"To Arkham and the Stars" is a short story by American writer Fritz Leiber, belonging to the Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror fiction. It was written for the 1966 Arkham House anthology The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces . Set in H. P. Lovecraft's Arkham and Miskatonic University, it includes characters from and allusions to several Lovecraft stories.
Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr. was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert. With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having coined the term.
The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared fictional universe, originating in the works of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. The term was coined by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent and protégé of Lovecraft, to identify the settings, tropes, and lore that were employed by Lovecraft and his literary successors. The name Cthulhu derives from the central creature in Lovecraft's seminal short story, "The Call of Cthulhu", first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928.
Arkham House is an American publishing house specializing in weird fiction. It was founded in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 1939 by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei to preserve in hardcover the best fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. The company's name is derived from Lovecraft's fictional New England city, Arkham. Arkham House editions are noted for the quality of their printing and binding. The colophon for Arkham House was designed by Frank Utpatel.
Robert M. Price, who included the story in his 1992 anthology Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos, said it "has proven to be a seminal Mythos tale, as in it we first see the depiction of Miskatonic University as having, as it were, a Mythos Studies Department." Price traces the influence of Leiber's story on such works as Philip José Farmer's "The Freshman", Lin Carter's "Zoth-Ommog" and Brian Lumley's The Burrowers Beneath and The Transition of Titus Crow.
Robert McNair Price is an American New Testament scholar who argues against the existence of a historical Jesus. He taught theology and religious studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary. He is a professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on biblical studies and the historicity of Jesus.
Philip José Farmer was an American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
Linwood Vrooman Carter was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor, poet and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H. P. Lowcraft and Grail Undwin. He is best known for his work in the 1970s as editor of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre.
The story's unnamed narrator arrives at Arkham to visit the Miskatonic University, noting changes that had occurred there since the 1920s and 1930s. (The story is apparently set in the mid-1960s; references to Fidel Castro and the International Geophysical Year—1957-58—place it no earlier than the late 1950s.) He is met by Albert Wilmarth, the narrator of Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness", now the chair of Miskatonic's Literature Department.
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. A Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, Castro also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration, Cuba became a one-party communist state, while industry and business were nationalized and state socialist policies were implemented throughout society.
The International Geophysical Year was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West had been seriously interrupted. Sixty-seven countries participated in IGY projects, although one notable exception was the mainland People's Republic of China, which was protesting against the participation of the Republic of China (Taiwan). East and West agreed to nominate the Belgian Marcel Nicolet as secretary general of the associated international organization.
The Whisperer in Darkness is a 26,000-word novella by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written February–September 1930, it was first published in Weird Tales, August 1931. Similar to The Colour Out of Space (1927), it is a blend of horror and science fiction. Although it makes numerous references to the Cthulhu Mythos, the story is not a central part of the mythos, but reflects a shift in Lovecraft's writing at this time towards science fiction. The story also introduces the Mi-go, an extraterrestrial race of fungoid creatures.
Miskatonic University is a fictional university located in Arkham, a fictional town in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is named after the Miskatonic River. After first appearing in H. P. Lovecraft's 1922 story "Herbert West–Reanimator", the school appeared in numerous Cthulhu Mythos stories by Lovecraft and other writers. The story "The Dunwich Horror" implies that Miskatonic University is a highly prestigious university, on par with Harvard University, and that Harvard and Miskatonic are the two most popular schools for the children of the Massachusetts “Old Gentry”. The university also appears in role-playing games and board games based on the mythos.
Randolph Carter is a recurring fictional character in H. P. Lovecraft's fiction and is, presumably, an alter ego of Lovecraft himself. The character first appears in "The Statement of Randolph Carter", a short story Lovecraft wrote in 1919 based on one of his dreams. An American magazine called The Vagrant published the story in May 1920.
"The Dunwich Horror" is a horror short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in 1928, it was first published in the April 1929 issue of Weird Tales (pp. 481–508). It takes place in Dunwich, a fictional town in Massachusetts. It is considered one of the core stories of the Cthulhu Mythos.
"The Haunter of the Dark" is a horror short story by American author H. P. Lovecraft, written between 5-9 November 1935 and published in the December 1936 edition of Weird Tales. It was the last-written of the author's known works, and is part of the Cthulhu Mythos. The epigraph to the story is the second stanza of Lovecraft's 1917 poem "Nemesis".
Lovecraft Country is a term coined by Keith Herber for the New England setting, combining real and fictitious locations, used by H. P. Lovecraft in many of his weird fiction stories, and later elaborated by other writers working in the Cthulhu Mythos. The term was popularized by Chaosium, the producers of the Lovecraftian role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi refers to the area as the "Miskatonic region", after its fictional river and university, while Lovecraft biographer Lin Carter calls it Miskatonic County, though Lovecraft indicates that at least some of his fictional towns were located in the real-life Essex County of Massachusetts.
Whispers was one of the new horror and fantasy fiction magazines of the 1970s.
The following characters appear in H.P. Lovecraft's story cycle — the Cthulhu Mythos.
Robert Harrison Blake is a fictional character in the Cthulhu Mythos. The character is the creation of H. P. Lovecraft and appears in his short story "The Haunter of the Dark" (1935).
The Xothic legend cycle is a series of short stories by American writer Lin Carter that are based on the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft, primarily on Lovecraft's stories "The Call of Cthulhu" and "Out of the Aeons".
"The Thing on the Doorstep" is a horror short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos universe. It was written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales.
Lovecraft: A Look Behind the "Cthulhu Mythos" is a 1972 non-fiction book written by Lin Carter, published by Ballantine Books. The introduction notes that the book "does not purport to be a biography of H. P. Lovecraft", and instead presents it as "a history of the growth of the so-called Cthulhu Mythos."
A Cthulhu Mythos anthology is a type of short story collection that contains stories written in or related to the Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror fiction launched by H. P. Lovecraft. Such anthologies have helped to define and popularize the genre.
Gary Clayton Myers is an American writer of fantasy and horror. He is a resident of Fullerton, California.
Richard Louis Tierney is an American writer, poet and scholar of H. P. Lovecraft. He is the coauthor of a series of Red Sonja novels, featuring cover art by Boris Vallejo. Some of his standalone novels utilize the mythology of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
The Xothic Legend Cycle: The Complete Mythos Fiction of Lin Carter is a collection of horror short stories by science fiction and fantasy author Lin Carter, edited by Robert M. Price. It gathers together his "Xothic" tales and some of his other Cthulhu Mythos writings. It was first published as a trade paperback by Chaosium in 1997 as book 13 of the publisher's "Cthulhu Cycle" series. The collection has also been translated into German.
Tales from the Miskatonic University Library is an anthology of original horror short stories edited by Darrell Schweitzer and John Ashmead. It was first published in hardcover and ebook editions by PS Publishing in February 2017.
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction. The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking. The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.