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The Innsmouth Heritage is a short story written by British science fiction author Brian Stableford based on H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

Synopsis Edit

Geneticist David Stevenson travels to Innsmouth after receiving a letter from his old friend Ann Eliot, who has been willed much of the land and property in the town by her late father, informing him of a strange condition possessed by many of the residents known as the Innsmouth Look.

After agreeing that this abnormality deserves further study, Eliot introduces Stevenson to an old fisherman named Gideon Sargent who has one of the worst cases of the Innsmouth Look evident. Sargent consents to becoming a study case for Stevenson on the condition that he attempt to rid the sufferers of the horrific dreams which accompany the Look. He also convinces many of the other reclusive victims of the condition to participate in the research. At this point, Eliot confesses to having the same dreams as the others, despite showing no physical signs of the Look.

Although Stevenson's research progresses at a good pace, his test subjects begin to mysteriously die, beginning with Sargent himself, who apparently drowns out on Devil's Reef. Despite this, he has acquired enough samples to continue. During this time, a romantic relationship has developed between Stevenson and Eliot, and and he asks her to marry him, but is turned down.

After the proposal, Eliot and Stevenson begin to drift apart, and Stevenson continues with his work, eventually locating a series of genetic anomalies which he believes are the root cause of the Innsmouth Look. After several months without contact with Eliot, Stevenson calls her, only to be told that she has drowned off Devil's Reef, and that her body was never recovered.

Characters Edit

  • David Stevenson, an English geneticist working at Manchester University, New Hampshire, who embarks on a program of research into genetic abnormalities found in the town of Innsmouth.
  • Ann Eliot, a distant scion of one of the old families of Innsmouth, who owns a large portion of the town, and is suffering from the strange dreams associated with the Innsmouth Look.
  • Gideon Sargent, a fisherman who has the most pronounced case of the Innsmouth Look in town, and who agrees to assist Stevenson in his research.

Publication History Edit

The Innsmouth Heritage was originally published as a chapbook by Necronomicon Press in March of 1992, and has since been reprinted in other collections, including Wildside Press LLC's 2012 eBook bundle The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack.

Trivia Edit

  • Ann Eliot is believed to be the last of the Eliot Family in Innsmouth.
  • Gideon Sargent is the grandson of Joe Sargent, Innsmouth's bus driver in H. P. Lovecraft's 1931 novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth.
  • Zadok Allen, another character from The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and the Esoteric Order of Dagon, are both mentioned in the story as possible sources for the outlandish tales concerning the town's residents.
  • Although the year in which the story is set is never explicitly stated, it is likely in the early nineties.
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