Brian Lumley (born 2 December 1937) is an English horror fiction writer.
He added to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos cycle of stories, including several tales featuring the character Titus Crow. Others pastiched Lovecraft's Dream Cycle and featured the characters David Hero and Eldin the Wanderer. Another series, The Primal Land, is set in prehistoric Theem'hdra. The Primal tales are closer to Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea tales, with a good dose of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. Lumley once explained the difference between his Cthulhu Mythos characters and Lovecraft's: "My guys fight back. Also, they like to have a laugh along the way."
Later works included the Necroscope series of novels, which produced spin-off series such as the Vampire World Trilogy, The Lost Years parts 1 and 2, and the E-Branch trilogy. The central protagonist of the earlier Necroscope novels appears in the anthology Harry Keogh and Other Weird Heroes. The Necroscope saga is closed with the novel The Touch.
Tropes in his works:
- Author Avatar: Often accused of having one.
- Bold Inflation: A wellknown trait of Lumley's writing is the overuse of exclamation points for emphasis, which has the effect of making the character speaking seem easily excitable. It is a rare event when a character doesn't use at least one exclamation point per page.
- Campbell Country: Lumley created a Lovecraft Country of his own in NE England, complete with a satellite colony of Deep Ones.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Perhaps one of the few cases in fiction where a well-regarded author has his heroes curb-stomp the Great Old Ones.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: "The House of Cthulhu" focuses on some barbarians who go to R'lyeh. Their leader dismisses the legend of a star-spawned abomination as a myth to scare away the weak, and believes the "tomb" to hold vast treasures. He's wrong.
- Genre Throwback: Many of his mythos stories are written more in the style of old pulp adventure stories like those of Doc Savage or Edgar Rice Burroughs than the cosmic horror that most writers use. His characters use terms and dialogue from the 1920s.
- Giant Enemy Crab: One of the bizarre inhabitants of the Lovecraft-pastiche Dreamlands novels is a giant pillbug referred to as "the Running Thing". It's friendly to humans, and is a subterranean predator of various deep-dwelling nasties up to and including dholes.
- Giant Flyer: The night-gaunts in the Hero of Dreams series. Yep, they've switched sides since Lovecraft's day.
- Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: His take on the works of H. P. Lovecraft gives Cthulhu a twin brother who is good. This is universally disregarded.
- Lovecraft Lite: Every single Lumley attempt at a Cosmic Horror Story ends up like this. Great Old One Ithaqua rules supreme on an alien planet, but his Half-Human Hybrid daughter leads La Résistance. Cthulhu has a good brother named Kthanid. His most famous contribution to the mythos, the Cthonians, who cause massive earthquakes, drive people insane through prolonged psychic contact, and burrow through bedrock and magma like a hot knife through butter... can be killed by contact with water. The same story that introduces them features a secret society whose modus operandi is locating sleeping eldritch abominations and blowing them up with bombs and an enormous drill.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: One of his short stories had a character staying at a deserted hotel, only for it to be revealed that the parasols at the outdoor dining table were alive, had eyes and were eating people.
- Our Vampires Are Different: His went on to inspire White Wolf's Tzimisce.
- Reincarnation: Possibly. People are wont to comment on the fact that he was born exactly nine months after Lovecraft himself died. Lumley himself just laughs it off, though.