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The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft And…

The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft And Extraterrestial Pop Culture

by Jason Colavito

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Colavito is at his best tracing out the influence H.P. Lovecraft has had on "alternative archaeology," from becoming an influence at the French science fiction magazine "Planete" in the 1960s, which led to the "Chariots of the Gods" craze of the 1970s, to a further breakout of writers who further elaborated anti-science epistles on the cosmic origins of Human civilization. However, the portions where Colavito traces how Lovecraft's vision of aliens from out of time and their impact on Human culture only represents about a third of this book; the rest is devoted to criticizing cosmic pseudoscience, the fading of the Enlightenment in Western civilization or the author's own musings on how he fell for a lot of this nonsense as a young man. Colavito's Spenglarian bombast can be amusing for awhile, but then it just becomes wearing; it's a big part of why I mark down this work a bit. ( )
  Shrike58 | Aug 30, 2014 |
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 these alien visitors are directly concerned with the wellbeing (whether for good or bad) of humanity has been a common theme as well. The idea that in ages past, earlier cultures were visited by extra-terrestrials who gave the earthlings culture and advanced technological and spiritual secrets has been promoted since the 1960s after the popular alternative archaeology book Chariot of the Gods? by Erik von Däniken and has been the subject of books and television programmes ever since.

With this background in the alternative archaeological theories of the late twentieth-century, Jason Colavito proposes that the ultimate genesis of the theory that extra-terrestrials visited earth long ago is in the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. From the stories Call of Cthulhu, At the Mountains of Madness and The Haunter of the Dark, Colavito traces the cult of alien gods throughout the twentieth century to the Sirius and Orion mysteries, the twelfth planet of Nibiru, and ultimately to the Raëlian Movement. The author provides an excellent overview of the trends in alternative archaeology and extra-terrestrial genesis yet is often rather dismissive (yet this can be accounted for first, by the sheer outlandishness and anti-science tenants the theorists espouse, and second, by the author's own admission that he was once a firm believer yet realised the patent absurdity of the movement.)

Throughout the book, Colavito links the major players in the alternative archaeology movement back to Lovecraft's fictions (even if the former often do not acknowledge their debts). Sometimes the links are tenuous but nevertheless, the author still provides an excellent summation of the UFO history and alternative archaeology movements. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Funny and enlightening. This guy proves you can love weirdness and still be level headed.
1 vote Ragnell | Dec 22, 2006 |
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