Friday, December 23, 2016

Poisonous Nature


Above is ye newest illustration by Tom Brown for my forthcoming collection from Centipede Press. It combines two of my favourite things: eldritch Nature and old houses. I also adore ye feature, with its wicked claw-like tip inside a bottle of macabre ink. I love this illustration more than I can say. Lovecraft was unique, methinks, in his ability to convey the weirdness of sick and tainted Nature; and there have been many fine artists who have aided Lovecraft's fictive language with their own devilish depictions of scenes from H. P. Lovecraft's tales. Santiago Caruso's trees, pictur'd right, are especially delicious. Lovecraft's fiction reminds me that, no matter how humankind may want to think of itself as superior, we are naught but ephemeral nature, and to ye dust and mould we will return. 



Oh, my darlings, I am utterly enchanted with this new edition of Shakespeare from Oxford University Press. A team of textual scholars have worked on an entirely new study of the texts of the poetry and plays. There cannot be any real definitive text of many of the plays because we have them in such a variety of versions. I think there are at least two "main" versions of Lear and more than one of Hamlet. Many decades ago, when I first became an Oscar Wilde fanboy (this happened from watching the mini-series Lillie. in which actor Peter Egan portray'd Wilde), I discover'd--in ye library--a whole slew of books of biography and Wilde criticism. This new passion became a blaze of intoxicated study when I discover'd Shakespeare criticism. Thus I am delighted that PBS is celebrating ye 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death (how superbly morbid!) with Shakespeare specials. I am especially looking forward to to-night's program, Shakespeare Live! From the RSC, filmed at ye Bard's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avonand hosted by David Tennant and Catherine Tate, and featuring appearances by Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joseph Fiennes, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, and many others. Sometime in March we will have another new volume, the Authorship Companion, wherein the editors will discuss in intense detail matters of textual diversity and authority. So we Shakespeare nuts have much to look forward to and celebrate.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 Decembyr 1716


I've been spending ye past few days dipping into THE RIDDLE OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS, an anthology of essays publish'd by Basic Books in 1962. I'm half-way through Stephen Spender's "The Alike and the Other", and then will devour "A Poetics of Infatuation" by R. P. Blackmur. Then comes Wilde's "The Portrait of Mr W. H."--an essay that I have read numerous times and always enjoy returning to. Whenever I read the sonnets of Shakespeare or H. P. Lovecraft I am tempted yet again to try my hand at my own sequence. My first sonnet sequence, Songs of Sesqua Valley, was compos'd with much enthusiasm yet little art. 

What is ye riddle of Shakespeare's sonnets? Happily, Shakespeare is a sphinx and does not tell; although plenty of scholars, poets, and lunatics have driven themselves to madness in their psychic investigations of the poems. Did Shakespeare write these for publication and distribution? If so, are they profoundly autobiographical and do they expose extreme romantic/sexual situations? Is the poet's love for the young man of the opening sonnets similar to a father's for his son, or a lover to his sexual obsession? We do not know, we cannot know; & therefore the books I love moft are the ones that discuss the art of the sonnets, my favourite
being ye book at left by Helen Vendler. 

Yet, as much as I can appreciate the sonnets on an artistic and intellectual level, so too can I relate to them emotionally; for I am one who has been self-subjected to the impossible love that dare not speak its name. I have suffer'd this madness keenly twice in life. The first time the fellow died in my arms after having snorted street smack and choking to death. The second time the fellow moved in with me, and is with me still. These boys drove me crazy, and happily that madness is now entirely a thing of the past. I see now that the insanity of obsessive love had nothing to do with the objects of my adoration but was entirely self-impos'd. It was a madness of the mind as much as an aching of ye loins. It has, I think, keenly influenced one of the huge themes of my weird fiction--the longing for the mystical and perhaps unattainable thing. It thrives in Sesqua Valley. 

I've been trying to write a "sequel" to "O, Christmas Tree," that old collaboration with Jessica Salmonson. But I think I have lost ye mood to do an actual sequel and now with to write an entirely original Yule tale set in Sesqua that has no connection to any previous yarn of mine. Thinking of my Sesqua tales of the past, they don't seem weird enough for all the possible potential the idea of the valley contains. Sesqua Valley is an invention that continues to deepen in my imagination, and I want to write tales of the valley that are truly weird fiction

And I want to write a new sonnet for whatever story I compose for the Christmas anthology to which I will be submitting this new thing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ye House on Tempest Hill


Tom Brown, who has been selected by Jerad to be ye main illustrator for my forthcoming book from Centipede Press, has just completed ye magnificent drawing above, whut depicts ye haunted manse atop Tempest Hill in my story, "Ye Horror on Tempest Hill". The story has been previously publish'd under ye title "The Presence of the Past," a rather boring title that I decided to replace with a more traditionally Lovecraftian one. The story came about when I was invited to write a tale for Fungi, and editor Pierre Comtois requested the tale be 11,000 words in length and divided into chapters, with each chapter individually titled. This is what Lovecraft did when he wrote his sensational "The Lurking Fear," a story that saw its finest reprinting in ye hardcover edition of S. T. Joshi's A Mountain Walked, where ye tale was illustrated. My story is slightly longer than 11,000 words, and is my "Sesqua Valley version" of Lovecraft's originally story. I had a blast writing ye tale, partially because doing so felt slightly illicit: to write one's own version of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear" seem'd a frightfully fanboy thing to do--something a professional writer shou'd resist. One attack level'd at my weird fiction is that it is little more than fan fiction--and I completely agree--fan fiction written as professionally as possible. I write my stuff with fannish fervor, with a sense of eldritch fun; but I also aim at writing that is artistic, influenced in this attitude by my passion for the works of Oscar Wilde and Henry James.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sonic Youth - The Empty Page



Ever had that keen desire to write--& yet you can't find the "stuff" inside your noggin that lets your words pour forth? Ain't nuthin' worse than being dumb. I need to begin writing my book of Victorian Mythos fiction, & yet every paragraph I begin becomes a false start. "No, that ain't right; that isn't it." But I do not despair, I have hope that language will win out. It isn't a matter of choice for this old thing, because I am one of those people who needs to write. So, I'm gonna sit here and look at that empty page until the words spill forth...because they will, they must...


