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The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror

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The Cthulhu Mythos was first created by H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), a Providence author considered by many to be the finest horror story writer of the twentieth century. Lovecraft's tales are a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with the latter being especially prominent. Many of his tales describe a pantheon of powerful beings known as the Great Old Ones.Sinc The Cthulhu Mythos was first created by H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), a Providence author considered by many to be the finest horror story writer of the twentieth century. Lovecraft's tales are a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with the latter being especially prominent. Many of his tales describe a pantheon of powerful beings known as the Great Old Ones.Since Lovecraft's time the Cthulhu Mythos has grown exponentially, until it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of, even for devoted fans. Many writers have contributed to it, including Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Brian Lumley, and Stephen King. This book is the first major attempt in many years to provide a comprehensive guide to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. This second edition of Encyclopedia Cthulhiana has been extensively revised and contains over a hundred and fifty additional pages and scores of new entries. New features include thumbnail illustrations of the most important signs and symbols and a timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos spanning billions of years. Many entries have been revised to reflect our latest understanding of the Mythos, and the infamous Necronomicon appendix has been greatly expanded. Also present for the first time is "A Brief History of the Cthulhu Mythos," which examines the evolution of the genre.


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The Cthulhu Mythos was first created by H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), a Providence author considered by many to be the finest horror story writer of the twentieth century. Lovecraft's tales are a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with the latter being especially prominent. Many of his tales describe a pantheon of powerful beings known as the Great Old Ones.Sinc The Cthulhu Mythos was first created by H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), a Providence author considered by many to be the finest horror story writer of the twentieth century. Lovecraft's tales are a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, with the latter being especially prominent. Many of his tales describe a pantheon of powerful beings known as the Great Old Ones.Since Lovecraft's time the Cthulhu Mythos has grown exponentially, until it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of, even for devoted fans. Many writers have contributed to it, including Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Brian Lumley, and Stephen King. This book is the first major attempt in many years to provide a comprehensive guide to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. This second edition of Encyclopedia Cthulhiana has been extensively revised and contains over a hundred and fifty additional pages and scores of new entries. New features include thumbnail illustrations of the most important signs and symbols and a timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos spanning billions of years. Many entries have been revised to reflect our latest understanding of the Mythos, and the infamous Necronomicon appendix has been greatly expanded. Also present for the first time is "A Brief History of the Cthulhu Mythos," which examines the evolution of the genre.

