It was Christmas Eve. I begin this way because it is the proper, orthodox, respectable way to begin, and I have been brought up in a proper, orthodox, respectable way, and taught to always do the proper, orthodox, respectable thing; and the habit clings to me. Of course, as a mere matter of information it is quite unnecessary to mention the date at all. The experienced reader knows it was Christmas Eve ... It always is Christmas Eve, in a ghost story.In Told After Supper (1891), Jerome K. Jerome parodied the tradition of telling Christmas ghost stories, but it's plain to see that he had fun writing them. And horror writer Ramsey Campbell, himself the author of a number of Christmas stories, recently dropped by /r/WeirdLit to list off a few places to find more. [more inside]
Ghostbusters is the best comedy ever made about the limits of the Lovecraftian worldview. By Max Gladstone.
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of
Phenderson Djèlí Clark details H. P. Lovecraft's racism (earlier version with links to recommended reading/listening). Daniel José Older situates HPL's racism within a more general aesthetics of disgust. Silvia Moreno-Garcia engages with racism in both HPL and Robert E. Howard through work such as co-editing a multicultural issue (pdf) of Innsmouth Magazine (formerly Innsmouth Free Press) and a new Sword & Mythos anthology. Balogun Ojetade explains how confronting racism in HPL and REH spurred his participation in the sub-genre of Sword and Soul.
VOMICA is a short horror film about a British commando raid that finds an ancient evil in the crypts and tunnels of occupied France. It recently won Best Short Film prize at the 2014 H P Lovecraft film festival, and is available to watch on Vimeo—for today only—if you go here and use the password 'mayday'.
Stefan Grabiński is often called "the Polish Poe" or "the Polish Lovecraft," which are both useful for short-hand, but don't quite capture Grabiński's style. As suggested by China Miéville in the Guardian, "where Poe's horror is agonised, a kind of extended shriek, Grabinski's is cerebral, investigative. His protagonists are tortured and aghast, but not because they suffer at the caprice of Lovecraftian blind idiot gods: Grabinski's universe is strange and its principles are perhaps not those we expect, but they are principles - rules - and it is in their exploration that the mystery lies." If you haven't heard of Grabiński, it is probably because only a few of his works have recently been translated to English. The primary translator is Miroslaw Lipinski, who runs a site dedicated to Grabiński. You can read Lipinksi's translation of Strabismus (PDF linked inside), and The Wandering Train online. [more inside]
An interview with world-renowned Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi on Lovecraft, atheism, weird tales, and cosmicism.
Cosas Feas (Nasty Stuff) is a short, gooey Lovecraftian coming-of-age comedy by Mexican director Isaac Ezban. Its recomended for fans of Stuart Gordon and anyone who had an awkward childhood.
Brattleboro Days, Yuggoth Nights: an interview with H. P. Lovecraft on a single postcard.
What if Edward Gorey illustrated Lovecraft? It'd look like John Kenn Mortensen's work, that's what. Except Mortensen makes his art in his spare time, on post-it notes. He has an art book.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... It's the big one! Andrew Leman reads The Call of Cthulhu for the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast. Previous readings include The Haunter of the Dark (previously), From Beyond (previously), The Picture In The House, The Cats of Ulthar and Cool Air. But who is behind the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast? g33k of the w33k interviews Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer.
For Sale: One Shunned House. The house at 135 Benefit Street, Providence RI is for sale. This house was the inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Shunned House. Even without the Lovecraft connection, the house has an eerie history. It can be yours for $925,000.
The Ward (Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3) is a silly little Lovecraftian sitcom from the folks who bring us the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4) The guys Lackey and Fifer are also writing a graphic horror novel set in the Jazz Age, Deadbeats.
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond and The Picture in The House, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership" pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
6 ways to turn Cthulhu into an emoticon. How to pronounce "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" via The Lovecraftsman A contemporary blog about HP Lovecraft, Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Miskatonic University, Arkham, R'lyeh, The Book of Eibon, Yog-Sothoth, De Vermis Mysteriis, & other unspeakable things...
