Created By: Master Hand on July 22, 2008
Nuked

Lovecraftian Monstrosity

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What everyone seems to think Cosmic Horror is about.

Exactly What It Says on the Tin, really.
Community Feedback Replies: 43
  • July 22, 2008
    Etrangere
    why do people still use Self Explanatory unironicaly?
  • July 22, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Because they haven't actually read the entry.

    Put simply: Cosmic Horror is a genre. A Lovecraftian Monstrosity is what will destroy your mind if you find yourself unlucky enough to be in that genre.
  • July 22, 2008
    LordTNK
    @Master Hand, the term for a clear title is actually Exactly What It Says On The Tin. And in this case, it is, at least for me.
  • July 22, 2008
    Master Hand
    Sorry, didn't know that there was a Self Explanatory entry. Fixed. Oh, and it's Master Hand.
  • July 22, 2008
    CTrombley
    @Master Hand: Good to know, but don't ever, ever use it.
  • July 22, 2008
    LordTNK
    My bad. Fingers just typed the wrong words, even though I saw master.

    Fixed.
  • July 22, 2008
    robert
    The genre and the creatures are inextricably intertwined. Splitting them would get very messy, and lead to a lot of needless duplication.
  • July 22, 2008
    LordTNK
    robert evidently doesn't get that this is a Sub Trope of Cosmic Horror, not a separation of them.
  • July 22, 2008
    robert
    Those are not mutually exclusive categories. To define a subtrope, you have to be able to separate it reasonably cleanly from the rest of the trope.
  • July 22, 2008
    MrInsecure
    If I've got this right, Cosmic Horror is the genre of stories, such as The Shadow Over Innsmouth, whereas the Lovecraftian Monstrosity is the terrible thing from beyond the stars that torments the protagonists of such stories.

    Actually, I like Thing From Beyond The Stars.
  • July 22, 2008
    LordTNK
    "Thing From Beyond The Stars" could be confused with just an alien from a distant world.

    How about Ancient Gigantic Monstrosity?
  • July 22, 2008
    alliterator
    How about simply Great Old Ones?
  • July 22, 2008
    LordTNK
    "How about simply Great Old Ones?"

    But that implies something that might be benevolent, or even pleasant, neither of which was what Lovecraft's old ones were.
  • July 22, 2008
    alliterator
    There are also the Elder Gods or Elder Things. Or you could get rid of the stars part and just have it as The Thing From Beyond.

    By the way, here is the Book of Alternative Names, which lists all the other names for the Cthulhu Mythos Dieties. Personally, I like Frank Lord Of Slightly Below Average Pornography.
  • July 22, 2008
    Starfire
  • July 22, 2008
    MetaFour
  • July 22, 2008
    Kuciwalker
    edit: nvm
  • July 22, 2008
    alliterator
    Ooh, any opportunity to use "eldritch" is great.

    What do you call a Cosmic Horror that likes shopping? An Eldritch Bitch!
  • July 22, 2008
    foxley
  • July 22, 2008
    robert
    Cosmic Horror has 473 wicks. Is anyone volunteering to go through every single one, making the appropriate edits? It's not as simple as just changing half the links to Eldritch Horror either. (Eldritch Horror is the best name proposed - short, description, and easy to use).

    If no one's volunteering, the only result would be a mess, with even more confusion than there is now.
  • July 23, 2008
    Master Hand
    Perhaps we could use The Tool, or create a new page for the genre and leave Cosmic Horror as it is.
  • July 23, 2008
    Etrangere
    Supposedly some of those wicks are for the genre rather than for the monster, and thus you'd need someone with an actual brain going through them to tell them apart.
  • July 23, 2008
    robert
    A good proportion - probably over half - of those wicks are for both the genre and the monster, so the text would have to be amended to add a second link, and amended consistently. It's not a trivial undertaking.
  • July 23, 2008
    Desertopa
    Robert, I suppose I could volunteer my services for the change. It might take a while, but I'm pretty patient, and my OCD serves me well in cases like this.
  • July 23, 2008
    Master Hand
  • July 23, 2008
    Earnest
    I remember most of the articles I erroneously used Cosmic Horror instead of Eldritch Horror in, so that'll lighten the load by twenty or so.
  • July 23, 2008
    MetaFour
    Also, we could cross-check Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu. Because if you can punch it out, it's probably an Eldritch Horror instead of a Cosmic Horror.
  • July 24, 2008
    Kuciwalker
    @Etrangere: do we have such creatures here?
  • July 24, 2008
    robert
    That'd be marvellous, Desertopa.

    Looking at Cosmic Horror, there's only one paragraph that actually describes Eldritch Horrors -- Cosmic Horror doesn't scare you with big, ugly monsters ...' Pull that out for the description, then spend a week or two going through the wicks and deciding if each link should actually be eldritch, or both, and the wiki will be the better for it.
  • July 24, 2008
    MetaFour
    I'm pretty sure that paragraph is explicitly defining the difference between Cosmic Horror and Eldritch Horrors. An Eldritch Horror is a particular kind of fish-tentacle-alien monster, inspired by HP Lovecraft, while Cosmic Horror holds those monsters up and says: "This is what the universe is really like! Humanity is an insignificant speck before the infinite chaos of Azathoth!"
  • July 24, 2008
    Master Hand
    As good a name as Eldritch Horror is, I think that it sounds too much like Cosmic Horror. Probably the word "horror." We should substitute something for the word "horror" in "Eldritch Horror".

