Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ye House on Tempest Hill

Tom Brown, who has been selected by Jerad to be ye main illustrator for my forthcoming book from Centipede Press, has just completed ye magnificent drawing above, whut depicts ye haunted manse atop Tempest Hill in my story, "Ye Horror on Tempest Hill". The story has been previously publish'd under ye title "The Presence of the Past," a rather boring title that I decided to replace with a more traditionally Lovecraftian one. The story came about when I was invited to write a tale for Fungi, and editor Pierre Comtois requested the tale be 11,000 words in length and divided into chapters, with each chapter individually titled. This is what Lovecraft did when he wrote his sensational "The Lurking Fear," a story that saw its finest reprinting in ye hardcover edition of S. T. Joshi's A Mountain Walked, where ye tale was illustrated. My story is slightly longer than 11,000 words, and is my "Sesqua Valley version" of Lovecraft's originally story. I had a blast writing ye tale, partially because doing so felt slightly illicit: to write one's own version of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear" seem'd a frightfully fanboy thing to do--something a professional writer shou'd resist. One attack level'd at my weird fiction is that it is little more than fan fiction--and I completely agree--fan fiction written as professionally as possible. I write my stuff with fannish fervor, with a sense of eldritch fun; but I also aim at writing that is artistic, influenced in this attitude by my passion for the works of Oscar Wilde and Henry James.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sonic Youth - The Empty Page

Ever had that keen desire to write--& yet you can't find the "stuff" inside your noggin that lets your words pour forth? Ain't nuthin' worse than being dumb. I need to begin writing my book of Victorian Mythos fiction, & yet every paragraph I begin becomes a false start. "No, that ain't right; that isn't it." But I do not despair, I have hope that language will win out. It isn't a matter of choice for this old thing, because I am one of those people who needs to write. So, I'm gonna sit here and look at that empty page until the words spill forth...because they will, they must...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Lovecraftian Gathering

I've really been enjoying this new volume in ye LOVECRAFT LIBRARY series from PS Publishing. The book seems slightly thicker than others in ye series, & it is pack'd with excellent essays &c. Ye Contents:
Preface by Pete Von Sholly
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Thing on the Doorstep by H. P. Lovecraft
Excised Passages in "The Thing on the Doorstep" by S. T. Joshi
The Haunter of the Dark by H. P. Lovecraft
The Shambler from the Stars by Robert Bloch
Sonnet XXI (Nyarlathotep) from Fungi from Yuggoth by H. P. Lovecraft
The Shadow from the Steeple by Robert Bloch
Nyarlathotep by H. P. Lovecraft
The Spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers
Some Antecedents of the Shining Trapezohedron by Steven J. Mariconda
Thye "Haunter" Letters by H. P. Lovecraft
A Eulogy for the Church of "The Haunter of the Dark" by Robert Bloch

Pete Von Sholly has provided some of his finest artwork for this volume. I especially love his rendition of ye climatic scene

Also included is this charming illustration for Lovecraft's superb prose-poem, "Nyarlathotep" (both prose-poem & sonnet of that title is in ye book). These illustrated volumes are dear to my haunted heart, for I love cool artistic renditions of Lovecraft's fiction, and Pete is so in tune with HPL and his oeuvre that each piece is a delight. The art is varied--some in slid hues, some in a multitude of colours. All of ye art is printed in colour, which must have made these volumes expensive to produce (they are not inexpensive purchases). We have quite a few additional volumes to look forward to!

