Monday, August 31, 2009

Lovecraftian Fantastic?

(above, allegedly real jellyfish)


Pink Land Jellyfish Invade Japan’s Shores

(The video appears to a weird put on, but it has some interesting moments. It's below at the end of the article. Non-English.)

(From Weird Asia News)
29 August 2009

A video has popped up on the Internet depicting Japanese fishermen and their close encounter with a bizarre, pink blob, and no one seems to know what it is.

The pink jellyfish-like creature is a solid mass with a lighter colored underbelly that resembles a creature from an H. P. Lovecraft story or a certain part of the female anatomy.

Apparently, when it’s frightened or in any way bothered, it sprays a white fluid directly out of its opening.

While certain aspects of the video – such as the speed at which the jellyfish scurry and the rather “explosive” ending – lend credence to the notion that the video is entirely fake, there is no other readily available information concerning either the reality of the creatures or why the video was made.

If they are real, I can only imagine them being only slight less terrifying than the giant Nomura’s jellyfish. Their presence has recently undergone a surge in Japan’s waters, damaging fishing nets and killing the readily available fish.

They can grow upwards of two meters in diameter and weigh almost a quarter of a ton.

1908 Dorance and Westminster

1908 Dorrance & Westminster Streets, Providence, RI

Sunday, August 30, 2009

1928: The "Gang" Well Represented

WEIRD TALES Vol. 12 #5 November 1928

Cover art by C. C. Senf. Interior art by Hugh Rankin.

Interior story contents courtesy of Miskatonic University Library

Serials/Complete Novels:
The Werewolf's Daughter [Part 2 of 3]..........H. Warner Munn Novellas
The Last Test..........Adolphe de Castro and H. P. Lovecraft

The Flying Death..........Bruce Wallis
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow..........Washington Irving
The Polar Doom..........Edmond Hamilton

Short Stories:
The Cave of Spiders..........William R. Hickey
Flame of the Ages..........Robert Choate Albright
The Head From Ecuador..........Robert Lee Heiser
The Mystery in Acatlan..........Rachael Marshall and Maverick Terrell
The Tenant at Number Seven..........August Derleth
The Tryst in the Tomb..........M. J. Cain

Folks Used to Believe:
The Fairy Court..........Alvin F. Harlow

The Creatures..........Donald Wandrei
Haunted..........Earl W. Scott
Satan and Lilith..........George Sterling

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Library Lovecraftian

Library Lovecraftian V. II Chaos Spawn Cthulhu Lovecraft
Library Lovecraftian Volume II "The Chaos Spawn" by FC Adams, illustrations by Dante Volpe Shroud Press 1974 Chapbook

I really know nothing about this little book. - CP

I also saw these "for sale" blurb:

ADAMS, F. C. The Library Lovecraftian Vol. Three: The Devil Ground
North Hollywood, CA: Shroud, 1975. First Edition. Stapled wraps. Illustrated by Various Ill.. A near fine copy. Limited to 995 copies. ; B&W Illustrations; 28 pages. Near Fine .

Shroud, 1974, 1st Edition Hardback VF.
Fine in wrappers. Chapbook Library Lovecraftian Vol. 2. Ilustrated by Dante Volpe.

Fred C. Adams, THE CHAOS SPAWN, The Library Lovecraftian, No. 2, North
Hollywood, CA: Shroud Publishers, 1974. Mentions Necronomicon; Pnakotic
Manuscripts; Xathagorra.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2000th Post


2000 posts.

As I'm typing this at midnight of 27 August 2009, I'm feeling a bit surreal.

I had originally expected the 2000-th post to come at the end of 2009, probably December. However, it seems the last month or so some eerie convergence has come together. It's been Lovecraft, Lovecraft, Lovecraft nearly every day and several times a day. I google HPL, and some obscure news columnist, some rock group, someone somewhere is mentioning the man. So I feel a bit of a compulsion to keep up with it. I suppose I've morphed into some arcane chronicler of Lovecraft, which also gives me mixed feelings.

I do this as a mild hobby. I started out a few years back just trying to learn how to blog, and how to learn Blogger. I figured since I'd just crossed paths with HPL at the time I'd go ahead and post up stuff about him. Then a few noticed and read - mostly my writing pals. Then a few more, and suddenly as time marched on a few thousand a day noticed. Like reading the morning comic strip, almost. Very cool. I've tried to make fewer typos knowing that so many people do read this, but that's still a work in process. :)

Then, a few months ago, along came facebook, and many multiplied more folks have noticed my small blog, and have joined the group.

Thank you all.

I'm in awe, and unsure really how to respond to this growth. But I do love getting your messages, your emails, and your posted comments.

I'd toyed with the idea of just stopping and going cold turkey on Lovecraft at 2000 posts. I thought, sheesh, how much more? After all, I do have other promised obligations with many colleagues - reading stories, reviewing stuff, associate editor at Arcane Wisdom, writing for Dark Recesses, sometimes collaborating on stories, doing my own researches into antiquarian horror, UFOs, and ghostly things, and I still write my own stories. And playing Farmville on Facebook. And folks, that's all in my spare time.

I have family, and church obligations, too. I do have a a demanding day job - one reson why I turn to Lovecraft and Horror to assuage my stresses of day to day angst. But Gods of Pegana, this blogging thing has always been so much fun. Part of me loves to uncover hidden things - it's what drove me to become a scientist, I suppose. HPL is so fascinating, and like some odd-Jesus, his disciples are sometimes even more interesting.

At this point, with 2000 posts and I suppose more to come, this blog is more encyclopedia than anything else. I really have tried to index everything the best I can. There's nearly every year of HPL's 119 year legacy either listed in the index, or searchable in the search field.

In case you wondered, nope, I make nothing on this. I think I made $3.41 in google ads, and pulled them down as a distraction. I'll never collect it. Yes, I typed all 2000 blog posts myself. Some of YOU sent me stuff and I'm so delighted to get that information or occassional essay and story to post. But yes I do it all everyday. No one else to blame for errors, missteps, typos: It all lays on me.

Where do I go from here? With YOU, hopefully, but even alone there are still a few mysteries that have not been fully opened to my satisfacton:

*Was Lovecraft a Spy for Houdini?
*How deeply infatuated was HPL with all those blue pencil and amateur journalism ladies?
*Did C M Eddy, Jr. play a much larger role in HPL's mid-1920's career than assumed?
*How did J C Heneberger really discover HPL?
*How deeply influenced - as a kid - was HPL by Alphaeus Packard, Jr.
*Are all those mentions of "black, deep, dark" stuff in his fiction a result of seeing Grandma Rhoby buried?
*How deeply was the final version of Beast in the Cave influenced by the Easter week death of his grandfather?
*What was HPL thinking - or dreaming - when he put Sam Loveman into Statement of Randolph Carter?
*What was the sociology and psychology in play when HPL bolted (some might say got kidnapped) to Brooklyn?
*And how will 2010 play out with Hollywood mainstream now discovering and exploiting HPL?

I wanna stick around and find out some of these answers.

I hope YOU stick around, too.

Thank YOU!

The Mountain Goats - Lovecraft in Brooklyn

A better live acoustical version of the song.

Lovecraft in Brooklyn (AesopRemix)

Mountain Goats - Lovecraft in Brooklyn (live in Sydney)

This is still not a tremendous sound quality. There is a remix version. I'll post in a few hours.

Mountain Goats: Lovecraft In Brooklyn

The sound isn't tremendous. I'll post a different version in a few hours.


UK David A. Sutton 1971., 1971. Very Good. Introduction by David Sutton / Howard Phillips Lovecraft: A Complete Chronological Checklist of His Stories and Novels and Additions to the Chalker Index by Eddy C. Bertin / A Chronological Listing of the Cthulhu Mythos Stories / Addenda to H.P. LOVECRAFT: THE BOOKS by E.P. Berglund / Additions and Corrections to the Chalker Index by Ted Ball. #32/100 copies. Illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, Brian Frost, Jim Pitt. First Edition Private Press. Binding is Stapled Fanzine. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. A useful compilation of five bibliographical studies by Eddy C. Bertin, E. P. Berglund and Ted Ball. See Joshi III-B-28

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Real Events: "South Latitude 67, East Longitude 175"

Could Lovecraft had read this? (Or similar).

As we left the inhabited world behind, the sun sank lower and lower in the north, and stayed longer and longer above the horizon each day. At about 62° South Latitude we sighted our first icebergs - table-like objects with vertical sides - and just before reaching the antarctic circle, which we crossed on October 20th with appropriately quaint ceremonies, we were considerably troubled with field ice. The falling temperature bothered me considerably after our long voyage through the tropics, but I tried to brace up for the worse rigors to come. On many occasions the curious atmospheric effects enchanted me vastly; these including a strikingly vivid mirage - the first I had ever seen - in which distant bergs became the battlements of unimaginable cosmic castles.

