25 Best Authors Like HP Lovecraft: Exploring the Cosmic Horror Genre

Are you looking for cosmic horror fiction authors like HP Lovecraft? Discover new stories with our roundup of the top writers with tales of the uncanny.

H.P. Lovecraft’s literary works were first published in a horror magazine called Weird Tales. His most famous short story was The Call of Cthulhu, about an underworld of inconceivable hell. Over his career, he wrote 65 short stories and novellas, including At the Mountains of Madness and The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

Lovecraft’s stories drew attention and inspired several films, like Hunters of the Dark in 2011 and Cthulhu in 2007. If you’re keen on reading stories similar to H.P. Lovecraft’s works, you’ll also love our roundup of the best indie authors!

Here Are The Best Authors Like HP Lovecraft

1. Thomas Ligotti, 1953 – Present

Thomas Ligotti delved into the Lovecraftian horror genre and received three Bram Stoker Awards, an International Horror Guild Award, and a British Fantasy Award. This contemporary horror writer is well-known for his work titled Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe. It’s a collection of supernatural horror stories published in Penguin Classics, a leading publisher of classic literature.  

“Now I am a vagabond of the universe, a drifter among spaces where the madness of things has no limits.”

Thomas Ligotti, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe

2. Douglas Clegg, 1958 – Present

Douglas Clegg wrote over 12 novels and is a pioneer of e-publishing with a strong internet presence and live journal. One of his famous literary works is Bad Karma, a horror thriller that follows psychiatrist Trey Campbell’s nightmare involving the escape of an insane criminal.

“Death has a price, and all who bargain with the dead must pay it.”

Douglas Clegg, Isis

3. Peter Straub, 1943 – 2022

Peter Straub
Peter Straub in 2009

Peter Straub’s awards and honors are proof of his outstanding contributions to horror, mystery, and supernatural novels for 40 years. His New York Times bestselling Ghost Story follows the thrilling narration of how four men’s pasts are hunting them in their old age.  

“The world is full of ghosts, and some of them are still people.”

Peter Straub, The Throat: Blue Rose Trilogy

4. Clive Barker, 1952 – Present

Clive Barker
Clive Barker at the Science Fiction Museum, 2007

Clive Barker received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award for his substantial contribution to the horror genre. One of Barker’s best-selling books is The Hellbound Heart, the basis for the 1987 movie Hellraiser.

“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.”

Clive Barker, Books of Blood

5. Michael Arnzen, 1967 – Present

Michael Arnzen’s first work, Play Dead, is a horror fantasy story that won the Bram Stoker and International Horror Critics Guild Awards for Best in Novel. His latest released masterpiece is 100 Jolts, a collection of 100 gripping short horror stories that aim to make the readers jolt with fear.

“Wouldn’t it be surprising if a 911 caller actually did begin to describe the tragedy in alarming details? And dwell on the details, swooning in their splendor?”

Michael Arnzen, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side

6. Victor LaValle, 1972 – Present

Victor LaValle
Victor LaValle before the Hugo Awards

Victor LaValle is an American author and recipient of the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award. He wrote four novels and two novellas, including The Ballad of Black Tom, which explores an unforgettable horror from the point of view of an African American leading character who lives in a racist community.

“You can’t choose blindness when it suits you. Not anymore.”

Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom

7. August Derleth, 1909 – 1971

August Derleth
August Derleth in 1939

August Derleth wrote stories based on fragments left by H.P. Lovecraft, such as The Lurker at the Threshold and The Watchers Out of Time. To commemorate his contribution to horror novels and Lovecraftian horror, the British Fantasy Awards gives a special award called August Derleth Award for the best horror novel every year.

“No wonder a boy runs like the wind until his heartbeats sound like a drum and push up to suffocate him.”

