Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflections from a former diva......




These days I rarely have ye energy for drag--but there was a time, before I became a car owner, when I did my Boy George drag every day, when each day began with a morning ritual of makeup before heading off for work.  I was lucky indeed to find employment at restaurants that allowed me to dress in drag on the job, beginning with Cyclops Cafe.  Working at Cyclops changed my life in more ways than I cou'd have imagined.  It became one real link to the Seattle music scene, and that was important because as I grew older I went to less and less shows.  It was because I worked at Cyclops that I got to know members of my two favorite local bands, Nirvana and Soundgarden.  It was while I worked at Cyclops that I returned to the Mormon Church, and they allow'd me to celebrate my return with a photo exhibit, Mormon Fag, featuring brilliant giant-size photos of me in various drag shots taken by David Balisle.  One of the things I really miss, now, in my hermitage, is being an active part of the Seattle music scene.  Nothing felt more like home than being at a live gig--although one of the last times I went to a punk show I had to waddle out of the pit and take one of my nitroglycerin pills, as being knocked about by all of yem young thangs had a bit of an effect on my congestive heart failure.  I am so lacking in energy these days, and because I almost never do any socializing, I have started to toss out a lot of my drag.  I had a bunch of stuff in a plastic bag, ready to take out to the garbage can--but then I had a panic attack at the idea of tossing out my Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte lipstick, & had to retrieve it.  

It was great fun being a queer punk exhibitionist when I was riding public transport and walking downtown looking fabulous-ridiculous.  Part of it was being punk-rock confrontational, using my look and lifestyle to flip ye finger at societal decorum.  But here was the weird thing.  Outrageous as I looked, my personality was that of a very shy introvert.  I was always being picked on when I was a kid, by my parents for being such a weird sissy boy (my transvestite nature began when I was around five or six and used to play house with the neighborhood girls--and I always insisted on wearing a party dress just as they did), by kids at school because I was such a nerdy geek.  I was always being shoved into lockers or having my school books knocked out of my hold.  Being so tormented as a kid made me want to hide from the world, and so I took refuge in a passion for horror films.  Famous Monsters of Filmland was my gateway to wonder and happiness.  My love for monsters led me to my first job, where I was hired to dress up as a vampire and advertise the Jones' Fantastic Museum at the Seattle Center.  This was, naturally, the beginning of my love of exhibitionism, of dressing up and causing a scene in public.  It was only natural that, eventually, punk rock wou'd prove an inescapable lure.  

Growing old and having a car changed everything.  I seldom dress up, except when I do my videos on YouTube, or go out to social events with S. T. Joshi and our local weird fiction gang.  But sometimes, when I watch old videos of Boy George and see him looking especially outrageous, as in ye video above, my heart thumps with drag queen ecstasy and exhibitionist longing, and I find myself wanting to paint my face elaborately and go shopping.  It makes no sense, of course--there is no reasonable justification for exhibitionism.  It's just fun.  And, as Quentin Crisp once wrote, "Exhibitionism is a drug--you get hooked."  It's funny, sometimes in public, when people come up and want to know the "meaning" of my look.  I can only tell them, there is no meaning, I just need my transvestite fix.  Sometimes the reaction is hostile, like the businessman who asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I replied, "Growing up is being who you want to be," to which he scowled.  

I wish I had more contact with the local drag queen scene, but being so anti-social, I simply never go out to local shows or gigs where queens hang out.  Being a queen is an essential part of my nature, and one that I adore.  It has always been a major part of my being since I was a wee kid.  It will remain so as I approach, more assuredly, geezerdom.


hanging with my favourite local queen, Jackie Hell.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Up-tight Outtasight

(ye blogger as a young Esquimau)

"Speaking of poetical reviewers--I have not yet recovered from the shock the newspaper gave me last night!  At the First Baptist Church in this city, on Friday evening, there occurred the annual ceremony of the award of the 'Spingarn Medal,' which is given to that member of the negro race who achieves the most notable success in 'any field of elevated or honourable human endeavour' during the year.  At these impresses exercises, Gov. Beeckman of Rhode Island gracefully awarded the badge of African supremacy to the Boston poet, critic, & literary editor--William Stanley Braithwaite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Think of it--chew upon it--let it sink into your astonished & outraged consciousness--the great Transcript dictator, the little czar of the Poetry Review, is a nigger--a low-born, mongrel, semi-ape!--Ye gods--I gasp--I can say no more!  Aid me, ye benign elves & daemons of anticlimax!  So this--this--is the fellow who hath held the destinies of nascent Miltons in his sooty hand; this the sage who hath set the seal of his approval on vers libre & amylowellism--a miserable mulatto!  To think of the years I have taken this nigger seriously, reading his critical dicta as though he were a Bostonian & a white man!  I could kick myself!  William's picture is printed in the Bulletin beside the news item, & from the likeness given I can deduce no visible sign of his black blood.  A heavy mustache droops down over what may be thick negroid lips.  But after all--I suppose he has only a slight taint of the beast.  No nigger blacker than a quadroon would be likely to attain the intellectual level he has undoubtably reached.  I am not minimising what the fellow knows, but I think it monstrous bad taste for the Transcript to foist a black upon its literary readers!"  --H. P. Lovecraft to Rheinhart Kleiner, May 5, 1918.  Great Yuggoth!  How dare this creature pose as being as intelligent and accomplish'd as a real human being!  My gawd, I can't even tell by looking at him that he isn't fully human!  Such deception!  

The above letter bewilders me.  And it makes me wonder--if I had been Lovecraft's pal by correspondence, and we got along really well, & then he saw that photo, above, of me when I was a wee kid & cou'd see that I, too, am tainted by ye blood of ye non-white beast (my particular beast being Jewish and Native American), wou'd he have reacted the same way to me?  And if so, then why ye fuck do I continue to write book after book in homage to this pathetic uptight fool?

