There are very few writers who’ve had a story written in their memory by Jorge Luis Borges. It is also exceedingly rare for an author to serve as the inspiration for great songs by Black Sabbath or Metallica. But that is the unique place H.P. Lovecraft, who was born 133 years ago today, has come to occupy in our cultural memory.
One of the most influential and controversial authors of the last century, Lovecraft’s fingerprints are all over modern horror and fantasy writing — just ask Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. As his extensive bibliography shows, Lovecraft was compulsively prolific, and as a result, his work has resulted in plentiful editions published with terrifyingly awesome covers that have long served as new readers’ entryway into the author’s oeuvre.