Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sex and Rockets: Book About Jack Parsons Mentions Lovecraft

Chrispy just came back from Borders and saw a cool book called Sex and Rockets (*) about Jack Parsons. He was a research scientist at CalTech and who co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but at night he explored Aleister Crowley's magic. He was closely associated with L Ron Hubbard who (it is claimed) absconded with both Parson's wife and money after taking copious notes on the eldritch meetings at Parsons' house. These (allegedly) formed the basis of Dianetics and Scientology.

Parsons house was a stop over by many science fiction writers of the early (post Lovecraft) generation, such as a young Ray Bradbury.

But this is the HPLblog !! so what dod they say about Ech Pi El ?

The juiciest notes on HPL are fleeting. Many know that HPL met the red-headed L Ron Hubbard through Frank Long and that is mentioned. We also learn that Hubbard knew (or at leats knew of) Crowley and perhpas Lovecraft was introduced to Crowley more or less directly (and not through just a book).

E Hoffman Price is claimed to have stated that he (Price) introduced Lovecraft to the occult. That probably is the most controversial allusion about HPL in the book. (**)

* Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons, John Carter, 2004, Feral House (isbn 0922915970). Review and excerpts Here. The three pertinent pages are listed as 60 (E Hoffman Price), 105, and 109. Frank Belkanp Long is briefly mentioned, and so in The Colour Out of Space.

** Lovecraft met Price through "Two-Gun Bob" Howard in 1932 and spent days talking to him (25-1/2 hours in one setting). This was in New Orleans. By 29 September 1933 Lovecraft decided that Price was a "hack" and argued vehemently that he (Lovecraft) was not a popular writer who could "pour out" stories like "human dynamos". Lord of a Visible World, Joshi & Schultz, Ohio University Press, 2000.

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