Growing up as a genre-loving child in the United States during the 1980s, there were figures and faces that couldn’t be avoided. It didn’t matter whether you liked epic fantasy or not: odds were good that you would know who Tolkien was, and be able to explain, at least in broad strokes, the story he’d been trying to share. Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, C.S. Lewis, they all loomed large over the literary landscape we were trying to transverse, setting the shape of the world around us. There were women among their number—Anne McCaffrey, James Tiptree, Jr., A.C. Crispin—but they weren’t very common, and they rarely seemed to sink their roots as deeply.
And then there was H.P. Lovecraft.