Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, but his reputation since then has grown in leaps, and he is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. For decades there was a long and complex controversy about copyright regarding H. P. Lovecraft's stories, but it is now clear in recent years that his stories have effectively entered into the public domain as there is no record of copyright renewals at the Library of Congress, and other factors also have indicated the same. One feels that Lovecraft would not have minded, as he was very generous with his work and encouraged other authors to borrow ideas from him and develop them. Joyce Carol Oates compared Lovecraft to Edgar Allan Poe and wrote that he had "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction." This original new edition is a collection of half a dozen tales which make up his very best work.