The Inhabitant of the Lake and Other Unwelcome Tenants by Ramsey Campbell
Trade Paperback – Drugstore Indian Press – May 2018 – 303 pages
The influence of H. P. Lovecraft spans the centuries. Several of his correspondents who were writers learned by imitating him. The early tales of Robert Bloch and Henry Kuttner read very much like Lovecraft, while others of his friends—Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard and August Derleth among them—incorporated his ideas and myths into their fiction. Bloch and Frank Belknap Long even wrote tributes to him that used him, barely disguised, as a character.
After Lovecraft’s death August Derleth took control of his mythos, adding to and organising it more systematically than its creator ever had. Derleth was a jealous guardian of Lovecraft’s reputation, and insisted on vetting any stories by new writers that used the mythos. Few found his favour until 1961, when a Liverpudlian fifteen-year-old sent him the first drafts of several Lovecraftian tales. The outcome was a ten-year professional relationship and the appearance in 1964 of the first book of previously unpublished Lovecraftian fiction for five years. It was The Inhabitant of the Lake.
This fiftieth anniversary edition reprints that book in full, including the original introduction. It also includes the first drafts of all the tales that were rewritten before publication and reproduces Derleth’s editorial responses to the stories.
This edition is superbly illustrated by Randy Broecker in the great tradition of Weird Tales.