Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Revision


I am ending this year with a month of rewrites. As I explain'd in my other blog, I spent some time earlier this month completely revising and partially rewriting "The Zanies of Sorrow," a non-Lovecraftian story. Now I have completely a complete revision of the story I consider my finest, "Inhabitants of Wraithwood," after discovering that I didn't have my own personal doc of the story. I did find an old file with a bunch of stories, one of which was "Wraithwood"; but it was a "read only" file, and being utterly computer-clueless I didn't know how to save it as a single file, my computer wouldn't let me. I was, however, able to print out that version, & so I did and used that copy while typing up a new doc. As I began to type, I was dismay'd to discover how much of the writing of that original version displeas'd me, how clumsy some of the writing was; & so, of course, I began to revise as I typed, and by the end of three days' labor found that I had made quite a few alterations and revisions. I think that I have improved the story, although I didn't make any really major changes to the text.

I have a vague recollection of writing that original version of the story. I think what inspir'd it was Stan Sargent's teasing me about not being able to write stories of length. It was true that, back then, I had trouble writing anything longer than 2,000 words. So I got out my manuel (not even electric!) typewriter and told myself, "I'm gonna write a story and it's gonna be fifty pages long!" I can't recall, but I think a desire to do something with ye theme of "Pickman's Model" inspir'd the theme of weird art that is ye basis of the tale. I remember wanting to use the story to pay a kind of homage to some of my favorite paintings. So I started writing, with just a vague story idea in my head but no actual outline jotted down. By the time I typed "--finis--", I had a manuscript of fifty pages exactly

I had a hunch that it was a rather good story, compar'd to moft of ye stuff I had written; and so I excitedly sent it and another new story to S. T. Joshi. He was utterly unimpress'd. "These two new stories just won't do," his letter inform'd me. 


I think S. T. was just preparing to edit the first volume of BLACK WINGS, but I hadn't written my story with that anthology in mind. I cannot now remember what he didn't like about the story, although he express'd confusion about the Pickman connection and what it added to the plot. I decided that I wou'd save my new story and use it as one of the original unpublish'd yarns in a new collection. Some time later, I got a letter from S. T. in which he listed the final selection of accepted stories for Black Wings--and there it was, in ye list: "Inhabitants of Wraithwood". A pleasant surprise--I really did want to be included in S. T.'s anthology.

My recent typing up ye tale led me to reconsider the Pickman allusions--were they really necessary to ye story? Could it exist just fine without the Lovecraft connection? Perhaps; but as I typed up ye new revision, I felt in my gut that that aspect of the story did indeed belong and added to ye overall mood and substance of ye text. So it stay'd. 

Now I hope to spend ye next few weeks actually writing new stuff!

Monday, December 14, 2015

UNCLE FORRY

AN ECSTASY OF FEAR AND OTHERS, Centipede Press 2017

I confess that I love what I suppose wou'd be describ'd as "traditional Lovecraftian horror", stories that paint imagery such as we have in ye illustration beside this text: the full moon, the abandoned necropolis with its overgrown grass and twisted tress, the hoary antient sarcophagus nestled in its lonesome mausoleum, & ye solitary haunter of ye dark. Just as there are motifs and moods and such that I love to paint in my stories, there are tales and settings by H. P. Lovecraft that continually draw me to them as I seek his texts for inspiration, from which I sup as if the story was some unholy fount. One setting that I continue to visit in my own work is Kingsport, the city in mist. I have a vague fancy to eventually write some handful more tales set there and then collect all of my Kingsport stories in a single book, as I collected my tales of Nyarlathotep in The Strange Dark One. A wee few months ago I finalized ye Contents for my forthcoming second omnibus to be publish'd by Centipede Press. Almoft all of ye stories are reprints; and one story, "Smooth Artifact of Stone", is a revision and expansion of a tale that was publish'd in a small press anthology. Here is ye Contents for that forthcoming book from Centipede Press--An Ecstasy of Fear and Others:
"Underneath an Arkham Moon" (in collaboration with Jessica Amanda Salmonson)
"The Black Winged Ones (3,670 words)
"Gathered Dust" (12,200 words)
"To Dance Among Your Puppets" (1,100 words)
"An Ecstasy of Fear" (11,600 words)
"Let Us Wash This Thing" (2,260 words)
"Artifice" (200 words)
"Letters from an Old Gent" (2,460 words)
"The Imps of Innsmouth" (2,390 words)
"Smooth Artifact of Stone" (3,075 words)
"Some Unknown Gulf of Night" (40,080 words)
"An Identity in Dream" (580 words)
"Hempen Rope" (500 words)
"Chamber of Dreams" (525 words)
"Unhallowed Places" (9,500 words)
"House of Legend" (735 words)
"A Shadow of Your Own Design" (2,625 words)
"Cesare" (307 words)
"To See Beyond" (9,000 words)
"A Quest of Dream" (5,200 words)
"The Horror on Tempest Hill" (11,660 words)
"Pickman's Lazarus" (4,660 words)

