Illustration by Sven Geier, design by Jo Obarowski and Rebecca Lysen.
HP Lovecraft would have been as surprised as anyone if he could have witnessed the tremendous posthumous triumph he and his work have achieved.
Thus leading Lovecraft biographer and scholar ST Joshi in the introduction to this suitably monstrous book. H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction was published in a new edition last year after first appearing in 2008 as part of Barnes & Noble’s Leatherbound Classics Series. My drawing of Dagon from 1999 adorns the silvered endpapers, and the reason for this belated mention is because I was only sent copies this week after moaning about not having seen a copy in a Tor.com post about the series. In truth the oversight was partly my own fault: one hazard of this line of work is that artwork is requested months (or even years) in advance of publication, so if the work in question is a reprint it’s easy to forget all about it as you get involved with other things.
So anyway, this is a handsome volume of over a thousand pages, not quite leather, it’s more of a leatherette with the design blocked into it. Sven Geier’s cosmic illustration has been given an iridescent finish, and the copies I was sent have metallic silver on the edges as well as a purple ribbon which makes a better match with the colour scheme. The contents comprise all of Lovecraft’s solo fiction (no collaborations, in other words) from the juvenilia through to the non-fiction of his Supernatural Horror in Literature essay. In addition to the introduction there’s a short note from ST Joshi for each story. Needless to say, I’m very pleased to be associated with Lovecraft’s work in this way.
Anyone considered buying a copy should note that the book is currently cheaper at B&N than at Amazon. Also, complaints about typos would appear to apply to the earlier edition although I’ve not had a chance to read any of the stories.
My Dagon picture below appears here larger than it has done before. The drawing was done with a Biro pen, something I’ve always liked using, then tweaked slightly in Photoshop to blur the lines a little and bring out the highlights. I’m not sure now the tweaking was necessary so I may dig out the original at some point to see how it compares.
Dagon (1999) by John Coulthart.