8 review for The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia is a reference book detailing the works of HP Lovecraft and his contemporaries, as well as those influenced by them in the ensuing decades, relating to the Cthulhu mythos. I've been on the periphery of Lovecraftian fandom for a couple decades, starting with Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft. With the amount of material out there, it's hard to know where to start. With this book, I finally feel like I have a guide. The Cthulhu Mythos En The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia is a reference book detailing the works of HP Lovecraft and his contemporaries, as well as those influenced by them in the ensuing decades, relating to the Cthulhu mythos. I've been on the periphery of Lovecraftian fandom for a couple decades, starting with Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft. With the amount of material out there, it's hard to know where to start. With this book, I finally feel like I have a guide. The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia is an exhaustive exploration of the Cthulhu mythos, detailing such mythos staples as Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, and Randolph Carter, to tangently related characters like Conan, to later derivative works like Titus Crow. Throw in creatures like the Nightgaunts and books like the Book of Eibon, and you've got a ton of material to digest. The best part is sources are mentioned. If you want to know where the information from the Dagon entry comes from, the book has you covered. If you want to know where The Blasted Heath is mentioned, ditto. This book has quite a bit of depth and there must have been a staggering amount of research going into it. What other reference book has multiple origins of Abdul Alhazred, the mad Arab who penned the Necronomicon and the origin of the word Tekeli-Li? The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia isn't really a book you want to read from cover to cover. However, if you don't know Fthaggua from the Fungi from Yuggoth, you'll find this invaluable. Four out of five Fhtagn stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Okay I will have to admit that if you already have the Encyclopaedia Cthulhiana 1st edition this is not really one for you - (I had the chance of picking the second edition up cheap). However so not for a second think that this is a rehash or at best a simple update. NO - the book is far more than that. First the update - the entries have been updated and some small errors (I could not find them the author declared them) have been corrected but there are also totally new sections and Okay I will have to admit that if you already have the Encyclopaedia Cthulhiana 1st edition this is not really one for you - (I had the chance of picking the second edition up cheap). However so not for a second think that this is a rehash or at best a simple update. NO - the book is far more than that. First the update - the entries have been updated and some small errors (I could not find them the author declared them) have been corrected but there are also totally new sections and a rethink of the whole project. As the author admitted that the CoC role playing material has been suppressed not because it does not deserve to be there but because they felt it was a repeating material and meant that the encyclopedia could be used as source material in the games itself. There was also symbols and other artwork added although no renditions of the beast. So why would I advise against the purchase of this book if you had the first edition - the answer is more complex than the fact that the bulk of the material is present in both books. No its the ethos of the book. As the introduction explains the work of Lovecraft and his subsequent collaborators is that its all about the allusion. The idea that the reader is given the pieces but it is up to them what they create with it. And that is the same for this book. Yes there are more entries but the fun is really what the reader makes up between the entries - so this to certain extend is a case of "less is more". Now is great to follow certain entries and I do enjoy following one reference to the next to the next and so on but after all while it gets exhausting and that is where the two editions start to blend in to one. This is a mine of information just its a little too much to take in in one go.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    This is an excellent reference works and I appreciate the effort that it must have taken to collate all this information. The only thing I felt was missing is maps, would would be great to have. I got this from the library (and didn't get to read it all before it was recalled) but will probably buy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is a hard book to read - yes it is exactly what it says it is - an encyclopaedia so as you can imagine its impossible to read from one cover to the other linearly, or at least incredibly difficult to do so. However if you are willing to its a great way of jumping around from subject to subject as the cross referencing is incredibly detailed. This makes for a fascinating and unpredictable exploration of the mythos. However it is on the characters, places and material of the stories and not t This is a hard book to read - yes it is exactly what it says it is - an encyclopaedia so as you can imagine its impossible to read from one cover to the other linearly, or at least incredibly difficult to do so. However if you are willing to its a great way of jumping around from subject to subject as the cross referencing is incredibly detailed. This makes for a fascinating and unpredictable exploration of the mythos. However it is on the characters, places and material of the stories and not the stories themselves. So for example it will not tell you the events of a story just the events that surround the character - for example there are references to Dexter Ward but not what happened in the story. Another aspect which was touched on in the books introduction - there was a number of entries from the Call of Cthulhu role playing games as well as the stories- for some puritans this is sacrilege however for me i think all the material has equal rights to be present not only because of who composed and published this book but also because it is all further the collective universe something that Lovecraft himself I am sure would be eager to promote. So really this is for the scholar and the fan alike but it really is a reference book, and yes there are omissions but they are such that from my perspective at least they actually encourage me to want to go out and read them and fill the gaps rather than criticise and complain about the lack of coverage.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Espen Jensen

    This one star rating is unjust and undeserved. I give it this rating as a matter of principle rather than of judgement or evaluation. It is my belief that you should not attept to quantify or qualify or in any other way explain any horror material, especially Lovecraftian. Please do not let this review affect your estimation of whether or not you should read the book. Rather think about whether you'll want an explanation for something which is in it's original for unexplained or unexplainab This one star rating is unjust and undeserved. I give it this rating as a matter of principle rather than of judgement or evaluation. It is my belief that you should not attept to quantify or qualify or in any other way explain any horror material, especially Lovecraftian. Please do not let this review affect your estimation of whether or not you should read the book. Rather think about whether you'll want an explanation for something which is in it's original for unexplained or unexplainable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Pierre Vidrine

    This book is a not-too-exhaustive, but still more-extensive-than-I-needed guide to the names and places of H. P. Lovecraft's fiction and that of others who have contributed to his universe. It can be a great quick reference for anyone reading such fiction or playing any of the various games inspired by it. The author deserves a few extra points for basically recapping dozens of stories without actually spoiling any of them. I also like the fact that he acknowledges and immediately dismisses that This book is a not-too-exhaustive, but still more-extensive-than-I-needed guide to the names and places of H. P. Lovecraft's fiction and that of others who have contributed to his universe. It can be a great quick reference for anyone reading such fiction or playing any of the various games inspired by it. The author deserves a few extra points for basically recapping dozens of stories without actually spoiling any of them. I also like the fact that he acknowledges and immediately dismisses that paperback Necronomicon "translated" by some guy calling himself "Simon." I won't say it's a must-have for fans of Lovecraft, but it is a nice addition to one's Cthulhu library.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yael

