H.P. Lovecraft's SF Horror classic: The Shadow Out of Time


A year before his death in 1937, H.P. Lovecraft published The Shadow Out of Time in the magazine Astounding in 1936. It has been called his “single greatest achievement in fiction", citing "its amazing scope and sense of cosmic immensitude, the gulfs of time it opens, and the titanic sweep of the narrative".

The story indirectly tells of The Great Race of The Yith, an extraterrestrial species with the ability to travel through space and time. The Yithians accomplish this by switching bodies with hosts from the intended spacial or temporal destination. The story implies that the effect when seen from the outside is similar to demonic or spiritual possession.

The story is told through the eyes of Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee, a Turn Of The Century American economics professor from Miskatonic University who is "possessed" by a Yithian. He fears he is losing his mind when he unaccountably sees strange vistas of other worlds and the Yithian library city. However, while he was experiencing a Yithian existence in earth's ancient past, the Yithian occupying his body was experiencing a human one in the present day.

But that was only the beginning of the horror . . . .

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Rated PG-13 for Horror themes and Possession

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