At the Mountains of Madness
By H.P. Lovecraft
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At the Mountains of Madness is a novella by H.P. Lovecraft, an American writer of "cosmic" horror, fantasy and sci-fi, particularly in the subgenre known as "weird fiction." Weird fiction incorporated the supernatural, mythical, and scientific into a unique form which predated "niche" genre fiction. This story, which was originally serialized in 1936, features the "de-mythology" of the Cthulhu mythos, which describe ancient extra-dimensional beings whose powers are vast and terrifying. It is told from the perspective of William Dyer, a geologist and professor at Miskatonic University. His manuscript reveals the horrible secrets of "The Old Ones" in an attempt to deter a highly-publicized expedition to Antarctica. Lovecraft's brilliance as a horror writer lies in his defiance of the old standards of ghosts, vampires, and werewolves. It's the peripheral description of his creatures, rather, whose powers are almost unimaginable, that leave the reader with a cosmic, spiritual and intellectual sense of doom. For example, that which makes the creature in this tale so horrifying is their arbitrary loathing of humankind - they couldn't care less whether we lived or died; but much like a puny bug, if we get in their way we will be killed without a thought. No silver bullets, no crosses, no wooden stakes will save you from terrifying creatures of the Lovecraft's "Cthulhu" fiction.