    Some years back I purchased a first-edition copy of Daniel Harms's Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, published by Chaosium, containing a wealth of information about the Cthulhu Mythos, its characters -- human and otherwise -- the locations cited in Mythos fiction, the names of books owned and read by Mythos characters, and everything else you'll ever need to know to scare the pants off yourself through late-night reading of the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and his colleagues. That work has proved invaluable for all s Some years back I purchased a first-edition copy of Daniel Harms's Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, published by Chaosium, containing a wealth of information about the Cthulhu Mythos, its characters -- human and otherwise -- the locations cited in Mythos fiction, the names of books owned and read by Mythos characters, and everything else you'll ever need to know to scare the pants off yourself through late-night reading of the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and his colleagues. That work has proved invaluable for all sorts of things, including research into the Mythos, the satisfaction of curiosity about this or that Mythos being, location, or eldritch tome, and even the generation of unlikely passwords the use of which either blocks the unauthorized use of the various accounts one accesses on the Internet or, failing that, turns would-be identity thieves into black, formless goo which is then taken up by gugs, ghasts, and gaunts and mixed in with their food as a rare and valued condiment. The one drawback to the wealth of wonder included in Harms's Encyclopedia Cthulhiana is that after so many years of its use, the venerable dog-eared tome, a trade paperback edition, is beginning to fall apart. So, armed with the certainty that it was out there somewhere, I went hunting for a new copy both on the Web and in physical bookstores, you know, the kind you walk into and have a good look around. In due time I discovered there was a 2nd edition of the book (http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Ct...), but a new copy of it would set me back around $70 (a used copy would probsbly be in the same shape that my poor, first-edition copy is in now, and wouldn't last long at all, so forget it). Well, to make a long story short, I didn't let this discourage me, and I kept looking. Finally my search paid off: I found that Elder Sign Press had made a third edition of the work available for just $17.95, under a new title: The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia: A Guide to H. P. Lovecraft's Universe Updated & Expanded Third Edition (http://shopping.lycos.co.uk/product-e...). Needless to say, I pounced on it at once. Elder Sign Press even told me that they'd sell me a copy of the book autographed by Harms himself for no extra cost! It arrived yesterday, and turned out to be worthy of all the effort I put into the search for it, and then some. Much revised and expanded from the original first edition, The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia includes a lengthy and highly informative foreward by Daniel Harms; the alphabetized entries themselves; two appendices, including a chronology of The Necronomicon and locations of The Necronomicon; and an extensive bibliography. This work is a must for the library of any serious Lovecraft scholar, authors of horror fiction, or student of modern literature. The entries provide an invaluable guide to one of the richest fictional landscapes ever invented, and the foreword sheds light on aspects of American culture and 20th-century fiction that few others ever have. A wonderful book -- now, all I have to do is figure out some way to put it to use without dinging it up the way I have my first-edition copy . . .

