As a genre, The Cosmic Horror Story probably isn’t as popular as a lot of others. It’s more a mixture of science fiction, a little mystery and horror. But it’s not horror in the way that there a huge monsters chasing a big breasted protagonist through a darkened house. It’s world ending horror, actual it’s universe ending. Creatures that devour creation and most of the time can’t be defeated only delayed.
There’s an overwhelming air of nihilism and humans as specks of dust on a planet that’s a speck of dust in the great scheme of the universe. It’s also a genre of shadows and insanity and of unimaginable eldritch abominations that literally defy description. H. P. Lovecraft is probably the best known author of the genre and he inspired others like Neil Gaiman and Stephen King further down the line.
When working on my own novel, I realized that there was part of this in my writing. It’s not nearly as strong or lofty a part of the story. But there is times when I notice set pieces from the Cosmic Horror Story that, while used in a different way, will be recognizable to those who know about the Great Old Ones and the mythos that surrounds them.
I think that the writing of most Lovecraft works is too rich for the likes of many and while I will admit that his style isn’t very desirable some of the ideas that he came up with are so twisted that they’re awesome to read. When I checked out The Colour Out of Space I was intrigued by the notions that the story presented and the way in which even without anything of substance, Lovecraft can still ramp up the fear.
I once laughed at another other for priding himself on breaking the sanity of creatures. He prided himself a Lovecraft clone and honestly wasn’t fit to wear the mantle. But I have learned to appreciate the idea that mere knowledge may drive a character insane and it’s one of the hallmarks of the genre. Do I think it’s one I’m sure to apply to my own writing? No. I’m not here to pick apart the work of others as if it’s a buffet for me to use. But at the same time there’s nothing wrong with seeing something of the past in your work and paying homage.