Friday, 23 March 2012

HP Lovecraft and the BBC

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.


  1. I read that article today too. Gave me a real hankering to go back and re-read Shadow over Innsmouth.

    I read it last year whilst on holiday, sat in full sunshine, and still felt a shiver running down the back of my spine.

  2. The Beeb nerd-in-chief responsible for this coolness probably works within 100 yards of my own workplace. London is a small town.

  3. Im not very interested in genre writers I like getting mainstream recognition. Anything widely palatable is utter shit. Go to amazon music or amazon books and sort by highest rating - I don't recognise anything there and the stuff there gives me the creeps. It is however widely palatable.

  4. Thank god our man isn't in a position to be corrupted!...I mean, could he hold out from an invitation from Oprah?


    Now THAT would be an Oprah worth watching :)

    "Here he is, the man who has haunted your dreams since you were a child and probably responsible for your being on Prozac...a big hand for Howard Lovecraft".

    (total silence from a horrified looking female audience...then a shadow of something just off camera...then the shadow of waving tentacles)

    Uh Oh, here we go...

    (and, before anyone yells at me, I'm a massive fan-since age 9-I have a session of Elder Sign set up that needs finished tonight so I can clear the man-cave table and set up for Arkham Horror this weekend)