"The Horror on Tempest Hill" has been publish'd under ye title of "A Presence of the Past". I decided I wanted a title that sounded more like a book publish'd by Arkham House. It is, of course, my "Sesqua Valley version" of Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear", and I am very fond of the thing, although S. T. (my book's editor) isn't crazy about it. I had such fun writing it, but the story never made much of an impact, I guess, for no one has ever mention'd it to me and said what they think of it. 

I confess that I smiled wickedly to myself when ye idea for the new story hatched within my brain. "My ghod, girlfriend, you're not seriously going to write another story inspir'd by 'Pickman's Model'!" But of course I had to; because when one gets such an idea planted into one's imagination, it gnaws at you until ye have exorcised it by writing it out in fiction form. My other attempts to write something in which Lovecraft's Pickman character appears as a character have been so bloody awful that it shock'd me to find myself doing it yet again. My story is in two parts, the first of which is entitl'd "The Past" and concerns a fellow known as "Mr. Richard Peters" who has a secret art studio in Boston's North End. He is obsess'd with an idea he has for a macabre religious work inspir'd by Christ's raising up of a dead bloke. And he has created a life-size model on which to base his Art. Ye 2nd portion of ye tale in entitl'd "The Narrative of Grevel Zhukovsky," and is set in modern time. I really enjoy'd writing this story--especially as it had been quite a while since I had completed a new work, and it felt delicious, once ye final revision was completed and printed, to hold that new manuscript in my paw.

There is nothing more beautiful than a Centipede Press book, and I think my new book will be especially gorgeous because it will include some illustrations by that magnificent artist, David Ho! Below are some samples of his Art.




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Trade pb edition is Popular!


Ye trade pb edition of A MOUNTAIN WALKED is #3 in ye Amazon charts of best-selling horror anthologies! The Contents is slightly different from the hardcover edition, missing the two stories by H. P. Lovecraft (they were added to ye hardcover by the publisher, and S. T. wasn't entirely happy with their inclusion in ye tome), and some few other items. Ye Contents of the trade pb and Kindle edition from Dark Regions Press follows:

Introduction, S. T. Joshi
The House of the Worm, Mearl Prout
Far Below, Robert Barbour Johnson
Spawn of the Green Abyss, C. Hall Thompson
The Deep Ones, James Wade
The Franklyn Paragraph, Ramsey Campbell
Where Yidhra Walks, Walter C. DeBill, Jr.
Black Man with a Horn, T.E.D. Klein
The Last Feast of harlequin, Thomas Ligotti
Only the End of the World Again, Neil Gaiman
Mandelbrot Moldrot, Lois H, Gresh
Black Brat of Dunwich, Stanley C. Sargent
The Phantom of Beguilement, W. H. Pugmire
...Hungry...Rats, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Virgin's Island, Donald Tyson
In the Shadow of Swords, Cody Goodfellow
Mobymart After Midnight, Jonathan Thomas
A Gentleman from Mexico, Mark Samuels
John Four, Caitlin R. Kiernan
Sigma Octantis, Rhys Hughes
[Anasazi], Gemma Files
The Wreck of the Aurora, Patrick McGrath
Beneath the Beardmore, Michael Shea