Pushing through the ice, which was fortunately neither extensive nor thickly packed, we regained open water at South Latitude 67°, East Longitude 175°. On the morning of October 26th a strong land blink appeared on the south, and before noon we all felt a thrill of excitement at beholding a vast, lofty, and snow-clad mountain chain which opened out and covered the whole vista ahead. At last we had encountered an outpost of the great unknown continent and its cryptic world of frozen death. These peaks were obviously the Admiralty Range discovered by Ross, and it would now be our task to round Cape Adare and sail down the east coast of Victoria Land to our contemplated base on the shore of McMurdo Sound, at the foot of the volcano Erebus in South Latitude 77° 9'.


I've highlighted some very interesting passages that seemed capable of inspiring HPL's flight of imagination. Note the October 26 passages in HPL and the historic text.


From Journal of the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 27 - 1895

Mr. C. E. Borchgrevink, a young Norwegian, read a paper on the Voyage of the Antarctic to Victoria Land. In order to join the Antarctie, which was a whaling vessel, he had been obliged to ship as a common sailor, and had been able, therefore, to take with him only a few instruments. The vessel left Melbourne September 20, 1894, and the story of her voyage is as follows:

On October 18, while steering for Royal Company Islands, they had snow on board for the first time. At night it was moonlight, and at 12 0'clock the aurora australis was visible for the first time, with white shining clouds rolling from west towards east.

It formed into a shining ellipse, with an altitude above the southern horizon of 35 degrees. The Antarctic was at that time in the vicinity of Macquarie Island, and thus in latitude about 34 degrees south. The aurora seemed constantly to obtain its light force from the west, and the intensity of its light cloud culminated every five minutes, after which it suddenly died out, to regain its former magnificence and beauty during the succeeding five minutes.

The phenomenon lasted till 2 0'clock, when it was gradually lost in an increasing mist. They set out for Campbell Island on the 22d, and dropped anchor in North Harbour on the eve of October 25, shifting the following day to Perseverance Harbour, where they filled their water tanks and made their final preparations before proceeding south.

On October 31 they weighed anchor, and during the next few days, proceeding further into the fifties, the air and the water kept an equal temperature at 44° F.

On the 6th of the following month, in latitude 58° 14' and longitude 162' 35', they sighted an immense barrier of ice, or chain of icebergs, extending no less than from forty to sixty miles from east to northwest. The top was quite level and absolutely white.

The highest point was 600 feet high. The perpendicular sides were dark ashy gray, with large worn green caves, in which the furious waves were raging and tearing, bursting forth in brilliant foam hundreds of feet up in the air. Numerous icebergs were floating about in all directions, and were undoubtedly children of this enormous monster.

It was here they discovered that their propeller was out of order, and the Antarctic was again headed northward, anchoring in Port Chalmers on the 18th, where the damage was soon repaired. They again stood southwards on November 28.

By the time they reached 55" the albatross had left them and likewise the Cape pigeon, but the white- bellied storm petrel still followed in their track.

On December 7 they sighted the edge of the pack ice and shot their first seal, which was of the white kind. On December 8, in latitude 68' 45 , longitude 171° 30', large streams of ice were drifting around them. A strong ice-blink appeared towards the south, and the presence of the elegant white petrel gave unmistakable evidence that now they had before them those vast ice-fields into which the gallant Briton, Sir James Ross, on January 5, 1841, successfully entered with his famous ships Erebus and Terror.
In the evening the Antarctic slowly worked its way through the edge of the pack ice, which consisted of large and heavy hummocky ice. Of marine animals they saw multitudes. The large-finned whale, known in Norway as the blue whale, were spouting about in all directions. The white petrel were numerous here. The white-bellied petrel departed at the edge of the pack, leaving the icy regions to its darker, hardier brethren.

They shot several seal, but seldom saw more than one or two together and never more than seven, most having scars and scratches in their skin. When the ship entered the pack the temperature of the air was 25°, that of the water 28°, which latter held all through the pack.

On the 14th they sighted Balleney Island, and found it, as according to Ross, in latitude 66° 44', longitude 164". The icefloes grew gradually larger as they approached land, and it was evident that the icepack then around them was for a great part discharged from the glaciers of the Balleney. They got a good view of the lofty peak of the Balleney, which rose to a height of 12,000 feet above the sea level.

On December 16 they moored the Antarctic to a large floe of pancake-like ice, which told its tale of the previous long calm. On December 24 they were in latitude 66° 3, longitude 167" 37' east. During the day they had stormy weather, but the evening was beautiful and the sun just touched the horizon on its lowest descent.

They were probably the only people who ever saw the midnight sun on Christmas Eve. On Wednesday, the 26th, they crossed the Antarctic Circle.

On New Year's Eve they were in latitude 66° 47', longitude 147° 8' at 12 o'clock. While the sun was shining bright, they rang the old year out and the new year in, and saluted with their guns in honour of the occasion.

In latitude 67° 5', longitude 175° 45' east, was secured a specimen of ApterodyUs Forsteri, a large penguin.

In all only four of these birds were secured, and it was never seen in company with another of its kind. On the 14th, in latitude 69° 55' and longitude 157° 30' east, they came again into open water, having spent thirty-eight days in working their passage through the pack ice.

They steered straight for Cape Adare, on Victoria Land, which they sighted on January 16. On the 15th, in latitude 71° 45', longitude 176° 3', the temperature of the air was 32° and the temperature of the water 30°, and the sky was completely clear. The Cape, which was in 71° 23' and 169' 56', rose to a height of 3,779 feet, and consisted of a large, square, basaltic rock with perpendicular sides.

From there they saw the coast of Victoria Land to the west and south as far as the eye could reach. It rose from dark, bare rocks into peaks of perpetual ice and snow, 12,000 feet above the level of the sea; Mount Sabine, above the rest, standing out shining in the rays of the midnight sun. Conic tops covered the plateau and ran over in mighty glaciers.

They counted as many as twenty of them in the close vicinity of the Bay of Adare. On the 18th they sighted Possession Island, with its peculiar contours standing out sharply against the bright sky. They effected a successful landing on the North Island, pulling their boat upon the shore, and they were at once furiously attacked by the penguins, which covered the very ground of the island and seemed much annoyed by seeing the foreigners intruding on their domain.

Their hoarse screams filled the air, and it was with a considerable strain of his voice that, on landing, he addressed his countrymen in a few words, informing them that they were the second party who had set foot on that island, and that Sir James Ross had preceded them, having fifty-four years ago landed there and planted the English flag.

They gave three cheers for that great British navigator, and also for Commander Captain Svend Foyn, who so bravely sent out that present Antarctic expedition. The ground on the island was covered with a deep layer of guano, which, in time, might prove very valuable to Australasia.

The island consisted of volcanic, vesicular lava, rising in the south-west into two pointed peaks of 300 feet in height. He scaled the highest of these and called it Peak Archer, after Mr. A. Archer, M.L.A., of Rockhampton, Queensland.

To the west the island rose gently upward, forming a bold and con spicuous cape, which, not being named by Sir James Ross, it was left to him (Mr. Borchgrevink) to christen. He gave it the name of Sir Ferd. von Mueller, whose scientific fame he already as a boy had learnt to value on the Continent. He quite unexpectedly found vegetation on the rocks, about 30 feet above the sea level. Vegetation never was discovered in such southern latitudes before.

Possession Island was situated in latitude 71° 56', longitude 171° 10'. It was remarkably free from snow. He judged it to be from 300 to 350 acres in size, and they gave it the name of Sir James Ross's Island. On February 20 they steamed southwards, and sighted Colman Island on the 21st, at midnight. Finding the eastern cape of this large island unnamed, they called it Cape Oscar, in honour of his Majesty the King of Norway, whose birthday it happened to be on that day. He noticed great irregularities in their compass at Colman Island.

Undoubtedly that island contained secrets of scientific value, which would be well worth the attention of future Antarctic researches. On the 22d they were in 74° south. No whales appearing, it was decided to head northwards again, although they all regretted that circumstances did not permit them to proceed further south. On the 23d they were again at Cape Adare. They landed that night, being the first human creatures who ever put foot on the mainland.

The penguins were, if possible, even more numerous here than on the Possession Island, and they were discovered on the very cape as far up as 1,000 feet. In latitude 66°, longitude 172° 31', they ran into open water again, having this time only spent six days in the ice pack. On the I7th of February the Aurora appeared stronger than he ever saw the Aurora Borealis. It rose from south-west, stretching in a broad stream up towards the zenith, and again towards the eastern horizon. The minimum temperature within the Antarctic Circle which they experienced was 25° F., the maximum being 46° F. The average temperature for January and February kept very much the same. The temperature of the water kept at 28° F. all through the ice pack, always rising one degree where a larger sheet of water broke the ice fields.

