“From Beyond”

The Lovecraft series.

Raw Feed (2005): “From Beyond”, H. P. Lovecraft, 1920.Dagon and Other Macabre Tales

In his introduction to this collection, T. E. D. Klein notes that Lovecraft’s protagonist are usually solitary figures or, if a friend is shown, the friend is there to show the downfall of the protagonist.

This is such a story, and I liked the change of pace.

Crawford Tillinghast is described by his best friend, the narrator, as a man who should never have studied philosophy or science. He embarks on a plan to make the invisible entities around us visible — and, in turn, we will become visible to them and (as it turns out), prey.

I liked the bitterness of the story as Tillinghast, begged by the narrator not to continue his researches, kicks him away and then, eventually, tries to get one of the newly discovered entities from beyond to kill him, all the while gloating that at last the existence of his “pets” will be proven. Of course, it is Tillinghast they ultimately kill.

I’m not sure when Lovecraft first read Charles Fort (at the time this story was written, Fort only had one book out) or what of Fort’s books had the notion “We are property” but this story of invisible alien predators reminded me of the Fort inspired novel Sinister Barrier by Eric Frank Russell from 1939 — though there are substantial differences. Russell’s aliens regard us as property who must not be aware of their presence.  Lovecraft’s aliens aren’t aware of us till Tillinghast comes along and don’t take steps, unlike Russell’s, to restore the status quo of ignorance.


More reviews of Lovecraft related material are on the Lovecraft page.

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