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Lovecraftian Gathering

I've really been enjoying this new volume in ye LOVECRAFT LIBRARY series from PS Publishing. The book seems slightly thicker than others in ye series, & it is pack'd with excellent essays &c. Ye Contents:
Preface by Pete Von Sholly
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Thing on the Doorstep by H. P. Lovecraft
Excised Passages in "The Thing on the Doorstep" by S. T. Joshi
The Haunter of the Dark by H. P. Lovecraft
The Shambler from the Stars by Robert Bloch
Sonnet XXI (Nyarlathotep) from Fungi from Yuggoth by H. P. Lovecraft
The Shadow from the Steeple by Robert Bloch
Nyarlathotep by H. P. Lovecraft
The Spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers
Some Antecedents of the Shining Trapezohedron by Steven J. Mariconda
Thye "Haunter" Letters by H. P. Lovecraft
A Eulogy for the Church of "The Haunter of the Dark" by Robert Bloch

Pete Von Sholly has provided some of his finest artwork for this volume. I especially love his rendition of ye climatic scene



Also included is this charming illustration for Lovecraft's superb prose-poem, "Nyarlathotep" (both prose-poem & sonnet of that title is in ye book). These illustrated volumes are dear to my haunted heart, for I love cool artistic renditions of Lovecraft's fiction, and Pete is so in tune with HPL and his oeuvre that each piece is a delight. The art is varied--some in slid hues, some in a multitude of colours. All of ye art is printed in colour, which must have made these volumes expensive to produce (they are not inexpensive purchases). We have quite a few additional volumes to look forward to!



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I almost forgot to mention ye gathering of last night that gives this blog its title! I spent a wonderful evening with S. T. Joshi and Sunni and Jason Brock. We all met at S. T.'s house, where he has been feeling lonely because his wife is out of town for a wee while. We had some delightful conversation about Lovecraftian matters and things going on in the weird scene (Jason and Sunni go to a huge number of conventions and are amazingly connected with genre notables). S. T. gave me ye newest mailing for the Esoteric Order of Dagon apa, and we spoke as S. T. fought ye temptation to turn on ye telly and watch some sports event. Then we went out to eat at a joint featuring delicious India food and had an amazing meal. I always feel woefully lazy when I'm with these lads and lassie, because they are always working on a multitude of new projects, and I ain't doing much at ye moment. It was a great night. 



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dip Into Nightmare


One of S. T.'s several forthcoming anthologies is close at hand. Nightmare's Realm is to be offered for pre-order in deluxe signed limited edition hardcover on DarkRegions.com on November 22, 2016, with an early ebook download exclusively for pre-order customers. Ebooks and trade paperbacks will not be offered separately until Q1 2017.

ye tantalizing Table of Contents:

Introduction by S. T. Joshi
Prologue: To a Dreamer by H. P. Lovecraft
The Dreamed by Ramsey Campbell
A Predicament by Darrell Schweitzer
Kafkaesque by Jason V Brock
Beneath the Veil by David Barker
Dreams Downstream by John Shirley
Death-Dreaming by Nancy Kilpatrick
Cast Lots by Richard Gavin
The Wake by Steve Rasnic Tem
Dead Letter Office by Caitlin R. Kiernan
The Art of Memory by Donald Tyson
What You Do Not Bring Forth by John Langan
The Barrier Between by W. H. Pugmire
Sleep Hygiene by Gemma Files
Purging Mom by Jonathan Thomas
The Fifth Stone by Simon Strantzas
In the City of Sharp Edges by Stephen Woodworth
An Actor's Nightmare by Reggie Oliver
Epilogue: Dream-Land by Edgar Allan Poe

Dreams and nightmares often give us glimpses into our true character; they can reveal our deepest anxieties and our most ambitious aspirations. Weird fiction has a rich history with dreamlike stories and nightmares that cross boundaries between the real and imaginary. Even H. P. Lovecraft endured many bizarre dreams from the early days of his youth that he then used as inspiration for some of his fiction and poetry. Now world-renown weird fiction scholar and editor S. T. Joshi has assembled a new set of nightmares from some of the strongest minds in weird fiction today.
Announcing Nightmare's Realm: New Tales of the Weird & Fantastic, edited by S. T. Joshi with cover artwork by Samuel Araya. Featuring 100% original fiction focusing on the theme of dreams and nightmares.