Because, bitches, I adore the freak.  I continue to insist that Lovecraft's racism, ugly as it is, is eclipsed by everything that was wonderful about him, as a human and as an artist.  The racism is indeed sickening--it is why I had to get rid of my copy of one volume of Lovecraft's correspondence, Letters from New York (Night Shade Books, 2005)--those letters to his aunts, who, like his mother, encouraged and applauded HPL's racism (it was for their amusement that Lovecraft wrote that awful poem) turned my stomach.  My reaction was, and still is, one of utter bewilderment:  how could a man who was otherwise so intelligent be such a damn moron?  How cou'd, in writing ye letter above, Lovecraft not see that a man's race means nothing when accounting for intelligence, poetic sensibility, &c &c.  Lovecraft's Jewish friends and wife were applauded because they were able to cast off their ethnic stain and behave as real men and women--as whites.  Yet this is part of Lovecraft's dismay regarding Braithwaite--his blackness was not evident, in facial features or intellectual ability.  Hey, that shou'd have told ye something, H. P. Dumbfuck.  Damn sneaky of that Brother, to pass hisself off as human.  "...for, though in deceitfully slight proportion, Marceline was a negress."  Damn deceitful darkies.

E'ch-Pi-El also abhor'd sissy queens, so he wou'd have been doubly grossed-out by me.  Yet--still--I adore him.  My adoration began when I return'd home from my mission and began to collect Arkham House books, and I order'd ye first three volumes of Lovecraft's Selected Letters.  The personality reveal'd in those letters, for the most part, captivated & delighted me.  I was utterly charm'd, to ye point where I began, in my personal correspondence, to ape the eccentricities found in Lovecraft's letters.  I began to date my letters 1783, wou'd begin them (even to much older professional writers) "My dear youngster," and wou'd do things like spelling "would" "wou'd".  Those Lovecraftian affectations taint me to this day.

The man's bigotry has indeed affected what I write.  I deliberately have more black characters in my fiction as a reaction to Lovecraft's racism, and more women characters as a result of his (less obvious, perhaps) misogyny.  My fiction is, at times, queer-up-ye-arse, in celebration of my nelly transvestite soul.  I am not certain if the concentration on the supernatural in my weird writing is a reaction to ye lack of supernaturalism in Lovecraft's tales.  Too, I am far more concern'd with character than Lovecraft was--although I insist that his characters are perfect for their purpose in Lovecraft's story-telling.

Yet, with my fiction too, I revere Lovecraft as an artist.  Gawd, how I love to read his Work, again & again.  I get so excited when a fine new edition of Lovecraft's tales is publish'd.  The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft is a thing of pure eldritch bliss for this old duck.  His excellent fiction, & the work it hath inspir'd by mine own humble pen, is my pure font of happiness.  I have found such excellent friends in the Lovecraftian community.  I have found the meaning to my life.  

Shalom.



Sunday, December 7, 2014

December


I do not celebrate holidays, but used to love them as a kid.  My annual holiday event now is going to S. T. Joshi's choral group concerts.  Been feeling very ill of late, and I wasn't planning on attending last night's concert; but I like to support S. T. in every way that I can, so I attended the first half and sat with his wife, Mary.  The music was gloriously beautiful, but I just couldn't get comfortable and left after the first half.

Haven't been able to write at all, such a boring situation.  One reason I love writing is because I love the grace and beauty of language, and I love how I can express myself with words.  I try'd for two months to write a story for S. T.'s forthcoming anthology, Gothic Lovecraft, but every idea I had never got beyond two pages and always seemed so lifeless.  I've tried to behave in a professional manner and force the writing--but that always produces false art, which I abhor.  I have so many ideas I want to work on, especially a book of weird fiction inspired by Wilde and another inspired by Clark Ashton Smith; but I cannot get to work on either.  I've decided that writing a novel with Jeffrey Thomas concerning our Enoch Coffin is something I cannot accomplish, so Jeff and I have agreed to work on another collection of stories, each writing 40,000.  I have a feeling the book will be a long time in coming.  I usually snap out of these funks and suddenly find myself writing as of old, furiously and happily; but this funk feels different from all others.

I have lots of stuff forthcoming.  My new chapbook, These Black Winged Ones, has just been publish'd.  An Enoch Coffin story has been selected for a reprint anthology.  I will have new tales in volumes 4 and 5 of S. T.'s Black Wings series, and the story I co-wrote with Jessica for Black Wings III will soon be reprinted when Titan Books brings that book out in paperback (as Black Wings of Cthulhu III).  PS Publishing will soon release The Starry Wisdom Library, for which I wrote a wee thing about a Sesqua Valley grimoire.  PS will also soon release Darrell Schweitzer's book of historical Cthulhu Mythos stories, That Is Not Dead, for which I wrote a story concerning the great Seattle fire of 1889.  And I have written "The Imps of Innsmouth" for Lois Gresh's book for PS Publishing, Innsmouth Nightmares.  I may have things for other anthologies that escape my mind.  I wrote a new thing some months ago for a forthcoming mythos anthology, no word yet from ye editor.  And, of course, there is ye new collection with David Barker, Spectres of Lovecraftian Horror, for which Dave and I have written two substantial new novelettes; and next summer, in time for NecronomiCon 2015 in Providence, Hippocampus Press will publish Monstrous Aftermath--& ye book will not only include the full 40,000 word revision/rewrite of Some Unknown Gulf of Night, but will conclude with the entire of Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth, so that ye may compare Lovecraft's original sonnets with my prose-poem "take" on them..