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I almost forgot to mention ye gathering of last night that gives this blog its title! I spent a wonderful evening with S. T. Joshi and Sunni and Jason Brock. We all met at S. T.'s house, where he has been feeling lonely because his wife is out of town for a wee while. We had some delightful conversation about Lovecraftian matters and things going on in the weird scene (Jason and Sunni go to a huge number of conventions and are amazingly connected with genre notables). S. T. gave me ye newest mailing for the Esoteric Order of Dagon apa, and we spoke as S. T. fought ye temptation to turn on ye telly and watch some sports event. Then we went out to eat at a joint featuring delicious India food and had an amazing meal. I always feel woefully lazy when I'm with these lads and lassie, because they are always working on a multitude of new projects, and I ain't doing much at ye moment. It was a great night. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dip Into Nightmare

One of S. T.'s several forthcoming anthologies is close at hand. Nightmare's Realm is to be offered for pre-order in deluxe signed limited edition hardcover on on November 22, 2016, with an early ebook download exclusively for pre-order customers. Ebooks and trade paperbacks will not be offered separately until Q1 2017.

ye tantalizing Table of Contents:

Introduction by S. T. Joshi
Prologue: To a Dreamer by H. P. Lovecraft
The Dreamed by Ramsey Campbell
A Predicament by Darrell Schweitzer
Kafkaesque by Jason V Brock
Beneath the Veil by David Barker
Dreams Downstream by John Shirley
Death-Dreaming by Nancy Kilpatrick
Cast Lots by Richard Gavin
The Wake by Steve Rasnic Tem
Dead Letter Office by Caitlin R. Kiernan
The Art of Memory by Donald Tyson
What You Do Not Bring Forth by John Langan
The Barrier Between by W. H. Pugmire
Sleep Hygiene by Gemma Files
Purging Mom by Jonathan Thomas
The Fifth Stone by Simon Strantzas
In the City of Sharp Edges by Stephen Woodworth
An Actor's Nightmare by Reggie Oliver
Epilogue: Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe

Dreams and nightmares often give us glimpses into our true character; they can reveal our deepest anxieties and our most ambitious aspirations. Weird fiction has a rich history with dreamlike stories and nightmares that cross boundaries between the real and imaginary. Even H. P. Lovecraft endured many bizarre dreams from the early days of his youth that he then used as inspiration for some of his fiction and poetry. Now world-renown weird fiction scholar and editor S. T. Joshi has assembled a new set of nightmares from some of the strongest minds in weird fiction today.
Announcing Nightmare's Realm: New Tales of the Weird & Fantastic, edited by S. T. Joshi with cover artwork by Samuel Araya. Featuring 100% original fiction focusing on the theme of dreams and nightmares.

This is not a Lovecraftian anthology, although some few stories may have Lovecraftian themes. Special hardcover edition is  signed by all authors and ye artist and is limited to 150 copies. Oversized at 7"x10", offset printed on acid-free paper with Smyth sewn case binding. Black embossed end sheets, black satin book riddon, bound in black leather. Housed in a black slipcase. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Orange Cthulhu

It's orange! It's eldritch!
To celebrate their 70th anniversary, Penguin Classics has re-issued a number of volumes as part of an Orange Collection series. Although I am a dead serious Lovecraftian, I confess that I love ye whimsical cover illustration for this new edition of S. T.'s first edited volume of H. P. Lovecraft's weird fiction for Penguin. When I once ask'd S. T. what he thought was his best edition of HPL, he said he consider'd this book the single finest edition. This new edition in the Orange Collection contains Lovecraft's texts only; it does not include Joshi's Introduction or his Notes at ye back of ye book. For those strange readers who find S. T.'s annotations invasive and/or irritating, this then is ye edition for you. 

It is, of course, a fine edition of some of Lovecraft's best work, although I confess that my own favourite volume in ye Penguin series is ye second, The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories. Penguin notes on ye inside cover flap: "For the 70th anniversary of Penguin Classics, we present the Penguin Orange Collection, celebrating the heritage of Penguin's iconic book design and twelve influential American literary classics from the breadth and diversity of the Penguin Classics library." So H. P. Lovecraft has ye honour of being one of a mere 12 writers to be so represented. Damn rad!