    Eldritch Monster, perhaps?
  • July 25, 2008
    robert
    Eldritch Monster sounds awkward, probably because the two words come from different registers. Eldritch Abomination could work.

    MetaFour, defining the difference between a genre and a character type isn't a sensible thing to do. You might as well define the difference between an apple and the colour green.

    What that paragraph current does is briefly describe Eldritch Abominations. Remove it and, without any other changes, we've got a good description of what Cosmic Horror is. For the new page, the term needs defining by comparison with other types of alien and monster - how to distinguish between a Starfish Alien and an Elritch Abomination.

    I'd say the key distinction is that these creatures should not be. Their mere existence mocks the laws of nature we know. This includes giant indescribable horrors, but also some rubber forehead aliens (such as the Deep Ones).

    Once we're agreed on a name, I'll launch this, and we can start going through the links
  • July 25, 2008
    Master Hand
    Abomination. I like that.
  • July 25, 2008
    MetaFour
    MetaFour, defining the difference between a genre and a character type isn't a sensible thing to do. You might as well define the difference between an apple and the colour green.

    That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is:
    • Eldritch Abomination = Fish-Tentacle-Alien-Monster.
    • Cosmic Horror = Monster whose very existence makes a mockery of man's understanding of the universe, whose very existence proves Humanity's Utter Insignificane.
      • May or may not also be an Eldritch Abomination.
      • The term is also used for the genre in which such monsters appear, analagous to the use of the term "Kaiju".

    By that criteria:

    What that paragraph current does is briefly describe Eldritch Abominations. Remove it and, without any other changes, we've got a good description of what Cosmic Horror is. For the new page, the term needs defining by comparison with other types of alien and monster - how to distinguish between a Starfish Alien and an Elritch Abomination.

    The paragraph in question specifies that what makes these monsters monstrous is that they "scare you with the abject insignificance of your entire life." And the rest of the article says exactly the same thing about Cosmic Horror: "It is a world where Humanity is surrounded by nameless horrors, and all our hopes are a cruel illusion... Then they shall return to rule this world, and all humanity's labours shall have been in vain, for we are but mice in the wainscotting, making merry while the cat's away. ...truths so terrible than none may comprehend them and remain sane."

    If you think that's the defining feature of Eldritch Abomination, then what the heck is Cosmic Horror about?
  • July 25, 2008
    Master Hand
    No. Cosmic Horror is the genre. Eldritch Abomination is a "Fish-Tentacle-Alien-Monster" "whose very existance makes a mockery of man's understanding of the universe, whose very existance proves Humanity's Utter Insignificance."

    It's just that Cosmic Horror is being used far too much for the creature. The creation of the trope for the creature hopes to change this widespread misconception. Both your descriptions of "Eldritch Abomination" and "Cosmic Horror" describe an Eldritch Abomination. Cosmic Horror is best described as "Horror fiction involving Eldritch Abominations inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft.
  • July 25, 2008
    MetaFour
    If that's the definition you're shooting for, I have to agree with robert: "defining the difference between a genre and a character type isn't a sensible thing to do. You might as well define the difference between an apple and the colour green."

    Look at Kaiju. The term refers both to a genre of Japanese monster movies, and to the individual monsters that appear in those movies. I don't see any reason why Cosmic Horror can't be the same way.
  • July 26, 2008
    robert
    A Fish-Tentacle-Alien-Monster is just a Starfish Alien.

    Cosmic Horror is a genre, where all our hopes are a cruel illusion, etc.

    An Eldritch Abomination is the type of creature you get in that setting, but they're not all starfish aliens. Creatures in the Uncanny Valley can also be effective eldritch abominations, as can some of the undead. Cosmic Horror need not involve Eldritch Abominations - there are no monsters in Lovecraft's The Music of Erich Zahn. just a window into madness. These abominations are a mockery of all natural law, but so are Alien Geometries, indeed pretty much everything in the genre.

    The presence of Eldritch Abominations is merely one of the signs you're in the Cosmic Horror genre, along with the various other tropes currently listed on that page.

    Pull out the paragraph specified and we've got a perfectly good description of the Cosmic Horror genre, little changed from when I originally wrote it. We can then describe the full spectrum of abominations at much greater length on their own page, but not by talking about the difference between monster and genre. The relevant distinction is that between the abominations, and other types of monster.
  • July 26, 2008
    Master Hand
    Bump...
  • July 27, 2008
    Master Hand
    (Sigh) bump..
  • July 27, 2008
    Radioactive Zombie
    I like Eldritch Abomination, too.

    Anyway, the Discworld Old Ones, obviously take-offs on various Lovecraft Gods.
  • July 27, 2008
    alliterator
    Is this Up For Grabs?
  • July 27, 2008
    robert
    I'll launch this later today

  • July 27, 2008
    robert
    I'll launch this later today

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=rgolgy7p&trope=EldritchAbomination