found via: Grim Reviews
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Buying H.P. Lovecraft books to complete a collection is a previously unimaginable experience, thanks to the diverse options now available. From the humble days when HPL’s fiction was tightly controlled by Arkham House, to the explosion of Lovecraft at the publishing presses ever since his work passed into public domain, offering have expanded at a stunning rate. Still, there are only three quick and easy ways to complete a Lovecraftian collection, or at least come extremely close to it. Use these books to complete your personal collection of Lovecraft’s dark fantasies in a cost effective way.
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
Two fat volumes from Gollancz represent the cheapest way to bring together the Providence author’s best known and most obscure writings. Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft binds together his most well respected efforts, from the fragmentary “Night Gaunts” to late, complex novellas such as “At the Mountains of Madness.” This nearly nine hundred page tome is one heavy paperback, but it is sturdily constructed and nicely illustrated.
With the arrival of Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre, Gollancz has created a high quality companion volume that taps Lovecraft’s lesser known pieces. In this book, HPL’s juvenile pieces, poetry, and important non-fiction tie ins like “Supernatural Horror in Literature” and “The History of the Necronomicon” cross paths. An excellent sampling of his collaborative and ghost written stories are thrown in for good measure.
Both gigantic volumes are edited by Stephen Jones and illustrated by Les Edwards. Together, they represent the quickest and cheapest path to collecting all of Lovecraft with the fewest books possible.
The Del Rey Lovecraft Collections
Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, Del Rey’s H.P. Lovecraft books represented a widely acceptable way to obtain his tales in a mass market form. Though these collections are extraordinarily cheap on the mass market, you’ll need four Del Rey books to complete a Lovecraft collection. The big themed collections begin with The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre, a book clearly designed to draw in newcomers.
Under the Del Rey imprint, the saga continues with The Road to Madness and Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft. These H.P. Lovecraft books constitute themed volumes built around his early fiction and dream addled tales, respectively. They chart an affordable path to a comprehensive collection, and the cover art by Michael Whelan remains nothing short of iconic.
Most recently, Del Rey’s fourth book came out, granting readers access to Lovecraft’s collaborations and ghost written pieces. The Horror in the Museum does what a only more expensive Arkham House book was previously able to do. If you’re willing to throw bibliophilic preferences to the wind, snapping up this volume with the other three Del Rey collections is a great way to get all Lovecraft essentials onto your shelves.
H.P. Lovecraft: Masters of the Weird Tale
Centipede Press is the Lamborghini quality publisher of the horror world, and that extends to their gigantic tome, H.P. Lovecraft: Masters of the Weird Tale. Don’t think of this 1200 page Cyclopean terror as just a very expensive hardcover. It herds together all Lovecraftian necessities into a slipped case deluxe edition, and pairs it with a separate book of rare HPL photography unavailable elsewhere.
The only downfall of H.P. Lovecraft: Masters of the Weird Tale is that it may only be a high end avenue to getting nearly all H.P. Lovecraft books in one for a limited time. Centipede Press has limited this museum of a book to three hundred copies. Unless that changes, this miniature Lovecraft library will probably slide into the hands of a few hundred lucky collectors, and live on only as legend. At least, until the next deluxe press dares to place Lovecraft’s fiction into an equally outstanding presentation.
H.P. Lovecraft books will undoubtedly continue to multiply as the years pass. However, shortcuts that let you complete your collection will probably remain modest, well kept secrets, available only to true Lovecraft fanatics.