A new wave of Lovecraftian stories confront, rather than ignore, the racism and antisemitism that permeated Lovecraft's work, and, indeed, served as the basis for much of the horror. This roundtable of authors discussing how they address the problems of Lovecraft is worthwhile. Some authors are explicitly using Lovecraft as a lens on contemporary racism, such as in Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country [PDF preview], while others mine Lovecraft's fear of the other to examine bigotry, as in Ruthanna Emrys's lovely Litany of Earth [full story] (Emyrs is also part of the Lovecraft Reread, which looks at both the Mythos-building and uncomfortable aspects of Lovecraft's stories). Previously, on the World Fantasy Awards and Lovecraft.
After many months, Something Awful (and now also The Bad Guys Win) comedy/insanity writer Zack Parsons (previously) has finally confirmed the long-promised finale of his and Steve Sumner's series of Call of Cthulhu 1990's Handbook campaigns starring Kurt Cobain, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Eazy-E as they battle forces beyond human ken: the custom module Hard Ticket to Baghdad. (He also eventually finished the Tooth Tooth series because word is bond, god.) Beneath the fold: the entire story so far, including the recent 'solo project' campaigns. [more inside]
John Ott is a model railroad enthusiast and an H.P. Lovecraft fan. Perhaps inevitably, he has produced part of Arkham, Mass. in HO scale. [more inside]
"Ma'am, you're going to have to describe the creature. Calling it indescribable doesn't help." (SLYT)
Before Pinterest and Evernote and Tumblr, there was the humble commonplace book, a space for gathering and reflecting on ideas, quotations, observations, lines from poems, and other information. "How and Why to Keep a Commonplace Book" is a brief introduction to a venerable tradition of idea curation. [more inside]
At the recent World Fantasy Awards it was announced that the trophy will no longer be modeled on the head of horror writer HP Lovecraft. [more inside]
On the Nature of Things Humanity Was Not Meant to Know: Cosma Shalizi considers Lucretius' De Rerum Natura ('On the Nature of Things') as a "real-life Necronomicon, a book full of things humanity was not meant to know."
Alex Gonzalez's "Lovecraft Letters" re-imagine problematic online dating messages as NSFW communication with unnameable creatures from beyond (1 2 3 4). Mallory Ortberg's hilarious "Texts from H.P. Lovecraft" focus on HPL himself, while Richard Svensson's brief video "The Lovecraft Alphabet" and David Haden's "Consult Mr. Lovecraft" plot generator present cute illustrations or parodies of HPL's work. [more inside]
From Software left fantasy for horror, and the results are mind-blowing. More detailed analysis and spoilers below the jump. WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE GAME BLOODBORNE. IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THIS YET AND WOULD LIKE TO, IT SPOILS SOME COOL REVEALS LATER IN THE GAME! LIKE EVEN MOUSING OVER URLS COULD SPOIL STUFF - BE WARNED. [more inside]
Call of Tutu is a Lovecraftian short film by Aaron Vanek. An old man describes his cat... but is it really a cat? (SLYT)
"Death #1: Devoured by bats. Death #2: Sailed too close to the Elder Continent; my ship, bones gained sentience." People have been discussing Sunless Sea, the nouveau-Roguelike game just released by FailBetter Games. What else are they saying? Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "...the most delicious collection of words in all of gaming." Eurogamer: "This is the video game at its most mystical and revealing." There is, of course, a trailer. [more inside]
Yoga Fhtagn A holistic workout were we tone our bodies while slowly losing our minds (SLYT 3d6 SAN loss)
Armchair detectives and Miskatonic enthusiasts: Spend this weekend solving the first two cases in the free-to-print-and-play Arkham Investigator mystery game. [more inside]
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
Ruthanna Emrys' post-Lovecraftian novelette The Litany of Earth serves as a starting point for Ada Palmer's polyhistoric thoughts about repurposed fiction, from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Marvels: Discontinuity and Empathy: a non-review of “The Litany of Earth” by Ruthanna Emrys..
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.
Yamada Gouki (山田剛毅), aka goking, has been illustrating creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos and similar horrors in an ukiyo-e style: Cyaegha, Igolnaku, The Thing That Plays with Fate, Cthonian, Byakhee, and would like to wish you a very Merry Fishmas from Innsmouth. You can find more illustrations on his Twitter or his blog, 2D6. [more inside]
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.
On the Lovecraftian Mode - Gord Sellar on why he writes lovecraftian fiction. Elizabeth Bear on the same question. I. N. J. Culbard on adapting Lovecraft.