This is not a Lovecraftian anthology, although some few stories may have Lovecraftian themes. Special hardcover edition is  signed by all authors and ye artist and is limited to 150 copies. Oversized at 7"x10", offset printed on acid-free paper with Smyth sewn case binding. Black embossed end sheets, black satin book riddon, bound in black leather. Housed in a black slipcase. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Orange Cthulhu


It's orange! It's eldritch!
To celebrate their 70th anniversary, Penguin Classics has re-issued a number of volumes as part of an Orange Collection series. Although I am a dead serious Lovecraftian, I confess that I love ye whimsical cover illustration for this new edition of S. T.'s first edited volume of H. P. Lovecraft's weird fiction for Penguin. When I once ask'd S. T. what he thought was his best edition of HPL, he said he consider'd this book the single finest edition. This new edition in the Orange Collection contains Lovecraft's texts only; it does not include Joshi's Introduction or his Notes at ye back of ye book. For those strange readers who find S. T.'s annotations invasive and/or irritating, this then is ye edition for you. 


It is, of course, a fine edition of some of Lovecraft's best work, although I confess that my own favourite volume in ye Penguin series is ye second, The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories. Penguin notes on ye inside cover flap: "For the 70th anniversary of Penguin Classics, we present the Penguin Orange Collection, celebrating the heritage of Penguin's iconic book design and twelve influential American literary classics from the breadth and diversity of the Penguin Classics library." So H. P. Lovecraft has ye honour of being one of a mere 12 writers to be so represented. Damn rad!


I just sign'd & return'd my contract for Black Wings VI: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror. S. T. accepted my story "To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks," which I had originally written for another anthology, Autumn Cthulhu. I am very happy that the story will now appear in a handsome hardcover edition from PS Publishing, and then reprinted in trade pb by Titan Books, thus getting far more distribution than it wou'd have otherwise. My tale is set in Sesqua Valley--one of ye few Sesqua tales of mine that will appear in a hardcover anthology, hooray! 



In keeping with ye Orange theme, I try'd to find a photo of Streisand in orange attire, but this is ye best I cou'd do. This is Babs filming UP THE SANDBOX in Africa. I rather adore ye sign behind her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Is it "traditional" or just cliche?


Working on a story for my collection of Victorian Mythos fiction. Part of whut I have reads thus:

"Shutting his eyes, he tried to visualize the word mentally, and then his mouth whispered an unnatural sound: 'Yok-Sotot.'
Something seemed to clasp his skull, and although his eyes were shut, Wilfred could see strange shapes that coiled and extended in darkness. The outre things convulsed and then cemented together so as to form one unspeakable outline from which a glistening stem unwound and crawled through the blackness, to him. The lad tried not to shout as a cold moist appendage pressed against his forehead."

Even as I was typing it the words spilled into my skull, "Haven't we been here before, girlfriend?" And yet this beginning feels absolutely right for the story I am beginning to compose. This is, after all, a book of Mythos fiction; & when a book is marketed as such, it shou'd contain those plot elements that Mythos fen enjoy. Right? I want the beginning of this first to set a distinct Mythos tone; and then as I continue to write ye thing, I can work to approach the Mythos genre with as much originality as my story will allow. That's my plan, anyway. My strongest feeling is that I must write a book that will please other Lovecraftians, and therefore I need to make it Lovecraftian-up-ye-arse. So, I will continue to write in this eldritch tradition, and weave a story that will please others who thrive on Lovecraftian horror.




Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Black Wings VI completed by S. T.


S. T. pofted a new blog to-day, in which is listed ye Contents for his forthcoming Black Wings VI:

Pothunters, by Ann K. Schwader
The Girl in the Attic, by Darrell Schweitzer
The Once and Future Waite, by Jonathan Thomas
Oude Goden, by Lynne Jamneck
Carnivorous, by William F. Nolan
On a Dreamland's Moon, by Ashley Dioses
Teshtigo Creek, by Aaron Bittner
Ex Libris, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Your Shadows That in Darkness Dwell, by Mark Howard Jones
Mask of the Imago, by John Salonia
The Ballad of Aesnath Waite, by Adam Bolivar
The Visitor, by Nancy Kilpatrick
The Gaunt, by Tom Lynch
Missing at the Morgue, by Donald Tyson
The Shard, by Don Webb
The Mustery of the Cursed Cottage, by David Hambling
To Court the Night, by K. A. Opperman
To Move Beneath Autumnal Oaks, by W. H. Pugmire
Mister Ainsley, by Steve Rasnic Tem
Satiety, by Jason V Brock
Provinance Unknown, by Stephen Woodworth
The Well, by D. L. Myers

Writes S. T.: The works by Ashley Dioses, Adam Bolivar, K. A. Opperman, and D. L. Myers are poems. I had held an informal contest among these poets to see who could write the most evocative poem; but they all submitted outstanding work, and I felt it unfair to pick just one winner. So they are all included! The book is not likely to appear any earlier than the fall of next year.


S. T. handed out copies of ye newest just-publish'd issue of  his poetry journal, Spectral Realms #5. It's a fabulous issue featuring verse by numerous weird poets, plus an essay by Frank Coffman on "The Poets of Weird Tales: Part 2, and a section of reviews. I am pleas'd to appear in ye issue with a soonet sequence entitl'd "The Ghoul's Dilemma."

