Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ethereal Eldritchness!


This is another of ye final volumes in this exceptional series of Lovecraft's fiction, illustrated by Pete Von Sholly. 
Contents:
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Tomb
Polaris
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
The White Ship
The Doom That Came to Sarnath
The Tree
The Cats of Ulthar

Some of these stories have been mistakenly referred to as Lovecraft's "dream stories", although ye only one that can perhaps be authentically so labelled is "The White Ship". Of this tale, S. T. Joshi writes: "This story was written in November 1919, shortly after Lovecraft attended a lecture by Lord Dunsany in Boston (October 20) and read several of Dunsany's early volumes of tales. In a letter Lovecraft wrote: 'As you infer, "The White Ship" is in part influenced by my new Dunsanian studies." It is superficially similar to Dunsany's "Idle Days on the Yann" (in A Dreamer's Takes, 1910) in its depiction of a sea voyage where many different lands are visited, but Lovecraft's story has a powerful allegorical element lacking in Dunsany's tale."

These stories are vividly "visual" and will lend themselves superbly to the artistic talents of Pete Von Sholly. I am uncertain when these final volumes in this series are scheduled to be publish'd, but hopefully it will happen before year's end.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ia!! Yok-Sotot!!

Now available for pre-order from PS Publishing!! 
This sixth volume of S. T. Joshi's acclaimed Black Wings series demonstrates as never before how infinitely malleable are H. P. Lovecraft's weird conceptions. The twenty-two stories and poems in this book run the gamut of modes and genres, but each of them is fueled by elements large and small drawn from Lovecraft's inexhaustibly rich corpus of writing.
Cosmicism is central to Lovecraft's imaginative vision, and it oftentimes is manifested in tales of archaeological horror. In this volume, stories by Ann K. Schwader, Lynne Jamneck, Don Webb, and Stephen Woodworth treat this motif in varying and distinctive ways. Lovecraft's work is also infused with a profound sense of place, as he himself was attached to the familiar locales of his native New England but also travelled widely in search of new vistas to stimulates his imagination. Here, stories by Tom Lynch, Aaron Bittner, W. H. Pugmire, and Darrell Schweitzer summon up the landscapes of diverse realms in America to tease out the horrors embedded in them.
Alien creatures are featured in many of Lovecraft's greatest tales. In this volume, William F. Nolan, Nancy Kilpatrick, Steve Rasnic Tem, Jonathan Thomas, and Jason V Brock summon up multiform monsters inspired by Lovecraft's notions of hybridism and alien incursion. The forbidden book theme is deftly handled by Caitlin R. Kiernan, and the notion of other worlds lying just around the corner from our own is the subject of stories by Donald Tyson and Mark Howard Jones. Finally, David Hambling cleverly adapts Lovecraftian concepts to the locked-room detective story.
In commemorating the incredible efflorescence of weird poetry in our time, this book presents poems by four leading contemporary poets--Ashley Dioses, K. A. Opperman, Adam Bolivar, and D. L. Myers. Each of their works fuses skillful use of rhyme and metre with compact evocations of Lovecraftian themes. H. P. Lovecraft's work is likely to continue inspiring writers for many generations, and this volume presents a vivid snapshot of what can be said in this idiom by sensitive and talented authors.

Here's the full line-up:
Introduction--S. T. Joshi
Pothunters--Ann K. Schwader
The Girl in the Attic--Darrell Schweitzer
The Once and Future Waite--Jonathan Thomas
Oude Goden--Lynne Jamneck
Carnivorous--William F. Nolan
On a Dreamland's Mood--Ashley Dioses
Teshtigo Creek--Aaron Bittner
Ex Libris--Caitlin R. Kiernan
You Shadows That in Darkness Dwell--Mark Howard Jones
The Ballad of Aesnath Waite--Adam Bolivar
The Visitor--Nancy Kilpatrick
The Gaunt--Tom Lynch
Missing at the Morgue--Donald Tyson
The Shard--Don Webb
The Mystery of the Cursed Cottage--David Hambling
To Court the Night--K. A. Opperman
To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks--W. H. Pugmire
Mister Ainsley--Steve Rasnic Tem
Satiety--Jason V Brock
Provenance Unknown--Stephen Woodworth
The Well--D. L. Myers

