I recently read a book called The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. It was a forerunner of what we would call “Lovecraftian” weird tales, in that instead of relying the stereotypical monsters, it instead used a weird atmosphere and strange alien creatures to be frightening.
That part of it is pretty cool. Unfortunately, it’s also a forerunner of Lovecraft in another respect: the story goes on way too long. I think it’s partly a dramatic device to have it drag on like it does, but it’s still too long. The feeling of weirdness and dread can’t really be sustained over a story of that length.
Even with that serious flaw, though, it’s a very good story, especially the first half of it. Some of the science of the science-fiction elements were surprisingly well done. The author does as good a job as one could expect of describing what seems to be the end of the universe as many astronomers predict it.
I guess that’s kind of a spoiler—but actually, it’s also a good way of conveying how long the book is: the universe ends—and then the book continues after that!