on H.P. Lovecraft and Weird Fiction
Lovecraft Himself (Novels, Poems, Stories, Anthologies)
The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast Virtual Roundtable on Lovecraft and the Philosophy of Horror (featuring myself as a participant) (14 Oct 2013). I got the opportunity to take part in a roundtable discussion via Google's Hangouts-on-Air. The video link is below. We talk about the philosophy of horror, and some particular philosophies and paradoxes in Lovecraft's fiction.
A bit of a creepy "real life" story that reflects a bit upon a creepy scene from Lovecraft's "The Temple" (5 May 2014). There is a great scene in Lovecraft's The Temple about a corpse swimming off. When I heard of the SS Watertown ghosts, I didn't believe it for a second, but I did like the synchronicity with the Lovecraft story.
The persistent myth of the stars being wrong in "The Call of Cthulhu" (2015 Jan 02). The phrase, The Stars Are Right, is an interestingly foreboding phrase for fans of Lovecraft's fiction, depicting a time when the stars will realign and Cthulhu will rise and the end of humanity will come. It is also slightly extra-canonical to anything Lovecraft wrote.
B&N's H.P. Lovecraft The [Complete] Fiction
- The Many Errors of Barnes and Noble's Complete Lovecraft (8 Mar 2011). Barnes and Noble has two nice editions out of a complete Lovecraft, but they are apparently haunted by dozens and dozens and dozens of errors. Literally hundreds, if not thousands. See the errata below.
- A long overdue correction/answer/clarification: Barnes and Noble's Complete Lovecraft Errata Fix (30 Jan 2012). Barnes and Noble released an error filled copy of the complete Lovecraft a couple of years ago. I blogged about it last year. However, the current version has fixed the errors and should be considered a good go-to book.
Lovecraftian/Weird Fiction Anthologies - Multiple Writers
DEAD BUT DREAMING
- Miskatonic River Press's Dead But Dreaming, edited by Keith Herber and Kevin Ross (23 May 2011). On its first printing, the publisher shut down after a tiny first run. Now it is back, six years later, with some new editing and introductions, and is available to be read. How did this somewhat early Mythos collection hold up to those who came after (and now, before) it? I review the book as well as review (via blurbs) the individual stories.
THE GRIMSCRIBE'S PUPPETS
- My [literal] first impression of the Miskatonic River Press's Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology: The Grimscribe's Puppets (6 Jul 2013). New Weird Fiction has a dozen different flavors and one common issue: trying to anchor the current with the rhythm and flow and of the past. Take Grimscribe's Puppets, where writers try and tap into the unique flavor of Thomas Ligotti, and in at least one case, go for a power hit home run...
TALES OUT OF DUNWICH
- For submission to the Worst Cover for Otherwise Alright Weird Fiction Anthology contest, I submit Tales out of Dunwich (6 Jan 2011). Tales out of Dunwich, with its sexy goth lady in leathers with creepy house behind is possibly the most out of place with its content cover I have seen in awhile. What the crap, Hippocampus?
Weird/Strange/Ghost Fiction Writers, not Lovecraft
- Some additional notes/commentary about Doug Talks Weird 2: Robert Aickman's The Trains, Aickmanesque, and Irrealism (2 May 2015). I have posted the second episode of Doug Talks Weird, this one dealing with an Robert Aickman story along with the concepts of Aickmanesque and Irrealism. Still goes on a bit long, but I think I like this even more than the first.
- The worst ending for an otherwise great weird story probably goes to H.F. Arnold's "The Night Wire" (7 Jan 2014). In The Night Wire, H.F. Arnold regels us with a story about an isolated town and the horrific fog that is engulfing it, told through a couple of people working a newswire late at night. Excellent stuff, but then the ending comes, and it's hard to know why.
- The Imago Sequence Review (16 Aug 2011). Barron's 2007 collection of nine weird tales show his stylistic hallmarks of visual horror, carnivorous universes, disjointed narratives, insectoid digressions, power addicted madmen, and hints of noir. Overall a solid, fairly unique book with enough weird to chew on for a bit.
- The funny weird glitch with my copy of Laird Barron's "The Light is the Darkness" (15 Oct 2011). I sometime back pre-ordered Laird Barron's 'The Light is the Darkness', and excitedly received it recently. But there was a glitch. A strangely perfect coincidental glitch.
- Ramsey Campbell's The Pretence, a Review (10 Dec 2013). Paul Slater flies home on the night the world is supposed to end due to yet another doomsday prediction. But something is wrong this time, things feel...off. Campbell taps into a vibe of truth and consequences, and comes out with a good novella about the nagging fear that reality is more fragile that it looks.
- From giving us tentacled headed Nyarlathotep to important spores that would help to grow the Call of Cthulhu RPG, let's hear it for Derleth's craptastic "Dweller in Darkness"... (11 Oct 2011). 'The Dweller in Darkness', a 1944 August Derleth short story, tells of Nyarlathotep inhabitting a Wisconsin woods and being driven off by use of spell-craft. What is a general poor tale has some highlights, such as setting up a Mythos structure that leads to most modern Lovecraft gaming, and a bit of product placement gone mad.
