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KnygathinZhaum

Best Mythos Writer (who is NOT HPL)

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KnygathinZhaum

Obviously I'm a fan of Clark Ashton Smith, but I am genuinely curious who people think is either the best disciple/writer of mythos fiction in both 'talent of craft' ((I personally give that honor to CAS) or simply in relevance, intrigue or influence. I'll say with shame that CAS is the only non-HPL mythos writer I've read. Any specific book suggestions are welcome!

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gingerpete

I'm a big Ramsey Campbell fan.  By his own admission his earlier short stories (collected numerous times but most recently in The Inhabitant of the Lake) were pure pastiche, but even so they were superior to most other efforts. His later material however gets better and better and, most recently, he returned to Lovecraftian horrror with the first two books (so far) in a new series, The Three Births of Daoloth. I've only read the first volume so far, The Searching Dead, but it's excellent.  Campbell doesn't do tentacles and hidden cities, but he does do bleak themes and unsettling horror in mundane urban settings extraordinarily well.

 

Others I've very much enjoyed for one reason or another:

  • The Mind Parasites - Colin Wilson (definitely one of the better ones)
  • The Great White Space - Basil Copper (unashamed Lovecraft rip-off but enjoyable)
  • Any short stories by Caitlin R Kiernan and/or Thomas Ligotti

Also, my first exposure to weird fiction back in around 1981/2, courtesy of my dearly departed Grandad (a big horror and weird fiction reader) was The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson.  It pre-dates Lovecraft by a number of years and WHH died in WW1 with only a few novels to his name but all are well worth the effort.  The House on the Borderland is one of my all time favourite books.

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rylehNC

In many ways, Robert E. Howard's Mythos stories better emulate action-oriented rpg play than Lovecraft's (and I would argue this holds true for his influence on D&D versus Tolkien's). The Del Rey collection of his horror stories includes the classics "The Black Stone," "The Thing on the Roof," and "The Fire of Asshurbanipal" - parts of all three have been adapted for use in gaming - as well as his Solomon Kane stories.

 

My favorite Mythos story is "Than Curse the Darkness," by (former Chapel Hill town attorney, doncha know) David Drake.

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gingerpete

Can't disagree with any of that RE Howard love.

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KnygathinZhaum

Cold Print by Campbell and said collection of Howard ordered. Thanks, fellas. 

 

also lol at: "rlyehNC" ;)

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tjgreenway

My favorite Mythos story is "Than Curse the Darkness," by (former Chapel Hill town attorney, doncha know) David Drake.

I have to agree with this, I read this earlier this week and have already read it twice again. It's got the brain whirring with ideas for Congolese adventures as well, always a good thing!

 

Definitely a big fan of R E Howard as well, some of his mythos tales are fantastic, as are his pulpier affairs.

 

I've been poring over The Book of Cthulhu this week after finding it at the library, Caitlin R Kiernan's Andromeda Among The Stones is a big standout so far. I'd definitely reccomend picking up a similar collection, there's plenty to choose from and they're a fantastic introduction to a whole host of writers all at once - you can then follow up on those you particularly enjoy.

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HJ

I do like the short mythos tales of Michael Shea and a big thumbs up for David Hambling.

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GBSteve

Nick Mamatas has much to recommend. He captures the feeling of something coming to get us from way out beyond the stars (check out Lovecraft in Brooklyn in this respect, especially the Aesop Rock remix). And Laird Baron has a visceral threat in everything the writes. I'm not sure I like it but he's too highly recommended to ignore.

 

I really enjoy the whole Delta Green oeuvre, Detwiller et al, and Blair Reynolds Black Sands.

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Travern

T.E.D. Klein (for quality, not quantity, of course).

 

"Black Man with a Horn", his only purely Lovecraftian horror tale, is absolutely superb, and his others, "The Events at Poroth Farm", "Children of the Kingdom" and The Ceremonies, which show the influences of Arthur Machen and M. R. James as well, are similarly excellent.

