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Brian Lumley, 1937—2024

The Grand Master created the Necroscope universe, and wrote Lovecraftian tales.


Published on January 31, 2024

Author Brian Lumley

We are sorry to report that horror writer Brian Lumley, the winner of multiple lifetime achievement awards, died earlier this month at the age of 86. Lumley was known for the series that began with Necroscope (1986) as well as for his Lovecraftian work, which he began publishing in the ’70s.

As the bio on his website notes, “Born 2nd December, 1937, Brian Lumley came into the world just nine months after the most obvious of his forebears—meaning of course a ‘literary’ forebear, namely, H. P. Lovecraft—had departed from it.” Lumley began writing in the world of Lovecraft while he was still a member of the Royal Military Police, writing two stories for the anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (1969). He continued to write Lovecraftian stories, including the novels in his Titus Crow series, while a member of the RMP.

In 1980, he retired from the military to begin writing full-time. More tales in the Lovecraft mythos followed, but in 1984 he began writing Necroscope, which would become his breakout work. In this series, necroscopes are people who can communicate with the dead. The series ran to 18 novels; the last, Necroscope: The Möbius Murders, was published in 2013.

For years, there have been reports that a Necroscope adaptation is in the works; we reported on one project in 2012, and another in 2021. The more recent project was intended to be a multi-platform franchise, but no further details have been announced.

Lumley also wrote what his bio calls the “SF-ish novel” The House of Doors, and its sequel Maze of Worlds and published many collections of his short works.

Lumley served as president of the Horror Writers Association in 1996-1997, and in 1998, was named a Grand Master by the organization. In 2010, he received both the Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

His wife, Barbara Ann Lumley, wrote on Facebook:

After a 22-year stint as a Royal Military Policeman, he had a long and prosperous lifetime of doing what he loved to do, bringing continued enjoyment to all his readers and listeners. Brian has written approximately 60 books along with many, many short stories, and novellas.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann (Silky) Lumley, his daughter Julie and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Writers on the website formerly known as Twitter have been paying their respects, including Christopher Golden and Michael Marshall Smith.

About the Author

About Author Mobile

Molly Templeton


Molly Templeton has been a bookseller, an alt-weekly editor, and assistant managing editor of, among other things. She now lives and writes in Oregon, and spends as much time as possible in the woods. You can also find her on Twitter @mollytempleton
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