|Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is best known for his "Cthulhu" mythos. His novella At the Mountains of Madness essentially created the "ancient astronaut" genre of fantasy/crazy.|
At the Mountains of Madness (1936)
by H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft is one of those authors where it's like, if you've never heard of the guy, you are probably better off, because the people who like H.P. Lovecraft are a bunch of creeps and weirdo's. The Lovecraftian aesthetic of tentacles, aliens, mysticism and "Nameless horrors" continues to remain vibrant and has a real and vital influence on Hollywood sci fi and genre fiction. Like many sci fi/fantasy titles on the 1001 Books list, Lovecraft is included for the strength of his vision, not as a master of the prose form.
As such, At the Mountains of Madness has both the good and bad of Lovecraft in its 100ish pages. Plot and character development are minimal, but his ability to integrate recent (as of the late 1920s) archeological discoveries and the breathtaking setting- Antarctica push this particular story out of the realm of normal sci fi fantasy and into something deeper.
Readers note- good luck finding a stand alone copy- look at his story collections, At the Mountains of Madness is typically included but not always.