Dang, that's a lot of stuff!  Maybe I really do deserve a long break from work.  I have become deeply intrigued with Mormon history and scripture study, and have returned to the study of Jewish scripture as well as the Book of Mormon.  I am studying the latter in its Penguin Classics edition, which reprints Joseph Smith's original 1830 version.  Out of boredom, I have even started a new blog, Mormon Journal, in which to discuss religious mania (not wanting to bore ye with it here).  My new blog has no followers as of yet, but what ye hell...???

Oh yeah, sometime within ye next fortnight Chris from Dark Regions Press will be driving down from Portland with two boxes of the deluxe slipcased edition of World War Cthulhu for me to sign.  I love the illustration (pictured here) for my story therein, "To Hold ye White Husk."  I hope to talk Chris into doing a YouTube vlog with me during which we will shew ye book.

And, of course, I will have critical essays in four of the six volumes of ye Lovecraft Illustrated series being published by PS Publishing.  Volume four will be The Shadow out of Time, for which I have written a wee essay, and for which S. T. has written a new Introduction.  I will also have essays for the volumes The Call of Cthulhu, The Colour out of Space, and The Whisperer in Darkness.  Dang, I have been a productive wee Lovecraftian!  Ia! Ia!!








Friday, November 21, 2014

Amateur or Artist?


I know of nothing more boring than thinking of writing as a daily profession.  As H. P. Lovecraft has shewn, some amateurs are artists of exceptional excellence.  There are many kinds of writers, and a multitude of reasons for writing.

I write because I must, it is a compulsion beyond my control.  It began when I was a wee gay Mormon kid in love with Broadway musicals.  We had this event called "road shows," ten minute skits that were written by church members.  I was always writing the songs for these shows, even though I couldn't read music.  It was thrilling to watch the finished production and hear my little songs played on a piano in full arrangement.  In junior high and high school I wrote full musical comedies, alone or with a buddy.  I also began, in high school, to do fanzines devoted to horror films.  As a Mormon missionary in Northern Ireland, I began to write weird fiction, influenced by my correspondence with Robert Bloch.  Returning to the states, I became a Lovecraft freak and began to publish my Lovecraftian fanzines.  When I discovered punk rock, it was my natural instinct to celebrate this new lifestyle by publishing Punk Lust.  My punk identity was linked to writing as much as it was to music.

My core identity now is that of being a writer of weird fiction.  I am not a professional and have no interest in being so.  I strive for excellence in my work, and I consider myself an artist.  Some may find it pretentious to link the work "art" to the writing of horror fiction--surely we are entertainers merely, not artists.  Bullshit.  It was, in part, because H. P. Lovecraft cared about the artistic quality of his work that his fiction is still relevant and admirable.  He was every inch an artist, obsessed with language, the poetics of beautiful prose, &c &c.  That is the lesson I have learned from him, from Oscar Wilde and Henry James, from S. T. Joshi

I regret that I lack the discipline that is requir'd of a professional writer.  I've been trying, for weeks, to write a new thing for S. T.'s forthcoming GOTHIC LOVECRAFT.  I love writing Gothic fiction and so you'd think this wou'd be a simple thing for me.  I can't fucking concentrate.  Every thing I begin fails to move past the first page, seems lifeless and uninspired.  I have, at times, come close to giving up; but I know that if I fail to write for this anthology I will become tremendously depressed when it is publish'd.  Forcing the work of writing seldom works for me, but I feel the need to force it nigh.  Perhaps, from forcing it, I can overcome this bogus fail, get past the first page, and find myself inspir'd.  Gawd, I hope so.

Little things encourage me.  I just had an old story selected for a forthcoming Cthulhu Mythos reprint anthology.  That's lovely--you get a cheque and don't have to do any work, & then you're in a way rad book with lots of excellent writers.  Sweet.

But there is nothing sweeter than finishing a new story, printing it out and holding that manuscript in your hand.  That's what I live for.

And so--to work.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eldritch Heaven

I love that jacket for Lovecraft Remembered, with E'ch-Pi-El hovering in ye heavens as some Eldritch Yahweh.  He hovers there for me, in this sad modern era.  I have been an obsess'd Lovecraft fanboy for moft of my life, since around 1973; & yet it is now, to-day, that being a Lovecraftian, for me, has reach'd heights of wonder.  I cannot believe how lucky I am! This evening Leslie Klinger and S T. Joshi will appear at the University Bookstore to discuss HPL as part of a book signing event for The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft.  Have I told ye yet how much I LOVE this new edition of Lovecraft's tales?  Such a fabulous book!!!  One of the great things about being a Lovecraftian to-day is the serious critical work being done on Lovecraft's texts.  The definitive edition of those texts will be S. T. Joshi's forthcoming Variorum edition--now, alas, postponed until January or thereabouts.


As an author who is obsess'd with writing stories that are linked to Lovecraft's fiction and poetry, I am greatly aided by the current scholarly writings, which inform me of aspects of Lovecraft's genius that I am too intellectually clueless to discover on my own.  One of my great joys in the past has been to hang with Lovecraft scholars at conventions or the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival.  Because of increasing poor health, I will no longer attend such exhausting events--but that's okay, because we have our own wee Lovecraft/Weird fiction gang here in Seattle.  

Seattle has been magical since S. T. Joshi moved here, and to-night is going to be one enchanted evening.  Some few of us will meet at S. T.'s for a pre-signing nosh of cheese & wine, and then we will all pile into one car and drive to the signing.  I will be buying a copy of The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft for a friend--but because S. T. is a part of the event, I am hopeful that his editions of Lovecraft and his Lovecraft and a World in Transition will also be offer'd for purchase.  I am also hopeful that a huge crowd will assemble to hear these two editors of Lovecraft discuss his work, his text, &c.  Bitches, I thrive on this kind of thing.  After the signing, if it isn't too late, some of us will find a place for a late dinner, & thus continue the discussion on HPL &c.  

