The cult of alien gods: H.P. Lovecraft and extraterrestrial pop culture

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Prometheus Books, Dec 30, 2005 - Fiction - 398 pages
10 Reviews
Nearly half of all Americans believe in existence of extraterrestrials, and many are also convinced that aliens have visited Earth at some point in history. Included in such popular beliefs is the notion that so-called ancient astronauts (visitors from outer space) were responsible for wonders like the Pyramids. Shocking new evidence proves that the entire genre is based on fictional horror stories, whose author once wrote that they never wished to mislead anyone. In this entertaining and informative book, the author traces the origins of a belief in these visitors to the work of H P Lovecraft (1890-1937). This amazing tale takes the reader through 50 years of pop culture and pseudoscience highlighting a number of influential figures and developments. Beyond documenting Lovecraft's influence on ancient astronaut theories and Raelian cloning efforts, Colavito also argues that the appeal of such myths is a troubling sign on an age when science is having its greatest success. He suggests that at the dawn of the 21st century Western society is witnessing a deep-seated erosion of Enlightenment values that are the basis of a modern world.

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User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

Aliens have gripped the public consciousness since that day Kenneth Arnold saw the first sightings of the modern age in 1947. Along with the idea that man is not alone in the universe, the idea that ... Read full review

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This is really at least two books - one is a history of Lovecraft and his ideas. The second is a discussion of the ancient astronaut nonsense (I won't dignify to call it a theory). Both are good, both are interesting, neither meshes well in the actual volume. Colavito obviously knows his stuff, both fiction and nonfiction (though the nonfiction in this case is really fiction) and he may see the two as inherently and obviously joined. But he doesn't make his case very obvious and apparent. It's up to the reader to think through and reference between the book sections, the links are not interstitched throughout the narrative. I enjoyed the book (but really, two separate books), I read it (them) cover-to-cover, but I think he very easily could have written (actually, did write, just published under one cover) two separate books and little would have been lost. Ultimately it comes back to seeing similar concepts in both mileus and noting the similarities, at no point did Colavito do a convincing job of showing actual influence of Lovecraft on the rest. Did a pretty good job of showing that all ancient astronaut nutters all drink from the same well though, that was really obvious. 


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About the author (2005)

Jason Colavito (Albany, NY) is a freelance writer and editor who has written for "Skeptic" magazine, among other publications.