous creation, the monster Cthulhu, are well known to gamers. Cthulhu appears on t-shirts, in board games, card games, roleplaying games, and video games. He is credited as an inspiration by many, many horror and fantasy writers, and filmmakers who came after him. And yet his name is relatively unknown outside of geek and gamer culture, probably less recognizable to the general public than Edgar Allen Poe and Steven King.

My guests:

Dan Cmil

Eric Paquette

Jeffrey Wikstrom - The Lurking Fear

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Geoffrey Winn


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