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yael

    What I have learned from this book is that there are about a million bazillion references to Mythos monsters nobody ever heard of in the Mythos canons, which by now includes a collection about the size of the Library of Congress. This beautiful, exhaustive treatment of Things Mythos should be included in the library of anyone at all interested in the works of H P Lovecraft and his colleagues, as it includes entries on just about Every. Single. Damn. Monster. Place. Person. and Thing appearing an What I have learned from this book is that there are about a million bazillion references to Mythos monsters nobody ever heard of in the Mythos canons, which by now includes a collection about the size of the Library of Congress. This beautiful, exhaustive treatment of Things Mythos should be included in the library of anyone at all interested in the works of H P Lovecraft and his colleagues, as it includes entries on just about Every. Single. Damn. Monster. Place. Person. and Thing appearing anywhere at all in Mythos literature. A revised version has come out; I'm still trying to lay hands on it at an affordable price. I love this book, which should be subtitled, LIFE, THE MULTIVERSE, AND EVERY SINGLE NIGHTMARE YOU NEVER WANTED TO EXPERIENCE. {Say goodnight to the people, Shub dear . . .) flag 1 like · Like  · see review Dec 11, 2011 Brian Steele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: dark-fantasy, horror, non-fiction, scifi For anyone who wishes to study Lovecraft's fiction, to further explore the Mythos, this book is essential. Not only does it list every god, monster, person, book, location and item in alphebetical order, but goes so far as detailing every know fictional appearance, first appearance, and what Mythos writer is credited for creating it. From H.P.'s earliest pulp work up to Brian Lumley's Titus Crow, the overview is extensive. Daniel Harms has complied a book that is both a great academic tool for M For anyone who wishes to study Lovecraft's fiction, to further explore the Mythos, this book is essential. Not only does it list every god, monster, person, book, location and item in alphebetical order, but goes so far as detailing every know fictional appearance, first appearance, and what Mythos writer is credited for creating it. From H.P.'s earliest pulp work up to Brian Lumley's Titus Crow, the overview is extensive. Daniel Harms has complied a book that is both a great academic tool for Mythos writers as well as simply a wonderful read. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Jul 31, 2008 Kat rated it really liked it Shelves: rpgs, horror, nonfiction Basic Premise: It's the most exhaustive, useful guide to H.P. Lovecraft's mythos, ever. I actually wasn't sure which of my bookshelves to put this in, because it fits so many, depending on how you look at the thing...You want to know anything about his mythos while reading a story or catching an odd pop-culture reference, it's in this book. As a person who runs Call of Cthulhu the RPG, it's also fantastic for using in-game for adventure hooks and plot ideas. Flip to a random page, lo Basic Premise: It's the most exhaustive, useful guide to H.P. Lovecraft's mythos, ever. I actually wasn't sure which of my bookshelves to put this in, because it fits so many, depending on how you look at the thing...You want to know anything about his mythos while reading a story or catching an odd pop-culture reference, it's in this book. As a person who runs Call of Cthulhu the RPG, it's also fantastic for using in-game for adventure hooks and plot ideas. Flip to a random page, look at a random entry, and the scene practically writes itself. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Jul 08, 2013 Joe Kilmartin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: lovecraft-mythos Not a readable book so much as a one-stop reference to all-things-Lovecraftian, both as written by HPL himself and by the generations of writers after him who also engaged in Yog-Sothothery. Concise entries with clear mentions of where the characters, monsters or locations on question first appeared, this volume serves an an excellent stepping stone for anyone who is interested in pursuing either a specific corner of The Mythos, or getting as wide a variety of stories to read in future as possib Not a readable book so much as a one-stop reference to all-things-Lovecraftian, both as written by HPL himself and by the generations of writers after him who also engaged in Yog-Sothothery. Concise entries with clear mentions of where the characters, monsters or locations on question first appeared, this volume serves an an excellent stepping stone for anyone who is interested in pursuing either a specific corner of The Mythos, or getting as wide a variety of stories to read in future as possible. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Nov 07, 2016 Timothy Pitkin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Shelves: horror, informational, sci-fi, urban-fantasy A great book for anyone interested in the Cthulhu Mythos as it gives great information, good descriptions and while it is a better for people who want to use Cthulhu Mythos concepts as to common readers it is not really necessary to enjoy lovecraft's world but it still a great book for anyone who wants to learn more about the mythos. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Sep 30, 2008 Donna rated it really liked it Incredibly useful...you know, just in case... flag 1 like · Like  · see review Aug 15, 2012 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Except for some minor typographical issues, the eBook version is perfect. And being searchable, it is quite useful. flag 1 like · Like  · see review Feb 15, 2008 Nivekian marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition Not released yet... flag 1 like · Like  · see review Nov 18, 2017 Danforth Spitzer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: cosmic-horror This is a necessary resource for anyone serious about the Cthulhu Mythos. Whether you are a writer, gamer or an enthusiast of HP Lovecraft and other horrors, this book is highly recommended. The information in this book is great for creating plot hooks, or what stories to search for to learn more about a specific topic for further exploration.Need to find out more about Ubbo-Sathla to write a time travel story about wizards?Look up Ubbo-Sathla, find out that Clark Ashton Smith This is a necessary resource for anyone serious about the Cthulhu Mythos. Whether you are a writer, gamer or an enthusiast of HP Lovecraft and other horrors, this book is highly recommended. The information in this book is great for creating plot hooks, or what stories to search for to