Friday, August 28, 2015

Clark Ashton Smith

NIGHT SHADE BOOKS has announced that they will be reprinting THE COLLECTED FANTASIES OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH in trade paperback editions beginning this year. Ye publication schudule is:

Vol. I:  The End of the Story -- September 2015
Vol. II: The Door to Saturn -- January 2016
Vol. III: A Vintage from Atlantis -- May 2016
Vol. IV: The Maze of the Enchanter -- September 2016
Vol. V:  The Last Hieroglyph -- January 2017
The Miscellaneous Writings of Clark Ashton Smith -- May 2017

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


One new title that I am especially looking forward to is THE SPIRIT OF REVISION: H. P. LOVECRAFT'S LETTERS TO ZELIA BISHOP, whut will soon be available from ye H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society Part of my excitement concerning this book is that it is a product of ye HPLHS--because their products are so amazingly fun and inventive. Here is their description of this new book:

"In 2014 a collection of letters from H. P. Lovecraft to Zelia Brown Reed Bishop was discovered in an old trunk in a basement. Mrs. Bishop was an aspiring young writer who became a client of Lovecraft, making use of his service of revising and improving other author's stories to help them get published. In this collection of never before seen letters, we see how Lovecraft ran his business and how he mentored an aspiring writer. Lovecraft and Mrs. Bishop went on to collaborate on the stories 'The Curse of Yig', 'The Mound' and 'Medusa's Coil'.
"The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society has carefully scanned and transcribed the original manuscripts which date from 1927 to 1936. The thirty-six new letters to Mrs. Bishop are presented in sequence with eighteen previously known letters to create the most thorough picture of the correspondence between Lovecraft and Bishop possible. The collection is extensively annotated by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman and includes pictures of reference documents which Lovecraft recommended to his clients, newspaper clippings about topics he describes, facsimiles of some letters, a cartoon by Lovecraft and much more. THE SPIRIT OF REVISION features an introduction by pre-eminent Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi, and offers a fascinating glimpse of Lovecraft as teacher, correspondent and collaborator."

At this time in my life, I have this really strange connection with E'ch-Pi-El--a kind of fantasy in my brain that makes me feel like I am one of Lovecraft's posthumous "clients". I have been reading his fiction and publish'd letters since ye early 1970's--non-stop. I feel a kind of intimate connection with Lovecraft, one that is cemented with my work as writer. So much of that work is rooted in returning to Lovecraft's texts, to examining his life through his correspondence and modern biographies. Lovecraft is an element in my core being, and his aura is very like the air I breathe in order to exist. 

This new publication of letters, indeed, has inspir'd a new story idea that I am working with, of a cache of letters from Richard Upton Pickman that have been discover'd in an old trunk in the attic of an elderly woman who, when young, was one of Pickman's models. These are ye wheels that turn my imagination--always, always....

Friday, August 14, 2015

have fun in Providence, my sweets

Been reading a bit in Ross's new anthology, so I have, and quite enjoy ye tales that I have thus far perus'd. Read over me own story, and it pleases me except for some bits near ye end; so if I ever include it in one of me own collections, I'll have to revise that ending. My story was inspir'd by my adventures in Providence during NecronomiCon Providence 2013, & reading it again brought back fond memories of my time there. I'm a bit sad, knowing I am going to miss so much eldritch fun at this month's convention in Providence; but I also know that, due to my lousy health & lack of energy, that I wou'd be quite worn-out if I attended. I am unable to walk for long stretches; something is wrong with my left ankle (I've asked doctors about it and none have any answers; I assume the pain might be connected to blood circulation and my heart disease, but I cannot say for certain), and if I walk on it for longer than ten minutes I am in horrible pain. This was moft evident when last I visited Providence and wander'd around one beloved burying ground. 

