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Howard Philips Lovecraft (1890-1937) is probably the most important and influential author of supernatural fiction in the twentieth century. A life-long resident of Providence, Rhode Island, many of his tales are set in the fear-haunted towns of an imaginary area of Massachusetts, or in the cosmic vistas that exist beyond space and time. A number of these loosely-connected stories have become identified as 'The Cthulhu Mythos'. Since his untimely death, Lovecraft has become acknowledged as a master of fantasy fiction and a mainstream American writer second only to Edgar Allan Poe, while his relatively small body of work has influenced countless imitators and formed the basis of a world-wide industry of books, games and movies based on his concepts.