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!!