In the large bay at South Victoria Land the temperature kept constantly about freezing point. It was evident that a warm, north-running current existed in the bay, which undoubtedly had a constant direction northwards, and broke the ice fields at the very place where first Sir James Ross and then they successfully penetrated to the open bay of Victoria Land. Within the Antarctic Circle the barometer at 29' always indicated calm, beautiful, clear weather, and even down to 28° it kept fine.

This low barometric indication was remarkable where the dryness of the air should help in causing a high pressure. The movement of the ice distinctly pointed to a north-easterly direction, and the scarcity of ice in the Bay of Victoria Land was undoubtedly not alone owing to warm currents, but also to the protection which the bay had against drift ice by the shore from Cape Adare down to the volcanoes, the Erebus and Terror.

A particular specimen of rock which he picked up, composed of quartz, felspar and garnet fragments, held out some hope that minerals of economic value might occur in those regions. He made a thorough investigation of this landing-place, because he believed that here was the very place where a future scientific expedition might stop safely, even during the winter months. Several accessible spurs led up from the place where they were to the top of the cape, from there a gentle slope led on to the great plateau of the South Victorian Continent.

The presence of the penguin colony, their undisturbed old nests, the vegetation on the rocks, and the flat table of the cape above, all indicated that here was a place where the unbound powers of the Antarctic Circle did not display the whole severity of their forces. Neither ice nor volcanoes seemed to have raged on the peninsula at Cape Adare, and he strongly recommended that a future scientific expedition should choose this spot as a centre for operations. At this conspicuous cape there would, in his opinion, be ample opportunities for making meteorological observations, and scarcely any branch of science demanded research more than meteorology within the Antarctic Circle.

He himself was willing to be the leader of a land party to be landed either on the pack or on the mainland near Colman Island, with skier, Canadian snow-shoes, sledges and dogs. From there it was his scheme to work toward the South Magnetic Pole, calculated by Ross to be in 75' 05' and 150' east, and Colman Island lying in 73° 36 south and 170 02TM east, he would have approximately to travel about Ioo miles to reach the South Magnetic Pole. If it were the means of determining the periodical changes in the Pole of terrestrial magnetism alone, a future expedition would, from a scientific point of view, be an entire success. As to the zoological result of future research he expected great discoveries. It would indeed be remarkable if in the unexplored Victoria Continent, which probably extended over an area of 8,000,000 square miles, or about twice the size of Europe, there should not be found animal life hitherto unknown in the Southern Hemisphere. It was true that the scientific results of this expedition had been few, but where already so many important facts demanded further research the arguments plainly proved that the time was ripe and that further delay of a scientific expedition to South Victoria Continent could scarcely be justified.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

150 million year old squid

More Real Life Cthulhu Science

Palaeontologists have drawn with ink extracted from a preserved fossilised squid uncovered during a dig in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

The fossil, thought to be 150 million years old, was found when a rock was cracked open, revealing the one-inch-long black ink sac.

A picture of the creature and its Latin name was drawn using its ink.

Dr Phil Wilby of the British Geological Survey said it was an ancient creature similar to the modern-day squid.

"The structure is similar to ink from a modern squid so we can write with it," he said.

'Medusa effect'

The find was made at a site which was first excavated in Victorian times where thousands of Jurassic fossils with preserved soft tissues were found.

Dr Wilby, who led the excavation, said: "We think that these creatures were swimming around during the Jurassic period and were turned to stone soon after death. It's called the Medusa effect."

Experts believe one possibility is that thousands of the creatures congregated in the area to mate before being poisoned by algae in the water.

Remains of a different species of squid have also been found, suggesting the carcasses attracted predators to feed on them and they in turn also died.

Dr Wilby said: "They can be dissected as if they are living animals, you can see the muscle fibres and cells.

"It is difficult to imagine how you can have something as soft and sloppy as an ink sac fossilised in three dimension, still black, and inside a rock that is 150 million years old."

The specimen is now in the British Geological Survey collection in Nottingham.

Part of the ink sac has been sent to Yale University in America for more in-depth chemical analysis.


What dark, secret books could be written with 150 million year old squid ink?

Punk rock Cthulhu Lovecraft band Darkest of the Hillside Thickets and their opening at Tony Starlight's in Portland, Oregon

One of the premier Lovecraftian bands ... Hold on for the ride ...

Donalld M. Grant Obituary

As if the news of guitar legend Les Paul recent passing wasn’t enough to shake the music world, now the Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror genres have their own legendary master to bid a final farewell to Donald Metcalf Grant (April 3, 1927 - August 19, 2009) passed away early on Wednesday morning, around 5:30 AM in North Port, Florida. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, his two children, Nancy Mahoney & Douglas Grant, and his granddaughter, Ellen Mahoney.

Grant was one of the guys who stood fast in his belief of great science fiction, fantasy and horror, helping start several small press publishing companies and eventually founding the self-named Donald eventually founding the self-named Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc. more than 45 years ago. The 82-year-old publisher was known for his printing of library and collector-quality limited editions of titles, including many by such great writers as Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, Ambrose Bierce, Stephen King, Fritz Leiber, Karl Edward Wagner, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Roger Zelazny and many others, including a brand new Ray Bradbury release. The editions aren’t inexpensive to begin with, and finding the older editions on auctions sites tend to be a bit pricey, but well worth it.

According to Locus magazine, the main source of news for spec fiction, Grant’s contribution and dedication to the industry earned him 3 World Fantasy Awards in the special professional category (1976, 1980 & 1983), 1 special convention World Fantasy Award (1984) and a World Life Achievement Award (2003).

Alongside other publishers such as August Derleth, Donald Wandrei and Donald A. Wollheim, Grant helped bring what is now known as Spec Fiction out from the dying pulp magazine medium and kept it alive in books. The stories, authors and writing that we all love so much would be incomplete without Grant’s contributions.

More here ...

Antiquarian Providence: Angell

... document dated 1766, where Gideon Harris, clerk has signed the administration for the estate of the late widow Sarah Angell to her son...signed at bottom by Harris, 8x10, overall fine shape ... Gideon Harris is a very prominent man in the history of Scituate. He married Damaus Wescott, a noted maiden in her day. He died in 1777, at an advanced age, and was buried in the Quaker burying ground. For many years he filled the office of Town Clerk. It was a common saying that everbody who was poor, in distress, or wanted employment, resorted to Mr. Harris, on account of his property, influence and benevolent disposition. His house was in a place called the "Old Bank." It was enlarged and made into two stories by his son, and pleasantly situated on ground rising from the road, with its stately and ancient button-wood and elm trees, makes an imposing appearance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hillside Thicket News

Cool website. Click.

The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. (2001) Spaceship Zero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Vancouver: Divine Industries, Inc. $8.99

Spaceship Zero is a soundtrack album for the RPG game of the same name. Put out in 2001 by a Lovecraft/Mythos rock group operating out of Chiliwack, B.C. since 1992, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, the album is a bouncy tribute to ’50s and ’60s space-opera film and television. It doesn’t take itself even remotely seriously and comes across like Buck Rogers on crack. Tracks like the mostly-instrumental title theme, “Spaceship Zero”, and “Twenty Minutes of Oxygen” are unabashed space opera of the kind you’d find in early Robert Heinlein. The instrumental “Oblivion” could have come straight out of Logan’s Run and sounds a bit like Vangelis. Songs like “Power Up” have a more anime/superhero flavor by way of Power Rangers, while tunes like “Frogstar” and “Requiem for a Clone Hunter” spoof Star Wars and Flash Gordon. “The Math Song” is about math because “You got a brain/and nobody really needs another love song.”

More at the website.

Wetzel to Derleth, More on HPL

Wetzel, George T. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 2 pages on single sheet of letter-size paper with a Maryland address, signed in pencil "George T. Wetzel", dated 29 June 1959, to "Dear Mr. Derleth" [August Derleth]. A cover letter for some photographs [not present] that Wetzel took in Providence of locations with Lovecraft interest. Most of the letter deals with identification of the supposed originals of settings in Lovecraft stories ("The Shunned House," "The Unnamable," "The Music of Erich Zann," "The Haunter of the Dark"). Wetzel also discusses an essay about the Cthulhu Mythos he is writing for a compilation edited by Derleth of previously uncollected pieces by and about HPL. Wetzel's essay, "Notes on the Cthulhu Mythos," appeared on pages [287]-290 of THE SHUTTERED ROOM (1959). (Another version appeared in H. P. LOVECRAFT: FOUR DECADES OF CRITICISM, edited by S. T. Joshi.) Wetzel complains about the heat and the effort to pare down his essay to the necessary length and the nearness of the deadline (in other words, things writers are always complaining about). Wetzel, notwithstanding the stylistic and grammatical lapses evident here, was one of the important early fan/scholars of HPL, who did much to gather material and information before such scholarship acquired academic respectability. Faint fold creases and minor rumpling, 8-mm edge tear, very good overall. (#116745)

Robert Price on Joe Pulver

Breaking review on Joe's new book.