learn more about a specific topic for further exploration.Need to find out more about Ubbo-Sathla to write a time travel story about wizards?Look up Ubbo-Sathla, find out that Clark Ashton Smith wrote Ubbo-Sathla, and that god is mentioned in the Book of Eibon. You’ll find an appendices about the Necronomicon.More importantly Dan Harms included a guide on how to handle and use others intellectual property from a non-legalistic standpoint, but more from a standpoint of being ethically creative while respecting the continuity. I have the second edition of this book, but I have a digital copy on my iPhone, laptop and desktop computer. For my podcast I find this to be a great resource.Unfortunately I have occasionally ran across instances where Mr. Harms references a story that is no longer in print and hard to find(even after contacting the author or the story). That would be my only gripe. Otherwise this is wonderful, also I am happy that it is a book that covers literature as well as RPG source material due to the fact that the two have become intertwined in the last 30+ years. I am also thankful that the book doesn’t rely on any goofy lovecraftian tricks, spooky typefaces or faux-aged paper.It’s nice to have some people take this space monster business seriously. flag Like  · see review Sep 16, 2017 Michelle rated it it was ok Checked this out at the library some time ago.This is like when you try to explain a joke. Dissecting only makes it worse. The same principle applies to Lovecraft. If you have to explain horror, then you just don't get it. Lovecraft's "pantheon" consisted of whatever was necessary to tell an effective story. He didn't have any consistency to it so any attempt at a "guidebook" is a fruitless effort. Essentially, nice try but cigar. flag Like  · see review Aug 22, 2017 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Very well researched and put together. The point of view of being in universe was very neat, and they made sure to list the stories they gathered the entry from at the end of each in addition to the sources listed at the end of the book. Sort of a dry read from cover to cover, but it's an encyclopedia. flag Like  · see review Sep 01, 2018 Mika Himanen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition Meni vähän läpikahlaamiseksi, mutta päätin että luen loppuun. En ehkä sitten ollutkaan niin iso Cthulhu-myytoksen fani kuin luulin. Vika saattoi olla minussa, mutta tuntuu siltä että teoksessa oli liikaa lyhyitä artikkeleita tarinoista, joista en ollut kuullutkaan. E-kirja oli myös hieman kömpelö, lisätyt hyperlinkit itse artikkeleissa olisivat saattaneet auttaa. flag Like  · see review Oct 19, 2018 Jaron | TheBookBaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: mythos, owned Keep this within arms reach when you are reading anything Lovecraft related. Google searching this stuff will make your head spin with all the different results you will get. Trust Daniel Harms. He knows his stuff. flag Like  · see review Jan 05, 2018 Sab Cornelius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition http://readerdemon.com/cthulhuencyclo... <--- I do book blogging on the side, so posted my full review here. [Site is currently uggo/a WIP] flag Like  · see review May 04, 2017 Courteny rated it it was amazing Great for references and other works. I found it in a flea market type shop and was thrilled. flag Like  · see review Jul 14, 2018 Francisco Vázquez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Un must-have para todos los amantes de la cosmogonía que gira en torno a los mitos de Cthulhu. Una fuente de consulta extraordinaria. flag Like  · see review Dec 14, 2013 Jaime Andrés rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Esta es la guía definitiva para los que disfrutan de las historias y el mito creado por Lovecraft, en el se listan y definen cada lugar, monstruo, artefacto y personaje que ha pertenecido a este universo; el cual es muy extenso, han participado un gran número de personas y abarca muchos periodos en el tiempo.Personalmente, este libro fue un buen ejercicio luego del break de almuerzo: tomar un significado, visualizarlo en mi mente y luego corroborarlo con la imagen (el libro es 100% t Esta es la guía definitiva para los que disfrutan de las historias y el mito creado por Lovecraft, en el se listan y definen cada lugar, monstruo, artefacto y personaje que ha pertenecido a este universo; el cual es muy extenso, han participado un gran número de personas y abarca muchos periodos en el tiempo.Personalmente, este libro fue un buen ejercicio luego del break de almuerzo: tomar un significado, visualizarlo en mi mente y luego corroborarlo con la imagen (el libro es 100% texto). Si desea saber como se llama la novia de Cthulhu, quién es Chaugnar Faugn, cual es la relación de Miguel de Cervantes con el Necronomicón, o donde entra The Yellow King con todo esto, esta enciclopedia es indispensable es su biblioteca.Mi total agradecimiento a Mariana por este regalo! flag Like  · see review Aug 28, 2011 Bryan Worra rated it liked it Very handy for those who are doing writing that ties into the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft and his successors. Harms goes to great lengths to provide descriptions and citations for many of the most popular and some of the more obscure entities, locales and artifacts found within the dizzying body of work. flag Like  · see review Jun 11, 2011 sologdin rated it liked it Shelves: burns-like-cold-iron pan-mythos tertiary presentation of cthulhu materials, not limited to HPL's writings, and including gaming materials by publisher here. probably best to read this in lieu of all the third-rate mythos primary materials. flag Like  · see review May 29, 2014 Alis Franklin rated it it was amazing Shelves: horror One of the books I lugged around with me everywhere as a kid; my copy is tattered and stained and has even flown with me to Europe and back. Definitely a worthwhile resource for anyone interested in the mythos. flag Like  · see review Oct 05, 2008 Cameron rated it really liked it Shelves: horror This ought to give you an idea of the complexity and expansiveness of the Cthulhu mythos. It has its own reference book. Not necessary for the dabbler, but quite useful for anyone who intends to delve deeply in Lovecraft's world. flag Like  · see review Jul 03, 2013 Guy rated it it was amazing An invaluable guide to all things Lovecraftian. flag Like  · see review Sep 15, 2012 Marsha Altman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition Definitely definitive. I didn't even know you could have this much information on this topic. flag Like  · see review « previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 … next »

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