The Other Gods (fiction)

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"The Other Gods" is a short story written by H. P. Lovecraft on August 14, 1921. It was first published in the November 1933 issue of The Fantasy Fan.

Plot summary

Barzai the Wise, a high priest and prophet greatly learned in the lore of the "gods of earth", or Great Ones, attempts to scale the mountain of Hatheg-Kla in order to look upon their faces, accompanied by his young disciple Atal. Upon reaching the peak, Barzai at first seems overjoyed until he finds that the "gods of the earth" are not there, but rather the "other gods, the gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth!" Atal flees and Barzai is never seen again.



Though it's often assumed that "The Other Gods" is set in Lovecraft's Dreamlands, critic S.T. Joshi points out the connections to the story "Polaris", which seems to be set in Earth's distant past, in arguing that "the clear implication is that this tale too takes place in a prehistoric civilization."



The story resembles the many tales of hubris written by Lord Dunsany, like "The Revolt of the Home Gods" from The Gods of Pegana (1905).


The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan (misprinted as "...of Earth" in the story's original publication) appear for the first time in "The Other Gods". They, too, reappear in Dream-Quest. The Pnakotic Manuscripts make their second appearance in "The Other Gods", having been introduced in "Polaris", along with Lomar.


A 00:05:44 2006 black-and-white animated film adaptation of the story was made by Michael Boas ("Subterranea Entertainment"), with a fictional backstory: "In 1924 Peter Rhodes made a silent animated short based on the Lovecraft story, but the film was lost in 1938, at the time of Rhodes' death. Lovecraft in person gave his permission to make the film in 1924, an exceptional case due to the disdain he had for the cinema. The movie has a technique very common in the 1920s and 1930s, using cut-out silhouettes to tell the story. In 2006 it was found and restored, the original soundtrack replaced by a new score by Keith Hardy, and introduced in H.P. Lovecraft's Horror Festival of that year."

A 00:08:51 2013 colour film, CGI animated with live actors, was made by Richard ("The Lone Animator") Svensson.


External links

The Other Gods, by H. P. Lovecraft. This is the full text of Lovecraft's original short story.

"H.P. Lovecraft's The Other Gods"; an animated short film