I never thought my life as a Lovecraftian wou'd be so enrich'd.  Hell, I never thought I'd have my own wee books of weird fiction publish'd.  Life is good.  Life is eldritch.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Playing Shakespeare (1982): 1. The Two Traditions

Re: Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" (1982 TV): Act 1, Scene 7, pt2




The one sure way, when dealing with writer's block, of feeding ye Muse anew is to return to Shakespeare.  Shakespeare is my Ghod of Literature.  I first encountered Shakespeare as an actor in high school.  My girl friend
my high school girlfriend, Valerie McBeth
was a Shakespeare freak, and she and I presented two scenes from the plays (Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew) to a drama room full of students on three or four occasions.  I then had a very minor role in a production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theatre.  Oh, to be in troupe of players performing Shakespeare!  Nothing else in life has given me more pleasure.  I thought I was going to be an actor, and pursued a life on stage for a wee while after returning from my two years as a Mormon missionary.  However, it was in Ireland that I first became obsess'd with weird fiction, when I began to collect British paperback anthologies.  It became obvious to me that I was a bad actor (although with proper training I may have improved; good acting is something that requires practice and instruction.  I have seen too many poor local Shakespeare productions where the acting was appallingly awful, where the players, at times, mumbled

Shakespeare's immortal language. 
It is, now, that language that enthralls me.  I miss the stage always, and wish I had tried to stay with it and improve my acting abilities (I loved, most of all, the rehearsals, being part of a company, a family of players; I have never found anything to replace that special sense of community, except in punk rock).  I loved trying to get to "know" the audience, to learn from the, to listen to their responses, with which they help tutor the actor in ways remarkable ways.  

Acting is a very social existence.  Writing is entirely private.  I need to be completely alone, with no interruptions, in order to write.  It was becoming a writer that led me to the magical discovery of Shakespeare as a writer of genius.  And it is that language that evokes my Muse during those times when writing fiction seems impossible.  I love audio Shakespeare, listening to the plays; but listening to the plays presents them primarily as dramas, and to read the plays in the silence of your room is to discover other elements of textual power and beauty.  I think my favourite study of Lovecraft's language is Frank Kermode's book of       2000, Shakespeare's Language.  


Literature rules my life, and is my salvation, my sanity, my soul.  When I visit Facebook (less and less, it's so boring), I am always mystified that others who are writers or editors almost never post things relating to writing--it's always boring political crap or social commentary.  Why do they never discuss the one thing that matters--Literature?  Mystifying, and as a result I almoft never read their posts or visit their timelines.

I sometimes "return" to the stage in my dreams.  I am thankful for my memories of acting.

with Brian Arthur Paloy in MRS. McTHING (1969)


a college production in which I portrayed a tortured corpse, 1971



Knight of the Burning Pestle, 1971

Monday, November 3, 2014

progress of a kind

I have broken ye tedious writer's block by finishing a new thing of merely 1,000 words, "Your Gift of Alchemy."  Looking at that title now, I have a vague feeling that I've used it before.  S. T. Joshi and David Schultz once chided me for beginning too many of my tales with "The"--and so I have, over these past few years, tried not to do so.  Thus, instead of "The Inhabitants of Wraithwood," the "The" is missing.  In my new chapbook, instead of "The Black Winged Ones," I have "These Black Winged Ones."  Now S. T. has said that I am overdoing avoiding "The" in my titles.  Some people are never satisfy'd.  When the new story is reprinted in my next volume from Centipede Press, its title will be "The Black Winged Ones."

The photo is me at one of my favourite burying grounds, St. John's Churchyard in Providence, a place haunted by Poe and Lovecraft when they lived.  I held a picnic there last year, on ye first day of NecronomiCon.  To-day I am going to try again to begin writing a story for S. T.'s forthcoming anthology, Gothic Lovecraft.  I have the story all imagined in my mind, but the three times I have try'd to begin writing it didn't work.  The opening sentence, originally, was something like, "I awakened to soft sunlight and removed the pennies from my eyelids."  Now I am debating whether to have the thing told in first or third person.   I prefer what I consider the "personal touch" of first person narrative.  I want this new story to combine the influence of Poe and Lovecraft.  I want to have mimes.  I see them dragging a cart of bones along the road of some antient town, pulling ye cart to some distant tower or abbey or some such thing.  There, they will assemble the bones as a kind of throne for the story's narrator, Madame Death.  Or some such thing.

Let's see if I can make any real progress on the story before ye end of day.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Hallowe'en

I'm at that really boring state of being--blocked.  For moft of this year I simply haven't been in the mood to write--and yet I've been more active than I actually realised.  Now I am in the mood to write, I feel the need, & I cannot.  It may just be that I am still getting over a wee cold germ.  Writer's block is a kind of death.  I can usually think like a writer when I need to.  For the past two days I haven't been able to, and I need to, I have two promis'd things that I need to write.  My brain will not work, I sit here before the bleedin' keyboard and write a title or an opening sentence and it's just wrong, boring, uninspired.  It's such a lot of work, being your own boss, being responsible for your entire life.  I am at a wonderful place for a writer--my time is completely mine own, I live in a quiet neighborhood that is perfect for a writer, I have editors always asking me to write for their anthologies.  Life shou'd be pure bliss--& usually it is, but not when I am unable to work.  There is nothing more gratifying than work, than being able to do the job.  I have always needed some kind of employment, to give a foundation to life.  Now I am my own employer, but I am so lacking in discipline.  Bah.  

