Friday, May 29, 2015

Centipede Press book near completion


My second collection for Centipede Press, AN ECSTASY OF FEAR AND OTHERS, is almoft ready, although I don't want ye book publish'd until 2017 at ye earliest. I have completed one of three original tales for it and am half-way finish'd with a second. It's moftly a reprint volume, including stories from my books from 2011 onward, plus various things that have or will soon appear in anthologies. As it now stands, the book includes around 110,000 words of weird fiction. 

Next on ye agenda is continuing work on my dreamlands novel that I am writing with David Barker for Dark Renaissance Books. We have almoft 13,000 words thus far, with many scenes within our dreaming skulls. I also am beginning to mentally plot some new Enoch Coffin stories, for a second collection written with Jeffrey Thomas for Dark Regions Press. Jeff and I have decided that we want this second collection of Enoch tales to be moftly non-Lovecraftian. That's a real challenge for me, because my imagination as a writer is so intimately wedded to H. P. Lovecraft's excellent fiction.

One book that I have long wanted to work on is a collection of tales inspired by Clark Ashton Smith. Other projects kept pushing this book aside. However, I was recently invited to write a wee foreword to a collection of poetry by Henry J. Vester III. Henry and I go back a long way, to when we were writing for Fungi magazine. He is an extremely devoted CAS enthusiast, and it occur'd to me that he would be a superb writing partner for the book of tales inspired by Smith. I suspect we will begin working on the book this year, and that it will be similar to the Enoch Coffin books in that Henry and I will each be writing our own stories and poems, rather than collaborating with each other on things.

After that, Yuggoth knows. I had ideas for books of stories in tribute to August Derleth and Oscar Wilde, but now those ideas don't interest me. I still have a hankering to write an entire book of stories inspired by Edgar A. Poe, and that may be something I'll work on in 2017 or 2018, if I'm still around.

Moft of my time is spent in reading. I love this relaxing retired life, of sitting in my recliner in ye living room and reading book after book. I've just read two biographies on Conan Doyle, and that has me returned to reading the Holmes stories. I'm also devouring critical books on Henry James and Algernon Swinburne. I'm really looking forward to the next book of Lovecraft's letters to be publish'd by Hippocampus Press, Letters to Robert Bloch and Others. And, of course, The Variorum Lovecraft should be coming out in hardcover within ye next two months, and that will return me to reading all of Lovecraft's weird fiction yet again. I am very tempted to use my credit card to get the David Case book soon to be publish'd by Centipede Press. The novel Fengriffen has long been my all-time favourite Gothic novel, and I enjoy'd the film version of that book, stupidly titled And Now the Screaming Starts. I wou'd love to have the novel in a handsome hardcover edition, beautifully illustrated; and I have read very few of Case's short stories, so that wou'd be an added interest.

Hope all is well with y'all.


Friday, May 22, 2015

COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION


S. T. has just pofted a new blog, in which he states:
"I am delighted to say that work on Lovecraft's Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition is now all but complete. Derrick Hussey, the publisher of Hippocampus Press, has been incredibly diligent and meticulous in going over all the texts (as well as my own textual notes) and has saved me from countless errors. It appears that my own records of textual variants were not at all as accurate or coherent as they should have been (but remember that I started doing this work as a callow eighteen-year-old freshman in 1976!). But now the work is done, and all that remains is to look over the final proofs before sending them to the printer. Derrick vows that this will be done on or before June 1, which means that the three-volume edition should be ready by mid-July. I am a but mortified that we first announced the edition as appearing in late 2014--but the long delay is well worth it, trust me!"

The three volumes may be ordered at www.hippocampuspress.com/h.p-lovecraft/fiction/variorum-lovecraft ... ye three hardcover volumes will be $180.00 but are now being offer'd for $162.00. Ye three volumes come to a total of 1600 pages and will not be sold separately. Pre-orders have been coming in so abundantly that ye initial print run of 500 copies has now been expanded to a total of 750 copies. Once these sets are sold out, they will command enormous inflated prices on ye Internet. 

[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 novels 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 distinct 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.


On a T-Shirt at Last!

Just got this way cool new t-shirt from Ye H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society. This image of H. P. L. by Virgil Finlay is my absolute favourite. It has been oft reprinted, on such books as Lovecraft's Collected Essays (Hippocampus Press) and Selected Letters (Arkham House). Ye greatest Lovecraftian t-shirts may be found at HPLHS and I urge ye to check yem out at www.cthulhulives.org -- and while there, check out ye amazing series of Lovecraft radio dramas as well.

