It’s HP Lovecraft’s birthday! Yes, the man that brought us so many delightful horrors would be blowing out 125 candles today if he had been kept alive by strange and dark magics.

The Atlantic has a fantastic article about him and his enduring legacy that is a must read. They go over his meteoric rise to cultural celebrity as well as his troubling, racist ideas. He is, in the vernacular of the internet, a problematic fave.

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It’s amazing how his work, which was routinely ignored in his life, has become so huge now. I can’t count how many Cthulhu plushies and Miskatonic shirts I own. I even have a locket with him inside. He’s become a cultural touchstone, a shorthand for “creepy as fuck”. You only need to say “Lovecraftian” and images of behemoths and monsters come to mind, people driven insane by esoteric knowledge and just the general unease of creeping dread.

Was HP Lovecraft the best writer ever? Not even close. But you can’t argue that has hasn’t made a hell of an impact.

So raise a glass tonight of your best liquor of choice to one of the fathers of modern horror, HP Lovecraft. Happy birthday, you weird old bastard.