H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition Review Part 1

H. P. Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum EditionH. P. Lovecraft  three volume series that collects all fiction with all revisions and notes included. A must have set for any serious HPL reader or scholar. Read part 1 of an extended review of this culmination of over 30 years of work.

World renowned expert S.T. Joshi has devoted most of his adult life to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. His I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (Two Volumes) is the most thoroughly researched biography of the life of Howard Phillips Lovecraft – and it is very readable even if you are not doing serious research.

Hippocampus Press has released for 2015 a first printing of H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition, in a limited 750 edition release.

A quick note on the photos – I took these myself at 4608 x 3456 (then scaled them down), then processed them using SILKYPIX DS 6 Pro, a RAW photo converter and image correction software that I think is excellent. Download the 30 day trial of SILKYPIX. No subscriptions required (Adobe subscription tentacles begone).

If you pre-ordered you saved about $15 or so, otherwise if you purchase now it will cost you $180 plus postage. This isn’t an idle purchase at this price. But lets take a quick look at what you are getting. This first part of my review will just cover the physical product itself. More details to follow in Part 2.

Cycles of Experience: An Unboxing

Hippocampus Press knows how to ship books. The volumes are wrapped in a combination of newsprint and bubble wrap and shipped in a box. This kind of packaging ensures that your books arrive without blemishes or crushed corners. Having dealt with book companies in countries like Japan, I know that a crushed corner will result in a demand for a replacement.  I believe Hippocampus Press knows this well.

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My box arrived with a bit of crushing but the volumes inside were unharmed. The volumes are individually shrink-wrapped.

It could be Hippocampus Press will offer subsequent printings and soft cover versions individually – however based on my initial peek at the introductions of each book, there seems to be an assumption that you have all three volumes.

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The dust jackets do not disappoint. On the back of each dust jacket is a picture of HPL, and this is duplicated again inside the volume. This is particularly thoughtful.

Dusk Jacket Back Cover: H. P. Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum EditionInside HPL Image: H. P. Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition

Each volume’s HPL image is also different from the others.

Inside HPL Picture: H. P. Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition

As you see, the volumes also have a black hard cover, with gold print. There’s not much to say about this except you have a very nice HPL signature on each cover, and the spine also has enough information that you can tell which volume you have in your hand.

Dust Jackets Removed: H. P. Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition

That’s all I am going to cover today.

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