Life goes on here, but with too many distractions. The world seems always to be clutching me away from writing, and it's getting me down, sweet chums, cos I really want to find that peace of mind that makes writing possible, to find that artistic zone that requires complete silence and solitude in order to exist. In order to remove myself more completely from ye World, I have deactivated my Facebook account. I spend less and less time on Internet social sites. My perfect form of existence is to spend all of my time in my wonderful home, in this house that my parents had built when I was five years old, and in which I will nigh spend ye rest of my life. I sit in my mother's recliner, put up ye foot-rest, and spend hours at a time reading. It's wonderful. Then, if I feel inspir'd, I do a bit of writing. I try and write some wee thing every day, or work on something. It's a lovely way to end one's life, this Literary existence.

So saying, I leave ye nigh and return to my book....

Ye Innsmouth Look Gets A Gresh Facelift!!!


One very exciting anthology is getting ready to creep from out ye mists of an antique sea-port and crawl into your dreams--INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES, edited by Lois H. Gresh for PS Publishing. Ye Contents:
Introduction, by Lois H. Gresh
Windows Underwater, by John Shirley
Cold Blood, by Lavie Tidhar
Fear Sun, by Laird Barron
Thicker Than Water, by Paul Kane
Strange Currents, by Tim Lebbon
Mourning People, by Nancy Kilpatrick
The Barnacle Daughter, by Richard Gavin 
Between the Pilings, by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Imps of Innsmouth, by W. H. Pugmire
The Open Mouth of Charbdis, by John Langan
Water's Edge, by Tim Waggoner
Dark Waters, by William F. Nolan
A Girl's Life, by Lisa Morton
The Sea Witch, by James Moore
Brood, by Jason V Brock
Gone to Doggerland, by Jonathan Thomas
The Secret of the Hammer and the Feature, by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Baubles, by Nancy Holder
The Waves Beckon, by Donald Tyson
The Cats of River Street (1925), by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Some Kind of Mistake, by S. T. Joshi

From ye Introduction:
This is the book of my dreams. I've always been fond of Innsmouth. Directly over my desk, a painting of Innsmouth hangs on an old hook left by former inhabitants of my house. I spend most of my life at this desk, so Innsmouth is always with me. There's something very appealing about the tottering village and its shambling denizens, the cults, the dreariness, the turbulance of the sea, and Devil Reef.
When I proposed this anthology to Pete Crowther at PS Publishing, I told him that I wanted to produce a book brimming with extraordinary Innsmouth stories. I wanted to produce a book that I would never grow tired of reading, a book that I would read every now and then for the rest of my life. I think that I succeeded.
I requested stories from all the top writers in the weird genre. I desperately wanted Ramsey Campbell, but alas, Pete had Ramsey squirreled away writing a trilogy of Lovecraftian novels, so Ramsey was a bit tanked out to pen a short Innsmouth tale. Almost everyone else is in this book--all the writers of weird fiction that readers go ape over. Given my obsession with Innsmouth, I was sorely tempted to add a story, but in the end, decided it would be poor form to write a story for an anthology of which I'm editor.
In short, this book is killer. Every story supplies a knock-out punch.
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed editing it. If you like tales about Innsmouth, you're in for a real treat."

I can add only that I hope Lois will write her Innsmouth story--perhaps for some future volume of S. T.'s BLACK WINGS series!




Lois with ye blogger and S. T. Joshi, Esq.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Collings Notes: Barker and Pugmire, IN THE GULFS OF DREAM AND OTHE...

Collings Notes: Barker and Pugmire, IN THE GULFS OF DREAM AND OTHE...: In the Gulfs of Dream and Other Lovecraftian Tales David Barker and W.H. Pugmire Dark Renaissance Books, June/July 2015 Trade paper...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"As time goes by" - What's Up Doc?


Re: The Skull (1965) Trailer



I actually did finally write the story--after almoft two decades of trying. It has just be included in my newest collection, IN THE GULFS OF DREAM AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN TALES, whut I wrote in collaboration with David Barker. The book goes up for pre-order to-morrow at www.darkrenaissance.com--Dark Renaissance Books. Ye hardcover edition will be offer'd for sale first, for $45 (or $99 for a very small portion of deluxe editions). Below is Erin Wells's wonderful illustration for my story, whut will be included in ye hardcover edition of ye new book.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Illness Be Gone

For ye past week I have been confined to bed with a wretched case in bronchitis. I used to suffer from it every October/November in my dusty, drafty old apartment in ye Central Area; but since coming to live in my parents' clean & cozy house, I've been fine. I wasn't feeling in top-form when at S. T. and Mary's for my scrumptious birthday din-din--and they were both recovering from colds--but the day after returning from that birthday affair, my illness struck with merciless swiftness. I was in a state of denial because I had always suffer'd from it in winter--never in spring-time. The constant coughing continually trigger'd the worst asthma I've had in years, and the pathetic inhaler that I was given through my doctor, never truly effective, ran out of spray. The headaches were wretched, the fever and chills never ending. I was so ill that I could not even sit up in bed to read, whut wou'd have made ye situation a wee bit better. Of course, I've lost a week of work, & I have so much writing to do--gobs & gobs.


