Lovecraftian adj.

of, relating to, or characteristic of the writing of H. P. Lovecraft, esp. in featuring elements of supernatural and often existential horror

SF Criticism

  • 1927 H. P. Lovecraft Letter 5 July in A. Derleth & D. Wandrei Selected Letters II (1968) 151 H. P. Lovecraft

    I’ll enclose, purely for your personal perusal…two characteristic neo-Lovecraftian outbursts—The Silver Key and The Strange High House in the Mist.

  • 1936 R. Bloch in Weird Tales May 637 page image Robert Bloch

    Got the March issue today, and Kuttner’s story appealed to me strongly. I deem it a fine little tale in the Lovecraftian manner.

  • 1946 F. T. Laney Comments on the Spring Mailing in Fan-Dango (#12) Summer 6 page image Francis T. Laney

    If he was other than a slight influence, why is it that, outside of stories written by his own most intimate friends, there exist scarcely any stories which can possibly be called Lovecraftian?

  • 1953 Fantasy Fiction Nov. 4 page image

    All good students of their grimoires…recognize the need for a full understanding of Latin strung between the names of Lovecraftian gods which can’t be pronounced.

  • 1976 D. Koontz Night Chills (1983) ii. ix. 342 Dean R. Koontz bibliography

    The atmosphere was Lovecraftian, a dank seed bed of paranoia.

  • 1995 R. K. J. Killheffer Books in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 28/1 Robert K. J. Killheffer

    It’s hard to say exactly how a novel about a man’s mid-life despair can be funny; the juxtaposition of workplace ennui and Lovecraftian horrors certainly produces a pervasive sardonic tone, but even the scenes that aren't played for satirical laughs have a kind of exaggerated emotional quality (like that of Lovecraft’s own fiction) that adds a note of grim humor to even the darker scenes.

  • 2007 C. Stross Halting State (2008) 298 Charles Stross

    About a quarter of a million lines of source code, squirreled away among the skeletons and treasures guarded by a fearsomely large shoggoth; if you want to keep some data secure, there’s nothing quite like sticking it in a record in a holographic distributed database that’s guarded by Lovecraftian horrors.

  • 2015 in A. Grossman Crooked (front flap)

    Combining Lovecraftian suspense, international intrigue, Russian honey traps, and a presidential marriage whose secrets and battles of attrition were their own heroic saga, Grossman’s novel is a masterwork of alternate history.

Research requirements

antedating 1927

Earliest cite

H. P. Lovecraft himself, in a letter

Research History
Jeff Prucher has a cite from Asimov's 12/03, 136/2.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1982 cite from Baird Searles' (et al.) "A Reader's Guide to Fantasy".
Irene Grumman submitted a 1995 cite from Robert K. J. Killheffer in F&SF.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1955 cite from an editorial blurb in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Fred Galvin submitted a 2006 cite from an article by Thomas Hull in Math Horizons.

Last modified 2022-05-08 18:25:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.