What doesn't shew in the above video is that I am in intense pain when walking. It is moftly because of this ailment that I will not be in Providence this month. For me, part of the joy of being in Providence or Boston is to be able to walk the streets where Lovecraft, Poe, and Henry James walked. The last time I was in Boston I couldn't resist haunting Beacon Hill, despite the cruel physical pain thus suffer'd. Too, this month's convention in Providence is scatter'd, ye dealer's room, for example, being in a separate building from ye Biltmore; thus it wou'd require walking from one point of activity to another. No can do, my ducks.

Yet still, to-day, I am feeling my absence from this future event, because I just printed out ye "All Additional Programming" listing, and I see that Ramsey Campbell will be delivering an address at ye opening ceremony whut will take place at ye First Baptist Church. Oh, my dears--my happiest moments in Providence in 2013 were sitting in that magnificent church and listening to S. T.'s delightful opening speech. 

In some of the high shots in the video you can see me, with my stupid "punk rock" hair, sitting next to Mary, S. T.'s wife. It was listening to that speech as I sat within that Lovecraftian-sacred space that inspir'd ye story I wrote for Ross and Cthulhu Fhtagn!. So I will be thinking of y'all who will be in Providence for ye convention. S. T. and Mary leave to-morrow, for an extended holiday on ye East Coast, ye climax of which will be attending NecronomiCon. S. T. got his copies of H. P. Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition--but with so much on his mind, he quite forgot that I wanted to purchase a copy from him; so I went ahead and order'd ye set from Derrick, & hope to see it in my paws within ye fortnight. Derrick will be selling copies at his dealer's table at NecronomiCon--along with copies of my newest book:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lovecraftian Mail Day!

You know that H. P. Lovecraft has rather "taken over" your life when all four pieces of ye day's mail are Lovecraftian in nature. I am especially happy to see my cont. copy of Cthulhu Fhtagn!, ye new all-original anthology edited by Ross E. Lockhart. My story therein is set in Providence, R. I., and was inspir'd by my last visit to that city in 2013, when I attended NecronomiCon

To-day's poft brought two new titles from PS Publishing. H. P. Lovecraft: Weird Poems--The Complete Poems from Weird Tales, edited by Stephen Jones, with illustrations by Pete Von Sholly. It's a wee item, aye (71 pages), but it collects all of ye poems by E'ch-Pi-El that I admire, including many of ye Fungi from Yuggoth sonnets, with which I am obsess'd. There is, however, one grotesque note in editor Stephen's Introduction. He writes:
"...Rejecting the old-fashioned monsters of Gothic horror, he [Lovecraft]made his ancient gods sentient creatures from distant worlds, other dimensions or divergent planes of existence.
"As he explained: 'All my stories, unconnected as they may be, are based on the fundamental lore or legend that this world was inhabited at one time by another race who, in practising Black Magic, lost their foothold and were expelled, yet live outside, ever ready to take possession of this earth again.'"
The is known as the "Black Magic quote", and it has been determined that it is not by Lovecraft at all, that he never wrote such a thing and that it is probably a mis-remembering of an actual quote from one of HPL's letters. That a modern editor of H. P. Lovecraft should use this fake quotation as if it has any authenticity at this time is utterly absurd.

  Ye other book is a new collection by David Hambling, The Dulwich Horror & Others, with a Foreword by S. T. Joshi. I don't bother reading much new Mythos fiction, unless it's in an anthology for which I have also penned a wee tale; but I am looking forward to reading this book, as I've heard good things about ye author's work. And I always enjoy Lovecraftian fiction set in Great Britain.

I also got, in to-day's mail, the newest mailing of Ye Esoteric Order of Dagon Amateur Press Association. Ye E.O.D. is an apa made up of Lovecraftians. Our Official Editor is S. T. Joshi, who mails us four parcels a year. As members, we pay a wee membership fee, and then must sent a printed contribute amounting to six pages every six months. Some contributions are actual fanzines of several pages; some are wee things of but one or two pages. I didn't contribute anything to this mailing, but am working on a bigger-than-usual offering for next time, of which I already have four pages printed.

Okay, I need to return to work on the dreamlands novel that I am writing with David Barker, a novel to be publish'd next year by Dark Renaissance Books. Shalom, my ducks.