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DAR

 

  • Any short stories by Caitlin R Kiernan and/or Thomas Ligotti

These were the two I was going to mention. I am a huge fan of both, with a preference for CRK mostly because I've been reading her longer. Until I really delved into Ligotti I was of the opinion she was the only real modern heir to Lovecraft in both style and substance. Ligotti writes in clearly distinctive voice of his own, but also gets kudos in my book for being a clear spiritual successor to HPL to style and content.

 

D.

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yronimoswhateley

I couldn't pick just one, but my favorite non-Lovecraft "mythos" authors include:

  • Clark Ashton Smith
  • Robert E. Howard
  • Thomas Ligotti
  • Robert Aickmann
  • Arthur Machen
  • Lord Dunsany
  • M.R. James
  • William Hope Hodgson
  • R.W. Chambers (only as far as the short story collection The King in Yellow)

 

Only two or three of these guys are traditionally considered "mythos" writers, and mostly do their own thing with little in common but the weirdness of subject matter, but I think that's why they're my favorites....

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KnygathinZhaum

This is great, folks! Thank you! I buy books faster than I read, which is to say I am constantly buying books, so it looks like my X-mas paid vacation time is spoken for. Haha.

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wcburns

I've only read one of his stories, but I really enjoyed a Richard L. Tierney story with Simon Magus in a collection. 

 

Robert M Price also wrote / co-wrote a few stories along with being an HPL scholar and editor. "A Thousand Young" is truly disturbing, but I think a good story.

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Nick Storm

My list is very similar to Chris's (yoronimos) above except for 'living' authors. There is no one I like that is (currently and catagoricaly) alive.heh

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yronimoswhateley

I think that only disqualifies poor Ligotti from my list, but I think Ligotti is usually worth making an exception for :)

 

I would otherwise agree though, that the "mythos" writers most worth checking out tend to be long dead - most of my favorites did their best work before Lovecraft's time.

 

With that in mind, maybe the best list of authors to check out could be found in Lovecraft's essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature"....

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dazzleox

T.E.D. Klein (for quality, not quantity, of course).

 

"Black Man with a Horn", his only purely Lovecraftian horror tale, is absolutely superb, and his others, "The Events at Poroth Farm", "Children of the Kingdom" and The Ceremonies, which show the influences of Arthur Machen and M. R. James as well, are similarly excellent.

 

After reading The Ceremonies for the third time (the newest edition) I think I have to agree.  I have a lot of favorite mythos-y writers, but I don't think any are at least as entertaining as Klein.  Maybe the rumors of that third legit book coming out sometime will be true.

 

I've been racking my brain for how to use some of his stuff in a game...such a great, creepy slow build. Funny too. I also like how The Ceremonies and Children of the Kingdom really get to the white racial paranoia about living in 1980s-ish New York City without being cheap about it.  He's very much a New York writer opposed to the usual New England settings.  Even his rural settings are only an hour or so from the city, with its fears looming over them.

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Wembley

StephenKing

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HelplessBystander

I can say with certainty that Neil Gaiman knows what he's doing with Lovecraftian Mythos and 'A Study in Emerald' was one of my favourite short stories written loosely in the Cthulhu Mythos canon. He knew how use narratives effectively and his stories are less cluttered with...well, you know, racism. So I'd put it in the box and say he's a fine Mythos writer.

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Shrike
On 30/11/2017 at 14:50, GBSteve said:

Nick Mamatas has much to recommend. He captures the feeling of something coming to get us from way out beyond the stars (check out Lovecraft in Brooklyn in this respect, especially the Aesop Rock remix). And Laird Baron has a visceral threat in everything the writes. I'm not sure I like it but he's too highly recommended to ignore.

 

I really enjoy the whole Delta Green oeuvre, Detwiller et al, and Blair Reynolds Black Sands.

 

Here's hoping more Black Sands sees print sometime soon. An obscure gem.

 

Laird Barron is hit-and-miss for me, but what I do like of his, I really rate highly.

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Nescio

I like several authors mentioned above , but someone I'd like to add is Karl Edward Wagner. His "River of Night's Dreaming" is a highlight, frex.

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