Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Visit with S. T.

Spent yestereve with Mary and S. T. Mary cook'd one of ye finest dinners I have ever devour'd, grill'd asparagus and steak, with superb scallop potatoes. Before we dined, S. T. and I signed 300 signature sheets for BLACK WINGS V's special deluxe edition--& gawd was that exhausting. S. T. signs first, and he is very fast, so as I am struggling to keep up his pile of sign'd sheets grows taller and taller. When I become frustrated with how slow I am and try to sign faster, my signature becomes a scrawl of chaos and that frustrates me ever more. I am always so relieved when ye signing is ended. S. T. gave me some of ye newest Hippocampus Press books, including ye one pictur'd above. I am especially interested in reading HPL's letters to J. Vernon Shea, as Vernon was one of my moft-beloved chums before his death in 1981. I cannot now remember how I first came into contact with Vernon (my letters have been given to Greg, who maintains the W. H. Pugmire Archive), but I think it's probable that Robert Bloch or Dirk Mosig gave me his address. Vernon wrote one or two articles on homosexual themes found in Lovecraft's fiction, and over time I came to suspect that Vernon was himself gay--but he never told me if that was so, and I never insisted on knowing. He was one of the first to whom I came out when I embraced my queerness, and began to packed his envelopes with press cutting photos of men he thought I'd find attractive, such as Robert Redford. When we spoke on the phone, he seem'd fascinated to hear the details concerning the three months I worked ye streets as male whore. Initially, our letters to each other were pages and pages in length, because I was such an obsess'd HPL fan-boy and it was thrilling to correspond with someone who had actually known Lovecraft. He was extremely encouraging when reading my first attempts at writing weird fiction, but I don't think he ever imagined I'd amount to anything as a writer. Two weeks before he died, we also lost H. Warner Munn, and I was heartbroken cos I used to drive up to Tacoma every week-end to hang out with Harold and discuss weird fiction and HPL, and listen to him read the stories he wrote for Weird Tales while holding the actual issues of that magazine! The first person I called after Harold died was Vernon, and he consoled me as I sobbed into ye phone reciever. Then a fortnight later he was gone.After those two deaths my attitude became weird and I completely dropped out of the Lovecraft scene for several years, discovering punk rock and focusing on that lifestyle with all ye intensity I had given to being a Lovecraftian. 

Anyway, last night was lovely. It is still an almoft magical thrill for me to have S. T., the world's leading H. P. Lovecraft scholar & editor, living in Seattle. The only mild annoyance was that he seems to be insistent on my attending the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon in Portland this year, and I really don't want to, such things have exhausted me these past few times I've attended. But it's difficult to deny S. T. when he wants you to attend, so who knows?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Soon in Nameless Softcover!

Ye trade paperback volumes of Lovecraft's Collected Fiction in S. T. Joshi's Variorum Editions are now available for pre-order at Amazon. Each volume may be purchased separately for $25@. The texts will be slightly improved, as Martin Andersson has supplied S. T. with additionally discover'd corrections since ye publication of ye hardcover editions. So far, these pb editions are not being offer'd at Hippocampus Press, where one assumes they will be sold only as a complete set of three. 

Derrick wrote on Facebook: "There is a Kindle edition coming, featuring  auto-updates in case any new [textual] variants emerge."

A fourth hardcover volume, of Lovecraft's revisions & collaborations, is set to be publish'd this year. These volumes are the ultimate editions of Lovecraft's excellent weird fiction. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Great Week-end!

It has been a great and productive week-end. My newest short story, written for an anthology of tales set in ye Punktown world of Jeffrey Thomas, has just been accepted. My other new story, set in New York's Red Hook district, has also been accepted for a forthcoming anthology. I don't write that many urban horror stories, but I really enjoy'd working on these. I made one major error in my Punktown tale, by giving a Choom rows of needle-sharp fangs--so as ye can see in ye illo there, they don't have fangs at all. 
I'm still having trouble getting into ye swing of writing stories for my next two books--a collection of Clarh Ashton Smith-inspired stories that I will be working on with Henry Vester (each of us writing our own individual tales) and new stories for a second Enoch Coffin collection  that I'll be working on with Jeffrey Thomas. I think I've been too distracted with other things, but after to-day's big social doings (S. T. Joshi's annual Memorial Day Cook-out), I'm gonna chill, stay at home and get to serious work. 