August Derleth, Lonesome Places

8. Stephen King, 1947 – Present

Stephen King
Stephen King at the New York Comicon, 2007

The first published novel by Stephen King was Carrie, a tragic horror story of a teenage girl. He’s a well-known modern classic and revolutionary of American fiction who wrote 200 short stories and more than 60 novels, including Different Seasons, which have sold over 350 million copies. He is a recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, five other recognitions, and eight nominations in the television industry.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Stephen King, Different Seasons

9. Al Sarrantonio, 1952 – Present

As a respected writer and editor, Al Sarrantonio is sometimes called a master anthologist. One of his outstanding works is 999: New Stories of Horror and Suspense, which contains 29 original stories from masters of the macabre, where he retold the dark tales and fantasies of zombies and vampires.

“Sometimes all you had to do was breathe to ruin somebody’s else’s day.”

Al Sarrantonio, Tales From the Crossroad

10. Arthur Machen, 1863 – 1947

Arthur Machen
Arthur Machen in 1905

One of Arthur Machen’s best-known works, The Great God Pan, triggered numerous controversies as it entails scientific experiments and obsessions. He also penned The Hill of Dreams, where his protagonist, Lucian, constantly grapples with mystic visions that turn into dark alienation. Machen was a member of the Tartarus Writers and was referred to as the Forgotten Father of Weird Fiction.

“Every branch of human knowledge, if traced up to its source and final principles, vanishes into mystery.”

Arthur Machen, A Fragment of Life

11. Jim Turner, 1952 – Present

Jim Turner successfully compiled and edited some of the works of H.P. Lovecraft in Cthulhu. His Cthulhu 2000: Stories pays tribute to Lovecraft’s stories of horror and consists of 18 supernatural tales, which Turner reiterated and mixed with his imagination and suspenseful storytelling.

“Again there was silence – a silence as of consummated Evil brooding above its unnamable triumph.”

Jim Turner, Cthulhu 2000: Stories

12. Robert W. Chambers, 1865 – 1933

Robert W. Chambers
Robert Chambers in 1903

Robert Chambers’s acclaimed The King in Yellow has ten stories of madness and misery. After its release in 1895, this short story collection influenced H.P. Lovecraft’s writings and several TV series, including True Detective on HBO.

“For I knew that the King in Yellow had opened his tattered mantle and there was only God to cry to now.”

Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow

13. Algernon Blackwood, 1869 – 1951

Algernon Blackwood
Algernon Blackwood in 1915

Dubbed by The New York Review as The Master of the Supernatural, Algernon Blackwood was at the forefront of British Supernatural Literature during the 20th century. Blackwood created The Willows and the Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories. Both books include the environment’s sinister spiritual forces and horrible versions of destruction.

“I searched everywhere for a proof of reality, when all the while I understood quite well that the standard of reality had changed.”

Algernon Blackwood, The Willows

14. Octavia Butler, 1947 – 2006

Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler signing a copy of her book, Fledging, 2005

Octavia Butler was an African American writer, pioneer of the Sci-Fi genre, and recipient of the Nebula and Hugo Awards. She was the author of The Xenogenesis Series, which explored the Earth’s destruction and an unknown alien race’s desire to save it.

“In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents

15. Robert E. Howard, 1906 – 1936

Robert E. Howard
Robert Howard in 1934

Robert E. Howard’s notable works include his character, Conan the Barbarian. Many acknowledge him as the Father of the Sword and Sorcery subgenre, and this style can be observed in his horror fiction book, The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, where he wrote about demons, ghosts, and other evils.

“The more I see of what you call civilization, the more highly I think of what you call savagery!”

Robert E. Howard, The Saga of King Kull

16. Joe Lansdale, 1951 – Present

Joe Lansdale
Joe Lansdale in his hometown in Texas, 2009

Over his career, Joe Lansdale received a total of 13 awards. H.P. Lovecraft’s writings stirred him into being a novelist. His works, The Bottom and the Savage Season, are both murder fiction involving the killings and molestation of either a human or a monster serial killer.