Hanging out with S. T. and other Lovecraftians always instills within me an enormous ache to write weird fiction & poetry. I hope I can conquer my current block and get to work!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Victorian Weirdness

I am working, o so slowly, on my new collection of Victorian Mythos fiction; but in order to get started, I had to cheat a little, in that I am transferring ye beginning of a wee modern tale, of which I have a little over one-thousand words, from modern time to Victorian time. It's turning out, this transference, to be more work than I imagined; but I think I'll get there eventually, & hopefully find ye inspiration to complete a new story of substantial length. The original ms. was set in Sesqua Valley, and I have decided that won't do for this new version--so I need to invent some new American locality of haunted Lovecraftian weirdness. I don't want to use any of Lovecraft's own mythical towns. My publisher wants me to write a entire book of Victorian Mythos stories, and that will be incredibly different from my usual thing. I am uncertain about success, but I rather look forward to ye challenge. 
Here is ye first paragraph of the old version, set in modern time:

The veiled woman entered Adam Webster's bookshop and glided to its central chamber, where she found the proprietor seated on a sofa and sipping steamed almond milk from an artistically textured antique china cup. Adam could almost make out the face behind the black veil;  and although he was anxious to study it and imbibe its strange conversation, he remained silent and emotionless. Something in the woman's demeanor seemed to collapse, and he shaky voice was raspy as it drifted to him from behind the net of lace.
"Show me."

Writing has never gone so slowly, and part of that may be because of tiredness. My solitude has been shattered by my elder sister (& her three dogs) suddenly moving in with me, a disruption that may last for quite some time. I am, to ye core of my being, an eccentric recluse (far more than HPL was in actual life, despite his mythical reputation). I need to be alone in order to exist as an artist.

At least wretched summer is over, a time of year that I abhor. The days have become cool, and ye sky is often beautifully overcast. I breathe so easily in such a climate. 

Okay, back to work. Just felt ye need to do a wee update, for those faithful few who follow my ramblings.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Chaos in Motion


Chaos rools at my abode, & there is no end in sight. This domestic interruption is necessary because of special circumstances--yet it is hell nonetheless, and I will be so happy when it is over and my home is once again mine own. Little things are helping to see me through the mess, such as Barbra Streisand's magnificent new recording. The main emotional problem for me is that, with all the ruckus and disturbance in my home life, I am finding it extremely difficult to find that quiet mind-space requir'd for writing. I've been trying to work on a new story for almoft two weeks now, and I have two paragraphs to shew for my efforts. This is okay, because my new book (a collection of Victorian-era Mythos tales) isn;t scheduled for publication any time soon. Still--writing gives me a special peace of mind that makes existence tolerable; and when I find myself unable to write, I find it increasingly difficult to function in life. It is possible that ye situation will end in a fortnight, and then I can pick up the pieces, get my home in order once again, and life in peace and solitude.

I have a lot of things I want to write, and it makes me happy to know that I will return to it full-time and continue to contribute my wee efforts to weird fiction. 


HPL Providence Statue

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ye Averoigne Cycle


Centipede Press sent me a copy of their new CAS book, & it is absolutely wonderful, a book of great fantasy writing and magnificent fantasy artwork. Here is the press synopsis of the book:

The Averoigne stories of Clark Ashton Smith are among the most vivid and breathtaking in all fantasy literature. Clark Ashton Smith's unparalleled imagination is complemented by the artwork of David Ho, who has created 12 double-page, full color artworks, one for each story, plus an assortment of small devices. 
       Combined with the stunning illustrations, we have an oversize format, over 11 inches tall, with four color printing throughout on silky Italina paper. With printed endsheets, ribbon marker, signature page, and cloth binding in Italian Cialux cloth, all wrapped in a stunning dustjacket, this is probably the finest book ever created for Clark Ashton Smith's works.
       Above everything else, Averoigne is beautiful and magical. Clark Ashton Smith was a poet of vast talent and his powers seem particularly evident when he sets them to evoking this strange, medieval land and its wonders. All of his stories resonate and haunt--you are far from finished with them when you've read them and put them down--but the spells woven by these tales seem to have a particular persistence.
       All the legends make it quite clean that anyone rash enough to visit a real fairyland will never quite manage to leave it again entirely, and, in that fairy sense, Averoinge is real. Once you've read this book you'll find you've been authentically enchanted by a master sorcerer and for the rest of your life you must expect to be periodically wafted willy-nilly far away from ordinary thing. One moment you'll be on a crowded bus, and the next you'll be wandering down a flowery pathway by the River Isoile; another time when you've almost gotten yourself to sleep in some lonely hotel room, you'll suddenly be lost amid tall, grey trees perilously close to the tomb of Malinbois; and staring fixedly into space with your mind on nothing in particular, will almost certainly cause you to revisit that interesting Inn near Sylaire.
     The edition is limited to 2oo signed and numbered copies. This is an extremely short run and will sell out quickly. Signed copies are sold out; note that we only have unsigned copies available.

The book includes a new Introduction by Gahan Wilson. Unsigned copies sell for $175.

www.centipedepress.com







Friday, August 12, 2016

Haunting Darkness

PS Publishing will be releasing (or they may already be in stock) three new volumes in their LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series. Pictur'd above is volume eleven, the volume I am really excited about. "The Haunter of the Dark" is probably my favourite story by H. P. Lovecraft. I love its language and its Gothic tone. I love that it is set in Providence, a city I adore. Here is ye press release for this new edition:

The Haunter of the Dark is presented here with the Robert Bloch story that inspired it, The Shambler from the Stars, and Bloch's later rejoinder, The Shadow from the Steeple, which compromise a trilogy of sorts. The Haunter provides a glimpse into a dark sect and their secret laid in an old Providence church. Also included is The Thing on the Doorstep, an identity swapping tale of fiendish proportions and the short but powerful piece, Nyarlathotep, perhaps a prescient and chilling glimpse into our future?
CONTENTS
Preface by Pete Von Sholly
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Thing on the Doorstep by H. P. Lovecraft
Excised Passages in "The Thing on the Doorstep" by S. T. Joshi
The Haunter of the Dark by S. T. Joshi
The Shambler from the Stars by Robert Bloch
Sonnet XXI (Nyarlathotep) by H. P. Lovecraft
The Shadow from the Steeple by Robert Bloch
Nyarlathotep by H. P. Lovecraft
The Spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers
Some Antecedents of the Shining Trapezohendron by Steven J. Mariconda
The Haunter" Letters by H. P. Lovecraft
A Eulogy for the Church of "The Haunter of the Dark" by Robert Bloch.