I have been a fan or Mr. Pulver's writing for many years, having had the treat of reading his novel Nightmare's Disciple in manuscript, whereupon I immediately contacted my colleagues at Chaosium to insist they publish it. They did. It was a remarkable work, simultaneously destroying and exploiting many cliches one often encounters in Cthulhu Mythos (and/or Lovecraftian) fiction. I often paused to reflect that Pulver's competitors would never dare try a certain trick again, since Pulver's performance was an act impossible to follow, and/or since they'd wonder why it never occurred to them to do it this well. I can only ascribe the occasional bad reviews of Nightmare's Disciple to a misguided distaste (almost theological in nature) for the genre which Pulver fulfilled and transformed. But even these critics seem to have caught up with me in my celebration of this author's talents on display in his new short story collection, Blood Will Have Its Season.

From the earlier book I already recognized Pulver's genius in his ability to shape-shift stylistically between Raymond Chandler and Thomas Ligotti--without your even noticing! Like the gospel demon, his name ought to be Legion, since he assumes a new voice and persona as every particular chapter or sequence requires. In the new book, Pulver's polyphonic gifts mutate to a new and even more powerful pitch. The short scope of these many works allows him to write less leisurely, more rapid-fire. The author possesses another unique gift. The only way I know to describe it is to say that he combines the headlong, violent pace and savage sensibilities of Robert E. Howard with the refined and baleful mood of Robert W. Chambers and Tom Ligotti, and all this in an intricate, almost blank verse poetic diction. There is nothing like it! It sounds, indeed reads, like a living contradiction in terms! The result is a deep dark forest of wonders, containing both monsters and molesters, both angels and devils.

From the amazon review. Click.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

George Wetzel to Derleth on HPL

Wetzel, George T. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page on letter-size paper with a Baltimore address, signed "George T. Wetzel," undated (circa 1955?) to "Dear Mr. Derleth" [August Derleth]. Introduces himself as a Lovecraft collector. Notes a recent visit to the Amateur Journalism Library at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute where he identified a pseudonymous poem by Lovecraft "which I think conatins [sic] some very striking imagery and which you have not previously published." He notes, "The first and third portions of the opus I omitted [from an enclosed copy evidently] because it is very mediocre, the middle section only containing anything worth while." The letter, with all its minor illiteracies (and major enthusiasm), illustrates the unpolished and largely underground nature of HPL scholarship (as well as fantasy & science fiction scholarship in general) up until the late 1950s and early 1960s when such studies began to acquire some measure of academic respectability. Faint fold creases and minor rumpling, near fine overall. (#116744)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ed Lee's "Trolley 1852"

I am gently holding the collector's edition of Ed Lee's Lovecraftian story: "Trolley 1852". You would either hate this with a vile venom, or adore it, depending on whether you are a purist, and whether you enjoy Lee or not.

Hoary Host of Pegana help me, I do like Lee. I suppose that says something about my dementia - that and typing nearly 2000 Lovecraft posts - but I'm half-way through, and trying not to drool on the delicately assembled pages (Bless you, Larry Roberts) and trying not to smudge Alex McVey's wondrous artwork.

More later ... Lovecraft's - um, I mean Lee's - character is watching a steamy other-worldly sex scene through a key hole.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Smith to Finlay on Lovecraft

Smith, Clark Ashton. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS), ribbon copy with a few corrections and emendations in the author's hand, one and a half pages, dated 15 May 1937, to Virgil Finlay ("Dear Virgil Finlay"), signed "Clark Ashton Smith," on two sheets of plain letter-size paper. Thanks Finlay for writing to him, adding that he had been thinking of writing him, especially after Lovecraft, in his very last letter to him, shortly before his death in March of that year, urged him to do so. Thanks him for the compliments on his stories and reciprocates with a paragraph of generous praise for Finlay's illustrations. "Your work, it seems to me, can take its place with that of the best modern illustrators, such as Sime, Rackham, Harry Clarke, Alastair, etc." Explains that he has written little recently because of the death of his mother and illness of his father. Laments that "Lovecraft's death leaves an abysmal void for the survivors," then complains that "more appreciation and a proper financial recompense" might have kept him alive. "It is damnable to reflect that America has either killed her finest artists or driven them into exile. Poe certainly died from hardship rather than drink; and Bierce and Hearn were impelled to flee the country." Closes with some discussion of his experiments in sculpture using local (fairly soft) materials. Published in KLARKASH-TON AND MONSTRO LIGRIV (1974). Old mailing folds, fine on paper that is browning just a little. (#103865)

Smith, Clark Ashton. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS), three pages, ribbon copy with a few corrections in the author's hand, dated 27 September 1937, to Virgil Finlay ("Dear Virgil"), signed "With cordial best wishes, Klarkash-Ton," on three sheets of plain letter-size paper. Apologizes for his delay in writing, saying he'd been working from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM during July and August, which left little time for letter-writing. Discusses some recent work of his submitted to or accepted by WEIRD TALES and his hopes that Finlay will be assigned to illustrate it. In connection with the rejection of one of his tales there, he writes, "I doubt if any of my work will ever have a wide public appeal, since the ideation and esthetics of my tales and poems are too remote from the psychology of the average reader. It is reassuring, however, that my work should appeal so strongly to a few." Responds to comments by Finlay about the challenges of illustrating weird fiction, as well as different techniques for writing it. Contrasts Lovecraft's habit of minutely building realistic settings for his fantastic tales versus his own tendency to "weave the entire web on the loom of fantasy…. No doubt my own preference is motivated by a certain amount of distaste for the local and the modern, and a sort of nostalgia for impossible and unattainable dreamlands." Says a bit about his environment in Auburn. Applauds Finlay's admiration of the Pre-Raphaelites and recommends that he look at the work of Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon. "I believe the modern prejudice against literary ideas in art springs from the fact that many modern artists are incapable of ideas of any kind." In offering encouragement to Finlay, he writes about his main competitor, Margaret Brundage, who painted many covers for WEIRD TALES and specialized in beautiful seminude women menaced by various monsters. "Brundage is a curio, and I can't help wondering how or whence she derives her weird ideas of anatomy." Sympathizes with Finlay's statement of alienation from the spirit of the times, which he characterizes as materialistic. "Some day there will be a return toward mysticism, a recovery of spiritual values. The question is, will it come before - or after - Armageddon?" Fine content. Old mailing folds, fine. (#103867)


I started reading this as I'm doing some research for a new story. I realized it sounded vaguely liek the preliminary statement of some character in a Lovecraft story.

(I hope you can see the clip. Google allows a "clip and embed" for some books they have scanned.)

I really don't think taht's a coincidence. Remember, HPL wanted to be a scientist, and from an early age he absorbed Scientific American which was filled with dispatches just such as this one. While we might use the term scientist, it wasn't all that in vogue then, and Lovecraft was just emerging from the Victorian era. People had careers as "naturalists" which encompases all the sciences. Specializaton was happening, yes, but not to the extent it would after WWII - long past HPL's era.

When Lovecraft got into story vogue he often resorted to scientific structural language.

de Camp Letter

Seen for sale at LW Currey:

De Camp, L. Sprague. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLs), to Peter J. Maurer, dated 22 March 1972, 1/2 page. De Camp is about to begin work on his biography of Lovecraft and asks if it would possible to obtain photocopies of Lovecraft letters Maurer owns. Light mailing creases, fine. Accompanied by the mailing envelope. (#108218) $45.00

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Smith to Lovecraft, 1925

Smith, Clark Ashton. AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS), four pages, dated 8 December 1925, to H. P. Lovecraft ("Dear Lovecraft"), signed "As ever, C.A.S.," on two leaves of 6 1/2 x 10 1/4-inch note-paper. Complains about the difficulty of writing when "jaded from so-called useful labour. However, one of the indestructible delusions of the crowd is that poetry is not to be classed as work -- that one should be able to hold a 'regular job' and toss off poetry on the side…." Discusses some crossword puzzles he constructed for a friend of Lovecraft and lists some of the obscure words he put into them. "I made a study of all the rare and archaic words in the language at one time. Few people realize the resources of English and most of them howl a the occasional rare gem with which I embroider my poetry." Mentions some mutual friends, including Benjamin de Casseres, who "not long ago … put me with Poe and Blake!" Old mailing folds, two of the pages have a rectangular area (2 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches) of mild offsetting from contact with a small piece of acidic paper, otherwise fine. (#103863)

"Card" to Barlow

(Lovecraft, Howard Phillips) Barlow, Robert Hayward. HANDMADE BIRTHDAY CARD FOR H. P. LOVECRAFT. Pencil drawing of monster on 17" x 23" newsprint flyer (with ad for Piggly Wiggly groceries on verso) with brief verse, signed "Ar-Ech-Bei." Date unknown, but probably 1935 or 1936. Barlow, twenty-eight years Lovecraft's junior, became one of his best friends during the 1930s and was made his literary executor. The present item, an oversized, humorous, handmade birthday card, was (according to a note by Barlow in the lower right corner) sent in order to one-up a similar card sent to HPL by Robert Bloch. This drawing shows a monster of some sort with flames in the background and an eight-line poem that begins: "I came to wish you greetings, late, / In Tulu's name vast horrors, great / Gloom upon the coming year / May it be horrible and drear ... ." The draughtsmanship, like the verse, is tolerably good, making the whole thing eminently suitable for framing, carrying a special poignancy because it came so near to Lovecraft's death in 1937. Old crease folds and some very minor edge tears, pulpy paper browning a little but not brittle, generally very good to excellent. (#116830


Lovecraft selected "vermin" as subjects of his horror knowing they would instinctively bring emotions of revulsion to his readers.

