Peter H. Cannon
- For the comic book character, see Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt.
(b. 1951 in California) is an H. P. Lovecraft scholar and an author of Cthulhu Mythos fiction.
Cannon first made his name in Lovecraft studies with his graduate theses written in the 1970s - A Case for Howard Phillips Lovecraft
(Honors thesis, Stanford, 1973) and Lovecraft's New England
(M.A. thesis, Brown University, June 1974). Lovecraft's Old Men
appeared in a mailing of the Esoteric Order of Dagon in 1977; another by him, "You Have Been in Providence, I Perceive", published in Nyctalops
(March 1978), studies the influences of Sherlock Holmes upon Lovecraft. Another article re: the Sherlock Holmes/Lovecraft influence, "Parallel Passages in 'The Adventure of the Copper Beeches' and 'The Picture in the House'" was published in Lovecraft Studies
1, No 1 (Fall 1979).
Two essays on Lovecraft appear in S.T. Joshi's critical anthology H.P. Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism
(1980), respectively examining the influence of Vathek and of Nathaniel Hawthorne upon Lovecraft. Cannon later published a definitive critical study on Lovecraft, H.P. Lovecraft
(Twayne's US Authors Series No 549, 1989).
Cannon's writings on Lovecraft include the books The Chronology Out of Time: Dates in the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft
and Sunset Terrace Imagery in Lovecraft
(both from Necronomicon Press). He edited Lovecraft Remembered
(Arkham House, 1998), a collection of reminiscences by friends and acquaintances of Lovecraft, and co-edited More Annotated Lovecraft
with S. T. Joshi. He also wrote a personal memoir about another writer in the Lovecraft Circle, Long Memories: Recollections of Frank Belknap Long
(British Fantasy Society, 1997).
His fiction includes Pulptime
(W,. Paul Ganley, Publisher), in which Lovecraft, Long and Sherlock Holmes team up to solve a mystery; Scream for Jeeves: A Parody
(Wodecraft Press, 1994), which retells some of Lovecraft's stories in the voice of P. G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster. An omnibus of these two titles has been issued as The Lovecraft Papers
(Science Fiction Book Club, 1996). Cannon's early fiction has been published in a two-volume set, The Early Cannon
, comprising Volume One: The Thing in the Bathtub and Other Lovecraftian Tales
and Volume Two: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror and Humour
(both Tstahoggua Press, 1997).
He has also penned Lovecraft Chronicles
(Subterranean Press, 2008), a novel based on Lovecraft's personal life. Later stories are collected Forever Azathoth
(Tartarus Press, 1999). He has also issued The Sky Garden
(a chapbook) and Episode of Pulptime and One Other
(W. Paul Ganley: publisher, 2003 - two stories, one Lovecraftian, the other utilising Dracula). Occasional critical articles on the weird fiction genre still appear, e.g. Better Than Half a Yard I Think: Arthur Machen and Real Tennis
in Faunus: The Journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen
He has also written several short stories in the Cthulhu Mythos genre, often with an element of parody. These include "Azathoth in Arkham" and "The Revenge of Azathoth", two sequels to "The Thing on the Doorstep"; "The Undercliffe Sentences", a takeoff on Ramsey Campbell; and "The Madness Out of Space", originally presented as a "lost" story by Lovecraft.
Cannon works as an editor for Publishers Weekly
, specializing in thrillers and mystery. He lives in New York City and is married with three children.