S.T. Joshi’s monumental Lovecraft biography I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft should be publishing/shipping in August 2010, or so the Hippocampus Press website says. This book is the sumptuous $100 2-volume hardback of S.T. Joshi’s H. P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996), but in a new edition that adds 150,000 words originally cut for length/cost. Plus the text has been…

“thoroughly revised and updated in light of the new information on Lovecraft that has emerged since 1996”.

Unfortunately those in the UK will have to add a rather hefty $55.95 for standard U.S. Postal Service shipping, more than half the cost of the books themselves(!). At current exchange rates that means a total cost with shipping of £99.95. Expensive, but only 1000 copies will be issued, and one third of the run appears to have already been pre-ordered based on word-of-mouth and forum mentions. And compare that price to the cheapest price for a brand-new copy of the 1996 paperback edition via Amazon UK — currently £42.40 inc. shipping. Or the abridged version of the 1996 text, A Dreamer and a Visionary, which sells for £42.50 new.

No news on any possible future paperback edition. I’m guessing we may only get this definitive hardback edition. Many of which will hopefully go to major libraries around the world, once the reviews and notices hit the library journals.

Hopefully this new book won’t continue the tradition of dreadful cover-art, something that seems to plague Lovecraft books.