We don't consider rats, frogs, and squid as vermin now. It's "biodiversity". However, we're not immune to shock and revulsion, either. Read on...


This is a electron microscope image of a virus that is harmless to us but deadly to bacteria. The little appendages lock on to the relatively cyclopean bacteria while the shaft penetrates the cell membrane injecting the small package of a piece of spaghetti-like DNA). Once into the cell necleus it reprograms the cell to literally dismantle itself and make copies of the virus!

On a Kappa Alpha Tau tangent, National Geographic a few years back published an article. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii uses a remarkable trick to spread from rodents to cats: It alters the brains of infected rats and mice so that they become attracted to—rather than repelled by—the scent of their predators. Rodents infected with the parasitic protozoa are drawn to the smell of cat urine, apparently having lost their otherwise natural aversion to the scent. The parasite can only sexually reproduce in the feline gut, so it's advantageous for it to get from a rodent into a cat—if necessary, by helping the latter eat the former.

In rodents, "brain circuits for many behaviors overlap with the brain circuits responsible for fear," said Ajai Vyas of Stanford University, who led the new study. "One would thus assume that if something messes up fear of cat pee, it will also mess up a variety of related behaviors." But Vyas's experiments showed that not to be the case.

In fact, his test demonstrated just how precise and efficient the mind-bending parasite is. While manipulating rodents' innate fear of felines, T. gondii leaves other behaviors intact. Toxoplasma-infected mice and rats retained most typical rodent phobias, including fears of dog odors, strange-smelling foods, and open spaces. Infected rodents also didn't appear to be sick. Only the animals' response to cats was abnormal: Uninfected rodents avoided an area of a room that researchers had scented with cat urine. But infected rodents actually seemed drawn to the smell. "Toxoplasma affects fear of cat odors with almost surgical precision," Vyas concluded. "A large number of other behaviors remain intact."

Happy 119th

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lovecraft!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Long, Cook, Derleth: 1929

Long, Frank Belknap. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 1/2 pages on letter-size paper (with 1 1/2 inches trimmed from bottom), signed in black ink, "F. B. Long, Jr.", with five-line handwritten postscript, dated 8 October 1929, to "Dear Mr. Derleth" [August Derleth]. Long's first letter to Derleth, written in reply to one from Derleth. As Long mentions here, he had heard about Derleth from H. P. Lovecraft (whom he had known at this point for almost ten years; he would remain one of HPL's best friends) and says here that he had occasionally thought of writing him "but during the past few months I've been too morbidly depressed to enter into an extended correspondence with anyone." Promising to "discuss the tales you mention at length in a few days" -- tales by Long? by Derleth? by others? -- he mentions the demands of other work, including "a series of articles that I very unwisely agreed to undertake for a vile subway magazine on a commission basis." In his postscript he agrees to send Derleth a copy of his book, THE MAN FROM GENOA, a 31-page collection of poems published in 1926 by Paul Cook in Athol, Mass. (famous also as the publisher, or at least printer, of Lovecraft's THE SHUNNED HOUSE). "I would gladly give you a copy, but I still owe the publisher a substantial commission on all sales. It retails for a 1.25 -- but you may merely send me a dollar." "The writing style is both formless and inflated, very much the work of a young man still looking for his own voice and under the influence of Lovecraft, who, at this point, tended towards a stilted tone in his letters. Nevertheless, an interesting document by one of the more important spokes in the Lovecraft circle. If HPL was its center, then Derleth, in his later capacity as publisher at Arkham House, formed its circumference." - Robert Eldridge. Faint fold creases and minor edge nicks, very good overall. (#116740)

Cthulhuish Embryos?

Loligo pealei (squid embryos), 5 days (80x),

Nikon Small World Photo Micrography Competition: Photographed by Dr. Rachel Fink

From the site: These adorable little creatures look like a trio of dapper dandies stuffed into acorns, but they’re actually mini-squids. The gestation period of squid eggs varies according to the temperature of the water in which they were laid (in warm climes, they can hatch in around 11 days; in colder waters, it can take up to 27). The embryos here are still young, but they’re already differentiated enough to have eyestalks and mouths, and you can just make out the budding tentacles.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Lovecraft Annual (#3) Due Out

New Scholarship on H. P. Lovecraft Edited by S. T. Joshi
ISSN 1935-6102
ISBN13: 978-0-9824296-2-4
August 2009
198 pp

Table of contents
•Lovecraft and the Ray-Gun............T. R. Livesey
•What Is "the Unnamable"? H. P. Lovecraft and the Problem of Evil............James Goho
•Some Notes on the Topographical Poetry of H. P. Lovecraft............Phillip A. Ellis
•The Theme of Distance in the Tales of H. P. Lovecraft............Lorenzo Mastropierro
•Lovecraft's Avatars: Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Dagon, and Lovecraftian Utopias............Brandon Reynolds
•Self, Other, and the Evolution of Lovecraft's Treatment of Outsideness............Massimo Berruti
•Some Notes on Lovecraft's "The Transition of Juan Romero"............Leigh Blackmore
•"The Shadow out of Time" and Time-Defiance............Will Murray
•Poems Not in The Ancient Track............H. P. Lovecraft
•Lovecraft and the Polar Myth............John M. Navroth
•Plus Reviews and Briefly Noted

Long's The Goblin Tower, 1935

Long, Frank Belknap. THE GOBLIN TOWER. Setting copy and printer's proofs. Cassia, Florida: Dragon-Fly Press, 1935. . An archive, stapled together, of seventy-two variously sized pieces of papers with setting copy and printer's proofs of the collection of Long's poetry printed at and published by R. H. Barlow's Dragonfly Press in Florida in 1935. The copy was scrabbled together from different sources: typescripts (some carbons, some top copies), manuscripts (some in Barlow's hand, "An Old Wife Speaketh It" in Lovecraft's hand, dated 1923 at bottom), former newspaper and magazine appearances ("On Icy Kilnarth" from a pulp, with a nice illustration). Likewise, the proofs were pulled on whatever was at hand: the versos of old letters and stories, scraps of heavy laid paper, old Sunday four-color comic newspapers. Lovecraft visited Barlow during the summer of 1935 (June 9 -- August 18) and helped him prepare the manuscript for press, smoothing out some of Long's faulty metrics in the process: undoubtedly many if not all of the papers in this archive were handled by HPL. Barlow was 17 at the time (but past the halfway mark of his short life), Long 34, Lovecraft 45 (and less than two years away from his own death). THE GOBLIN TOWER, a collection of twenty-two short lyrical poems in a romantic manner, was the author's second book, preceded by another poetry collection, A MAN FROM GENOA (1926), printed and published by Paul Cook of Athol, Mass., who also printed Lovecraft's THE SHUNNED HOUSE (1928). Most extant copies of THE GOBLIN TOWER exist as folded and gathered sets of unbound sheets, as very few were bound up at the time. Long and Barlow were two of the innermost planets in the HPL system (or to switch metaphors, deities in the Lovecraft Mythos), and this archive documents the most important intersection of the three men. The archive as a whole has significant research value. As individual items, these make colorful and unique memorabilia. Some of the individual items are in respectable condition, but most show signs of heavy use, with ragged edges, tears, ink stains, etc. (#116768)

Pickman's Muse

Lady Lovecraft just posted:

Friday, August 14, 2009
PICKMAN'S MUSE screening August 23rd!

Attention H.P. Lovecraft fans! Special Screening of Chicago filmmaker Robert Cappelletto’s latest feature, PICKMAN’S MUSE!

More info there click!

Message from Will Hart: Photos!

Greetings from Fullerton, California!

To Anyone with an Interest in H. P. Lovecraft and Providence:

A slight change of plans for the nearly 800 pictures I've created from my trip to the H. P. Lovecraft Centennial Celebration in Providence in August of 1990.