This is one of ye really outstanding anthologies in the genre, shewing the vital and  titan influence that H. P. Lovecraft has had on writers of modern horror. I do not hesitate to proclaim that at least two of the tales, those by Klein and Ligotti, are classic tales of horror, masterpieces in every way. This is mostly a reprint anthology--but the stories reprinted are in many cases difficult to find, being rarely reprinted anywhere else.  And, honey, ye cover of this trade pb edition doesn't lie--these are great stories, and they showcase the diversity of styles that makes up modern horror. One that I am especially fond of, because it touches on a memory of how it felt when I first became a Cthulhu Mythos nut; and, it evokes a memory of Robert Hayward Barlow, my gay brother whose suicide was triggered (if I understand the situation correctly) by fear of homophobia. My own story in ye book is one of many tales I have set in Lovecraft's Kingsport, that city in ye mists with which I am obsess'd (indeed, one day I plan on publishing an entire collection of my Kingsport stories--after I've written six or seven more).

The hardcover edition of this book was one of the most amazingly awesome and beautiful books I've ever beheld. Although this pb edition lacks all the incredible artwork and one of the finest of ye original tales (by Laird Barron), it is still a stunning collection, and serves as a significant tribute to ye influence of E'ch-Pi-El.
with S. T. and Lois at NecronomiCon 2013

rereading S. T. Joshi, yep

Friday, December 4, 2015

Where Once Poe Walked by H P Lovecraft - Poem - animation

H. P. Lovecraft Virtualy reads from "The Nameless City" Literary discuss...

Lovecraft Part 1: A Christian Minister & H.P. Lovecraft Fan explores his...

Divers Hands


One of August Derleth's finest ideas was ye publication of a series of marginalia-themed books that not only included rare items from H. P. Lovecraft's pen but also, importantly, memoirs of E'ch-Pi-El by still-living members of ye Lovecraft Circle. The vile aspect of these books is that they "inspir'd" Derleth to pen one or two new collaborations "with" Lovecraft, and Augie's ego then allow'd that ye new fake collaboration serve as book title. The book's inner-flap perpetuates the myth that Derleth was completing stories that Lovecraft left unfinish'd:

"In the novella which is the title story of this collection of Lovecraftiana, August Derleth develops an incompleted Lovecraft story linking the Innsmouth and Dunwich themes, achieving a typical Lovecraftian horror."

There are so many things about that statement that are horribly false. Lovecraft wrote one story about Innsmouth and one story about Dunwich--he wou'd not have written others--as he did with the one mythical setting, Arkham, that he used repeatedly. Derleth's "The Shuttered Room" is an awful story, a clear ripoff of "The Dunwich Horror," and is an insult to Lovecraft's memory. 

But this book has some excellent features. Ye Contents:
Foreword, by August Derleth
The Shuttered Room, by August Derleth
The Fisherman of Falcon Point, by August Derleth
Juvenilia and Early Tales, by H. P. Lovecraft
     The Little Glass Bottle
     The Secret Cave
     The Mystery of the Grave-Yard
     The Mysterious Ship
     The Alchemist
     Poetry and the Gods
     The Street
Old Bugs, by H. P. Lovecraft
Idealism and Materialism: A Reflection, by H. P. Lovecraft
The Commonplace Book of H. P. Lovecraft, annotated by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei
Lovecraft in Providence, by Donald Wandrei
Lovecraft as mentor, by August Derleth
Out of the Ivory Tower, by Robert Bloch
Three Hours with H. P. Lovecraft, by Dorothy C. Walter
Memories of a Friendship, by Alfred Galpin
Four Poems
     Homage to H. P. Lovecraft, by Felix Stefanile
     H. P. L., by Clark Ashton Smith
     Lines to H. P. Lovecraft, by Joseph Payne Brennan
     Revenants, by August Derleth
The Barlow Tributes
H. P. Lovecraft: The Books, by Lin Carter
H. P. Lovecraft: The Gods, by Lin Carter
Addendum: Some Observations on the Carter Glossary, by T. G. L. Cockcroft
Notes on the Cthulhu Mythos, by George T. Wetzel
Lovecraft's First Book, by William L. Crawford
Dagon, by H. P. Lovecraft
The Strange High House in the Mist, by H. P. Lovecraft
The Outsider, by H. P. Lovecraft

