The Chemistry of the Colour Out of Space, Part 1

Lovecraftian Science

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Illustration by Shane Gallagher (www.deviantart.com)

Relative to the various disciplines of science, HPL is most known for his knowledge and expertise in astronomy, reflected in the large number of articles he wrote on the subject (Collected Essays, Volume 3: Science H.P. Lovecraft, edited by S. T. Joshi, 2005). However, HPL’s first “scientific” love was not astronomy but chemistry. As a child he was fascinated with the pictures in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary of the scientific equipment and tools one would find in a laboratory (I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi, 2013).

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A sample of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (from http://www.cthulhurisinggroup.com)

His first voyage into the subject of chemistry was the purchase of some chemistry equipment and the book The Young Chemist by Professor John Howard Appleton of Brown University. Besides experimenting and the occasional explosion in the cellar or fire in the…

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