I've spent this week watching my dvds of Nero Wolfe, a wonderful telly series, and I am now re-reading the Nero Wolfe novels, because they are an unending source of delight.  In an attempt to inspire my morbid muse, I have also been watching my dvd set of Boris Karloff's Thriller, the old tv series from the 1960s that based lots of their episodes on stories from Weird Tales.  One of my favourite episodes was called The Grim Reaper, with a teleplay by Robert Bloch.  I finally wrote a wee sequel to that episode as part of my prose-poem sequence, "Uncommon Places;" & I have recently revised the entire thing as a separate short story called "Monstrous Aftermath," the title story to my forthcoming collection from Hippocampus Press.  

The thing I hate moft in life is bordom--&, honey, I am suffering from it to-night.  If only I could write.  

I will--not to-night, maybe not to-morrow night...but I will return to work, one fabulous creative eve.

Friday, October 24, 2014

SEX & YE CTHULHU MYTHOS



Bobby Derie's Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos has at last been publish'd by Hippocampus Press www.hippocampuspress.com  It is fantastic.  Contents:
Introduction
1. Sex and Lovecraft
Lovecraft and Love
Views on Sex
Views on Love and Relationships
Views on Eroticism and Pornography
The Shadow of Syphilis
Views on Gender and Homosexuality
Views on Miscegenation
Mr.s H. P. Lovecraft
2. Sex and the Lovecraft Mythos
Precursors and Influences
"The Great God Pan" (1890)
"Novel of the Black Seal" (1895)
"The White People" (1904)
Analyses
"Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" (1920)
"The Outsider" (1921)
"The Lurking Fear" (1922)
"The Rats in the Walls" (1923)
"The Unnamable" (1923)
"The Horror at Red Hook" (1925)
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926-27)
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927)
"The Dunwich Horror" (1928)
"The Shadow over Innsmouth" (1931)
"The Dreams in the Witch House" (1932)
"The Thing on the Doorstep" (1933)
"Supernatural Horror in Literature" (1927; revised 1933)
Collaborations
"Poetry and the Gods" (with Anna Helen Crofts) (1920)
"Ashes" (with C. M. Eddy, Jr.) (1924)
"The Loved Dead" (with C. M. Eddy, Jr.) (1924)
"The Last Test" (with Adolphe de Castro) (1927)
"The Curse of Yig" (with Zelia Bishop) (1928)
"The Mound" (with Zelia Bishop) (1929-30)
"Medusa's Coil" (with Zelia Bishop) (1930)
"The Man of Stone" (with Hazel Heald) (1932)
"The Horror in the Burying-Ground" (with Hazel Heald) (1933-35)
Themes and Parallels
Sexual Symbolism in Lovecraft
Weird Sex
The Lure of the Forbidden
Forbidden Knowledge, Personal Transformation
Miscegenation and Mis-generation
The Role of Women
   The Unseen Mothers
   The Wise Woman
   The Anti-Gothic Heroine
   Lovecraft's Slatterns
   Rape in the Lovecraft Mythos
   Searching for Shub-Niggurath
Asexual Aliens
Homosexual Interpretation

3. Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos
New Developments
   Family Trees of the Gods
   Naming the Unnamable
   The Necronomicon as Pornography
   Body Horror
         Pregnancy
         The Tentacle as Sexual Symbol
   Alien Heats
   Parody
Lovecraft as a Sexual Character
Gender, Sexuality, and Mythos Writers
Key Works and Authors
   Robert E. Howard
   Clark Ashton Smith
   Robert Bloch
   August Derleth
   Ramsey Campbell
   Richard A Lupoff
   Peter H. Cannon
   Brian McNaughton
   Robert M. Price
   W. H. Pugmire
   Caitlin R. Kiernan
   Edward Lee
   Alan Moore
   Cthulhu Sex Magazine (1998-20070
   Eldritch Blue: Love & Sex in the Cthlhu Mythos (2004)
   Cthulhurotica (2010)
   Whispers in Darkness: Lovecraftian Erotica (2011)
   Other Authors and Works of Note
   Sex and Mythos Poetry
   Mythos Ebook Erotica

4.  Beyond Cthulhurotica
Sex and the Lovecraftian Occult
   Background
   Kenneth Grant
   Michael Bertiaux
   Simon
   Phil Hine
   Donald Tyson
   Aesnath Mason
Sex and the Mythos in Art
Sex and the Mythos in Comics
Sex and the Mythos in Japanese Manga and Animie
Sex and the Mythos Cinema
The Mythos and Rule 34
   Discussion
   Fanfiction
   Fanart
   Webcomics
Afterword
Works Cited
Suggested Further Reading

As ye can see, this is an exhaustive treatment of the subject, and utterly fascinating.  As a study of Lovecraft's fiction, the book is intelligent and original.  I never thought any book or critic cou'd make me question my firm doubt that Lovecraft was queer, but this book brings up some fascinating ideas, and I was even impress'd with a section by Stan Sargent that takes up almost an entire page -- an idea that I once found absurd concerning Wilbur Whateley as representing HPL's bury'd homosexuality.  I am extremely pleas'd with the section concerning my own Lovecraftian fiction, and I confess that this book has me thinking new thoughts about approaching more sexual motifs and themes in future work.  The book is a fantastic study, by one who not only admires Lovecraft's writing but has study'd the Works with keen foresight and lack of prejudice.  Fucking awesome.  There is but one inexcusable error in the book, on page 171, where we find "Edgar Allen Poe."  Ahem.




Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lovecraftian Horror



This is the working draft jacket for volume one of THE VARIORUM LOVECRAFT.  I am utterly entranc'd.  It has such delicious mood.  The touch of having E'ch-Pi-El gaze from out a haunted mirror is pure genius; and I love that Lovecraft's notes and etching for At the Mountains of Madness were incorporated, as well as. in ye margins, one of Grandpa's epistles.  Even the photo of ye book's editor is colour-coordinated with the entire tone of the piece.  Magnificent.  Oh, my darlings--how my eyes itch to read these three first volumes (they will be follow'd by a fourth volume of Lovecraft's revisions and collaborations)!!  I was hoping that publication wou'd happen in November, but nigh it has been pushed up to January.
       From ye Hippocampus site at Facebook:  After much consideration, we decided to key the first three volumes to Lovecraft's "tripartite nature" quote.  So, the cover of the first volume embodies the strange and fantastic.  Volume 2 will represent abstract truth and scientific logick, volume 3 the ancient and the permanent.  All will be done in Fergal Fitzpatrick's very atmospheric style, tastefully rendered for this scholarly edition.
"I should describe mine own nature as tripartite, my interests consisting of three parallel and dissociated groups--(a) Love of the strange and the fantastic. (b) Love of the abstract truth and of scietific logic. (c) Love of the ancient and the permanent.  Sundry combinations of these strains will probably account for all my odd tastes and eccentricities."  --H. P. Lovecraft

Do you remember S. T. Joshi's old attitude concerning ye Cthulhu Mythos?
"I still don't know what would possess anyone to write a 'Cthulhu Mythos' story; surely there must be something better to do with one's time--like staring off into space?"  Ah, how delightfully people can change.  S. T. is now ye author of a Mythos novel, and has penned a new tale set in Innsmouth.  & this morning's poft hath brought this first volume of his new Mythos anthology, The Madness of Cthulhu.  The use of "Cthulhu" in ye book's title is because ye publisher, Titan Books, insists on including the name in such anthologies, to ye point where they have changed the original title of Black Wings to Black Wings of Cthulhu.  I regret that the name of Lovecraft's Great Old One is far more famous than HPL's own byline--but I am overjoy'd to see, on this cover, "H. P. Lovecraft" in large letters above ye book's title.  On ye back cover we have this: "Fourteen brand-new stories of the macabre, plus two rare works inspired by H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.  With its terrifying account of a doomed scientific expedition, Lovecraft's masterpiece has influenced many of the finest authors in modern fiction.  Inspired by his dark mythos of cosmic abominations clawing at the edge of our reality, these writers have enthusiastically embrace. . ."  & it ends thus, abruptly, like some Mythos tale in which ye doomed victim writes to ye very end of narrative, and continues writing as he is being dragged to death by whatever monstrous thing hath been evoked.  THE MADNESS OF CTHULHU features new original tales by Heather Graham, Lois S. Gresh, Caitlin R. Kiernan, J. C. Hoch, Melanie Tem, K. M. Tonso, Harry Turtledove, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Michael Shea, John Shirley, William Browning Spencer, Jonathan Thomas, Donald Tyson; plus two long-lost classics of Lovecraftian weirdness by Arthur C, Clarke and Robert Silverberg.  With a Foreword by Jonathan Maberry and an Introduction by S. T. Joshi.

Dang, and I have just started reading A MOUNTAIN WALKED.  How odd, so much Mythos fiction to read, all in books edited by S. T.  And just this moment S. T. has sent me ye proofs for my next book from Hippocampus Press, MONSTROUS AFTERMATH, and I need to go over those and try and catch typos.  Ah, whut a busy writer's life!!



Sunday, October 5, 2014

forthcoming CLARK ASHTON SMITH editions from CENTIPEDE PRESS



I asked Jerad about ye forthcoming CAS volumes he is working on.  Here they be:

Clark Ashton Smith
The Averoinge Stories
edited by Ron Hilger, Introduction by Gahan Wilson
art by David Ho
probably late 2015

Clark Ashton Smith art book
edited by Scott Connors
artwork, prose poems, and various memoirs
hopefully publish'd June 2015

Clark Ashton Smith
Masters of the Weird Tale
illustrated by a ton of people
perhaps an S. T. Joshi Introduction
early 2016

Clark Ashton Smith
The Library of Weird Fiction
Selected, edited and Introduction by S. T. Joshi
after ye Masters of the Weird Tale book is done


Jerad's newsletter this morning has this:

Most copies of A Mountain Walked have been shipped.  There are still a handful to go, but all should be sent out by Wednesday. . . . If you were on the waiting list for A Mountain Walked, you may be out of luck.  But I did some unsigned copies as well and there could be some of those still available.  I'll know more in a week or so.

That brings up one other point.  I'm thinking about doing a reprint of around 700 copies.  It would be the same book, but without the signature pages or the slipcase.  The retail would probably be $50.  Would anyone be interested in this?  Let me know your thoughts and we can go from there.  Thank you!

My feeling is that A Mountain Walked is such an important anthology of Cthulhu Mythos fiction, and such an amazing volume as published by Centipede Press, with all that awesome colour artwork &c, that a reprint volume sounds a very good idea indeed!!  If ye are interested in the reprint of A Mountain Walked let Jerad know via email at jerad@centipedepress.com.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

ENYA - May it be



The Lord of the Ring films have a very curious effect on me--watching them after a span of time is like returning to old friends, beloved friends, to a realm of beauty and wonder, darkness and light.  

my selected poetry

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Chapbook to be publish'd this month


My new chapbook is now available for pre-order at mythinkbooks.storenvy.com/products/9937909-these-black-winged-one

Ye wonderful news is that one of my favourite modern Mythos writers, Peter Rawlik (pictur'd with me below) has agreed to write a substantial Introduction to ye booklet.  I love Pete's work, and he understands absolutely the fun factor of writing modern Lovecraftian weird fiction.
I like life's little surprises.  I have been wanting to write a story in this haunting setting for many years, & had ye core of an idea but never enough to form an actual plot.  More and more, I find it strange that Lovecraft planted this bit of dark phantasy into a story that is otherwise set in a world of solid reality.  Suddenly, we enter a realm of pure myth--potent legend.  What are these black-winged  devils that are said to murder they who worship Great Cthulhu in the dark haunted woods?
 And what of ye formless white thing of nightmare that is said to dwell in those woods, wandering through them or glaring with luminous eyes as it floats within ye depths of a hidden lake?  I've been trying for quite some time to write this story.  Then, my friends Anthony and Jesicca said they wanted to publish a wee chapbook featuring a new story of mine own; & that was whut it took to get me to write the thing at last.  I knew I wanted the story to be 3,000 words, so as to give the chapbook a goodly number of pages; and I wanted to have a strong female character in the tale.

