LOVECRAFT COUNTRY Sci-Fi, Horror & Fantasy Book References


It’s no secret that the main characters of Lovecraft Country are delivered-lover of geeks. Atticus dreams of killing aliens. Leti is a former member of the South Side Futurist Science Fiction Club. Uncle George loves Dracula and all horror things. Hippolyta looks through a telescope to see if she can spot Cassiopeia. And George’s daughter Dee is a true comic book maker with her own adventures.

Their invaluable knowledge comes in handy when Atticus and Uncle George find a way to defeat some truly spooky monsters in the woods. If we had to pick fictional characters for good book recommendations, they’re at the top of the list.

Here’s a running list of all the actual sci-fi, horror, and fantasy title references in Lovecraft Country:

From episode one, “Sundown”

A princess of Mars (1912)

A princess of Mars

Frank E. Schoonover / AC McClurg

Atticus reads a science fiction novel A princess of Mars on his return trip to Chicago. He explains the plot to a traveling companion who is not a fan of the main character. The Edgar Rice Burroughs story follows John Carter, a Confederate veteran who finds gold, flees the Apaches and ends up in a cave that transports him to Mars.

The stranger and the others (1939)

The Outsider and Others book cover by HP Lovecraft

Arkham House

It is not surprising that this book appears in view of the Lovecraft Country novel and show are inspired by the work of HP Lovecraft. The stranger and the others is a collection of weird fictional fantasy stories. The publisher, Arkham House, inspires the name of Ardham, where Atticus goes to find his father. Uncle George says horror is usually his thing, but Atticus is willing to return to these stories.

the count of Monte Cristo (1955)

Cover of the book The Count of Monte Cristo edition 1955

Collins Press

Atticus grabs another book as he walks through his father’s apartment. by Alexandre Dumas the count of Monte Cristo was originally published in English in the 1840s, but his father’s edition appears to be from 1955. The iconic French tale details a man’s journey after being falsely imprisoned on a sinister French island.

Dracula (1897)

Dracula Bram Stoker

Barnes & Noble

Children of the night… what music they make! It didn’t take long for Uncle George to realize that the monsters surrounding the cabin looked like vampires. Light is bad for them and a bite or stroke is bad for you. There are many versions of this iconic vampire story, but nothing quite like the original Bram Stoker horror novel.

From episode two, “Whitey is on the moon”

The border house

Cover of the book The house on the borders

Flame Tree Edition

Ardham Lodge is obviously too good a configuration to be true. Uncle George is in a room with several of his favorite books and authors. he selects The border house off the shelf and surprise, it leads to a secret passage through an even wider selection of books. Interestingly, William Hope Hodgson’s novel is about a protagonist who hallucinates in an isolated house – exactly what happens to Atticus and company.

The Holy Bible

Cover of a beige holy bible with gold letters

Christian art publishers

This is a controversial addition to the list. Many people regard the events of religious texts as sacred truth. But others, including Leti, see it as fantasy fiction. There are seemingly impossible feats, miracles and great parables about war, triumph, and life lessons. In the episode, she says the book is filled with demons and monsters that are just stories.

The Holy Bible is discussed at length by Tic, Christina, and Samuel when discussing Genesis 2:19. The verse refers to God bringing all the animals he created to Adam, the first (and only) man, so that he could name them. Tic concludes that Adam “puts everything in its place” while Christina says that “biblical literalism is for the simple”. Samuel calls himself Adam and eventually reveals his plan to use Tic in a “Son of Adam” ritual to unlock the door to the Garden of Eden. Needless to say, this episode is quite a punch.

From episode 3, “Holy Spirit”

This episode did not include any new book references. Dracula makes two more appearances as a tool to show Hippolyta’s grief over Uncle George’s disappearance. Is there any other reason this book keeps coming back aside from being Uncle George’s favorite book? May be. Maybe Uncle George will be resurrected somehow in a future episode.

the count of Monte Cristo is also seen once again in Montrose’s apartment. The story is about wrongful imprisonment and revenge. Montrose connects to this story and appears to be in some sort of mental / social prison as he faces family trauma. The episode strongly hints that Montrose may be a gay man who keeps his sexuality private. Hopefully, a more in-depth look at Montrose’s life (and possibly release) is underway.

