Public Domain Rewrite Challenge – The Call of Cthulhu
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with redoing a favorite story if you can bring something new to it. Shakespeare? The Greatest Writer in the English Language? None of his stories are original. They are all based on previous works or historic events. I’m not a great fan of his writing, in large part because the version of English in which he wrote is not the language that I speak, but even his admirers wouldn’t try to pass him off as an original plotter.
I think most of HP Lovecraft’s writings are fine as they are. A rewrite or a modernization is unlikely to improve on them. I think Call of Cthulhu, however, has more potential than most of his other stories. The narrator isn’t actually involved in any of the events of the story. He’s the guy who puts all the pieces together but he didn’t witness any of the incidents. Cthulhu’s cult is a world wide organization (kinda sorta). The rising of R’Lyeh has world wide repercussions. So there’s potential for a few different accounts of the same events.
And yes, I know that Lovecraft’s stories have sparked their own sub-genre of horror and fantasy. I’ve read and enjoyed quite a bit of it. I’ve read revisions and sequels to a lot of his other stories but Call is one that I’ve seen any new versions of.