I am trying these days to read more of the authors that have influenced so many others and Lovecraft is one of them. The high priest of `weird', his short stories are dark Gothic fantasies, horror with some fairy tale elements or science fiction thrown in. These are the first I've read, and if the three in this little volume are anything to go by, I'll enjoy reading more and think I'll need to acquire the full anthologies available.
The Colour Out of Space written in 1927 - is a classic Sci-Fi horror tale of a meteorite that falls in a farming valley and gradually poisons everything around it. The dread engendered by this tale's narrator is palpable and terrible - pure evil poisoning and sucking the life out of all living things within its grasp.
The Outsider is more of a fantasy, and strangely brought to mind a miniature reversal of Mark Z Danielewski's magnificent modern horror novel House Of Leaves, in which a door in a house is found with a never-ending world going down, down, down. In this short story a twisted creature discovers a door leading up, up from his dark subterranean castle.
Lastly, in The Hound, a grave-robber takes one amulet too many and is driven mad by a curse. Less `weird' than the preceding two tales, but still highly atmospheric and charged with dark energy.
I loved the `weirdness' of these tales - that word is perfect for them. They were fantastical, bleakly pessimistic, dark in tone as well as lacking sunshine, and rich in descriptive language. Lovecraft is a hit.