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A Mythos Reader - The Fiction of Lovecraft and His Circle Free On The Web
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I've lost track of how many posts that have been made to the Arkham Horror forums asking "What stories is this game based on?" or some variation thereof. It is fortunate that Lovecraft's writings, the writings of those he took his inspiration from and the writings of many of the authors he in turn inspired are freely available on the web.

In this list, I'll attempt to link together as much freely available Mythos fiction as I can find for those of you who are interested in experiencing the visceral thrill of Lovecraftian horror. I'm sure I'll miss something, so please add your favorites to this list.
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1. Board Game: Unspeakable Words [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:2717]
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Sources

While some the authors listed have dedicated sites (which I'll specifically link), the bulk of the links in the remainder of this list are taken from:

(WIK) Wikisource, which is associated with Wikipedia
(FSF) Free SF Online, which indexes entries from Project Gutenberg & etc.
(OBP) The Online Books Page at The University of Pennsylvania
(MBN) Many Books
(TLG) The Literary Gothic
(EOW) Short Stories at East of the Web
(TLN) The Literature Network*
(RBO) Read Books Online*

* WARNING: these sites have pop-up ads
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2. Board Game: Strange Aeons [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:7170]
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937)

The center of the circle, HPL was an author of "weird fiction" that blended both horror and science fiction and may very well have started the first "shared world" in fiction as he and the writers in his circle sprinkled tanatalizing references to one another's fictional forbidden tomes and mysterious Outer Gods throughout their chilling, thrilling tales.

Lovecraft's works are in the public domain and can be found at:

(HPL) The H. P. Lovecraft Archive
(TOD) The Temple Of Dagon
(WIK) WikiSource
(FSF) Free SF Online
(MBN) Many Books

...and as a feature of Chris Jenning's amazing tool to generate custom content for our favorite game, Strange Eons.
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3. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:250] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
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Arkham Horror Background

Most of the queries to the forums are asked out of a desire to understand more of the game's background, to put into some sort of context. That being the case, I recommend reading:

"The Dreams in the Witch House" (HPL)(WIK) and "The Unnameable" (HPL)(WIK) mention familiar locales your investigators will visit.

Much of the chilling "The Shadow Out of Time" (HPL)(WIK) takes place in one of the Otherworlds your investigators can explore.

"Azathoth" (HPL)(WIK), "The Call of Cthulhu"(HPL) (WIK), "Nyarlathotep" (HPL)(WIK) and "The Curse of Yig" (HPL) (WIK) introduce some of the Ancient Ones your investigators want to avoid awakening.

"The Horror At Red Hook" (HPL)(WIK), "Pickman's Model" (HPL)(WIK) and "The Rats in the Wall" (HPL)(WIK) feature Allies available to help your investigators.

"The Descendant" (HPL)(WIK) and "The History of The Necronomicon" (HPL)(WIK) feature everyone's favorite forbidden Tome.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Which, despite what hucksters puveying it would have you believe, is entirely fictional.

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4. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
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Dunwich Horror Background

"The Dunwich Horror" (HPL) (WIK) is the basis for this expansion, but it also draws quite a bit from "The Colour Out of Space" (HPL)(WIK). One of the Ancient Ones introduced is mentioned in "The Mound" (HPL)(WIK).
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5. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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Kingsport Horror Background

This expansion draws much of its material from "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" (HPL)(WIK). Enjoyment of this tale will be enhanced by first reading "The Cats of Ulthar" (HPL)(WIK), "Celephais" (HPL)(WIK), "The Other Gods" (HPL)(WIK), "The Statement of Randolph Carter" (HPL)(WIK) and "The Silver Key" (HPL)(WIK).

Many of the Allies in this expansion may be found in "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" (HPL)(WIK), "Herbert West - Reanimator" (HPL)(WIK), "The Terrible Old Man" (HPL)(WIK), and "The Thing on the Doorstep" (HPL)(WIK). The first two of these do not actually mention Kingsport, while the latter is but tangentially related.

