(This is just about the title story)
Written in 1927, before the idea of radioactivity was in anyone's public consciousness, this is one of my favorite Lovecraft stories. For me, the non-Cthulhu stories have more to offer (The Rats in the Walls, The Music of Erich Zann, Cool Air), but this is arguably one of his best-written, possibly because the whole thing is (for Lovecraft) relatively understated. All the little touches - the trees moving when there is no wind, the strange produce from the crops, the creepy woodchuck - are well put together, and not dwelt on, but they are mirrored by the family's slow deterioration and breakdown.
I reread this recently, prompted by the problems Japan is having with the nuclear plants. Lovecraft didn't know about radiation sickness or the pollution that could be caused by radioactivity, so of course his descriptions of the effect of this meteor aren't anywhere like the real thing. Obviously he wasn't thinking of radiation per se; yet in a way that makes it a little more haunting - the way he describes the slow degradation of the countryside and the effect far beyond the Gardner farm gives it an uneasiness connected with them that's kind of haunting. It's a story without the usual monster shambling on stage at the last couple of pages, and for once Lovecraft must have decided to just see if he could paint more of a mood piece than a fright fest. By the end, we understand why the narrator says
"... nothing could bribe me to drink the new city water of Arkham."