Somebody discerning seems to have taken over the BBC news magazine - which is usually an unbearably banal thing airing the most pathetic lightweight stories you can possibly imagine. (Stuff like "Is cheese good for you?") Last week it was rather sympathetically talking about Warhammer 40,000. Today, it's paying tribute to HP Lovecraft on the 75th anniversary of his death. (The piece is written by Ramsay Campbell, who by coincidence is the father of a childhood friend of mine, as well as being possibly the best living British horror writer.) The conclusion is very nice, and bears reprinting:
In striving to write fiction which would make positive use both of his talents and of his limitations, in particular his difficulties with creating characters, Lovecraft developed near-perfect structures for the horror story.
His determination to convey awe gives his tales a quality too seldom found. His work unites the British and American traditions of horror fiction - it unites the realistic and the fantastic, the personal and the cosmic, the occult and the scientific.
I wonder what anniversaries are coming up that the BBC news magazine can cover. They've done the 25th year of 40k, they've done 75 years since Lovecraft's death... What next? 25 years since Iain M Banks published Consider Phlebas? 25 years since the release of Cyborg Commando? I notice that next year is the 25th anniversary of Cyberpunk 2020. I hope you're paying attention, BBC news magazine editors.