I know full well to my great & abiding dismay the compulsive fascination that the eldritch & uncanny may exert upon the imagination of an introspective & sensitive scholar. From Charlie Stross (cstross): Equoid, a Laundry novella available free to access from Tor.
The title of Allen Williams' website, "I Just Draw," undersells his works. These are no idle doodles, but rather, as Guillermo del Toro wrote: "Entire worlds flow from Allen Williams' pencil and brush. Creatures and characters more twisted and full of humanity than our imagination dares to conjure. He is an incredible draughtsman and a true original mind." You can see more of Williams' works on his blog. Click on the images to enlarge them. [more inside]
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.
H.P. Lovecraft, inspired by Lord Dunsany (Wikipedia; Project Gutenberg; UPenn online library) and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom (annotated stories online), created the Dreamlands, in which he set the 20+ stories of the Dream Cycle. The longest story was The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (Wikipedia), completed in 1927, but unpublished in his lifetime. Comic artist, Jason Thompson, started illustrating the story in high school, then re-drew the story after college, and that comic was semi-animated as a feature-length film. He wrote up his influences for a hidden commentary on the DVD, and expanded it online as The Annotated Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. More Lovecraft sketches and comics online in Thompson's Mockman archive. [Previously: Lovecraft comic adaptations]
Brattleboro Days, Yuggoth Nights: an interview with H. P. Lovecraft on a single postcard.
"Some remarkable Books, Antiquities, Pictures and Rarities of several kinds, scarce or never seen by any man now living."
Musæum Clausum is a catalog of invented books, pictures and antiquities written by 17th Century Englishman Sir Thomas Browne. It is a fantastical and witty meditation on the ravages of time on literature and other works of man. The Musæum Clausum is perhaps the finest example of the invented, or invisible, library, a genre which seems to have originated with Rabelais. The genre has been of special interest to Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog (older posts), where he has written about the invisible libraries of writers such as Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft and invisible libraries in video games. The natural medium for invisible libraries might be pictures, and Musæum Clausum inspired a suite of etchings by Erik Desmazieres.
We shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
Physicist Ben Tippett has written a paper [PDF] showing that the events of Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu could have happened.
One thing I did lately was to construct a Map of Arkham, so that allusions in any future tale I may write may be consistent.
Here is a hand-drawn map of Arkham, Massachusetts, by H.P. Lovecraft himself.
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 nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars.
Have you ever wondered what non-euclidean geometry actually looks like? This video uses a custom ray tracer for the Minecraft engine to give some examples.
Today is National Tartan Day, and in New York city it's Tartan Week! A celebration of Scottish heritage, Tartan Day is held on April 6 to commemorate the Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence submitted to Pope John XXII in 1320. [more inside]
Kevin J. Weir is an artist, making ads (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and more interestingly, not ads. In the latter category, he has made 3 stand-alone sites: the Flux Machine, a tumblr of public domain images turned into animated GIFs, ranging from amusing to surreal (with an extra dash of Lovecraft), which Cartoon Brew likened to Terry Gilliam and Stan VanDerBeek; Nyan Waits, another spin-off of the Nyan Cat meme/theme, now with more Tom Waits; and Loud Portraits, an interactive portrait gallery. [more inside]
In the coldest spot on the earth’s coldest continent, Russian scientists have reached a freshwater lake the size of Lake Ontario after spending a decade drilling through more than two miles of solid ice. Maybe the mountains of madness are underground. Lovecraft would loved to have seen this.
After the, aheh, weirdness surrounding Ann Vandermeer's departure from Weird Tales (Previously), Jeff and Ann Vandermeer have now released the succinctly titled compendium of weird fiction, "The Weird," covering 100 years and 750,000 words of weird fiction. The hitherto-silent "companion site," Weird Fiction Review, launches today, revealing itself to be a bit of an all-purpose blog about fiction as well as general strangeness and affiliated oddities. [more inside]
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.
How do I make my document look like it was written by an Cthulhu worshipping madman? Some LaTeX solutions.
There have been many comics adaptations of Lovecraft. These are some of them. (Some images NSFW.) [more inside]
Your Glory Days Are Over, Mr. Cthulhu. "Mr Cthulhu tries to interest himself in his sons dance, but mr Cthulhus has lived a sheltered life, the intricacies of modern ballet passes him right by." (by Mattias Adolfsson, previously)
Yog-Blogsoth This blog will be an attempt to draw all the creatures Lovecraft ever wrote about or mentioned. (Poss NSFW - drawn nudity, Def NSFSanity)