Ye least activity made things worse, as I discover'd when I went a few days ago to get some nice Pho noodle soup--by ye time I got home ye sweat was pouring from my brow. So I've been staying as inactive as possible, and it has been a torment. This morning the fever seems a little less, so I made an experiment and drove to ye poft office to mail ye sign'd signature sheets for the deluxe edition of my new book, sending yem to ye bindery outfit where ye books are to be assembled. Fever has escalated a wee bit, and breathing is still very difficult; yet I feel "energetic" enough to sit and read in bed instead of trying to sleep.  So I will, after typing this, return to bed, snuggle beneath my red silk sheets with ye Donald Thomas book on Swinburne, and then drink some of ye brilliant poetry by Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961). I shall then try a wee mid-day meal of cheese & crackers, and then return to my rereading of Hugh Kenner's brilliant THE POUND ERA.  Then, to-night, if I haven't worn meself out, I want to try and work on a new poem to be submitted to S. T. for Spectral Realms #4. Although I can never, these days, work on fiction in longhand as once I always did (writing all rough drafts into a lined notebook), I cannot work on rough drafts of poetry on ye keyboard, needing to write it out in longhand--so that is something I can do in bed.

How wonderful it will be, however, to return to writing fiction. I have been dreaming of a new characters based on Henry James--for a new series of weird tales set in urban life. I wanted to call the character "James Noble," but there are too many named thus is reality. So he will be named James --something--. 

Be well, my sweets.

Friday, May 1, 2015

BLACK WINGS V


Ye wonderful art above is by Pete Von Sholly and will be included in what PS Publishing calls their "850-page extravaganza", THE FABULOUS PS BOOK OF FANTASTIC FICTIONEERS--an illustrated history of the many writers who have contributed to our wondrous genre throughout ye decades.

I am rereading BLACK WINGS IV in its handsome hardcover edition. I read almoft ye entire book on file when ye pdf was sent me so that I cou'd proof my story. I usually wait to read books as books, never on my laptop screen; but I started to glance over ye tales in this volume & became so impress'd & captivated that I couldn't stop reading ye file. Now I get to read those marvelous tales in book form, & they captivate me still! Gawd, whut a wonderful series this is! I am delighted that Titan Books is making this series available in paperback form. And now I can announce ye Contents for ye next volume, BLACK WINGS V:
Plenty of Irem, by Jonathan Thomas
Diary of a Sane Man, by Nicole Cushing
The Woman in the Attic, by Robert H. Waugh
Far Away from Shore, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
In Blackness Etched, My Name, by W. H. Pugmire
Snakeladder, by Cody Goodfellow
The Walker in the Night, by Jason C. Eckhardt
In Bloom, by Lynne Jamneck
The Black Abbess, by John Reppion
The Quest, by Mollie L. Burleson
A Question of Blood, by David Hambling
Red Walls, by Mark Howard Jones
The Organ of Chaos, by Donald Tyson
Seed of the Gods, by Donald R. Burleson
Fire Breeders, by Sunni K Brock
Casting Fractals, by Sam Gafford
The Red Witch of Chorazin, by Darrell Schweitzer
The Oldies, by Nancy Kilpatrick
Voodoo, by Stephen Woodworth
Lore, by Wade German

Wade's piece is a long poem, a new feature of this series that S. T. instigated with Black Wings IV when he ending that book with ye sonnet sequence, "Fear Lurks Atop Tempest Mount, by Charles Lovecraft. Ending the books of this series with poetry will be a constant feature from nigh on.


Had a great time at CthulhuCon in Portland last week-end, mainly because of all the charming Lovecraftians I had ye pleasure of hanging out with. Happiest time of all was spent with my beloved collaborator, David Barker, to whom was shipped about 30 copies of a special convention early edition of our new book, In the Gulfs of Dream & Other Lovecraftian Tales. We sold quite a few copies (many thanx to ye who purchas'd it!), and I am very pleased with the book--which is a thick tome with a whopping 90,000 words of weird fiction (274 pages). The actual hardcover will be available from Dark Renaissance Books near ye end of this month (May 2015), with a regular trade edition selling for $45 and a special deluxe edition selling for $99. The book contains single stories written by each individual author, and then features two very long collaborarations, with ye title story being a 25,000 word novella set entirely in . P. Lovecraft's dreamlands. The hardcover edition will also feature two colour interior illustrations by cover artist Erin Wells, one of which is featured below. After all ye hardcover editions are sold, the book will then be releas'd in trade paperback format.