To ye best of my knowledge, much of the newer material (seemingly written especially for this anthology) has never been reprinted, and much of it is interesting. The essays by Lin Carter are interesting both in their content and in the way they exhibit Carter's mania for ye Mythos, which resulted in his writing his own batch of Mythos fiction, which was then collected by Robert M. Price in ye Chaosium book, The Xothic Cycle, a book that I confess I have return'd to more than once just for the sheer joy of reading traditional Mythos fiction--although it has always seem'd to me that the stories reveal far more of a Derleth than a Lovecraft influence.

I love these Divers Hands books from Arkham House--and that phrase, "divers hands," is exactly right, and it shews the tremendous influence that Lovecraft and his work exerted during his lifetime, and shortly afterward. Happily, that eldritch influence continues, more potently than ever, in this neoteric era.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Nice Lovecraftian Visit


It remains a kind of miracle to me that S. T. Joshi, ye world's leading Lovecraft scholar & editor, came to dwell in my home town and is nigh one of my best buddies. For an obsess'd H. P. Lovecraft fan-boy, that is sweeter than ice cream. We spoke of many things, and S. T. encourag'd me to write a story for one of his forthcoming anthologies after I had determined I was unable to come up with anything original or interesting. H. P. Lovecraft is the source of my need to write, and S. T. is the potent alchemist who fuels my creative machine.

S. T. went to visit his mother and came home with some of his books that were in her possession, and he made these titles available for purchase. I snatch'd up ye moft sought-after prize, H. P. LOVECRAFT: FOUR DECADES OF CRITICISM, publish'd by ye Ohio University Press in 1980. And I was rather struck by ye opening essay, "H. P. Lovecraft: His Life and Work", by S. T. and Kenneth W. Faig, Jr. Here's that paragraph:

The criticism of the life and work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) represents a singular chapter in the history of of literature. Lovecraft the man has been labelled a "sexless misfit," an "eccentric recluse," a "horrifying figure," a "sick juvenile," or simply "strange;" but others (most of whom knew and met Lovecraft) have said that he was "a great gentleman, the the truest sense of that much abused term," a "rational man before anything else," a "fascinating companion, teacher, and guide," and "not freakish, simply different." Of his work still greater contradictions arise: he was a "ghastly writer," a "bad writer," "not a good writer," and an "atrocious writer;" yet on the other hand he was "the supreme master of the tale of horror," "one of the most sensitive and powerful writers of [his] generation," and "the greatest American author of horror tales since Poe;" his tales are "nearly always perfect in structure" and are "superbly written;" his style has been called both "distinguished" and "undistinguished." It is difficult to find an author in this century whose life, character, and mannerisms have been so minutely and voluminously documented; whose writings were so unrecognised in his lifetime, yet so widely known after his death. We must look  to Poe and LeFanu to find writers whose lives have accumulated such bizarre legendry; to Conan Doyle to find one whose work has inspired such blatant imitation; and to Nathanael West to find one whose work has suffered such vicissitudes in critical acceptance. The reasons for all these occurrences are many, and to explain them requires an exploration not only of Lovecraft's life, work, and character, but many aspects of literature itself."

That was written in 1980--and it seems more relevant to-day than any other decade; and, to me, that is simply incredible. I will confess that ye current bad-mouthing of HPL and S. T. that can be found online is one of ye main reasons I began this new blog. I find both men almost-entirely admirable. My criticism of HPL is his blatant and inexcusable racism, and his seemingly indifferent attitude toward the fate of his fiction. I mean. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward was left with his unpublish'd papers in an unpolish'd manuscript form, and we are lucky that HPL didn't destroy that manuscript as he did so many others. My main criticism of S. T. is more an expression of bafflement over his love of contact sports--he loves watching football on telly! (S. T. counters this by saying, "You're appalled at my love of sports, and I'm repulsed at your being a Mormon.")

I am as blatant an S. T. Joshi Enthusiast as I am an obsess'd H. P. Lovecraft fanatic--and that will no doubt be ye recurring theme of this blog.


