Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born today in 1890, the cult writer who has been described as the 20th century’s greatest practitioner of horror fiction. Lovecraft has influenced and inspired such diverse writers and film-makers as Stephen King, Sam Raimi, Robert Bloch, Alan Moore, Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman and Mark E Smith.
To celebrate Lovecraft’s birthday, here is Mark E Smith reading “The Color Out of Space”.
Originally recorded by the BBC in 2007 as part of series of tales for Christmas, Smith briefly explained his choice:
“I’ve been a fan of HP Lovecraft since I was about 17. I chose to read this story because it’s very unusual for him; it’s not like his other tales. They are usually about people who live underground, or threats to humanity – which I like as well – but The Color Out Of Space is quite futuristic.”
Smith’s reading makes Lovecraft’s tale sound like the lyrics to one of his songs for The Fall, which only adds to the tale’s eerie quality.