‘If there is one drawback to Lovecraft’s writing, it is perhaps in his general absence of characterisation. Lovecraft justified this deficiency, after a fashion, by declaring in the early essay “The Defence Remains Open!” (1921): “I could not write about ‘ordinary people’ because I am not in the least interested in them….Man’s relations to man do not captivate my fancy.
It is man’s relation to the cosmos—to the unknown—which alone arouses in me the spark of creative imagination.” As an exercise in making a virtue of necessity, this is undeniably clever; but today we expect weird fiction to shed light on the human condition as well as the condition of the infinite cosmos….
It is safe to say that we have entered something of a golden age of neo-Lovecraftian writing. Gone are the stilted and mechanical pastiches that sought merely to drop the name of some new god or place into a story that is otherwise antipodal to the essence of Lovecraft’s vision; gone too are those unduly slavish imitations that seek merely to rewrite Lovecraft’s own narratives.
What we see in the work of contemporary writers is a profound appreciation of the uniqueness of Lovecraft’s literary achievement melded with a desire to use that achievement as the springboard for strikingly original work that infuses Lovecraftian themes, imagery, and conceptions in tales whose vitality and distinctiveness are evident for all to see.’
– S. T. Joshi, Black Wings of Cthulhu III