Title page of “The Colour Out of Space” as it appeared in Amazing Stories, September, 1927. Illustration by J. M. de Aragon.
Citation taken from Wikipedia
The Colour Out of Space” is a science fiction/horror short story by American author H. P. Lovecraft, written in March 1927. In the tale, an unnamed narrator pieces together the story of an area known by the locals as the “blasted heath” in the wild hills west of the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts. The narrator discovers that many years ago a meteorite crashed there, poisoning every living being nearby; vegetation grows large but foul tasting, animals are driven mad and deformed into grotesque shapes, and the people go insane or die one by one.
Lovecraft began writing “The Colour Out of Space” immediately after finishing his previous short novel, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and in the midst of final revision on his horror fiction essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature”. Seeking to create a truly alien life form, he drew inspiration from numerous fiction and nonfiction sources. First appearing in the September 1927 edition of Hugo Gernsback’s science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, “The Colour Out of Space” became one of Lovecraft’s most popular works, and remained his personal favorite of his short stories. It has been adapted to film several times, as Die, Monster, Die! (1965), The Curse (1987), Colour from the Dark (2008), The Colour Out of Space (Die Farbe) (2010) and Color Out of Space (2019).
Just finished this short story, as I took a break from a different boring book that just can not seem to get to the point… I even found a nice audio version on youtube that I am going to link which I listened to as I was reading along on my phone. I have gone through quite a few Lovecraft stories in the past few years and I have become accustomed to the way he deliberately left things unexplained so either the reader could use their own imagination or because he was an asshole. I tend to get a bit pissed off some times when I read a story where the build up is so good and you are waiting for that climax you know is near, only to be met with words such as “it was indescribable and something of madness”, H.P, buddy it is the 21st century, kids do not have the imagination to get what you are driving at….
That being said, this kid right here does have the tendency to over imagine things and see other stuff happening in the back of his mind when reading through things. This was a great story to read as a temporary break from a book that just does not seem to have an end to it. I have told Milou I have felt like DNFing the effing thing, but I just got over the 60% mark and I seem to be a sucker for punishment some times. Colour out of Space was also recently remade into a Hollywood production staring Nicholas Cage, though I am iffy about seeing if they managed to fuck it up, but I will definitely see it as you do not see many Lovecraft movies come to light, unless I am looking in the wrong places…
I wanted to read another short story for this month as I have neglected my short story catagory for a while now and would like to get back into posting more of them more frequently. I do not know if C.O.O.S counts as a book, but I see GR has it as a stand alone novella and therefore I can give it a rating. My rating being a 3 out of 5 as I was sucked into the opening parts of this short and it kinda spun into something crossing between wanting to be intrigued but not willing to get my hopes up for it wowing me. It is a great story to read though. I love the gradual degeneration that happens and that Lovecraft had a talent for writing, the man was ahead of his time in so many ways.
If you have not read this before and consider yourself a Lovecraft fan, I recommend giving this a go. If reading Lovecraft feels like a chore, do not despair, uncle Dave has you sorted out. I must say I had to sift through quite a few read throughs to get to the one I picked, it’s just over an hour and you can rev the speed up if you want…
You are welcome.