Monday, November 16, 2015

I, too, have had my influence . . .


Lovecraft isn't ye onlie one who has had a nefarious influence on weird fiction. When I became a total Cthulhu Mythos nut in ye early 1970s, one of my all-time favourite writers was Brian Lumley. My ghod, I thought he was magnificent. I cannot now recall how I obtain'd his address--probably from Jim Turner of Arkham House--but I began to write Lumley ferver'd fan letters, and then I wrote foam-at-ye-mouth articles about how excellent his fiction was in my Lovecraft fanzine. Honey, I was young and clueless, and utterly obsess'd with ye Mythos. Indeed, to my shame these days, I wrote a rather disapproving review of one of Ramsey Campbell's collections in an early issue of Nyctalops--disappointing because I found the stories lacking in wondrous Cthulhu Mythos elements!! How dense ye young can be! 

So ye can imagine my utter delight when Lumley (I addressed him as "Briantus" in my letters to him) sent me the follow missive:


O My Holy Yuggoth!!!!!!!!! One of my favourite writers wanted to write a story inspir'd by my idea! & he wanted to name one of ye characters after me!!!! 

You see, I began writing horror fiction seriously when I was a Mormon missionary in Ireland. Yes, that's right--ye eldritch queen was one of yem lads who went around knocking on doors and annoying people. Can ye image having ye geek pictur'd below knock on your door wanting to preach about Jesus and Joseph Smith:

Anyway, while station'd in Omagh, Northern Ireland, I began to write horror stories. And although I have no memory of it, I wrote one called "The Seashell", using "Bill Pugmire" as my byline, and sent it to some fanzine called SCORPIA, who printed ye tale in their issue of October 1972. I don't remember getting a copy of the published tale, but 1972 was when I got transferred from Ireland to ye Arizona/Las Vegas mission due to health problems, so if ye issue was sent me it must have got lost. I seem to recall having rewritten the story in the mid-1970's, when I became "serious" about being a writer, and submitting it to some other fanzine. Anyway, I must have mention'd ye tale to Brian in our correspondence, and he asked to use ye idea for a wee story, which then became the wee novel, THE RETURN OF THE DEEP ONES. Some mate in England sent me ye British pb edition when it came out; and then, later, I bought ye hardcover edition of The Whisperer and Other Voices (Tor Books, 2001), where ye novel was reprinted. 

Over the years, after my initial obsession with Mythos fiction, I became less enamored of the genre and, in my maturity, found Lumley's fiction rather wanting. Thus I confess that, although I have try'd --- I've never been able to completely read The Return of the Deep Ones cos I find it too bloody boring. Still, it was a wonderful thrill, when I was young, to have one of my Lovecraftian heroes write that story and name one of his nasty Deep Ones "William P. Marsh".

  

Friday, November 13, 2015

still cool, bitches

I was sent ye ARC of The Annotated Fungi from Yuggoth---& I cannot speak too much about ye book because it is still a work in progress and not yet available for pre-order from ye publisher. But--Great Yuggoth!--it is such a cool edition, utterly sublime & definitive. Hippocampus Press will probably publish it in handsome hardcover format early next year. 


One of ye highlights of ye book, for me, is that each page of Lovecraft's holograph manuscript has been photograph'd & printed; and, once again, I am rather happy that I never had ye yearning to be an editor of Lovecraft's texts. I mean, check it out:

Lovecraft wrote Fungi from Yuggoth in the week between December 27 and January 4, 1928--so that had me imagining that he sat down at his desk and easily spill'd forth his sonnets onto paper, that the entire thing was a simple and fast affair. But as ye can see above, he freaking slaved over ye writing of ye poem--for each handwritten original draft looks like ye one pictur'd above. Eventually, of course, a typed manuscript was produced. That wasn't the case with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, which was left in handwritten manuscript form only at ye time of Lovecraft's death. Can you imgine trying to decipher a short novel where every page of manuscript looks like this:



Lovecraft handwriting can be rather attractive, and those clever folk at The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society sell a font based on Lovecraft's penmenship; and Will Hart, in his audio readers of ye Fungi from Yuggoth downloaded on YouTube, has used that font as the video image of each poem, thus:



Fungi from Yuggoth is a work that has captivated me for a long time. It inspir'd me to finally try my hand at my own sonnet sequence, which was publish'd in Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts--and I am now so asham'd at how poor my poems are that I won't allow moft of yem to be reprinted. I've been working on a new series, Sonnets of an Eldritch Bent, the first few of which have just been publish'd in Weirdbook #31. Of my old sonnets, my favourite is the one I wrote in memory of Oscar Wilde:



I had in mind the idea that I wanted to write something entirely inspir'd by Lovecraft's sonnets, and then Will Hart began to upload his readings of them on his site and on YouTube--and that's whut finally did it for me. I decided to write a prose-poem sequence completely inspir'd by Fungi from Yuggoth, a sequence of 36 segments, each individually inspir'd by one of HPL's thirty-six sonnets. Segment one was my prose "rendition" of Lovecraft's sonnet #1, &c. I became obsess'd with ye writing of this book--for I had indeed visualized it as being publish'd in book form as a wee individual volume. I became utterly obsess'd with ye project, and shock'd myself by writing ye entire thing (I think that first version was 33,000 words or something like that) in six weeks. Honey, I burned to write! First I wou'd listen to one of Will Hart's readings, then I wou'd carefully study the printed sonnet; and then I wou'd pen my prose piece. I have never written anything so quickly, so smoothly. I was high on art, babies. Happily, once ye piece was finish'd, Arcane Wisdom Press agreed to bring it out in a small hardcover edition, beautifully design'd, with illustrations by Matthew Jaffe. His jacket for ye book remains my favourite cover for any of my books.


For my newest book, Monstrous Aftermath, publish'd this past summer by Hippocampus Press, Matthew return'd to the scene of ye cover for Gulf

And now Will Hart has recorded new audio renditions of the entire Fungi from Yuggoth, with magnificent musical accompaniment by Graham Plowman. This is an astonishing production, and will be available on audio cd from Fedogan & Bremer in ye near future. Along with ye entire Fungi from Yuggoth, there are recorded renditions of other poems such as "The Ancient Track", "In a Sequester'd Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walk'd", "Nemisis", & many others. I haven't an exact date for when this set (probably a two-disc set) will be releas'd, but as soon as I know I'll give y'all ordering info. 

We are living in such a rich Lovecraftian era, with many more delights in store for future time. Lovecraft, that excellent artist, is indeed Eternal. Ia! Ia!



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Letters to Robert Bloch and Others


Above is a letter Bob wrote me in 1985. I first began to write to Bloch in 1969, when I asked him to write a wee tribute to Forry Ackerman for my horror film fanzine, Fantasia. I was deeply into horror films at the time and had little interest in reading fiction. When, in 1971, I was stationed in Northern Ireland as a Mormon missionary, I wasn't allowed to attend horror films (they were deemed a bad influence); and so, because I was pen pals with Bob, I began to go to wee used book shops and find anthologies wherein Bloch was one of many writers. That's how I got hooked on reading horror fiction, which became my main addiction over the new few years. I was stationed in Omagh, County Tyrone, when I found a used copy of a book that had but recently been republished in paperback: THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK AND OTHER by H. P. Lovecraft ( Panther Horror, 1970). I knew of Lovecraft because of some films that had been made based on his stories, and because one entire issue of an old film fanzine, Gore Creatures, had been dedicated to HPL. Imagine my surprise when, turning to the book's title story, I saw that Lovecraft had dedicated "The Haunter of the Dark" to my pen-pal, Robert Bloch! Corresponding with Bob led to my thinking I too wanted to be a horror writer, and I wrote and sold my first story while still a missionary in Omagh. And it was because of my friendship with Bob that I became interested in H. P. Lovecraft, and interest that blossomed into an obsession once I returned to ye States.