- How Occupy Wall Street nearly killed a short story idea of mine, but maybe not after all. On Skarl the Drummer and other Skarls.... (30 Nov 2011). Sometimes when I sit down to write out stories, real-world events happen to prevent me ever finishing. In this case, Occupy Wall Street happened so close to one of the stories I have written that had I gotten it out first I would probably called prophet...now, however...
ROBERT E. HOWARD
- An interesting writing prompt from the second paragraph of Robert E. Howard's "The Black Stone": the final tragic night of Alexis Ladeau (20 Nov 2014). In a line merely meant to set-up *something odd*, Howard gives a particularly interesting lacuna that writers could try and fill in: what exactly happened to Alexis Ladeau?
- Additional Notes and Commentary on Doug Talks Weird 3: Thomas Ligotti's "The Frolic" and "What's a Lovecraftian?" (2015 May 31). Another Doug Talks Weird is up and I'm looking at Thomas Ligotti's story, The Frolic, and also talking about what makes something Lovecraftian. As is my custom, here are some additional notes and bits.
- Micro-Reviews for the Stories in Reggie Oliver's The Sea of Blood (2015 Jul 26). As I read through The Sea of Blood, I left micro-reviews of most of the stories on Twitter. Here is the complete collection, in the order they show up in the anthology.
- "An even better weird story with an even worse ending" than The Night Wire? The Human Chair... (2 Aug 2014). Someone found a candidate for a story with a worse ending than The Night Wire: Edogawa Ranpo's The Human Chair. A man hides himself away in furniture and becomes obsessed with human contact. It's weird and kind of spooky in its own way, and could be an allegory...until the ending.
Lovecraftian/Weird Movies and Shows
Call of Cthulhu
- Thoughts about Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition (Quickstart version) and the scenario Dead Light (14 Jul 2014). Have had a chance to play the Quickstart rules for the upcoming 7th edition of Call of Cthulhu, via the scenario Dead Light. I write up some thoughts on the system and the story. Generally like them both, but will hold off until more of the system is out, but the story is excellent as long as you are the kind of Keeper who can fill in some blanks and react to the character actions (and the player needs).
- So...I kind of want to run a Cthulhu Live (or maybe "semi-live") game. Some thoughts, concerns, plans... (24 Feb 2014). So...I kind of want to run a Cthulhu Live (or maybe "semi-live") game. Some thoughts, concerns, plans...
- Do you want to play a game? Livejournal Based Contemporary Era De Profundis Game in the Making (14 Feb 2011). My friend Niko and I are kicking off a De Profundis game. If you like the idea of a different sort of Lovecraftian adventure, then feel free to join. Some basic rules and ideas below.
- Our tremulus game write-up: Ebon Eaves as a dying industrial town in the South (part 1) (27 Jan 2013). Last night we played our first run of tremulus and had a great time. There still feels like some tweaking can be done, but generally the system has a lot of energy and promise.
- Pools of acid and the infernal machine, part 2 of our tremulus game write up (05 Feb 2013). We finished our short run tremulus game this past Friday. Now that I have more of a look into the rules, I can talk more about the mechanics. Also include some story notes about how our story ended.
- How and why I turned Beckii Cruel into a Mask/incarnation of Nyarlathotep... (8 Sep 2013). I needed a central baddie for my tremulus powered Cthulhupunk game, and who better than a Crawling Chaos modeled after a person known for being bright, cute, and somewhat scattered in identity?
- tremulus playbooks: which sets/books have which? (24 Jul 2014). tremulus is building up quite a stack of playbooks. The below represents my attempt to list all of the official ones, in both alphabetical and in containing-product order.
Games involving Cthulhu Mythos (and related)
- Playing Epic Munchkin Cthulhu, game overview and quick discussion about using the optional rules in the "Cthulhu" setting (30 Dec 2010). Munchkin Cthulhu is a parody/pastiche card game set in the world of HP Lovecraft's weird fiction, as well as the fiction of his fans and follow-up writers. You fight eldritch beasts with bad-puns for names, collect ancient weaponry, and mostly just backstab your friends. There are Epic Rules that extend the game play, but how well do they work. I discuss.
Through the Fifth of October, Cryptocurium is offering a "Eye of Azathoth" style Ouija set. Neat. (29 Sep 2013). Mythos themed ouija board. Possible prop in a game. Possible conversation starter. Possible gateway to dark vistas where madness reigns. Limited time only.
Examining The Blair Witch Project as a Lovecraftian Film (26 Jun 2014). Is The Blair Witch Project Lovecraftian? I examine some of the elements of the film that add some light to the statement, with a general nod towards the answer being 'Yes'.
A 1966 Eerie story - "Soul of Horror" - borrows some key elements from "The Dunwich Horror" (3 Jul 2014). In the third issue of Eerie, a story called 'Soul of Horror' borrows a few elements from 'The Dunwich Horror' [but then spins it in its own particular way].
The first thing I thought about was Laird Barron's "The Imago Sequence": Creature in The Rock Crevice (05 Jul 2014). A strange creature in a rock crevice? Or, you know...not? Either way, I thought of 'The Imago Sequence' by Laird Barron.
The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2014 Best Short Films DVD: thoughts and reviews (2015 Jun 2). Got the DVD with the best-of short films from the 2014 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. Some reviews and thoughts about the contents.
"The hidden is greater than the seen."