The original plan was to put them together on DVD-R's and send them out to other Lovecraftians as an early gift for the 20th. anniversary of the Centennial Celebration.

But knowing how work-life and personal-life can change plans for us, I decided to put everything on; where the pictures can all be accessed now, even while the sets are still being annotated in preparation for creating street-by-street sets and map links too.

All eighteen rolls of film (A-R) have now been uploaded into a Flickr Pro account (currently paid for through August of 2011); and that means they can be downloaded in their highest resolution (2000 X 3000) for anyone to use anyway they like.

I hope everyone finds something there they like; and perhaps have never seen before. Please forgive the inclusion of a few clunkers, and very grainy shots from two rolls of 1600 asa film, and from the scanner not liking Ektar 125!
And as I've stated on Flickr, please feel free to skip the first seventeen pictures and jump right to A_18 if you want to get right into the "good stuff"; you won’t hurt my feelings. I’m just including the non-Lovecraftian (and less than perfect) stuff for a more complete (pardon the expression) "picture" of one person’s visual record of those times and places.

Still a Friend of Lovecraft, After All These Years!

Will Hart

Please share this information with anyone you know that is
a Lovecraft fan; but especially those who attended the
Centennial Celebration.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lovecraft Jumble

If you liek word games, try to unscramble these.

(I tried to make it simple)

1. thulcuh
2. hrayelottpan
3. clrfoeavt
4. otahthza

Have fun (I hope).

I'm working on a few new things along with the usual factual and speculative stuff I've been placing in the blog.

Thanks for reading!


Twin Homunculus Clouds of Eta Carinae

Chrispy can't help but think that the man who incorporated Einstein, Hubble, and fledgling quantum physics, would not today incorporate the new theories of 'branes, big bang, and black hole theories into his weird fiction.

HPL's not with us today, so we have to speculate.

If the Eldritch Gods behaved sentient enough to have motives, emotions, and desires then I still advocate that these beings were created as universes banged into existence, and then faded with the death of entropic wheezing. In between those several billions of years they had but one desire - to live forever. Why? To master space-time. For even a dark energy creature, this is probably an impossibility, thus madness framed their existence. An unattainable goal constantly being attempted to attain.

What would a mad creature do to obtain this knowledge? No stone, no planet, no mathematical equation would be unturned to attept to achieve. A universe dies? No problem, they simply slide into a new 'brane and start over in another universe until it, too, died.

Yet, as the universes came and went, and vigntillions of years ticked like drops of water in the eternal ocean of timelessness, competitors arose. hey had to be eliminated - or dodged - or eluded - or avoided - just as long as one player attained the goal - of immortality and total power.

The ultimate game.

The ultimate madness.

In any event, this real life science event brings home what an Eldritch God might do to a star of a planet that was a bother or a problem.

Remember, to a dark energy being we are but star-ash.


A massive star that exploded when the universe was just 3 billion years old has been found. It is classified as a type IIn supernova, which is caused by a star that belches out large quantities of gas before its final explosion. The fitful Milky Way star Eta Carinae (above) jettisoned the twin Homunculus clouds in 1843 and is expected to meet its end as a type IIn supernova (Image: Jon Morse/University of Colorado/NASA)

Astronomers have turned up the oldest and most distant supernova ever found: the star that created it detonated just 3 billion years after the big bang. // This supernova is classified as a 'type IIn' supernova, which is caused by a star that belches out large quantities of gas before its final explosion. Its fiery death heats up that gas, causing it to glow long after light from the blast itself has faded. Indeed, the light from type IIn supernovae lasts for years, while ordinary supernovae may be visible for just a few weeks. // ..the explosions would shed light on how the universe became seeded with heavier elements. Only a few lightweight elements – hydrogen, helium, and lithium – are thought to have been created in the big bang; all others were forged over time in the nuclear furnaces of stars and in supernovae.


Woodstock (Cosby, Stills, Nash)
(Excerpted, and conflated)

And I feel like I'm a cog in something turning.
And I don't know who I am but life is for learning.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
We are stardust, we are golden, we caught in the devil’s bargain,
and we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

William Meikle

William Meikle: Another new anthology appearance today. Find out what happens when a regency heroine meets the deep old ones in my story "The Tenants of Ladywell Manor". Out now from Permuted Press. And check out the groovy cover

Imagine being free.
Free from everything that defines you, that makes you easily recognizable as who you are.
Inside you'll find Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers alongside a knight of the Round Table. The stock market will crash in a whole new, terrifying way. You'll follow along as heroes go head-to-head with eldritch horrors from Lovecraft's universe.
From Greek legends to Captain Nemo, from gangsters to brokers; from prisons to palaces, dead moons to South American jungles... No one is safe; nowhere is safe.
This is a Mythos collection unlike any other. This is Lovecraft in many colors, many guises.
This is Cthulhu-Unbound!

Whisperer in the Dark (1980) film

CINEFAN #2 (1980) 8 1/2 x 11, 68 pages. Very Fine condition. The making of the short film THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS based on the H.P. Lovecraft story. Articles on ROBOT MONSTER, SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, VAMPIRE CIRCUS and more.

For someone like Chrispy, 1980 seems like yesterday - but it was 29 years ago. Fandom was becoming intense with Lovecraft, and a result was the beginning of film making. The use of inexpensive videotape assisted aateur filmmakers as it was record and playback, and was beginning to be much easier to edit than 8 mm or other film stock.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Carl Setje's Lovecraft Article

Morgan Scorpion: Thanks for brining this to our attention.

{Below are links to M.S.'s exce;;ent Lovecraft recordings}

H.P. Lovecraft: Monstrous Horror, Monstrous Life
July 07, 2009 by Carl Setje


A Biographical Essay

On August 20th, 1890 Howard Phillips Lovecraft demurely entered this world in the town of Providence, Rhode Island. Lovecraft would never know his father, a syphilitic who was institutionalized in 1893 and would die five years later in 1898. The absence of his father turned Lovecraft to the influence of his grandfather, a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately, Lovecraft would lose this role-model at the age of 14 when his grandfather passed away in 1904.


Lovecraft would be heavily influenced by his mother's cocooning, and he often claimed she led him to believe he was not a normal boy. His youth is riddled with tales of infirmity and his education was almost solely home schooling. He was often "too ill" to attend school.


In 1921 Lovecraft met Sonia H. Greene, whom he would marry 3 years later. While financial troubles and Lovecraft's prejudice towards ethnically diverse urban locales are frequently cited as the reason for his eventual split with Sonia, one can't help but wonder if she was used as some kind of substitute for Lovecraft's mother. Perhaps this is what led to Ms Greene's nervous breakdown, and doomed the relationship. Regardless, once more insanity seemed to follow wherever Mr. Lovecraft went.

Lovecraft was reclusive, and returned to Providence following his short lived marriage to Sonia. He spent the rest of his days traveling around New England and writing letters to his associates and friends. Far from being a social butterfly, Lovecraft's correspondence, which was voluminous, became the lasting voice of a troubled, though great, mind.


Whether Lovecraft's modern cosmology was the source of personal genius, or if it was inspired by something more hideous may never be known.


Lovecraft's life was both short, he died at age 46, and peculiar. The impact of his writings on our collective consciousness is difficult to measure. His work has inspired multiple movies, been collected time and again into different anthologies, and continues to have an impact on modern science fiction and horror writers. As time goes by, the Man Lovecraft is replaced by the Legend. A distorted perspective of a quiet, reclusive New England man turns into an oracle of horrific brilliance, living, and thinking, "way ahead of his time."

More at the site.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Under the Pyramids"

Thanks Matt! (on facebook).

Cave Complex Allegedly Found Under Giza Pyramids
Rossella Lorenzi
Discovery News

Aug. 13, 2009 -- An enormous system of caves, chambers and tunnels lies hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs.

Populated by bats and venomous spiders, the underground complex was found in the limestone bedrock beneath the pyramid field at Giza.

"There is untouched archaeology down there, as well as a delicate ecosystem that includes colonies of bats and a species of spider which we have tentatively identified as the white widow," British explorer Andrew Collins said.

Collins, who will detail his findings in the book "Beneath the Pyramids" to be published in September, tracked down the entrance to the mysterious underworld after reading the forgotten memoirs of a 19th century diplomat and explorer.

"In his memoirs, British consul general Henry Salt recounts how he investigated an underground system of 'catacombs' at Giza in 1817 in the company of Italian explorer Giovanni Caviglia," Collins said.

The document records that the two explored the caves for a distance of "several hundred yards," coming upon four large chambers from which stretched further cave passageways.

With the help of British Egyptologist Nigel Skinner-Simpson, Collins reconstructed Salt's exploration on the plateau, eventually locating the entrance to the lost catacombs in an apparently unrecorded tomb west of the Great Pyramid.

Indeed, the tomb featured a crack in the rock, which led into a massive natural cave.