Here's an old video. Have a Happy Hallowe'en, y'all.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Revisiting ye Revisions

Pete Von Sholly has just accepted a wee essay he invited me to write for a forthcoming LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED volume of Lovecraft's revisions. Ye tales included in ye volume ("The Curse of Yig", "Medusa's Coil", "The Horror in the Museum", "Out of the Aeons", & "The Diary of Alonzo Typer") are stories that I have loved for several decades. Interestingly, they are all Cthulhu Mythos stories, and indeed in some we glean new information concerning ye nature of Lovecraft's daemonic creation. I don't think we can correctly call any of these tales "cosmic horror", for ye antique daemons with which they are concern'd appear to have dwelt in ye hidden secret pockets of our globe for aeons. In "Medusa's Coil," a story that is wretchedly tainted throughout with aspects of Lovecraft's racism, we have one of Lovecraft's two portraits of monstrous women (the other appearing in "The Thing on the Doorstep"). Some have bemoaned the fact ye author included so few female characters in Lovecraft's fictive oeuvre, but after my recent rereading of "Medusa's Coil" I think I'm a little grateful that he did not. 



I cannot recall ever having seen an illustrated rendition of Lovecraft's snake-god, and I wholly admire Pete's vision of ye daemon as pictur'd on the book's jacket. Pete's Yig has a vitality and sense of ominous strength. Although Yig itself never appears in the story, his beloved children do--the lethal snakes that emerge in the story's horrifying conclusion. I have few phobias, but a fear of snakes is one of them. Something in their manner of movement utterly creeps me out and evoke shrieks of horror. But it's strange--coupled with this revulsion is a kind of beguilement, as I discover whenever I visit the Reptile House at ye Woodland Park Zoo. Even though my skin crawls and my stomach churns disturbingly, my eyes seek out the slender cold-blooded forms that move with a kind of gracefulness inches from where I tremble.

Really looking forward to reading this 17th volume in PS Publishing's brilliant series of illustrated volumes, each of which is a spectacular celebration of Lovecraft's genius.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

re-reading Wilson


Every few years I re-read Colin Wilson. This morning I began another reading of his novel, THE GLASS CAGE. And, as always happens when I read this novel, it instills within me an ache to pull out my William Blake and return to ye poetry and biographies. I've just gone to Amazon and order'd a biography I've never seen--ETERNITY'S SUNRISE: THE IMAGINATIVE WORLD OF WILLIAM BLAKE, by Leo Damrosch, publish'd just last year. Wilson's crime novel seems extremely literary, and that is one reason I find it so irresistible--I adore books that are written by people who love Literature as much as I do.  Of course, this flimsy paperback edition is a tatter'd old thing, and so I have just order'd a 2nd-hand hardcover copy, & will put off my return to ye novel until that edition arrives. Crime fiction, especially British mysteries, are perhaps my favourite kind of fiction. Although I cannot write anything but horror, I never actually read horror fiction, moft of which I find deadly dull.

Books are Life--literally. I think that's why my very best friends are almoft all writers or editors. I have very little interest in ye cinema, rarely watch telly, and can usually be found in my cozy armchair with a book in one hand and a cup of mild coffee (French Vanilla Cafe) in ye other. 'Tis a good life, aye.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Utterly Weary but Not Suicidal

This is my old pal Olaf the Viking Giant, in his coffin that was display'd at the Jones' Fantastic Museum in the Seattle Center, where I work'd for many years roaming around ye Center grounds in my Count Pugsly outfit. I miss those carefree days, because adulthood, as H. P. Lovecraft once wrote, is proving to be "hell". For ye moment, anyway. Actually, my life has been fairly easy and enjoyable, perhaps because I avoid humanity and stay home with my books and cats. But of late life has been not going so well  [what kind of sentence structure is that...???],and I feel the way that old Olaf looks in that photo--dead and dried-up. I seem to have a tendency to make what shou'd be simple rather difficult. Been having pain in my left foot, and so my sweet chum S. T. drove me to my medical clinic, where they had no clue as to what was wrong. The visit wasn't a total waste cos I got three vaccine shots. I was told to get my foot xrayed and have that sent to my clinic. They gave me a list of walk-in clinics, one if Bellevue and one in Kirkland.  I tried to locate the one in Bellevue but it utterly eluded me during my hour search in heavy traffic. Finally, in frustration, I gave up and returned home. I went to Harborview hospital this morning, hoping they could do this xray of my foot thing and send it to my clinic, but they said not without a reference paper from my doctor. So now I need to figure out how to get an xray of my sore foot before my next doctor's appointment on ye 14th. I guess on Monday I'm gonna return to Bellevue and try to find ye damn clinic one more time. 