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
Breaking the Fourth Panel: Neonomicon and the Comic Book Frame (1, 2) Alan Moore’s recent Lovecraftian comic dissected. (MLYT, Possibly NSFW language and SAN loss)
The Haunter of the Dark - The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast presents a superb reading of Lovecraft's last tale by Andrew Leman. Kenneth Hite gives some background to the story, which was part of a in-joke laden trilogy of stories by Lovecraft and Robert Bloch, in which they killed off thinly veiled fictional versions of each other.
His terrors are eternal, he's a master of cosmic horror, and now he can also liven up a dull trip to the North East: 6 Boring New England Destinations Made Awesome by H.P. Lovecraft
William Hope Hodgson led an almost fictional life. After trying to run away to the sea as a boy, he eventually had careers as a seaman, professional body builder, personal trainer, public lecturer, and an author of weird fiction (much of it available here). He is also remembered for giving Harry Houdini a hard time. He died toward the end of World War I, having volunteered, received a discharge due to injuries, and volunteered again. [more inside]
Lovecraft 101: Get To Know The Master of Scifi-Horror. For more detailed insights into each of Lovecraft's tales in publication order you might want to follow the H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcast. For another story-by-story guide to Lovecraft you might want to check out Kenneth Hite's Tour De Lovecraft (also available in expanded form as a book). China Mieville on Lovecraft and racism and a lecture at Treadwells by Archaeologist James Holloway which delves deep into Lovecraft and identity. The making of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. The making of Cthulhu (Hipsters! Ego! Madness!). Happy Halloween with H.P. Lovecraft!
"Necronomicons: The Scariest Book in the World" - A talk given by Daniel Harms, author of the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, on the history of the Necronomicon(s) - taking in Abdul Alhazred, John Dee, assorted aquaintences of HP Lovecraft, some rather dodgy sounding occultists from the 70s and a man known only as Simon. Previously.
It's Friday! Enjoy Necronomicon, a fun little flash-based card game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft is Missing. If you like reading Lovecraft, you might enjoy this comic about his unexplained absence, as well. Make sure to check out the Lovecraft related links on the left.
"Mirage in time—image of long-vanish’d pre-human city." - "Ancient and unknown ruins—strange and immortal bird who SPEAKS in a language horrifying and revelatory to the explorers." - "A very ancient colossus in a very ancient desert. Face gone—no man hath seen it." - Images based on the commonplace book of HP Lovecraft. [more inside]
..and when Pickman suddenly unveiled a huge canvas on the side away from the light I could not for my life keep back a loud scream
Alex cf is a young British artist, fresh off of a series of extremely creepy visualizations of Alice in Wonderland characters. His current project is creating amazing looking HP Lovecraft inspired nightmares in specimen jars, which he is more than happy to build on commission.
The Eldritch Dark. No, not about Mr. Lovecraft, but a sprawling site dedicated to Clark Ashton Smith, a friend and frequent correspondent. Along with Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, Smith is an early contributor to Weird Tales whose stories stand the test of time (his work directly inspired Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison). He thought of himself primarily as a poet.
Cthulhu: The Movie. Filmed not in Providence, but on the other side of the country in Astoria. Starring nobody I've ever heard of. Featuring a cameo by Tori Spelling. Given that previous attempts over the last forty or so to capture Lovecraft's mythos on film have been more miss than hit, all these signs point to yet another missed mark. But I must confess ... the last tracking shot over the water in the trailer compels me.
"It is here, however -- perhaps 50 pages into this 800-plus page anthology -- that something begins to shift, and what was supposed to be sublime (but is actually ridiculous) becomes something that was supposed to be ridiculous, but is actually sublime."
Why H.P. Lovecraft is scary after all.
Why H.P. Lovecraft is scary after all.
This summer, I took a trip to the Brattleboro region of Vermont. Until I picked up Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness" again this past week, I had not realized that I had just made a trip into Lovecraft Country. [more inside]