Page count is 178.
Ye other two volumes are

THE MOUND, 119 pages, with ye following Contents:
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Mound by H. P. Lovecraft
Who Wrote "The Mound"? by S. T. Joshi
"The Mound"; An Appreciation by Peter Cannon
Afterword: Some Notes on "The Mound" by Pete Von Sholly.

THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD, 227 pages
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft
In Search of the Dread Ancestor: M. R. James' "Count Magnus" and Lovecraft"s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by Richard Ward
Count Magnus by M. R. James
Re-Animating Lovecraft by Brent V. Friedman
Some Thoughts, Observations, and Conundrums with Regard to The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by Pete Von Sholly


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Choices, choices..............

Been going over old photos, trying to choose an author's photo for my forthcoming collection from Centipede Press. This one has my vote, but it may not be a practical choice.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

In Collaboration with Genius


Another of ye wondrous illustrated prose-poems with art by Madam Talbot, who sign'd herself as Triangle-Slash. We did these as a series for our local rock 'n' roll rag, The Rocket, for which I also began to write cover stories about local scene freaks. Ye detail in Ashleigh's art is astounding, like that bed of thousands of maggots on which my figure reclines. I was thrill'd when one of my early Mythos stories, "Candlewax", appear'd fully illustrated in one of Ashleigh's hand-made books. There is nothing more thrilling than working on projects with outstanding artists 



Thursday, July 21, 2016

a wee prose-poem


"Lover" was one of ye several illustrated prose=poems that Triangle-Slash and I created for Seattle's music journal, The Rocket. This image above is from my fanzine, Punk Lust, in which I reprinted ye piece. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Kiss Me, O Muse


Above is The Kiss of the Muse by one of my favourite artists, Paul Cezanne. I am in need of that magick aesthetic kiss nigh, having been invited to work on numerous projects. One that really delights me is for an anthology of tales concerning Arkham Asylum. This was a revelation, as I always consider'd ye asylum to be in a large medical-type building--but I believe it is actually located in a mammoth antique mansion in Arkham. So although I am uncertain, I'm going with the mansion setting, as I think it will aid my Gothic imagination.

I am also preparing to work on a new book of Mythos fiction, and I am toying with ye idea of setting the tales in the Victorian era. But I know next to nothing about America in Victorian times; when I think of ye Victorian age, I think of Wilde and London and The Yellow Book. I know that I want my book to have a decidedly fin-de-siecle tone. And I wou'd want the book to have a Victorian "feel" as far as book production is concern'd. I will absolutely have at least two stories set in Victorian Sesqua Valley. Simon Gregory Williams, who enter'd mundane reality in ye 1870's, will be a featured character. 

I have also been ask'd to write an essay extolling ye merits of S. T. Joshi, and that will be gobs of fun--and easily written, I think.

I'm still waiting on a number of anthologies for which I've written tales, moft of which I thought were to be publish'd this year. The one thing I dislike about being a writer is that it can often be such a "waiting game"--waiting for ye Muse to kick yr arse, waiting for a response once ye story is submitted, waiting for ye pay-cheque once ye tale is accepted, waiting for ye anthology to be publish'd. That's why it's sometimes good to have lots of work finish'd or in production. 

Life has been pretty good of late. All my health concerns seem to have faded--I'm not feeling as tired as I have been for the past year, and my heart seems to be functioning well. Now and then I have ye occasional chest pain, but not too often. 

I hope ye summer is treating ye well, my ducks.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Visit with S. T.








Spent yestereve with Mary and S. T. Mary cook'd one of ye finest dinners I have ever devour'd, grill'd asparagus and steak, with superb scallop potatoes. Before we dined, S. T. and I signed 300 signature sheets for BLACK WINGS V's special deluxe edition--& gawd was that exhausting. S. T. signs first, and he is very fast, so as I am struggling to keep up his pile of sign'd sheets grows taller and taller. When I become frustrated with how slow I am and try to sign faster, my signature becomes a scrawl of chaos and that frustrates me ever more. I am always so relieved when ye signing is ended. S. T. gave me some of ye newest Hippocampus Press books, including ye one pictur'd above. I am especially interested in reading HPL's letters to J. Vernon Shea, as Vernon was one of my moft-beloved chums before his death in 1981. I cannot now remember how I first came into contact with Vernon (my letters have been given to Greg, who maintains the W. H. Pugmire Archive), but I think it's probable that Robert Bloch or Dirk Mosig gave me his address. Vernon wrote one or two articles on homosexual themes found in Lovecraft's fiction, and over time I came to suspect that Vernon was himself gay--but he never told me if that was so, and I never insisted on knowing. He was one of the first to whom I came out when I embraced my queerness, and began to packed his envelopes with press cutting photos of men he thought I'd find attractive, such as Robert Redford. When we spoke on the phone, he seem'd fascinated to hear the details concerning the three months I worked ye streets as male whore. Initially, our letters to each other were pages and pages in length, because I was such an obsess'd HPL fan-boy and it was thrilling to correspond with someone who had actually known Lovecraft. He was extremely encouraging when reading my first attempts at writing weird fiction, but I don't think he ever imagined I'd amount to anything as a writer. Two weeks before he died, we also lost H. Warner Munn, and I was heartbroken cos I used to drive up to Tacoma every week-end to hang out with Harold and discuss weird fiction and HPL, and listen to him read the stories he wrote for Weird Tales while holding the actual issues of that magazine! The first person I called after Harold died was Vernon, and he consoled me as I sobbed into ye phone reciever. Then a fortnight later he was gone.After those two deaths my attitude became weird and I completely dropped out of the Lovecraft scene for several years, discovering punk rock and focusing on that lifestyle with all ye intensity I had given to being a Lovecraftian. 