Extract from episode 4, “A History of Violence”

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Cover of yellow book Journey to the Center of the Earth

Pounds of Ace

Tic, Montrose, and Leti transform into explorers as they enter a Boston museum to find papers in Titus’ safe. But, before embarking on this adventure, Tic and Leti continually interrupt a young boy reading Journey to the Center of the Earth in a library. Jules Verne’s 19th-century French science fiction novel follows an eccentric professor who believes there are tubes going to the center of the Earth.

He travels the world with his nephew and a guide as they encounter threats from nature and monsters. In this show, Atticus is almost the eccentric scientist with a savage plan to dive deep into the depths of an unknown place. They find dangers, corpses, a connection to Leti’s house, and more along the way.

Extract from episode 5, “Strange cases”

Sorry book fans. There are no new additions in this episode as we have (mostly) taken a step back from the ongoing investigations of Tic and Leti. Leti is seen reading The Holy Bible while taking a bath, which further confirms its relationship to the text. And, as a previous episode hinted at, Montrose’s relationship with Sammy is confirmed. He and Leti’s sister Ruby are getting some big breakthroughs that will definitely impact their future arcs.

We haven’t seen Hippolyta this week, but we know she’s on her way to Ardham for answers. Maybe a book (or three) will appear in episode six.

From episode 6, “Meet Me in Daegu”

Well, this is definitely an entertaining episode. There are no new book references but, again, Lovecraft Country uses previous books to tell his story. Tic and Ji-Ah connect The count of Monte Cristo.

She knows the movie but he encourages her to explore the end of the book with it for a better ending where Edmond and Mercedes don’t end up together. Their shared desire to move away from their realities helps them cement a romantic relationship. Of course, Tic identifies with Edmond as a man who faces years of oppression and later gets his revenge. But what will Tic’s journey to redemption cost him?

From episode 7, “I am”

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft country book cover with house on black hill and reddish orange background


You have to like a self-referential show. “I Am” focuses primarily on Hippolyta’s liberating journey through a portal, but she wasn’t the only person on a journey. Tic has also been there and returned with a book in his hand. Lovecraft Country (2016) by Matt Ruff is obviously the source material for the series that tells the story of Tic, Leti, Montrose, Riby and the Braithwhites.

However, this book is written by George Freeman. We don’t have an explanation in this episode but maybe the version of Uncle George that Hippolyta meets is the author.

From episode 8, “Jig-a-Bobo”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin Book Cover

John P. Jewett and Company

Dee Freeman’s big solo episode leans heavily on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The 1852 novel follows the story of Uncle Tom, a slave saint who befriends his owner’s white daughter. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a controversial book because while it tries to humanize enslaved people and denounce the institution of slavery, it also applies harmful stereotypes about blacks.

Dee’s encounter with Lancaster leads him to be pursued by two entities who appear to have come straight out of a Nightmare on Elm Street saga complete with disturbingly singing little girls. But, the girls are actually based on Topsy, a minor character in that book who had a much bigger social impact. It looks like the evil girls might have gotten the best of Dee in the end, but anything is possible in this story.

Viewers also learn that Tic’s future son George Freeman is the author of this universe. Land of love!

From episode 9, “Rewind 1921”

There are no direct references to actual books in this episode. However, several books that exist in their universe are at the heart of the story. There is Dee Freeman’s Orynthia Blue comic that Hippolyta fully channels as she holds the portal open.

And, of course, there is always the Book of Names that the Freeman and Lewis families can use to create their own magic. Now more than ever we really want read Dee’s epic comic book.

More soon…

Featured Image: Elizabeth Morris / HBO

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