"We explored the caves before the air became too thin to continue. They are highly dangerous, with unseen pits and hollows, colonies of bats and venomous spiders," said Collins.

According to Collins, the caves -- which are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years old -- may have both inspired the development of the pyramid field and the ancient Egyptian's belief in an underworld.

"Ancient funerary texts clearly allude to the existence of a subterranean world in the vicinity of the Giza pyramids," Collins told Discovery News.

Lovecraft Goes to a Museum

[23 November 1928 to Wandrei]

I hope to get to Boston next week to see the new wing of decorative arts at the museum. … From all accounts, it will make Metropolitan’s American wing a back number.

[23 November 1928 to Derleth]

Sometime soon I am going to see the new wing of the art museum there. It is devoted to architectural interiors from 1493 to 1801, & is said to be so representative that it makes the Metropolitain Museum’s American wing retreat as a back number. This is right in my line, & with the museum so near at hand (an hour by train – two by bus) I mean to take advantage of it. It opened yesterday.

{Mr. Joshi notes in the Derleth letter collection that HPL did not go to the museum until January 1929. Those details Chrispy will post shortly.}


[4 January 1929 from HPL and Samuel Loveman to Wandrei]

Ave, young Melmoth! {HPL’s affectionate nickname for the often hitchhiking Wandrei – CP} Behold the Convention! We’ve been treading the ground which you’ll recall from a year & a half a go - & glimpsed the Excellent Lunch (opposite the Y) * from a car window this afternoon.

{The Y is the YMCA, in those days an inexpensive hotel for some travelers. The Excellent Lunch is said by Mr. Joshi to possibly be represented by the Ideal Lunch in HPL’s story “The Shadow Over Inssmouth”. – CP}

[16 January 1929 to Wandrei]

I stayed in Boston a day longer that Loveman …

[12 January 1929 to Derleth]

Last week I had a pleasant & unexpected visit from my poetic friend Samuel Loveman, & was able to shew him the quaintness & antiquities of my beloved Providence for the first time.

I then accompanied him to Boston, & introduced him to the historic reliques of that ancient metropolis.

P.S. I enclose a few postcards of last week’s trip.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beauty or Horror? Order or Chaos? Sanity or Madness?


This may appear to be a Hollywood special effect, or a batrachian nightmare from the dreams of Lovecraft. Maybe. Actually it's three-day-old embryos of red-eyed tree frogs. They're shown reaching their big, branching gills near the oxygen-rich egg surface.

It's from my Science News magazine of 15 August 2009, p.27 ff, or online: here.

Lovecraft's Grave, circa 2000


Alan states (on Coast 2 Coast AM): In 2000 I visited the grave site of my literary hero, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937). Is it possible the artifact on the left is the spirit of the Old Gentleman of Providence out to visit a devoted fan?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

C M Eddy, Jr. News

Thanks, "C", for alerting me to this article!

Below is a link to buy the book.


Pulp-era horror is resurrected in book of tales

By Doug Norris

NARRAGANSETT - A close friend to H.P. Lovecraft and Harry Houdini, lifelong Rhode Islander C.M. Eddy Jr. is perhaps best known for his stories in Weird Tales. Eddy's tales of horror, the supernatural and detective mystery appeared in several pulp magazines in the early 20th century.

Just in time for Halloween, a partial collection of his work, "The Loved Dead and Other Tales," consisting of 13 stories from the pulps, has been compiled and published by his grandson, Jim Dyer, owner of Fenham Publishing of Narragansett.

"He was a pack rat," said Dyer of his grandfather. "He kept all of his stories, letters, notes. It's something that runs in the family."

This is the second collection of Eddy's tales that Dyer has published. Fenham Publishing's first venture into the Eddy oeuvre was "Exit Into Eternity, Tales of the Bizarre and Supernatural," a collection of five stories, including one novelette and one unfinished fragment titled "Black Noon." Dyer later edited and published "The Gentleman from Angell Street, Memories of H.P. Lovecraft," which included writings from his grandfather and his grandmother, Muriel, who both knew Lovecraft well.

"My grandparents became friends with Lovecraft in the early 1920s," Dyer said. "He used to walk to their house in Fox Point and stay late into the night. My grandfather and he would take late-night walks in the streets of Providence, looking for interesting places or just talking about ideas for stories. My grandmother typed some of his manuscripts."

Dyer said that Lovecraft encouraged Eddy's writing, offering advice and editing, as he did with many writers of the day.

"He wasn't competitive at all," Dyer said, adding that, according to his grandmother, "Lovecraft had a hand in a lot of stories that he never got any credit for. He had a circle of friends, who would mail each other different stories and make comments."

"The Loved Dead," the opening story in the new collection, was so controversial in its day that it almost didn't get published. It deals with the subject of necrophilia.

"His agent said no one would touch it in America," Dyer said. "He told my grandfather to try to publish it in France. He thought it might find an audience in Paris, where they had the Grand-Guignol, a theater of the bizarre. Eventually Weird Tales published the story in 1924, even though the editor still had his doubts. As it turned out, the controversy helped sell more copies of the magazine." The story is even credited with helping Weird Tales avoid bankruptcy.

Seven stories first published in Weird Tales make up part of the new collection. Dyer's favorite of these is a tale titled "The Ghost-Eater."

"It's a werewolf story," Dyer said, "but it's an offbeat werewolf story, about a ghost werewolf."

Eddy wrote horror and supernatural tales, along with detective mysteries such as "Sign of the Dragon," first published in Mystery Magazine in 1919 and re-published here. Other stories describe mad scientists, Neanderthals, phantoms and ancient curses.

"Supernatural had to do with something not of this world, like werewolves, vampires," Dyer said. "The horror story was more based in real life, but just scary. But I don't think they differentiated back then with all of the subcategories. That came later."

"It's the kind of writing he liked to do," Dyer added. "Magazines like Weird Tales published stories that didn't fit into the other magazines of the day. My grandfather called his stories his 'brainchildren.' "

In addition to pulp fiction writing, Eddy was a composer of lyrics and melodies, whose songs included "Dearest of All," "When We Met by the Blue Lagoon," "Underneath the Whispering Pine," "Sunset Hour" and "Hello, Mister Sunshine (Goodbye, Mister Rain)."

"People used to send him their poems and he'd put them to music," Dyer said.

Eddy became a theatrical booking agent in Providence, which was his residence throughout his life (except for a short stint in East Providence). He befriended a number of famous vaudevillians and performers, including the great Houdini, one of the most popular entertainers of his time.

"He worked as a ghostwriter and an investigator for Houdini," Dyer said. "Houdini paid writers to write stories that had his name on them in popular magazines. He also used to go around the country breaking up seances and exposing mediums as fakes. My grandfather would travel to a town ahead of him and find out everything he could. He'd figure out how the voices were coming from the walls, how the table might be moving. Then he'd type up a report for Houdini, who would show up with all of the newspapers and expose the act as if he was doing it on the spot."

"The Loved Dead and Other Tales" costs $16.95 and is available at local bookstores or through the publisher's Web site,

80,000 th !

Thank YOU for reading. :)
80,000 of you!


A Visit by Munn

Lovecraft’s letters indicate that he must have had a running diary of events since he often added identical, or even verbatim, comments about his day to day activities and notable events in his life. Considering the vast correspondence he conducted from his earliest days of letter writing, it must have become a defacto process to make sure he covered all pertinent details with his colleagues and fans.

It’s also interesting to see the hierarchy of his revelations. To casual fans, he released very limited details and used formal language in the address. To people he knew well, he became more intimate, and often began to call them by affectionate nicknames.

Here, we examine in detail the visit of H. Warner Munn to Providence.

Munn’s Visit:

[31 July 1928 to Wandrei]

I trust Munn has by this time looked you up. He was here yesterday, & we had a very pleasant session – went down to Eddy’s Bookstore & nosed around until he found an old story by Camille Flammarion in some 1893 Cosmopolitans. … Regards to Munn if you see him.

Now compare to:
[4 August 1928 to Derleth]

I had a call Monday from young H. Warner Munn of Athol, our fellow contributor to W.T. {Weird Tales – CP} He was passing through Providence in the course of a motor trip, & stopped most of the day. … Incidentally, when Munn and I were in Eddy’s bookshop Monday, (this Eddy is uncle of the C. M. Eddy, Jr who writes for W.T.). We met the venerable Joseph Lewis French, editor of the anthology “Ghosts, Grim and Gentle”. He is a quaint, peppery-voiced old codger of 70.

Note that by now, HPL was intimate with Wandrei, but was still explaining background to Derleth.

The information continues:
[31 July 1928 to Wandrei]

Late in the afternoon I undertook to guide Munn on his way to NY,& rode with him as far as East Greenwich, coming back by omnibus & trolley.