Stories which pertain to Kingsport locations and a goal which can be obtained at one of them include "The Festival" (HPL)(WIK), "The Strange High House in the Mist" (HPL)(WIK) and "The White Ship" (HPL)(WIK).

One of the Guardians is mentioned in "Hypnos" (HPL)(WIK)

If, after reading these tales you'd rather have your investigator roaming the Dreamlands instead of knocking about Kingsport, may I suggest this ambitious fan expansion or this exceptional fan expansion?
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6. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
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Innsmouth Horror Background

"The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (HPL) (WIK) is the basis for this expansion. Some of the Ancient Ones in it are mentioned in "The Doom That Came to Sarnath" (HPL)(WIK) and "The Horror In The Museum" (HPL)(WIK). while one of its heralds is mentioned in "Dagon" (HPL)(WIK).
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7. Board Game: The Dictionary Game [Average Rating:4.54 Unranked]
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Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913)

One of the authors from which HPL drew inspriation, Bierce is best known for his scathing satire, The Devil's Dictionary. It is Bierce who first makes mention of "Hastur" (ABR)(WIK)(EOW) and "Carcosa" (ABA)(WIK)(EOW), though not necessarily in contexts familiar to readers of the Mythos.

Bierce's works are found at:

(ABA) The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society (ABAS)
(ABR) Amborse Bierce Resources on the Web
(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(EOW) East of The Web
(TLN) The Literature Network
(RBO) Read Books Online
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8. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
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Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933)

Chambers was more of an influence on later writers of Lovecraftian fiction than on HPL himself. His short story collection, "The King In Yellow" (OBP) is the basis for this expansion.

More of Chamber's works can be found at:

(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(TLG) The Literary Gothic
(EOW) East Of The Web
(RBO) Read Books Online
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9. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion (Revised Edition) [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
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Robert A. Bloch (1917-1994)

Best known for the screenplay for Psycho, Bloch was one of Lovecraft's favorite disciples, having the unique distinction of appearing and being killed off in one the Master's tales - as "Robert Blake" in "The Haunter In The Dark" (HPL)(WIK). It was Bloch who first wrote of Nephren-Ka, the Dark Pharoah, central figure of this expansion.

Bloch's other significant contributions to the Mythos include the dreaded tomes Cultes Des Goules and De Vermis Mysteriis and the Guardian Bast.

Bloch's Mythos fiction is not availabale online, but a few of his stories are, including "This Crowded Earth" (FSF) and "The Man Who Collected Poe".

It is also worth noting that Erich Weiss, an Ally in this expansion, is the real name of Harry Houdini, who co-authored "Under The Pyramids" (HPL) (WIK) with Lovecraft.
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10. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Lurker at the Threshold Expansion [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
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August W. Derleth (1909-1971)

Derleth is notorious for his "posthumous collaborations" with Lovecraft, in which he is accused of reworking Lovecraft's plots and themes wholesale into new stories. "The Lurker at the Threshold", for example, has many similarities to "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward". He is also reviled by many for attempting to create a "taxonomy" of Ancient Ones, identifying each of them with one of the four classical elements. Yet it is Derleth and his Arkham House publishing company which kept Lovecraft in print after his passing and kept the torch burning for the next generation of Mythos authors.

Derleth's Mythos contributions include the Ancient Ones Ithaqua, Cthuga and twin terrors Zhar & Lloigor.

While "The Lurker At The Threshold", on which this expansion is based, is not available online, a couple of Derleth's (not necessarily Mythos) stories are online, including "McIlvaine's Star" (FSF) and "The Inheritors" (WIK).
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11. Board Game: Windigo [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
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Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)

An English author of ghost stories, Blackwood's work was influential on Lovecraft and Derleth. The latter took his inspiration for Ithaqua, the Wind Walker, from Blackwood's "The Wendigo" (BWS)(WIK)(OBP).