I suspect that ye chapbook will be publish'd in an edition of 100 or 200 copies.  It will then be included, eventually, in my forthcoming second collection from Centipede Press.

Happy October, my pets.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Festival, by H P Lovecraft Audiobook Audio Book Horror Occult Goth...




One of the ways in which I enjoy the weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft is to listen to audio readings of the stories found on YouTube.  To listen to Lovecraft's prose is one way in which to discover its beauty, its poetry, its excellence.  I listen'd, this morning, to this reading of "The Festival," inspir'd by a re-reading of Essential Solitude: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth.  In a letter by Lovecraft of 14 November 1931, we find:

"The plot I am now experimenting on concerns another fictitious Mass. town--'Innsmouth'--which is vaguely suggested by the ancient & almost dead city of Newburyport.  Of course, there is no sinister, un-human shadow over poor old Newburyport--but then, there never was a festival of worms at Marblehead (Kingsport)!"

That phrase--"A festival of worms"--struck a cord with my imagination, & I now have a hankering to write a wee tale thus entitled, set in Kingsport.  It is one of the pleasures of listening to a Lovecraft text that certain words or phrases pop out, as they don't when I am silently reading ye text.  Listening to this story this morning, I was impress'd again at its dream-like quality, and it occurred to me that it may indeed be a dream narrative.  There are other tales that strike me as such--"The Outsider" and "The Music of Erich Zann" being two such--in which the things that happen seem so outlandish and unlikely that the narrative can only be a recollection of dream.  "The Festival" is a favourite of mine, and it has had a profound effect on my own Lovecraftian weird fiction.  I am obsess'd with using, over and over again, certain images from it, such as ye antique grimoire, the spinning wheel, and the mask.  And so I am slowly dreaming a wee idea that I hope I will be able to write out, a tale set in Kingsport, "A Festival of Worms."

The writing goes well.  Some friends requested that I write a wee thing that they can publish as separate chapbook, & this inspir'd to finally write an idea that has been itching at ye back of my brain for quite some time, a story set in that region of secret worship evoked in "The Call of Cthulhu," the place where lies a hidden lake with its formless white inhabitant, and where Black Winged Ones perform ritual murder.  I completed the polish of my new story to-day, at 3,000 words.  I wanted the tale to be that length, as my last publish'd chapbook, JESTER OF YELLOW DAY, was too wee, being little more than 1,000 words.

I continue to be entranc'd by The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft!!!

Ye above illustration is by Pete Von Sholly, for ye forthcoming volume THE CALL OF CTHULHU in ye PS Publishing LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series.   This scene is ye setting for my newly completed weird tale.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NEW ANNOTATED LOVECRAFT AT LAST!!!!



I've been trying this morning (Thursday, 9/25/14) to record another vlog shewing more of ye tome, but YouTube keeps fucking up and my recordings won't complete.  Very annoying.  I wanted to actually discuss, on video, some of ye annotations.  The approach is similar to that of Klinger's THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES, in that Holmes is treated as a historical figure and the short stories and novels are in fact historical recordings of actual events.  This approach is also employ'd in YE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT. For the most part it works and does indeed bring out aspects of the stories that are of interest.  I have found one note, however, that completely mystifies me, on page 12, for "The Statement of Randolph Carter".  The long note reads, in part, "More of Carter's history is given in 'Through the Gates of the Silver Key,' written by Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price . . . However, this tale is thought to be largely the work of Price and must be regarded as an unreliable source of information."  This is pure nonsense--the story as we have it is almoft entirely the writing of H. P. Lovecraft, so I don't understand this note at all.  Moftly, however, the notes are extremely informative and entertaining.  In one note for "The Hound," many lines from Clark Ashton Smith's poem "The Eldritch Dark" are quoted.  

There has been so much online chatter concerning the World Fantasy award, Lovecraft's racism, and what a "bad" writer Lovecraft was.  I'm hoping that the popularity of THE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT (& I expect ye book to be very popular indeed) will help to shift ye discussion to the excellence of Lovecraft's prose and ye originality of his imagination.  Klinger has scheduled many signing and readings in various cities, and some of these will include guests such as Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman and S. T. Joshi, with whom Klinger will discuss Lovecraft and his place in Literature.

Monday, September 22, 2014

If I vanish for a wee while.........