Now anyone else I know cou'd do this kind of thing with no trouble; but I am so inept and become so frustrated and confused that such a task becomes next to impossible. It's like I have some severe mental deficiency that makes simple things difficult. My brain is badly wired or some such thing. Maybe this comes from not really living in the "real" world, from which I have rather isolated myself. I've never had to think about my health because, except for a mild heart attack many years ago, my health has been okay. 

So, having to "deal" with this kind of thing is frustrating and depressing and exhausting. It doesn't help that walking is so painful at ye present. Bleh. I hate having to even think about my health and going to doctors and stuff like that--I just wanna stay home, read my books and try to write some new stories. And yet my life is so easy and I have so much to be thankful for, I become embarrassed by these little episodes of "poor me, poor miserable me". I guess we all have our personal difficulties in life, and that is a part of existence. I read a lot of biographies of writers and know that I have it so much better than many of my literary heroes, as far as domestic comfort and such is concerned. So I ain't gonna end my life, because if I did I wouldn't be able to read all these cool books that I MUST READ before I die. This is an age of such Lovecraftian richness that ending existence just cos I'm depress'd or in pain wou'd be a senseless act. Books keep me going.

How strange, to want to express this stuff in public. I think I'll stop and return to my book--DAWNWARD SPIRE, LONELY HILL--THE LETTERS OF H. P. LOVECRAFT AND CLARK ASHTON SMITH.

Shalom.

(here's an old video)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ye Complete Audio HPL!!


Nothing delights me more than an excellent audio presentation of H. P. Lovecraft's fiction. I don't mean dramatic renditions, but readings of ye actual texts. Because we live in an age of intense Lovecraftian coolness, we now have been presented with an audiobook of Lovecraft's complete fiction as read by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman. 

For the first time ever. the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society has produced an audio recording of all of Lovecraft's stories. These are NOT dramatizations like our Dark Adventure Radio Theatre--rather, this is an audiobook of the original stories, in all-new, never-before-heard recordings made by the HPLHS's own Andrew Leman and Sean Branney exclusively for this collection. Working from texts prepared by Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi, this collection spans his entire career from his earliest surviving works of childhood to stories completed shortly before his death. All tales include original music by HPLHS composer Troy Sterling Nies. This audio bonanza features seventy-four stories, adding up to more than fifty (50!) hours of Lovecraftian listening fun, professionally performed and recorded for your enjoyment.

Due to the massive size of this collection, we are not offering it on CD (it would fill 43 CDs). This collection comes packaged in a custom designed faux library book which artfully holds a custom designed 16Gb USB flash drive containing all the stories in a format that's permanent, portable, and easily added to your audio collection.

The entire collection is also available via digital download--straight from our servers to your computer. No shipping, no texes, just a Lovecraftian bonanza of audio fun. We offer collections where each story is its own file or where longer stories are broken into multiple chapter files. It's approximately 5Gb of audio files, so we recommend you download to a computer rather than phone or tablet. 

For those on a budget, we've also edited our own "Selected Tales of HPL" collection, featuring recordings of some of our favorite stories available via download at an even more affordable price. Enjoy eighteen hours of Lovecraft's "greatest hits" for just $20.00 This collection includes:
The Statement of Randolph Carter
Pickman's Model
The Picture in the House
The Hound
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour Out of Space
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
At the Mountains of Madness
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Shadow Out of Time

It's taken us three years to record, edt, mix and master this collection. We hope it will provide Lovecraft fans with a high quality means to enjoy these stories read aloud by professional actors who share their love for HPL's writing.

For more ordering information ye may contact ye company at
HPLHS Inc.
1644 Victory Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91201

or via email at www.cthulhulives.org