The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia by Daniel Harms
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
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