The Hastur Cycle

Front Cover
Chaosium Inc., 2006 - Fiction - 300 pages
The stories in this book evoke a tracery of evil rarely rivaled in horror writing. They represent the whole evolving trajectory of such notions as Hastur, the King in Yellow, Carcosa, the Yellow Sign, the Black Stone, Yuggoth, and the Lake of Hali. A succession of writers from Ambrose Bierce to Ramsey Campbell and Karl Edward Wagner have explored and embellished these concepts so that the sum of the tales has become an evocative tapestry of hypnotic dread and terror, a mythology distinct from yet overlapping the Cthulhu Mythos. Here for the first time is a comprehensive collection of all the relevant tales.
 

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User Review  - branadain - LibraryThing

Hastur is by far the most intriguing being in the broad universe of the Cthulhu Mythos. This is a fantastic collection of very good stories, with a wide range of styles. Included are some very early ... Read full review

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Excellent read for anyone interested in the Hastur-Carcosa-King-In-Yellow Cycle. Plus those turned this way by the True Detective series. The Ambrose Bierce piece's are well written and a good place to historically get some background, yet undoubtably the Robert W. Chambers pieces are a MUST read! Whereas Karl Edward Wagner's story is one of the best reads in the whole collection. Brilliant atmosphere!
BUT when it comes to really understanding The King In Yellow play, you really need to read James Blish's work here. I think really the next stories from Lovecraft to Wade can be a bit of a distraction from the central Hastur Mythos that centres around the play. Since these stories revolve around Yuggoth (the planet), the Mi-go etc. I actually would recommend Derleth's piece too, the Cthulhu connection does seem to be a progression. Brennan's story is good. But then again, we almost have the best till last with Lin Carter's work!
For anyone interested in an audio-visual treatment of the Hastur Cycle and H. P. Lovecraft, check out egodeathfilms.wordpress.com
THE KING:
And as for thee,
we tell thee this; it is a fearful thing
to fall into the hands of the living god.
 

Contents

HA¤TA THE SHEPHERD Ambrose Bierce
1
AN INHABITANT OF CARCOSA Ambrose Bierce
7
THE YELLOW SIGN Robert W Chambers
38
THE RIVER OF NIGHTS DREAMING Karl Edward Wagner
54
MORE LIGHT James Blish
84
THE NOVEL OF THE BLACK SEAL Arthur Machen
113
THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS H P Lovecraft
145
DOCUMENTS IN THE CASE OF ELIZABETH AKELEY Richard A Lupoff
199
THE MINE ON YUGGOTH Ramsey Campbell
233
PLANETFALL ON YUGGOTH James Wade
244
THE FEASTER FROM AFAR Joseph Payne Brennan
271
TATTERS OF THE KING Lin Carter
282
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About the author (2006)

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1890 - 1937 H. P. Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island. His mother was Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft and his father was Winfield Scott Lovecraft, a traveling salesman for Gorham & Co. Silversmtihs. Lovecraft was reciting poetry at the age of two and when he was three years old, his father suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to Butler Hospital. He spent five years there before dying on July 19, 1898 of paresis, a form of neurosyphillis. During those five years, Lovecraft was told that his father was paralyzed and in a coma, which was not the case. His mother, two aunts and grandfather were now bringing up Lovecraft. He suffered from frequent illnesses as a boy, many of which were psychological. He began writing between the ages of six and seven and, at about the age of eight, he discovered science. He began to produce the hectographed journals, "The Scientific Gazette" (1899-1907) and "The Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy" (1903-07). His first appearance in print happened, in 1906, when he wrote a letter on an astronomical matter to The Providence Sunday Journal. A short time later, he began writing a monthly astronomy column for The Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner - a rural paper. He also wrote columns for The Providence Tribune (1906-08), The Providence Evening News (1914-18), The Asheville (N.C.) Gazette-News (1915). In 1904, his grandfather died and the family suffered severe financial difficulties, which forced him and his mother to move out of their Victorian home. Devastated by this, he apparently contemplated suicide. In 1908, before graduating from high school, he suffered a nervous breakdown. He didn't receive a diploma and failed to get into Brown University, both of which caused him great shame. Lovecraft was not heard from for five years, re-emerging because of a letter he wrote in protest to Fred Jackson's love story in The Argosy. His letter was published in 1913 and caused great controversy, which was noted by Edward F. Daas, President of the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA). Daas invited Lovecraft to join the UAPA, which he did in early 1914. He eventually became President and Official Editor of the UAPA and served briefly as President of the rival National Amateur Press Association (NAPA). He published thirteen issues of his own paper, The Conservative (1915-23) and contributed poetry and essays to other journals. He also wrote some fiction which titles include "The Beast in the Cave" (1905), "The Alchemist" (1908), "The Tomb" and "Dagon" (1917). In 1919, Lovecraft's mother was deteriorating, mentally and physically, and was admitted to Butler Hospital. On May 24, 1921, his mother died from a gall bladder operation. While attending an amateur journalism convention in Boston, Lovecraft met his future wife Sonia Haft Greene, a Russian Jew. They were married on March 3, 1924 and Lovecraft moved to her apartment in Brooklyn. Sonia had a shop on Fifth Avenue that went bankrupt. In 1925, Sonia went to Cleveland for a job and Lovecraft moved to a smaller apartment in the Red Hook district of Brooklyn. In 1926, he decided to move back to Providence. Lovecraft had his aunts bar his wife, Sonia, from going to Providence to start a business because he couldn't have the stigma of a tradeswoman wife. They were divorced in 1929. After his return to Providence, he wrote his greatest fiction, which included the titles "The Call of Cthulhu" (1926), "At the Mountains of Madness" (1931), and "The Shadow Out of Time" (1934-35). In 1932, his aunt, Mrs. Clark, died; and he moved in with his other aunt, Mrs. Gamwell, in 1933. Suffering from cancer of the intestine, Lovecraft was admitted to Jane Brown Memorial Hospital and on March 15, 1937 he died.

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