The ‘Official’ Cthulhu Mythos FAQ

Used with permission from Daniel Harms –

The latest update was prompted by Donovan Loucks’ cogent commentary on the HTML I was using. Donovan pointed out that this page looks hideously awful on text-based browsers (which, believe it or not, lots of people use), and worked with me quite a bit on adjusting it. Thanks, Donovan!

This page is a work in progress. Some of the material below came from the original alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ; if you are responsible for any of it, please let me know so you can be given due credit. This page is the “official” one because I said so; there’s no one who can really authorize it. Then again, you don’t have to take it seriously, either.

In case you weren’t sure, the following material is © 1997 Daniel Harms. Permission is hereby granted to post this on the Internet and print copies for personal use, so long as this notice is included. Any requests for commercial reproduction should be referred to me.

History and Statement of Purpose

The Official Cthulhu Mythos FAQ was originally part of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ (a.h.c. FAQ), maintained first by Dru Smith and later by Donovan Loucks. Although Donovan has a great love of H. P. Lovecraft’s work and has done a great deal to promote it on the Internet, the a.h.c. FAQ was reaching critical mass on his website. There were some, myself included, who felt that the Mythos section of the a.h.c. FAQ was far scantier than the material warranted, and wanted to add more information to it. Donovan and I discussed this, and later at NecronomiCon III in 1997 proposed to the assembled alt.horror.cthulhu participants that the Mythos part of the FAQ be split off to become an independent entity in its own right. No dissenters being heard (yet), so it was done.

This page will explore each of the following:

  • History: How did the Cthulhu Mythos get started? Who has influenced or contributed to the Mythos? What works do people consider to be part of the Mythos?
  • Elements: What are the major gods, books, and places of the Cthulhu Mythos? What do all those Mythos terms being tossed about mean?
  • Resources: What Mythos stories and anthologies have been published, and how good are they? Where can I find more stories and information? How can I write my own Mythos fiction, and get it published?

The Official Cthulhu Mythos FAQ will not discuss the works of H. P. Lovecraft in depth, as that is done in the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ and at Donovan Louck’s The H.P. Lovecraft Archive. Nor will it attempt to list all the people, places, and Things of the Cthulhu Mythos, as such a document would be too huge for a casual reader. Any entries calling for a list (of authors, monsters, etc.) will not exceed ten items, lest the Page implode and become a black hole. Those interested in more detailed information should ask their questions on alt.horror.cthulhu, or better yet, buy my book.

Daniel Harms
September 9, 1997

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Mythos Lore

Part 3: Mythos Books, Stories, and Sources