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... about a guy who delved so deep into the study of occult powers that, when performing some mystical/magickal ceremony, he transported himself across unmeasurable spans of space and time and dimensions to recorporealize as a slug-like alien on an alien planet. IIRC he makes the guests go home and come back the next evening for the continuation.

So the formerly-human-slug-alien spends several hundred years studying physical science, plots a time/space trajectory to earth, envelops himself in a crystal bubble and launches himself across the deserts of intergalactic space. IIRC at this point one of the guests begins to ask things like "How did you come by this story?" "How could you know what he was thinking as an alien?" "And, for that matter, why have you been wearing a trenchcoat and a hat and a false-nose ever since your vacation?"

I've dug through my anthologies over and over and I can't find it! I bet my mom has it. Help?!

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    For the life of me, this doesn't ring a bell, and I can't find an answer myself, however I believe the full scope of Lovecraft's writings can be found at: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/. – Josh Apr 8 '12 at 12:11
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I believe you may be remembering some aspects of 'Through the Gates of the Silver Key'; you've somewhat described the ending of it.

It's the final part of the main Randolph Carter sequence; The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Silver Key and the aforementioned Through the Gates of the Silver Key.

If you would like to re-read it to confirm, it's passed it's copyright age, and can be read freely at a number of places; the links above will take you to the Wikisource copies. (One caveat; given when it was written, and HP Lovecraft's known prejudices, it's not a very politically correct work, and some of the language may be offensive to some.)

However, stealing from the Wikipedia Synopsis:

After a vast amount of time trapped on Yaddith, Carter finds a means of suppressing the alien mind with drugs, and then uses their technology, along with the Silver Key to return both to the present and to Earth, where Carter can retrieve his manuscript with the symbols he needs to work on regaining his original body. Once there, the Swami reports, Carter did find the manuscript and promptly contacted Swami Chandraputra, instructing him to go to the meeting to say he would soon be along to reclaim his estate and to continue to hold it in trust. After the Swami finishes the tale, one in the party, the lawyer Aspinwall (who is Carter's cousin), accuses Swami Chandraputra of telling a false tale in an attempt to steal the estate, claiming that he is some kind of conman in a disguise. As Aspinwall tears at the Swami's masklike face and beard, it is revealed that the Swami is not human at all, but Carter, still trapped in Zkauba's hideous body

Near the end, the unmasking you refer to occurs:

"Hey, by Heaven I've got it! This rascal is in disguise. I don't believe he's an East Indian at all. That face - it isn't a face, but a mask! I guess his story put that into my head, but it's true. It never moves, and that turban and beard hide the edges. This fellow's a common crook! He isn't even a foreigner - I've been watching his language. He's a Yankee of some sort. And look at those mittens - he knows his fingerprints could be spotted. Damn you, I'll pull that thing off -"

Does that ring a bell?

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  • Yes, that's definitely it. Thank you. – luser droog Apr 9 '12 at 2:31
  • It seems I've got the whole saga remembered wrong. So, it's Warren who turns into a devil, and Carter who transmigrates. I guess I need to re-read all of it. – luser droog Apr 9 '12 at 2:47
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    Warren is from an earlier story, The Statement of Randoph Carter and there are lots of other callbacks to his other stories for example his friend the Ghoul is from Pickman's Model. Then there are the Cats of Ulthar, as well as Atal from The Other Gods and others. There are many more; enjoy spotting them all :) – K-H-W Apr 9 '12 at 12:49

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