I do have two books ready for publication, but both (I expect) won't be out until sometime next year. One is a complete novel set in Lovecraft's dreamlands that I co-wrote with my buddy David Barker; & ye other is a solo collection of my bestnewest work, coming out late next year from Centipede Press. As far as anthologies go, Paula Guran's MAMMOTH BOOK OF CTHULHU is just out, and my story therein is a kind of love-letter to Lovecraft's home town. I'll have a new Sesqua Valley story in an anthology of tales featuring ye legend of Gla'aki. S. T. Joshi's sequel to his fabulously popular A MOUNTAIN WALKED anthology--THE RED BRAIN: GREAT TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS--will be a book of new, all-original work, for which I have written a very strange story call'd "Pickman's Lazarus". Ye newest volume in S. T.'s legendary BLACK WINGS series should be out any day now, containing a tale of mine set in Arkham. And I have written one of my oddest stories for S. T.'s non-Lovecraftian anthology, NIGHTMARE'S REALM, to be publish'd later this year by Dark Renaissance Books. We have much weird fiction to look forward to!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Oy, whut a night...

Last night was one of the worst in my entire life. I am prone to be mindless in social settings, which is why I prefer to stay home and be alone. When it comes to trying to find places that I have been to only once, it is often impossible, I get lost so easily when driving and have absolutely no sense of direction. I got dressed up, did an extra-careful makeup, and drove to S. T. Joshi's pad, where his charming wife Mary made us one of ye finest meals I have ever eaten (she is a magnificent cook). Then I drove S. T. to the church were his choral group was to practice for a couple hours before that evening's performance. It was in a part of town I hadn't ever been to, and after dropping him off I got bloody turned around and lost while trying to find my way back to his house, where I was to hang-out with Mary until concert time, then drive her to the concert, and afterwards drive them to the airport for their midnight flight. It took me a wretchedly long time to find my way to Mary, only to find a note on the door saying that she had gone ahead and driven herself to the concert and would see me there! Their neighbor Jim's wife also performs in the singing group, so I had him call Mary and tell her that I would just stay at their place until they returned from the concert, as I didn't want to risk getting lost again trying to find the church. Ye neighbor let me into the house, where I sat for over an hour and completely read ye new E.O.D. mailing and read ye liner notes (in the form of a three page interview with S. T.) on the new record featuring S. T.'s reading of five Clark Ashton Smith poems. The record is from Cadabra Records and in available on vinyl only, in three different colours! S. T.'s reading is superb--but his own phonograph doesn't play ye 45 RPM speed, so he hasn't been able to listen to his own copy of ye 45. 

They finally got home and were very sweet about my pathetic getting lost and not attending ye concert. The important ting was that I would be able to drive them to the airport for their night flight. Perhaps fearing that I wou'd get lost on ye way to the airport, Mary offer'd to drive us there, and I happily agreed, It felt rather weird being a passenger in my own car--but we made excellent time. It had been a very long day for me, and being social tends to weary me, so I was tired driving home from the airport--and naturally I got lost. The way that I thought was the road ye direct way to Martin Luther King Jr Way and my neighborhood turned out not to be. But I finally did arrive, and although I was near-to-death with exhaustion, I couldn't sleep until I had listen'd to S. T.'s reading on ye 45 disc. I over-slept and thus missed going to church this morning, whut really bummed me out. I love going to Sacrament Meeting. 

So I've been taking a lot of naps to-day, but just can't feel fully awake or alert, and that means working on new fiction is out of the question, because when writing I need all my mental facilities working. I told myself that I would be totally non-social for months--but actually, Mary and S. T. are having their memorial cook-out on ye 30th--so I'll be gong to that. But after that, I return to seclusion!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Things Be Slow

I keep hoping ye new books that shou'd have been releas'd will appear on my doorstep so that I can discuss and promote yem here--but they continue to be delay'd. I believe, although I am not certain, that there will be changes implemented in PS Publishing's LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series. The first nine volumes have each featur'd a single Lovecraft story, new Introductions by S. T. Joshi, and a number of features following Lovecraft's texts. Future volumes may include more than one Lovecraft story in a single volume; and one of ye next volumes may be my favourite Lovecraft Work, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. When I know for certain about the series and possible changes, I'll let y'all know. It has been a fabulous series thus far, and I am thrill'd to be a part of it.

Ye other book that continues to be delay'd in David E. Schultz's annotated edition of H. P. Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth, whut will be releas'd in a handsome hardcover edition and include 40 new illustrations by Jason C. Eckhardt. I was really hoping that ye book wou'd be releas'd this month, but now the release date is listed as "July". 

Still no copy of Black Wings V, whut is supposedly to be leas'd this month. I little confus'd that a signed-by-all-authors slipcase edition is for sale, as I don't recall signing any signature sheets for such an edition--but my mind has been malfunctioning of ate, so who knows...??? The other Joshi anthology that I am really looking forward to is The Red Brain and Other Cthulhu Mythos Tales, an anthology of new original Mythos tales that S. T. has edited for Dark Regions Press, to be publish'd in trade pb format. My story therein is, I think, one of my better recent efforts, "Pickman's Lazarus". 

S. T. has also edited a non-Lovecraftian anthology, ye title of which now escapes me, for which I have written an extremely bizarre story. Oh, I believe the book is call'd Nightmare's Realm and will be publish'd by either Dark Regions Press or, as their final title before the press goes into extinction, Dark Renaissance Books. My story of 2,870 words is call'd "The Barrier Between"--whut does sound bloody Lovecraftian, I admit.

I have finish'd a story set in Red Hook that is a wee follow-up to Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook," for an anthology called The Heroes of Red Hook. My story, now accepted for ye book, is around 2,550 words & call'd "A Gentleman of Darkness". 

Being a writer is the thing I love most in life. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to have such an active creative life as I hobble toward old age. I have good good friends to hobble along with, I'll be having dinner with S. T. and Mary tomorrow afternoon, & then I hang out with Mary for two hours as S. T. practices with his choral group--and then Mary and I attend that evening's choral performance. Directly after that I drive Mary and S. T. to ye airport. That reminds me, I need to clean out my car!

Changes at YouTube now make it difficult for me to record vlogs, and so I have completely stopped. It sucks, cos I really enjoy'd doing them, and it was great when I had friends over who could join with me and chat about HPL. Below is an old vlog from 2014.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

01 Fungi from Yuggoth - The Book - H. P. Lovecraft read by William Hart ...

Will Hart has had a long love affair with H. P. Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth -- & now he has
releas'd his ultimate treatment of and tribute to HPL's poetry. It is an audio cd disc on which Will reads ye entire sonnet sequence, plus a number of other fine Lovecraft poems such as "In a Sequester'd Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walked" and "Nemesis". All the spoken word is accompanied by an amazing musical score by Graham Plowman.  This new recording has been releas'd in a lovely package by Fedogan & Bremer. 
Included is a 12-page booklet that includes a fantastic photograph of modern St. John's Churchyard in colour, with HPL's black&white spectre walking its pathway; and a nice wee photograph of Will. The booklet also features a lengthy (six full pages) Introduction by S. T. Joshi. 

Will's new readings are superb, at times featuring a voice that almoft threatens to quiver with emotion, where some words are strangely whispered and others solidly proclaim'd. These excellent readings bring new life to Lovecraft's powerful and eerie poetry. 

Graham Plowman's music is magnificent. It has, at time, what I want to call a cinematic majesty of sound, waves of powerful music that carry ye listener away with the wonder of Lovecraft's imagination. It's extremely cool the way the music emphasizes points of narrative vibrancy in Will's reading, and yet can also underscore the quiet, dream-like portions of vocal display. 

Will "dedicates these readings to Editor, David E. Schultz, for his annotated version of H. P. Lovecraft 'Fungi from Yuggoth'; and to Artist Jason C. Eckhardt, for his forty illustrations for the book." This annotated edition of ye Fungi will be publish'd in a handsome hardcover edition by Hippocampus Press. Ye publication has been delay'd a bit, but nigh a definitive release date of May 2016 seems assured. I have seen an early arc of this annotated edition, and it is a work of wonder.

Ye Fungi is of great importance to me because of its continual influence on my work. Will's earlier readings of ye sonnets, which were posted on YouTube and may still be heard there, was the event that inspir'd me to finally write the book I consider my finest--Some Unknown Gulf of Night --a book that I dedicated to Will Hart. 

I have a strange feeling . . .that this new recording of Will reading ye Fungi--a recording that so haunts me, will inspire yet another book from mine antient pen..