The Lovecraft series continues with another one of his secondary revisions.
Raw Feed (2005): “‘Till A’ the Seas'”, R. H. Barlow [and H. P. Lovecraft], 1935.
A Wellesian tale in style and plot very unlike Lovecraft. (S. T. Joshi states his revision of the story was very light.)
It is not Wellesian in a time travel sense like Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time” is, but, rather, like H. G. Wells’ “The Star” a tale of impersonal disaster and the extinguishment of the human race.
The Earth has grown closer to the sun. The increased heat kills whole animal and plant species, deserts spread outward from the equator, the oceans vanish, and man is pushed into the polar regions.
The story begins by introducing us to the last man, Ull, as he stands overlooking a valley looking for a legendary habitation of humanity. But he finds nothing, and suffers the horrifying revelation that he is, in fact, the last man on Earth.
At story’s end, trying to get water out of a well, he falls in and dies, “the final, pitiful survivor”.
The story’s theme matches Lovecraft’s personal philosophy of the universe’s vast indifference to man and marries it to comic farce.
I definitely sense, in its vocabulary, that the third from final paragraph was revised by Lovecraft, but I suspect the rest may be all Barlow’s — and it’s a fine accomplishment in the post-apocalypse sub-genre.
More reviews of Lovecraft related titles are indexed on the Lovecraft page.