You can find Blackwood's works online at:
(BWS) Blackwood Stories
(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(TLG) The Literary Gothic
(EOW) East of the Web
(RBO) Read Books Online
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12. Board Game: Elder Things & Outer Gods [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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Lovecraft's Masterpiece

"At The Mountains of Madness" (HPL) (WIK) is one of Lovecraft's most chillling tales. There is no official Arkham Horror expansion for it yet, though there is a good fan made one here.
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13. Board Game: Tekeli-li [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:10995]
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Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Poe's "Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" (WIK)(OBP)(TLN)(RBO) is oft-cited as influence on Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness", including the eerie cries of "Tekeli-li!".

More of Poe's spine-tingling stories may be found at:

(POE) Poe Stories
(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(EOW) East of the Web
(TLN) The Literature Network
(RBO) Read Books Online
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14. Board Game: The Thing [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:4204]
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John W. Campbell (1910-1971)

Lovecraft, in turn almost certainly influenced John W. Campbell's famous tale of discovering things better left alone in Antarctica, "Who Goes There?", filmed as "John Carpenter's The Thing" (and an earlier version from the '50s, about which the less said, the better).

A few more John W. Campbell stories can be found at:

(FSF) Free SF Online
(MBN) Many Books
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15. Board Game: The Hieroglyphs Game [Average Rating:3.98 Unranked]
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Arthur Machen (1863-1947)

A Welsh author of weird fiction, Machen was a significant influence on Lovecraft, especially regarding the theme of ancient surivivals. Find his works online at:

(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(TLG) The Literary Gothic
(EOW) East of the Web
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16. Board Game: Gods [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:9554]
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Edward Plunkett, Lord Dunsany (1878-1957)

An Irish fantasy writer, the influence of Lord Dunsany's works on Lovecraft is more evident in Lovecraft's Dreamlands stories (see the entry on Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion, above). Dunsany's works are available online at:

(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(RBO) Read Books Onlne

Dunsany's Pegana series, including "The Gods of Pegana" (WIK) (OBP) and "Time and the Gods" (WIK) (OBP) "The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories" (WIK) (OBP) are particularly recommended.
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17. Board Game: Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1412]
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Robert E. Howard, (1906-1936)

Another close member of Lovecraft's circle, Howard is best known for his memorable characters, Conan the Cimmerian, Kull the Conqueror, Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane. Yet there was much cross-pollination between Howard's Hyperborea and Lovecraft's Mythos, including the Serpent People of Valusia and the dreaded tome Unaussprechlichen Kulten. Read Howard's impressive body of works at:

(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) Free SF Online
(MBN) Many Books

"The Black Stone" (WIK) is Howard's best Mythos tale. But you won't be able to stop at one, as Howard really knows how to spin a yarn.
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18. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:481]
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Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961)

Author, poet, painter, sculptor, Smith was a real Renaissance man and another of Lovecraft's close correspondents. His body of contributions to the Mythos is often referred to as the "Smythos". It includes Eibon, wizard of ancient Mu and his forbidden book and the Ancient Ones Tsathoggua and Atlach-Nacha, just to name a few. Smith's works online can be found at:

(TED) The Eldritch Dark
(WIK) WikiSource
(FSF) Free SF Online

An excellent fan expansion based largely on the "Smythos" can be found here.
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19. Board Game: Black Elephant [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:6219]
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Frank Belknap Long (1901-1994)

As a member of Lovecraft's inner circle, Belknap's contributions to the Mythos include the relentless Hounds of Tindalos and the Ancient One Chaugnar Faugn. There is little of Long's work available online, though some can be found at:

(FSF) Free SF Online
(MBN) Many Books

A taste of his Mythos fiction exists as part of a "story in the round" co-authored with Lovecraft, Howard, Moore and Merritt, "The Challenge From Beyond" (WIK).
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20. Board Game: Borogove [Average Rating:5.63 Unranked]
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Henry Kuttner (1915-1958)
C. L. Moore (1911-1987)

Henry Kuttner, another member of Lovecraft's cirle, was married to another writer of weird fiction, C. L. Moore. The two of them often collaborated and published under pseudonyms, notably Lawrence O'Donnell and Lewis Padgett. It was under the latter that they published the story that will be best known to modern readers, "Mimsy Were The Borogoves", recently filmed as "The Last Mimsy".

