Saturday, November 18, 2017


Here is a very old video that shews how excited an H. P. Lovecraft fanboy can get over ye news of a newly-discover'd bit of Lovecraftiana. Ye video ends with a reading of one of my Sesqua Valley sonnets. & since I am digging around in me old catalog of videos, I will also share one devoted to my favourite among Lovecraft's invented daemons.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Itching for Quinn

Strangely, and against better judgment, I find myself tempted to order the first two of five propos'd hardcover volumes of ye supernatural tales of Seabury Quinn from publisher Night Shade Books. I read, aeons ago, all of Quinn's Jules de Grandin stories when Robert Weinberg publish'd yem in wonderful mass pb editions in ye mid-1970's. Many of ye tales made me sneer because, oh man, they were so pulp. Reading them was similar to watching the tv series Buffy the Vampire Slayer--every week there is a "new" monster that just happens to appear in the young woman's home town. And yet--silly as the stories seemed to be as I recall them--I really enjoy'd reading them; & glancing over ye few reviews on Amazon, I see that others really enjoy'd reading the stories as well. Yes, I am going to purchase ye first of the two publish'd volumes, and then next month I'll buy ye second volume. It has been a creative itch of mine, for years, to write my own series of occult detective tales--and I partially did so, in collaboration with Jeffrey Thomas, when he and I invented our character Enoch Coffin. I still feel a wee itch to invent a new character in this tradition. Mine wou'd be a male ghost detective, but he wou'd have an elderly woman as his "Watson" who wou'd accompany him in his investigations and provide various clues that had eluded him. But this is such a mild itch that I doubt I will actually pen such a book. Rather, I think I'll just wait for my Quinn book to arrive and then enjoy such stories by a master of ye form. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

ye storm is brewin'...

Aye, there is a wind storm due later to-day, & I am looking forward to it. We lost power for a wee while last night, but I have a battery-operated lantern--and, I love ye darkness (except when I'm into a really swell book). When the lights are out, I find that it triggers my ability to listen--I hear the storm's approach and effect, the moaning of wind within ye chimney, the soft tapping of outside windsocks pushed against ye window pane. There seems to be a link between my love of storms and my fondness for writing weird fiction--the emotions of both experiences are similar, as is the way they make my imagination work.
      My current reading programme is devoted to ye William Monk novels of Anne Perry. I adore British mysteries above all other entertainment, and a stormy night is the perfect time to get lost in a tale of sinister Victorian intrigue. I dislike moft American mystery series (the few I have try'd) with ye exception of the brilliant Nero Wolfe novels of Rex Stout. I have three William Monk novels on order at Amazon (where at times ye hardcover editions sell for a less expensive price than ye paperbacks). My fondness for the Victorian period comes, I think, from my adoration of Oscar Wilde and Henry James, and for ye stories of Sherlock Holmes. The one modern detective series to which I am absolutely devoted is the work of P. D. James.
     I began my love of murder mysteries with books, but my admiration for ye form was heighten'd by the British telly series, MYSTERY, on PBS. I love to listen to the variety of British accents--indeed, I think I wou'd be much happier living in England than here in ye USA. Since that cannot be, and since I am trapped in this wretched modern era, I turn to books for an escape--and ye finest from from modernity is found within ye pages of an enthralling Victorian tale.
But I can write no more--ye sounds of storm increase, nature is wind-tossed and may soon be rain-drench'd. I must turn off this contraption, this humming computer, sink into my old armchair, and place myself within ye world of William Monk, Victoprian detective supreme.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S "THE UNNAMABLE" --some few disjointed ramblings . . ....

Re: Masters of Horror - Dreams in the Witch-House - trailer

An old video from many years ago, in which I experimented with making a monstrous papier-mache mask out of toilet paper soaked in a solution of flour & water. The novel I discuss writing never happen'd. Alas, I am not a novelist--although I finally collaborated on one with my buddy David Barker, and it will be publish'd eventually by Hippocampus Press.

Monday, October 30, 2017


It is here at last!! A stunning collection of Clark Ashton Smith's prose-poems and images of his evocative artwork. Edited and with an Introduction by Scott Connors, and handsomely presented in a sumptuous Centipede Press edition! The volume collects ALL of Smith's prose poems (perhaps the finest penned by any American poet), and includes photographs of hundreds of Smith's sculptures, paintings, and drawings.  The volume is oversized at 7 x 10 inches. This is a signed edition limited to 300 copies. Smith's signature is reproduced in facsimile.
Ye Appreciations & Memoirs section includes essays by Donald Sydner-Fryer, Samuel J. Sackett, Fritz Leiber, William Whittingham Lyman, Emil Petaja, George F. Haas, Eric Butlet, RAH Hoffman, and Ethel Heiple. 
My gawd, looking at this amazing book makesme swoon in ecstasy. I have been planning to compose a wee collection of things inspir'd by the fantasies of CAS--and this book will be a profound source of inspiration. 

Signed, cloth with dustjacket and slipcase: $225 (on sale from $250). 
Cloth with dustjacket and slipcase, unsigned: $200.

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. 
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Tomb
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.