Although largely overlooked during his lifetime, within the pantheon of American horror and fantasy fiction, author H. P. Lovecraft arguably fell directly between acknowledged masters Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King. Sickly, emotionally frail, and reclusive for most of his life, he was, nonetheless, a tenaciously prolific writer who produced a vast body of work that would live on well past its creator's brief 47 years. With his short stories and novellas, Lovecraft created mythologies of gothic horror with "The Tomb" (1917), otherworldly dimensions in "The Colour Out of Space (1927), and ancient, mad gods bent on the destruction of mankind with "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (1931). His literary shadow touched an amazingly diverse range of mediums and their practitioners. Arkham Asylum, the prison for the criminally insane in the world of comic book superhero Batman, was a direct reference to Lovecraft's fictional New England town. Surrealist "biomechanical" artist H.R. Giger - concept designer for Ridley Scott's science-fiction horror film "Alien" (1979) - often cited the author's literary visions as a major influence on his work. Director John Carpenter's gory masterpiece of paranoia and terror, "The Thing" (1982), also bore the unmistakable imprint of Lovecraft's influence. As the genres of fantasy and horror grew in stature throughout popular culture and art in the 20th Century, so too did the macabre literary legacy of H.P. Lovecraft.