If I vanish for a wee while from ye Internet, it is because my copies of YE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT have finally arriv'd.  My plan, my keen desire, is to enter into an intense study of the book, to examine Lovecrft's texts as I have never scrutinized them afore, and to makes notes in my ornate Commonplace Book on anything that particularly strikes me.  I want to be utterly consum'd in this fresh new study of the tales that are in this book, to approach them again as a student and to let them teach me the art of good writing.  Lovecraft is the world I want to live in entirely for the weeks (or months) requir'd for such an examination of the texts.  I then hope to use what I have glean'd in ye crafting of 50,000 words of new weird fiction for my forthcoming collection from Centipede Press.  Nu, I won't be active here or at Facebook if I can bring this plan to fruition.  I am hoping that my copies of the book will arrive in to-day's poft.  If so, I will add a wee video to this blog shewing ye hardcover edition of the book in all its nameless glory.  Shalom.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wilum Pugmire: Splintered Kiss

Lovecraft is my aspirin



Oy, I have such a headache.  I need to stop reading all of these blogs and Facebook comments regarding H. P. Lovecraft and the World Fantasy Award.  I am too emotionally entangled to approach the subject without subjectivity.  I am too huge a Lovecraft freak not to want to defend his writing, defend it to people who don't read him and couldn't care less about his work.  Listening to ye new Streisand cd helps to calm my soul--but the real balm will come from working on a new Cthulhu story that I am writing for Paula Guran, and thus to immerse myself into that rich and wonderful Lovecraftian realm that brings such perfect joy, such eldritch bliss.
The writing of a new Mythos story brings me such keen pleasure because it returns me to Lovecraft's fiction, the world I love more than all others.  Because the story is for a book that has "Cthulhu" in its title, I want my story to be linked to "The Call of Cthulhu"; & so I am returning to an old idea that I had set aside, the idea of a wee tale set near the haunted lake mention'd in Part II of ye tale, "...a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes; and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight. ... It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die.  But it made men dream."  But it made men dream -- that is the thing that inspir'd me to have my main character a child of Sesqua Valley; for ye shadow children of the valley, it is said, do not dream, it is not in their nature to do so.  But this particular child wants very much to dream--to dream horribly.  Nu, she seeks out this hidden lake "unseen by mortal eyes," and of course she will not die, for she isn't mortal, being a spawn of Sesqua's shadow and mist.  That gives me something to work with, and from it I hope to conjure a Lovecraftian weird tale that is rich in mood and nameless mystery.

Okay, time to get offline and get to work.  Shalom.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

THE VARIORUM LOVECRAFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION.
Edited by S. T. Joshi
1,600 pages in three volumes
Limited edition: 500 sets only
November 2014

ORDER NOW AND SAVE 10%
www.hippocampuspress.com

In the 1980's, S. T. Joshi prepared revised editions of H. P. Lovecraft's stories for Arkham House.  Basing his work on consultation of manuscripts, early publications, and other sources, Joshi corrected thousands or errors in the existing texts of Lovecraft's fiction, allowing readers to appreciate the stories as Lovecraft originally wrote them.

In the thirty years that have followed, Joshi has continued to do research on the textual accuracy of Lovecraft's stories, and this comprehensive new edition is the result.  For the first time, students and scholars of Lovecraft can see at a glance all the variants in all relevant appearances of a story--manuscript, first publication in magazines, and first book publications.  The result is an illuminating record of the textual history of the tales, along with how Lovecraft significantly revised his stories after initial publication.

Along the way, Joshi has made small but significant revisions to his earlier corrected texts.  He has determined, for example, that Lovecraft slightly revised some stories when a reprint of them was scheduled in Weird Tales, and he has altered some readings in light of a better understanding of Lovecraft's customary linguistic usages.

The result is the definitive text of Lovecraft's fiction--an edition that suspersedes all those that preceded it and should endure as the standard text of Lovecraft's stories for many years.

[Volume 1]
In this first volume, Lovecraft's earliest stories are printed in chronological order by date of writing.  Included are such early triumphs as "Dagon" and "The Outsider," along with the many tales Lovecraft wrote under the inspiration of Lord Dunsany.  The celebrated "Herbert West--Reanimator" and "The Rats in the Walls" show Lovecraft experimenting with longer narratives--a tendency that will culminate in the novelettes and novellas of his final decade of writing.

[Volume 2]
In this second volume, the tales that Lovecraft wrote immediately after returning to his native Providence, R. I., from two years of "exile" in New York, are presented.  The landmark tale "The Call of Cthulhu" was only the tip of the iceberg of a flood of stories he wrote in 1926-27, which include the two short novels The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.  "The Colour out of Space" is a pioneering tale that initiates Lovecraft's distinctive melding of horror and science fiction, while "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Whisperer in Darkness" are rich novellas simultaneously evoking terrors from outer space and the brooding darkness of the New England backwoods.

[Volume 3]
In this final volume, the tales of Lovecraft's final years are presented.  The Antarctic novella At the Mountains of Madness is perhaps Lovecraft's most finished work, a superb fusion of weirdness and science fiction that he referred to as "cosmicism."  "The Shadow over Innsmouth" is a chilling evocation of the terrors inherent in a lonely New England backwater, while "The Thing on the Doorstep" and "The Haunter of the Dark" feature physical horrors with cosmic implications.  "The Shadow out of Time" is the culmination of Lovecraft's portrayal of the vast vistas of space and time--his signature contribution to literature.

S. T. Joshi is a leading Lovecraft scholar and author of H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990), I am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (2010), Lovecraft and a World in Transition (2014), and other critical and biographical works.  He has also done significant research on such writers as Lord Dunsany, Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, and Ramsey Campbell.

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION
will be published in celebration of the 125th anniversary of
H. P. Lovecraft's birth.

Editor S. T. Joshi presents all the relevant textual variants from all the stories
that Lovecraft wrote over his short literary career.

The first three volumes, available in November 2014 exclusively as a set,
collect all of Lovecraft's canonical tales.  
A fourth volume, 
H. P. Lovecraft's Revisions and Collaborations: A Variorum Edition,
is scheduled to appear in 2015 and will be offered for sale disparately.

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION
features Smythe-sewn signatures and illustrated dust wrappers, with each copy individually shrink-wrapped.  All Hippocampus Press limited editions are printed on 60# offset paper,
acid free and elemental chlorine free.

www.hippocampuspress.com