Anyway, last night was lovely. It is still an almoft magical thrill for me to have S. T., the world's leading H. P. Lovecraft scholar & editor, living in Seattle. The only mild annoyance was that he seems to be insistent on my attending the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon in Portland this year, and I really don't want to, such things have exhausted me these past few times I've attended. But it's difficult to deny S. T. when he wants you to attend, so who knows?




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Soon in Nameless Softcover!


Ye trade paperback volumes of Lovecraft's Collected Fiction in S. T. Joshi's Variorum Editions are now available for pre-order at Amazon. Each volume may be purchased separately for $25@. The texts will be slightly improved, as Martin Andersson has supplied S. T. with additionally discover'd corrections since ye publication of ye hardcover editions. So far, these pb editions are not being offer'd at Hippocampus Press, where one assumes they will be sold only as a complete set of three. 

Derrick wrote on Facebook: "There is a Kindle edition coming, featuring  auto-updates in case any new [textual] variants emerge."

A fourth hardcover volume, of Lovecraft's revisions & collaborations, is set to be publish'd this year. These volumes are the ultimate editions of Lovecraft's excellent weird fiction. 



Monday, May 30, 2016

Great Week-end!

It has been a great and productive week-end. My newest short story, written for an anthology of tales set in ye Punktown world of Jeffrey Thomas, has just been accepted. My other new story, set in New York's Red Hook district, has also been accepted for a forthcoming anthology. I don't write that many urban horror stories, but I really enjoy'd working on these. I made one major error in my Punktown tale, by giving a Choom rows of needle-sharp fangs--so as ye can see in ye illo there, they don't have fangs at all. 
I'm still having trouble getting into ye swing of writing stories for my next two books--a collection of Clarh Ashton Smith-inspired stories that I will be working on with Henry Vester (each of us writing our own individual tales) and new stories for a second Enoch Coffin collection  that I'll be working on with Jeffrey Thomas. I think I've been too distracted with other things, but after to-day's big social doings (S. T. Joshi's annual Memorial Day Cook-out), I'm gonna chill, stay at home and get to serious work. 

I do have two books ready for publication, but both (I expect) won't be out until sometime next year. One is a complete novel set in Lovecraft's dreamlands that I co-wrote with my buddy David Barker; & ye other is a solo collection of my bestnewest work, coming out late next year from Centipede Press. As far as anthologies go, Paula Guran's MAMMOTH BOOK OF CTHULHU is just out, and my story therein is a kind of love-letter to Lovecraft's home town. I'll have a new Sesqua Valley story in an anthology of tales featuring ye legend of Gla'aki. S. T. Joshi's sequel to his fabulously popular A MOUNTAIN WALKED anthology--THE RED BRAIN: GREAT TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS--will be a book of new, all-original work, for which I have written a very strange story call'd "Pickman's Lazarus". Ye newest volume in S. T.'s legendary BLACK WINGS series should be out any day now, containing a tale of mine set in Arkham. And I have written one of my oddest stories for S. T.'s non-Lovecraftian anthology, NIGHTMARE'S REALM, to be publish'd later this year by Dark Renaissance Books. We have much weird fiction to look forward to!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Oy, whut a night...


Last night was one of the worst in my entire life. I am prone to be mindless in social settings, which is why I prefer to stay home and be alone. When it comes to trying to find places that I have been to only once, it is often impossible, I get lost so easily when driving and have absolutely no sense of direction. I got dressed up, did an extra-careful makeup, and drove to S. T. Joshi's pad, where his charming wife Mary made us one of ye finest meals I have ever eaten (she is a magnificent cook). Then I drove S. T. to the church were his choral group was to practice for a couple hours before that evening's performance. It was in a part of town I hadn't ever been to, and after dropping him off I got bloody turned around and lost while trying to find my way back to his house, where I was to hang-out with Mary until concert time, then drive her to the concert, and afterwards drive them to the airport for their midnight flight. It took me a wretchedly long time to find my way to Mary, only to find a note on the door saying that she had gone ahead and driven herself to the concert and would see me there! Their neighbor Jim's wife also performs in the singing group, so I had him call Mary and tell her that I would just stay at their place until they returned from the concert, as I didn't want to risk getting lost again trying to find the church. Ye neighbor let me into the house, where I sat for over an hour and completely read ye new E.O.D. mailing and read ye liner notes (in the form of a three page interview with S. T.) on the new record featuring S. T.'s reading of five Clark Ashton Smith poems. The record is from Cadabra Records and in available on vinyl only, in three different colours! S. T.'s reading is superb--but his own phonograph doesn't play ye 45 RPM speed, so he hasn't been able to listen to his own copy of ye 45. 


