This novella, originally published in serial form in February through to April 1936, has been featured in many different books over the decades since its debut. I first read it in a Lovecraft omnibus I picked up many years ago, before subsequently collecting a more definitive version, and it has been happily burned into my memory ever since.
Lovecraft was a master of horror, dread and lurking sense of doom, and At the Mountains of Madness is a chilling reminder of why that is. This tale is of an Antarctic expedition which soon discovers eerie ruins beyond a huge mountain range, and within finds numerous, highly-evolved life forms not clearly categorised as animal or vegetable matter.
The location of the bodies’ place of rest creates a problem regarding classification, as their features cannot have evolved naturally in accord with humans as such evolution had not occurred on the geological time scale. Their biology reminds the narrator William Dyer of monsters of primal myth ‘especially fabled Elder Things in (the) Necronomicon’. Such is the scene set for collecting of information, but better still a cataloguing of terrors, as the party continues their journey. Click here to read more.. »