“Let me tell you, if you have never seen an agitated squirrel you have seen very little, nor have you heard much, because the sound of an angry squirrel is not to be forgotten.”

Joe Lansdale, Bad Chili

17. Neil Gaiman, 1960 – Present

Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman in 2013

Neil Gaiman received the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award in 2019 for his dedication and passion for the literary community. His famous novel series, The Sandman, was a New York Times Best Selling graphic novel that delves into humans and dreams that capitalizes on death, despair, delirium, and desire.  

“Fairy Tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be eaten.”

Neil Gaiman, Coraline

18. Clark Ashton Smith, 1893 – 1961

Clark Ashton Smith
Clark Ashton Smith in 1912

Clark Ashton Smith was associated with H.P. Lovecraft during the creation of the Cthulhu Mythos. He was one of the top three writers of Weird Tales, alongside Lovecraft and Howard. His works include the famous horror stories of Zothique and The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies.

“All human thought, all science, all religion, is the holding of a candle to the night of the universe.”

Clark Ashton Smith, The Black Book

19. Jack Ketchum, 1946 – 2018

Jack Ketchum
Jack Ketchum at a France book fair, 2009

Dallas William Mayr, known by his pen name Jack Ketchum, published his first novel, Off Season, in 1980. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 for his unique, brutal, and dark writings. Some of his notable works are The Girl Next Door, and The Lost adapted to films with the same titles.  

“As though all the world were a bad joke and she was the only one around who knew the punchline.”

Jack Ketchum, The Girl Next Door

20. Robert Bloch, 1917-1994

Robert Bloch
Robert Bloch in 1976

Robert Bloch was granted the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award in 1991 for his horror and Sci-Fi novels. His book Psycho is considered one of the most influential books of the 20th century and follows Norman Bates and his motel by the highway. Sir Alfred Hitchcock later adapted the novel for his film, extending its reach further.

“We’re not quite as sane as we pretend to be.”

Robert Bloch, Psycho

21. Laird Barron, 1970 – Present

Laird Barron’s first book, The Imago Sequence and Other Stories, presents terrifying tales of irony, chaos, and distorted evolution. This novel also cemented his name in contemporary fiction. His book The Croning, a strange story about black magic and cults, won a Goodreads Choice Award and was nominated for Best Horror in 2012.

“The cold impassive star didn’t bother him so much as the gaps between them did.”

Laird Barron, The Croning

22. Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 – 1849

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe ventured into the literature of horror stories

Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Massachusetts and was regarded as the architect of modern short stories. Although he started as a poet, Poe ventured into the literature of horror stories and published his masterpiece book Classic Horror Stories.

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

23. China Miéville, 1972-Present

China Miéville
China Mieville in Utopiales, 2010

China Miéville received numerous awards and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He penned “Perdido Street Station,” a piece that tackles a scientist facing strange half-human creatures, and The Scar, a novel about a researcher who discovers a group of enslaved people remade as biological oddities. Check out these authors like Grady Hendrix.

“A trap is only a trap if you don’t know about it. If you know about it, it’s a challenge.”

China Miéville, King Rat

24. Linda Addison, 1952 – Present

Linda Addison
Linda Addison at TusCon 41 Science Fiction and Horror Convention, 2014

Linda Addison was the first African American to receive a Bram Stoker Award. Her published work, How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend, is an excellent read for anyone who enjoys creepy, imaginative literature. You might also like these authors like Yahtzee Croshaw.

“But I kept writing weird stuff anyways because that’s where my imagination went.”

Linda Addison, How to Recognize a Demon has Become your Friend

25. Virginia Andrews, 1923 – 1986

V.C. Andrews’ book Flowers in the Attic is a shocking horror classic story about four siblings locked up for three years in an attic. Her works revolved around murder, child abuse, and other unfair but realistic horrors. Looking for something else? Check out our round-up of the best 5th century authors!

“Love, in short is the most dangerous emotion human can experience.”

Virginia C. Andrews, Daughter of Darkness


  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.