They finally got home and were very sweet about my pathetic getting lost and not attending ye concert. The important ting was that I would be able to drive them to the airport for their night flight. Perhaps fearing that I wou'd get lost on ye way to the airport, Mary offer'd to drive us there, and I happily agreed, It felt rather weird being a passenger in my own car--but we made excellent time. It had been a very long day for me, and being social tends to weary me, so I was tired driving home from the airport--and naturally I got lost. The way that I thought was the road ye direct way to Martin Luther King Jr Way and my neighborhood turned out not to be. But I finally did arrive, and although I was near-to-death with exhaustion, I couldn't sleep until I had listen'd to S. T.'s reading on ye 45 disc. I over-slept and thus missed going to church this morning, whut really bummed me out. I love going to Sacrament Meeting. 

So I've been taking a lot of naps to-day, but just can't feel fully awake or alert, and that means working on new fiction is out of the question, because when writing I need all my mental facilities working. I told myself that I would be totally non-social for months--but actually, Mary and S. T. are having their memorial cook-out on ye 30th--so I'll be gong to that. But after that, I return to seclusion!



Friday, May 13, 2016

Things Be Slow

I keep hoping ye new books that shou'd have been releas'd will appear on my doorstep so that I can discuss and promote yem here--but they continue to be delay'd. I believe, although I am not certain, that there will be changes implemented in PS Publishing's LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series. The first nine volumes have each featur'd a single Lovecraft story, new Introductions by S. T. Joshi, and a number of features following Lovecraft's texts. Future volumes may include more than one Lovecraft story in a single volume; and one of ye next volumes may be my favourite Lovecraft Work, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. When I know for certain about the series and possible changes, I'll let y'all know. It has been a fabulous series thus far, and I am thrill'd to be a part of it.

Ye other book that continues to be delay'd in David E. Schultz's annotated edition of H. P. Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth, whut will be releas'd in a handsome hardcover edition and include 40 new illustrations by Jason C. Eckhardt. I was really hoping that ye book wou'd be releas'd this month, but now the release date is listed as "July". 


Still no copy of Black Wings V, whut is supposedly to be leas'd this month. I little confus'd that a signed-by-all-authors slipcase edition is for sale, as I don't recall signing any signature sheets for such an edition--but my mind has been malfunctioning of ate, so who knows...??? The other Joshi anthology that I am really looking forward to is The Red Brain and Other Cthulhu Mythos Tales, an anthology of new original Mythos tales that S. T. has edited for Dark Regions Press, to be publish'd in trade pb format. My story therein is, I think, one of my better recent efforts, "Pickman's Lazarus". 

S. T. has also edited a non-Lovecraftian anthology, ye title of which now escapes me, for which I have written an extremely bizarre story. Oh, I believe the book is call'd Nightmare's Realm and will be publish'd by either Dark Regions Press or, as their final title before the press goes into extinction, Dark Renaissance Books. My story of 2,870 words is call'd "The Barrier Between"--whut does sound bloody Lovecraftian, I admit.

I have finish'd a story set in Red Hook that is a wee follow-up to Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook," for an anthology called The Heroes of Red Hook. My story, now accepted for ye book, is around 2,550 words & call'd "A Gentleman of Darkness". 

Being a writer is the thing I love most in life. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to have such an active creative life as I hobble toward old age. I have good good friends to hobble along with, I'll be having dinner with S. T. and Mary tomorrow afternoon, & then I hang out with Mary for two hours as S. T. practices with his choral group--and then Mary and I attend that evening's choral performance. Directly after that I drive Mary and S. T. to ye airport. That reminds me, I need to clean out my car!


Changes at YouTube now make it difficult for me to record vlogs, and so I have completely stopped. It sucks, cos I really enjoy'd doing them, and it was great when I had friends over who could join with me and chat about HPL. Below is an old vlog from 2014.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

01 Fungi from Yuggoth - The Book - H. P. Lovecraft read by William Hart ...



Will Hart has had a long love affair with H. P. Lovecraft's Fungi from Yuggoth -- & now he has
releas'd his ultimate treatment of and tribute to HPL's poetry. It is an audio cd disc on which Will reads ye entire sonnet sequence, plus a number of other fine Lovecraft poems such as "In a Sequester'd Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walked" and "Nemesis". All the spoken word is accompanied by an amazing musical score by Graham Plowman.  This new recording has been releas'd in a lovely package by Fedogan & Bremer.  http://www.fedoganandbremer.com 
Included is a 12-page booklet that includes a fantastic photograph of modern St. John's Churchyard in colour, with HPL's black&white spectre walking its pathway; and a nice wee photograph of Will. The booklet also features a lengthy (six full pages) Introduction by S. T. Joshi. 

Will's new readings are superb, at times featuring a voice that almoft threatens to quiver with emotion, where some words are strangely whispered and others solidly proclaim'd. These excellent readings bring new life to Lovecraft's powerful and eerie poetry. 

Graham Plowman's music is magnificent. It has, at time, what I want to call a cinematic majesty of sound, waves of powerful music that carry ye listener away with the wonder of Lovecraft's imagination. It's extremely cool the way the music emphasizes points of narrative vibrancy in Will's reading, and yet can also underscore the quiet, dream-like portions of vocal display. 

Will "dedicates these readings to Editor, David E. Schultz, for his annotated version of H. P. Lovecraft 'Fungi from Yuggoth'; and to Artist Jason C. Eckhardt, for his forty illustrations for the book." This annotated edition of ye Fungi will be publish'd in a handsome hardcover edition by Hippocampus Press. Ye publication has been delay'd a bit, but nigh a definitive release date of May 2016 seems assured. I have seen an early arc of this annotated edition, and it is a work of wonder.