I just sign'd & return'd my contract for Black Wings VI: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror. S. T. accepted my story "To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks," which I had originally written for another anthology, Autumn Cthulhu. I am very happy that the story will now appear in a handsome hardcover edition from PS Publishing, and then reprinted in trade pb by Titan Books, thus getting far more distribution than it wou'd have otherwise. My tale is set in Sesqua Valley--one of ye few Sesqua tales of mine that will appear in a hardcover anthology, hooray! 

In keeping with ye Orange theme, I try'd to find a photo of Streisand in orange attire, but this is ye best I cou'd do. This is Babs filming UP THE SANDBOX in Africa. I rather adore ye sign behind her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Is it "traditional" or just cliche?

Working on a story for my collection of Victorian Mythos fiction. Part of whut I have reads thus:

"Shutting his eyes, he tried to visualize the word mentally, and then his mouth whispered an unnatural sound: 'Yok-Sotot.'
Something seemed to clasp his skull, and although his eyes were shut, Wilfred could see strange shapes that coiled and extended in darkness. The outre things convulsed and then cemented together so as to form one unspeakable outline from which a glistening stem unwound and crawled through the blackness, to him. The lad tried not to shout as a cold moist appendage pressed against his forehead."

Even as I was typing it the words spilled into my skull, "Haven't we been here before, girlfriend?" And yet this beginning feels absolutely right for the story I am beginning to compose. This is, after all, a book of Mythos fiction; & when a book is marketed as such, it shou'd contain those plot elements that Mythos fen enjoy. Right? I want the beginning of this first to set a distinct Mythos tone; and then as I continue to write ye thing, I can work to approach the Mythos genre with as much originality as my story will allow. That's my plan, anyway. My strongest feeling is that I must write a book that will please other Lovecraftians, and therefore I need to make it Lovecraftian-up-ye-arse. So, I will continue to write in this eldritch tradition, and weave a story that will please others who thrive on Lovecraftian horror.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Black Wings VI completed by S. T.

S. T. pofted a new blog to-day, in which is listed ye Contents for his forthcoming Black Wings VI:

Pothunters, by Ann K. Schwader
The Girl in the Attic, by Darrell Schweitzer
The Once and Future Waite, by Jonathan Thomas
Oude Goden, by Lynne Jamneck
Carnivorous, by William F. Nolan
On a Dreamland's Moon, by Ashley Dioses
Teshtigo Creek, by Aaron Bittner
Ex Libris, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Your Shadows That in Darkness Dwell, by Mark Howard Jones
Mask of the Imago, by John Salonia
The Ballad of Aesnath Waite, by Adam Bolivar
The Visitor, by Nancy Kilpatrick
The Gaunt, by Tom Lynch
Missing at the Morgue, by Donald Tyson
The Shard, by Don Webb
The Mustery of the Cursed Cottage, by David Hambling
To Court the Night, by K. A. Opperman
To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks, by W. H. Pugmire
Mister Ainsley, by Steve Rasnic Tem
Satiety, by Jason V Brock
Provinance Unknown, by Stephen Woodworth
The Well, by D. L. Myers

Writes S. T.: The works by Ashley Dioses, Adam Bolivar, K. A. Opperman, and D. L. Myers are poems. I had held an informal contest among these poets to see who could write the most evocative poem; but they all submitted outstanding work, and I felt it unfair to pick just one winner. So they are all included! The book is not likely to appear any earlier than the fall of next year.

S. T. handed out copies of ye newest just-publish'd issue of  his poetry journal, Spectral Realms #5. It's a fabulous issue featuring verse by numerous weird poets, plus an essay by Frank Coffman on "The Poets of Weird Tales: Part 2, and a section of reviews. I am pleas'd to appear in ye issue with a soonet sequence entitl'd "The Ghoul's Dilemma."

Hanging out with S. T. and other Lovecraftians always instills within me an enormous ache to write weird fiction & poetry. I hope I can conquer my current block and get to work!!