Larry Roberts sent me ye signature sheets for Some Unknown Gulf of Night yesterday, so as soon as I sign and return those, ye book will be published. The hardcover edition sold-out in pre-order, & I want to thank all of ye who order'd it. It was so great -- Larry hired a for-real proofreader to work on the book, and I think it will thus be completely free of misprints! A miracle! Yuggoth, how I hate proofreading. I went over and over the proofs for The Tangled Muse, wanting so for my Centipede Press book to be error-free. Then I decided to reprint the title story in my forthcoming collection from Dark Regions Press, and Jeffrey Thomas worked with me as editor on that book -- and he found THREE typos, all my fault, that were in the story and they were reproduced in the Centipede omnibus -- arrrgh!
Writing Some Unknown Gulf of Night the a magical experience. I have long wanted to do something inspir'd by Fungi from Yuggoth and always assumed it wou'd be a sonnet cycle of my own. But my sonnet sequence in Sesqua Valley & Other Haunts so dissatisfies me that I am not encouraged to try my hand at another such thing. Then my buddy Will Hart recorded the entire sonnet cycle by Lovecraft and posted his readings on his channel at YouTube, CthulhuWho1, and as I listen'd to Will's superb reading of HPL's sonnets I was inspir'd with the ache to write a prose-poem sequence based on ye Fungi. Ye may have noticed that I am totally obsess'd with writing these prose-poem sequences, and the idea of doing an ENTIRE BOOK of them made me dizzy with contemplative ecstasy.
So I set to work. I told myself that I would have the thing finish'd before I left for MythosCon. My work would be a poem-by-poem aesthetic "commentary" on Lovecraft's sonnets. I listen'd to Will read sonnet #1, took notes on words that should recur in my piece, and then typed ye initial version straight into Microsoft Word. Then I read it aloud and polished/revised. I didn't want to make too many changes, I didn't want the thing to be over-polished. Lovecraft wrote his sonnet cycle in less than two weeks. I wanted Some Unknown Gulf of Night to be a work that issued from my cracked brain quickly, smoothly, almost as stream-of-conscious writing. So for my first sequence I used words and images from Lovecraft's first sonnet. HPL's first three sonnets told a connected tale of sorts, and thus my first three prose-poems would do likewise. I sent each sequence to Will for his evaluation, and his enthusiasm for the project fed my flame. Then I began sending them as I wrote them to my buddy J. D. Worthington, one of this era's finest Lovecraft critics.
I wrote the thing in six weeks. It was like being hypnotized. Reality ceased to exist. I could not eat or sleep, I had to write this thing. I've never had such an experience as a writer, it was awesome. And the finish'd result, to my mind, is what I consider my finest book. But, girlfriend, I'm partial. It feels rad to have a new book that is all-original, no reprints. I think that was a key factor in it's selling out in pre-order.
The illustrations by Matthew Jaffe are so wonderful, so perfect. The book design is simply amazing, it's going to be a beautiful book of high aesthetics and poetry. With luck, it will be released in a fortnight or so. I itch to hold it in my paws.
Kisses to all, my darlings.