Ye Fungi is of great importance to me because of its continual influence on my work. Will's earlier readings of ye sonnets, which were posted on YouTube and may still be heard there, was the event that inspir'd me to finally write the book I consider my finest--Some Unknown Gulf of Night --a book that I dedicated to Will Hart. 

I have a strange feeling . . .that this new recording of Will reading ye Fungi--a recording that so haunts me, will inspire yet another book from mine antient pen..



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ye Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales


Barnes & Noble will release a new edition of H. P. Lovecraft's weird fiction in their charming leather-bound Collectible Editions series at month's end. Ye tome is 608 pages, and includes a new Introduction by S. T. Joshi. The fabulous artwork is by John Coulthart.

Contents:
Dagon
Nyarlathotep
The Nameless City
Azathoth
The Hound
The Festival
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour out of Space
History of the Necronomicon
The Curse of Yig
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Mound
At the Mountains of Madness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House
The Man of Stone
The Horror in the Museum
The Thing on the Doorstep
Out of the Aeons
The Tree on the Hill
The Shadow out of Time
The Haunter of the Dark


Although S. T. wasn't listed as ye editor of the first Lovecraft collection from B&N, he was in fact ye book's editor. One of the charming aspects of that first book was that each story was prefaced by a wee note concerning the history of its composing, publication, &c.

The front cover illustration is of what John Coulthart calls a "Cthulhu Sphinx," and that phrase is so evocative to me that I want to write a story incorporating it. Writes John, in his blog about ye physical aspects of ye book: "Anyone who's held one of these volumes will know that they deserve to be called tomes rather than mere books; they're heavy and lavishly produced, with detailed designs embossed on the fron and back boards in a variety of metallic inks." And: "The book will be out at the end of the month, and among the extra features there's an introduction by Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi, my drawing of R'lyeh on the endpapers, and (if that wasn't enough) a poster reproduction of my Cthulhu Rising picture."

I wou'd love to see a Barnes & Noble anthology of Cthulhu Mythos fiction, and S. T. wou'd be the perfect editor for such a volume. I'd love to have a new hardcover edition of all those classic tales, whut wou'd also include some of the newer things from recent writers.

The weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft continues to be astoundingly popular, and new editions of his work continue to come forth. This lovely volume of Mythos tales will hold us over until we can consume the glorious second volume coming from Liveright/Norton, The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft: Beyond the Mythos.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Thank ye, Mr Poftman!


Honey, ye thrill of being an obsess'd Lovecraft fanboy continues to elevate to nameless heights. Our charming poftman has just deliver'd a wee parcel in which three treasur'd volumes were contained in bubble-wrap. I cannot help but go on a bit more about these delightful LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED editions from PS Publishing. Ye brain-child of artist Pete Von Sholly, each volume contains a new Introduction by S. T. Joshi, follow'd by ye Joshi-edited text of that edition's story, colourfully illustrated by Pete. Much to my delighted surprise, when Von Solly ask'd S. T. Joshi to suggest names of people who might be interested in writing new essays on Lovecraft's stories for the books, my name was mention'd; & thus I have been invited to write for a number of these volumes, and that has proved delightful, especially because it returns me to Lovecraft's texts and allows me to study them in ways I have never attempted, thus to express some critical comment regarding them. I confess that I have become "hooked" in ye composition of these essays; & so I was delighted to learn that Pete and PS plan to bring out future editions, until all of Lovecraft's main weird tales are collected in illustrated volumes. This makes me hope that I can write for some of the new ones--I am especially keen on doing an essay for a THE LURKING FEAR volume, shou'd such transpire.

Rereading Lovecraft is an addiction. There are few texts to which I constantly return--the few being Dante, Shakespeare, Wilde's letters, the Book of Mormon--and so it's always nice to have those beloved texts in new editions, thus giving another reading of the stories a sense of novelty. Also, I return to Lovecraft's tales so often because I am forever writing stories that are connected to HPL's original tales--just now I am studying "The Horror at Red Hook" so as to write a new story for a Red Hook anthology. 

Speaking of which, I need to bring this to a close and get back to work. And try to resist ye temptation to dip immediately into these charming new volumes in ye LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series...



Saturday, February 20, 2016

O MY GAWD!! O MY YUGGOTH!!


Life can be so delicious at times. Just last week I sent a wee email to Pete Von Sholly, to let him know how much I have enjoy'd rereading H. P. Lovecraft's excellent tales in Pete's LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series from PS Publishing. My one regret, I wrote him, was that ye series hadn't included my favourite Lovecraft story, "The Haunter of the Dark." So, my dears, you can imagine my utter delight when I got this morning's announcement from PS Publishing:

                  Following the undreamed of success of the hitherto nine volumes in our
HPL PulpS Library, we've persuaded artist Pete Von Sholly
and Lovecraftian scholar S. T. Joshi to pleasure us yet again
with the definitive versions of three further epic yarns,--namely
THE MOUND, THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK and
THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP. No sooner did I persuade
Mr. Von Sholly than he promptly excused himself and set off
for his tools. Knowing Pete, I figured the first pieces would be
winging its way towards the sepulchral spires and lonely moat of
PS Towers. And sure enough, so it was--take a look-see. Hey, trust me--we're talking 
"stygian"here, ladies and gentlefolk. . .darker than a
cluster of very dark things. More soon.

Ye see, my ducks--prayers to ye Great Olde Ones work!! Ia!! Ia!!

Here is my favourite illustration from ye superb THE CALL OF CTHULHU volume--I think it's amazingly effective: