Been having some health "issues" and need to take it easy. One thing that relaxes me and also delights me is to watch my Elton John live in concert dvds. This is one of my all-time favourite Elton songs, from his SONGS FROM THE WEST COATS album. In this charming video, Justin Timberlake portrays ye youthful E. J.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Paula just sent me ye pdf for this book, & although I am suffering from a stupid accident to my chest (I bruised my ribs, but I don't think any bones are broken--but ye pain is so intense I can barely move & plan to spend moft of ye day in bed), I feel a huge desire to just sit here, bent uncomfortably over me keyboard, and read this new anthology on me laptop screen. What has me extremely overjoy'd is that I get to appear in a book that includes what I think may be the finest Lovecraftian story ever written--Laird Barron's "Mysterium Tremendum." It's an extremely lengthy tale, and I applaud Paula for not letting that dissuade her from including it. (She tells me there are several novellas included in ye book.)
Here's ye Contents:
Introduction, Paula Guran
The Same Deep Waters As You, Brian Hodge
Mysterium Tremendum, Laird Barron
The Transition of Elizabeth Haskings, Caitlin R. Kiernan
Bloom, John Langan
At Home With Azathoth, John Shirley
The Litany of Earth, Ruthanna Emrys
Necrotic Cove, Lois H. Gresh
On Ice, Simon Strantzas
The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward, Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
All My Love, A Fishhook, Helen Marshall
The Doom That Came to Devil Reef, Don Webb
Momma Durtt, Michael Shea
They Smell of Thunder, W. H. Pugmire
The Song of Sighs, Angela Slatter
Fishwife, Carrie Vaughn
In the House of the Hummingbirds, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Who Looks Back?, Kyla Ward
Equoid, Charless Stross
The Boy Who Followed Lovecraft, Marc Laidlaw
Exactly half ye writers are women--how rad is that?! I've read only a few of these tales, so this will introduce me to gobs of new Lovecraftian weird fiction.
Okay, I just sneezed and the pain in my chest inflamed. Back to bed for me.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Friday, January 16, 2015
O--PS Publishing!!! Whut Lovecraftian delights ye bequeath unto us! Not only Black Wings IV and ye three new volumes of ye Lovecraft Illustrated series--nigh, the above tome of historical Mythos fiction! Ia! From editor Schweitzer's Introduction:
"Experienced readers of H. P. Lovecraft will immediately recognize the source of this book's title. It comes from the 'unexplainable couplet' of Abdul Alhazred:
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
In reality, Abdul Alhazred was a name H. P. Lovecraft either made up or came across as a child, when he'd just discovered The Arabian Nights and liked to play Arab. But as an adult, he put the name to more intriguing literary use. In 'The Nameless City' (1921), he told us that this 'mad poet' dreamed of an incredibly ancient, ruined city in the desert the night before he 'sang' the couplet."
This remarkable anthology is a recording of Mythos events throughout ye world in aeons past, a magnificent idea! Ye Contents:
Herald of Chaos, by Keith Taylor (Mesopota Egypt, 1200 BC)
What a Girl Needs, by Esther Friesner (mia, second millennium BC)
The Horn of the World's Ending, by John Langdon (Judaea, second century AD)
Monsters in the Mountains at the Edge of the World, by Jay Lake (Central Asia, second century AD)
Come, Follow Me, by Darrell Schweitzer (Palestine, Asia Minor, and Central Asai, late eleventh and mid twelfth centuries AD)
Ophiuchus, by Don Webb (England 1605)
Of Queens and Pawns, by Lois H. Gresh (Russia, late seventeenth century)
Smoking Mirror, by Will Murray (Mexico, 1753)
Incident at Ferney, by S. T. Joshi (France, 1762)
Anno Domini Azothoth, by John R. Fultz (Arizona Territory, 1781)
Slowness, by Don Webb (Massachusetts, USA, early twentieth century. Italy, early nineteenth century)
The Salamanca Encounter, by Richard A Lupoff (Massachusetts, USA, and Spain, late nineteenth century)
Old Time Entombed, by W. H. Pugmire (Seattle, Washington, USA, 1889)
Nine Drowned Churches, by Harry Turtledove (England, twenty-first century and the Middle Ages)
Ia!! Cthulhu fhtagn!!
Friday, January 9, 2015
I love that green colour of ye jacket! Of all the story titles, I think Darrell's is the coolest--wot a great title! Here's ye Contents:
"Artifact," Fred Chappell
"Half Lost in Shadow," W. H. Pugmire
"The Rasping Absence," Richard Gavin
"Black Ships Seen South of Heaven," Caitlin R. Kiernan
"The Dark Sea Within," Jason V Brock
"Sealed by the Moon," Gary Fry
"Broken Sleep," Cody Goodfellow
"A Prism of Darkness," Darrell Schweitzer
"Night of the Piper," Ann K. Schwader
"We Are Made of Stars," Jonathan Thomas
"Trophy," Melanie Tem
"Contact," John Pelan and Stephen Mark Rainey
"Cult of the Dead," Lois H. Gresh
"Dark Redeemer," Will Murray
"In the Event of Death," Simon Strantzas
"Revival," Stephan Woodworth
"The Wall of Asshur-sin," Donald Tyson
"Fear Lurks Atop Tempest Mount," Charles Lovecraft
I'm very happy to see that someone else has written a story linked to HPL's "The Lurking Fear." I wrote such a story myself, but very few people seem to have read it. (It will be reprinted this year in my book from Dark Renaissance Books, Spectres of Lovecraftian Horror.)
Also coming soon from PS Publishing--ye next three volumes in their LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series:
I have written a new essay for The Shadow out of Time volume. All artwork, by the marvelous Pete Von Sholly, is reproduced in cosmic colour!!! My hands are hot to hold these titles, aye.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Okay, so I'm writing a new story. I had told myself that my work this year was not going to be Lovecraftian. So, above is a photo of my buddy S. T. playing his violin for a public performance of Handel's Messiah. I've got to write a story based on this. (I miss'd ye performance, alas.) And--bloody hell!--all of my inspiration have Lovecraftian sources. It seems I cannot think, as a writer, outside ye Lovecraft box. First off, it's bleedin' S. T. Joshi--the world's leading Lovecraft scholar/editor. Then, I am reminded that Lovecraft porform'd on ye violin in public (S. T. has a way of doing things that Lovecraft did in his lifetime--the list of similarities wou'd be astonishing; just his byline alone is evidence of H. P. Lovecraft's influence, as it has influenced my own byline.) As HPL writes of his musical experience:
"My rhythmic tendencies led me into a love of melody, and I was forever whistling & humming in defiance of convention & good breeding. I was so exact in time & tune, & showed such a semi-professional precision & flourish in my crude attempts, that my plea for a violin was granted when I was seven years of age, & I was placed under the instruction of the best violin teacher for children in the city--Mrs. Wilhelm Nauck. For two years I made such progress that Mrs. Nauck was enthusiastic, & declared that I should adopt music as a career--BUT, all this time the tedium of practising had been wearing shockingly on my always sensitive nervous system. My 'career' extended until 1899, its summit being a public recital at which I played a solo from Mozart before an audience of considerable size." (Selected Letter I, pgs 29-30)
So there is my stories first "Lovecraft connection". Because of S. T.'s race, I also immediately thought of another musical incident, from when E'ch-Pi-El was living in Brroklyn, musical in an alien way.
"...once a Syrian had the room next to mine, and played eldritch and whining monotones on a strange bagpipe which made me dream ghoulish and indescribable things of crypts under Bagdad and limitless corridors of Eblis beneath the moon-cursed ruins of Istakhar. I never saw this man, and my privilege to imagine him in any shape I chose lent glamour to his weird pneumatic cacophonies. In my vision he always wore a turban and long robe of pale figured silk, and had a right eye plucked out...because it had looked upon something in a tomb which no eye may look upon and live."
I've played with the idea of my narrator meeting this man who is his neighbor in a seedy hotel, but that is too close to Lovecraft's actual experience. I plan on setting the story in Gershom, my mythical city of exiles, and so I am thinking of having the two gents meet in an abandoned abbey or cathedral, where the strange dark chappie goes to play his weird music in the moonlight that slips into the edifice from those places where the roof has caved in. But this, too, would be distinctly Lovecraftian. I cannot escape the fellow's taint.
Whatever I do, I must not describe ye fellow's violin playing as "eldritch"!!!
So I just need to work more diligently in not evoking Lovecraft's influence in the stories I am about to write--yet acknowledge that Grandpa's heavy influence will weigh always on whatever I compose.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
I have been invited by Mary and S. T. to dine with them this New Year's Day--Derrick of Hippocampus Press sent them a delectable Virginian Ham as Christmas present, and Mary is an excellent cook! Too, to spend time with S. T. is always a balm for this Lovecraftian, because he knows so much and shares my deep passion for HPL. This month will see the release of his three volumes of The Variorum Lovecraft, an astounding achievement!
My New Year's Resolution is to make this a year of writing non-Lovecraftian weird fiction. I want to explore my decadent fin-de-siecle nature as an artist. I read, last night, a review of Year's Best Weird Fiction in which, although the reviewer had good things to say about my story, felt that I wear my influences too obviously. Yes, that has been one of ye raison d'etre of my entire oeuvre--to write fiction that is audaciously Lovecraftian. And I feel I still have much to say as an author of Lovecraftian weird fiction. But I want this year's work to reflect other aspects of my soul. Of course this means I will ape other favourites: Wilde, Kafka, Woolf, James, Baudelaire. But there is much darkness that is not Lovecraftian, and I feel an ache to evoke it. The books I will be working on this year are my next collection for Centipede Press (I've decided to call the book Unhallowed Places), and my second collection of Enoch Coffin stories written with Jeffrey Thomas. When this second book was initially going to be a novel, Jeff and I had already decided to make it non-Lovecraftian.
I am, at last, really in the mood to write--and for me that means constructing a book, writing stories that belong as a group and have similar motifs, mood, &c.
Of course, this year will be a year in which gobs of my Lovecraftian writing will be published. I have written tales for a number of Lovecraft-themed anthologies to be publish'd by PS Publishing, I've had a stories selected for various Lovecraftian anthologies, and my two books to be publish'd this year are Lovecraftian to ye core (indeed, one book is subtitled "Stories in the Lovecraft Tradition" or some such...).
My thanx to the very positive comments concerning my last wee chapbook, These Black Winged Ones. You know how you get those fixations in your noggin, something you just have to do. That story was such a thing, an idea that kept scratching ye back of my brain and wouldn't let up until I had written it out. I have revised the story and added several hundred words of new text, and that new version will be publish'd in England in Doug Draa's forthcoming anthology, The Fall of Cthulhu. I revis'd the story so that it fits more with ye theme of his anthology.
Thanx for reading my blog. It's good to be able to connect with Lovecraftians via the Internet; & since I will no longer be attending conventions of any kind, this will be the only way I can have contact with my readers. I love writing, but a large portion of that joy comes from pleasing other Lovecraft fans. I couldn't be bothered doing it if not for y'all.