Now compare to:
[4 August 1928 to Derleth]

In the late afternoon I piloted him for about 20 miles of his course toward New York, leaving him at the quaint village of East Greenwich & coming back by trolley. … In N.Y. he will look up Wandrei (who is rooming only 2 blocks from my old place at 169 Clinton St., scene of “The Horror at Red Hook”.)

This shows the care HPL takes with each correspondent to make that correspondent feel intimate with Lovecraft to the degree that decorum and familiarity to that point in time allowed. Wandrei was familiar with the Providence environment, while Derleth was still being taught by HPL. Yet, the same information was basically conveyed.

Lovecraft had a host of correspondents, and unfortunately, Chrispy could not find other letters of this particular matter and date to correlate, but it seems reasonable to conclude that the same essential information was conveyed to each correspondent and was based on notes that HPL constantly kept.

The Eddy’s Bookstore is long gone, and yet Chrispy was able to locate where it might have been. In one of my next posts, I’ll attempt to show the research on this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Holy Batrachian: A Flying Frog

Imagine if Innsmouthians could fly!


Mark Wright, WWF's conservation science advisor said: "These exciting finds reinforce just how little we now about the world around us.

"In the Eastern Himalayas we have a region of extraordinary beauty and with some of the most biologically rich areas on the planet.

"Ironically, it is also one of the regions most at risk from climate change, as evidenced by the rapid retreat of the glaciers, and only time will tell how well species will be able to adapt – if at all."

Among the discoveries are a bright green frog (Rhacophorus suffry) which uses its red and long webbed feet to glide in the air.

Stuart Morton Boland in Acolyte 11

Here are those images I mentioned.

Boland mentions his remembrance of Lovecraft's letter(s), and presumably still had them as he seems to quote at length. It appears, circumstantially, that Barlow ended up with Boland's letters to HPL. They are not spoken of anymore in extant communication after 1 Ocober - that I've seen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

1900 th Post


I'm not sure how to react to typing in 1900 posts on Lovecraft.

Other than some comments and notes I get, I do all the writing, I make all the typos, I do all the editing, I do all the blogger html stuff, and I get to do most of the research. It's been a trip!

There are times it leaves little time to write my own stories, articles, edit for Arcane Wisdom, and work with Dark Recesses, but it's all good.

When I started HPLblog, I felt possessed by the man. Now, I feel a sense of relief that I've had a chance to honor him in my own way as a reward for the pleasure of reading he's given me.

In the meantime, I've met so many wonderful friends and acqaintances I still get breathless some days. Some lurk, and that's perfectly cool. Some email, and to those folks I say, as John Denver often did, "Far Out!"

Thank YOU for reading.

Now onward to the 2000th post, and then what will happen after that?

The Eldritch Gods Strike Again: 3 Planets So Far

Can you see the signs?

...When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky ... [The Call of Cthulhu, HP Lovecraft]


First Jupiter gets a black eye, then Venus flares white, and now Saturn's rings are whacked. Coming to a planet near you?


An unknown object appears to have punched through one of Saturn's rings and left a calling card in the form of trailing debris. NASA's Cassini spacecraft snapped the image on June 11, 2009 during its ongoing tour of Saturn and its moons.

Phil Plait of Discover's Bad Astronomy likens the event to the "fist of an angry god" messing up Saturn's F ring. He also raises the question of whether mystery object X has a truly bizarre orbit around the planet which takes it up and down through the rings, or whether it's a wayward wanderer that was pulled in on collision course due to one of Saturn's moons.


Could Cthulhu Have a Companion?

We know that Cthulhu sleepeth.

However, my fantasy imagination has often wondered whether a restless companion, another servant of the Old Ones, exists and sleeps less? If so, the hot iron core of Earth would make a nice cozy bed for a sentient life form made of dark energy.

Why do I ask?

There have been so many deep sea eruptions, and churning of mantle that one wonders what the Old Ones are up to?

Here is one event only 74,000 years ago. What nightmares did this silent and unseen companion cause to humans who lived then?



Did an Ancient Volcano Freeze Earth?
By Phil Berardelli
ScienceNOW Daily News
7 July 2009

One fine day about 74,000 years ago, a giant volcano on Sumatra blew its top. The volcano, named Toba, may have ejected 1000 times more rock and other material than Mount St. Helens in Washington state did in 1980. In the process, it cooled the climate by at least 10°C, causing a global famine. But could the aftermath have been even worse? A new study puts to rest questions about whether Toba plunged Earth into a 1000-year deep freeze and whether an equivalent event today could jump-start a new, millennia-long ice age.
Giant volcanic eruptions such as Toba briefly cause the opposite of global warming. Although eruptions do emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, volcanoes also spew sulfur dioxide. Combined with water vapor, sulfur dioxide forms sulfate aerosols, which can spread around the globe, blocking solar radiation and chilling the air before becoming acid rain and snow.

Paleoclimate evidence suggests that the Toba eruption, which occurred during the last ice age, emitted lots of sulfur dioxide--vastly more than Mount St. Helens did. The eruption also seems to have coincided with the start of a 1000-year period of even colder temperatures. Some scientists have suggested that Toba caused the deep freeze and that perhaps such an event happening today could bring on a new ice age. But models developed by NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, argue otherwise.

Researchers led by climatologist Alan Robock of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, ran scenarios that featured eruptions producing up to several times more sulfur dioxide than Toba. The result, published 27 May in the Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres, was a cooler climate that lasted only a few decades. So the 1000-year cold spell was probably part of the natural cycle that has produced more than a dozen ice ages over the past couple of million years.

"The results virtually eliminate mega volcanic eruptions as one of the key drivers of global-scale glaciation," says climatologist Ellen Mosley-Thompson of Ohio State University in Columbus, who was not involved in the study. So, paleoclimatologists should focus on more likely climate coolers, she says, such as changes in ocean circulation or cyclical variations in Earth's orbit around the sun.

Still, if Toba erupted today like it did in the past, the results would be catastrophic. Although the volcano isn't expected to blow its top for thousands of years, Robock and colleagues estimate a megaeruption could lower global temperatures by as much as 17°C for several years, followed by a recovery to normal conditions that could take decades. That would hit the human population with the double whammy of dramatically reduced agricultural production and widespread loss of vegetation, leading to widespread food shortages and starvation.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Horror At Red Hook: An Image

...Clouded for a second with a certain phosphorescence, and for a moment there seemed to echo in the night outside the suggestion of a faint and hellish tittering ... Odours of incense and corruption joined in sickening concert, and the black air was alive with the cloudy, semi-visible bulk of shapeless elemental things with eyes. -(excerpts from HPL's "The Horror At Red Hook")

This gives a whole new idea of "The Horror At Red Hook". From an image at CoastToCoastAM:
Strange Skies Over Manhattan
Joe DeRenzo shares this photo of strange clouds that formed at sunset after a thunderstorm drenched New York City.
wikipedia article

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Stuart Morton Boland and the Necronomicon

Back in 2007, I listed an article from the old Acolyte as a Lovecraftian curiosity. Now that the Derleth Letters have been published, more info is available - from HPL's side.

[24 Oct 1936] "Speaking of the bizarre - I had an interesting note the other day from an apparently scholarly chap in San Francisco - by name, Stuart Morton Boland - who announces himself as a librarian who has been all over the world studying esoteric elder parchments like the Necronomicon in various places sch as Budapest, Madras, Bombay, &c. He thinks there may be some substratum of truth behind my references to the Necro, & will accordingly be disappointed when he finds that Grandpa is a callous materialist. But I'm being very curteous in my disillusionment; since he seems to be an extremely pleasant sage, & has promised to send me some mysterious objects which he obtained at the cryptic pre-Nahuan Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan during a recent trip to Mexico. The latter will surely be welcome, since my private "museum" already contains 5 Central-American items - 2 early Mayan images, an earthen Aztec image, an Aztec bowl, & an earthen Aztec calendar-stone."

The only other reference I can find right now is:

[To Barlow, 16 September 1936] "...correspondence hammering on all sides ... I owe 7 letters now ... {on envelope} ... Just had an esoteric-looking communication from an occultly inclined nut in San Francisco who seems to be a sort of educated Bill Lumley. I'll enclose it in my next for your edification."

It's true that Boland was "scholarly" as can be seen with his article in THE ISLAMIC REVIEW of JANUARY 1951: Arab Contributions to World Civilizationby Stuart Morton Boland. Also here: click.

We also know from this journal that Boland was a graduate of University of California, Librarian of the Ocean View Branch of San Francisco.

Now, my original posts are below with some images ...

... which refer to the ACOLYTE #11, Summer 1945. Of Lovecraftian interest is an article, "Interlude with Lovecraft" by Stuart Morton Boland. I have located, on line, copies of these pages!

I'll post the images later, which are from if you want to get a head start reading these pages.

I checked Wandrei's letters with no mention of Boland.


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