Kuttner's mythos contributions which appear in Arkham Horror include the Ancient One Nyogtha.

Kuttner's fiction can be found on-line at:

(FSF) Free SF Online
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books

Moore's fiction can be found on-line at:

(WIK) WikiSource
(FSF) Free SF Online
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21. Board Game: The Abyss [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Abraham Merritt (1882-1943)

A contemporary of Lovecraft's, Merritt's weird fiction is also said to have been an influence on Lovecraft. You can find Merritt's works on line at:

(WIK) WikiSource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(MBN) Many Books
(TLG) The Literary Gothic
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22. Board Game: Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game – Search for the Silver Key Asylum Pack [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
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E. Hoffmann Price (1898-1988)

Price was a writer of weird fiction whose primary contribution to the mythos was a sequel to the "The Silver Key" co-authored with the Master himself. "Through The Gates of the Silver Key" (HPL)(WIK) is particularly interesting, since it became a jumping off point for the "Titus Crow" series of Mythos stories by Brian Lumley.

Another of Price's stories may be found at:

(MBN) Many Books
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23. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Miskatonic Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
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Visiting Professors

Many authors of science fiction, fantasy and horror have taken a turn at writing Lovecraftian tales over the years. Those who have (not necessarily Mythos) stories online include:

(MBN) Robert H. Barlow
(FSF)(MBN) Phillip Jose Farmer
(FSF) Neil Gaiman
(FSF)(MBN) Carl Jacobi
(FSF) David Barr Kirtley
(FSF) Stephen King
(FSF)(MBN) Fritz Leiber
(FSF) Brad Linaweaver
(FSF) Robert A.W. Lowndes
(FSF) Brian Lumley
(FSF) Richard A. Lupoff
(FSF) P. Schuyler Miller
(FSF) Kim Newmann
(FSF) Darrell Schweitzer
(FSF) John Shirley
(FSF)(MBN) Robert Silverberg
(FSF) Bruce Sterling
(FSF) Jeffrey Thomas
(FSF) Karl Edward Wagner
(FSF)(MBN) Donald Wandrei
(FSF) Lawrence Watt-Evans
(FSF)(MBN) Manly Wade Wellman
(FSF) Jack Williamson
(FSF) F. Paul Wilson
(FSF) Gene Wolfe
(FSF) Donald A. Wollenheim
(FSF) Roger Zelazny

Specific Mythos tales among the above links include:

"I, Cthulhu" (FSF), by Neil Gaiman

"Discovery of the Ghooric Zone" (FSF), by Richard A. Lupoff

"The Barrens" (FSF), by F. Paul Wilson
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24. Board Game: Cthulhu Rising [Average Rating:5.18 Overall Rank:15573]
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The Temple of Dagon

The Temple of Dagon features new Mythos stories by up and coming Mythos fiction writers, including David Conyers, Simon Bucher-Jones, and others. This just shows that Lovecraft's influence is stronger than ever even three-quarters of a century since he passed.
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25. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:203]
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M. R. James (1862-1936)

In 'Notes on Writing Weird Fiction' H.P. Lovecraft wrote:
...Dunsany, Poe, Arthur Machen, M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, and Walter de la Mare being typical masters in this field.


Montague Rhodes James was an English medieval scholar and author of ghost stories. His works can be found on-line at:

(ATG) A Thin Ghost
(WIK) Wikisource
(OBP) The Online Books Page
(TLG) The LIterary Gothic

Clark Ashton Smith was also a fan, writing a brief essay entitled "The Weird Works of M.R. James" (TED)
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