So this just-publish'd edition of Lovecraft's letters to Bob (and others) has a special charm for me. Bloch began to write to Lovecraft while he was a young teen-aged reader of Weird Tales, and it was Lovecraft who suggested to Bloch that he should try his hand at writing weird fiction. Not long thereafter, Bob was selling his stories to Weird Tales, and sending them to HPL for Lovecraft's assessment and criticism. I never had the guts to send any of my own tales to Bob to ask his opinion of them, and I doubt that he read many of those early tales that were published in the small press journals. In time I began to correspond with others who had written for WT, and then I was able to hang-out with H. Warner Munn, who lived nearby in Tacoma; and soon I almost felt that I , too, was a part of that initial Lovecraft Circle. 

LETTERS TO ROBERT BLOCH AND OTHERS is 548 pages and sells for $25. Here is part of ye publisher's description of the book: "H. P. Lovecraft's generous tutelage of younger colleagues earned him their lifelong devotion and admiration. Few profited more by his assistance than Robert Bloch, who went on to become the celebrated author of Psycho and other classic works of horror and suspense. Establishing a correspondence with Lovecraft when he was sixteen, Bloch learned so much about the craft of writing--and about other matters--that he later stated: 'Lovecraft was my university.'
"This volume brings together Lovecraft's complete extant correspondence with Bloch as well as with such other young writers. editors, and fans of the 1930s as Kenneth Sterling (who collaborated with Lovecraft on 'In the Walls of Eryx'), Donald A. Wollheim (editor of the Phantagraph and a leading figure in science fiction in the decades that followed), Willis Conover (whose Lovecraft at Last is one of the most poignant books ever written about the Providence writer), and others."

One of ye moft charming of the letters has a delightful history. Bob has written a story in which he used elements of Lovecraft's Mythos and based a character on E'ch-Pi-El himself! When the editor of Weird Tales saw the story, he wrote to Bloch that permission needed to come from Lovecraft to use elements of the Mythos and to depict Lovecraft as a character (to be killed off by ye title daemon). Here is the letter that Lovecraft sent to Bloch, giving him permission:

One reader of WT suggested in that magazine's letter column that Lovecraft repay Bloch's "compliment" by writing a story in which he killed off a character based on Bob--and that led Lovecraft to write "The Haunter of the Dark".

It was through the reading of Lovecraft's publish'd correspondence that I went from being a fan of the man's fiction to falling in love with Lovecraft the man. Much of the persona with which I became obsess'd in manifested in this magnificent new book. To order, go to Hippocampus Press at www.hippocampuspress.com.

Hullo, ducks!


Here is my new blog, in which I want to discuss Lovecraft's art and perhaps portions of his biography. The blog's title reflects my obsession with HPL and my long practice of writing short stories "in ye Lovecraft tradition"--I have now publish'd around twenty books of my own fannish Lovecraftian tales. My mania for this author does not diminish over time--just ye opposite. It has reach'd a new height with ye publication from Hippocampus Press of H. P. Lovecraft - Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition in three handsome hardcover volumes. 

There has been more and more online chatter concerning Lovecraft, but very little of it seems to concern his actual writing. Usually, the people who are chatting about Lovecraft confess that they haven't read much of his fiction or they haven't read his work for a long time. These critics seem more concern'd with prattling on about what they see as Lovecraft's personal inadequacies and abnormalities. You won't see any of that here. We are here to discuss ye weird fiction of Lovecraft and ye ways in which it has influenced & continues to influence modern weird fiction. Any comments from Lovecraft haters who come to condemn his personal behavior or beliefs will be instantly deleted. Take your bile somewhere else.

I've been reading H. P. Lovecraft since ye early 1970's. Although I have come to adore Lovecraft scholarship, I do not wish to pose in any way as a scholar in this blog. I'm just a girl in love, and this blog will be an expression of that adoration. I am lucky in that my best friend and fellow city-dweller, S. T. Joshi, is indeed a prominent H. P. Lovecraft scholar and editor. I've done a number of YouTube videos with S. T. in which we usually discuss HPL. Here is an interesting one, touching of ye Lovecraft texts:




Okay, y'all, just wanted to introduce myself and get this thing started. I hope to be insanely active here. We have much to discuss, & much to celebrate! And, girlfriend, I'm talking lots! To-day's poft just brought me the new mailing of ye Esoteric Order of Dagon Amateur Press Association, and ye mailing by David E. Schultz lists a number of books he is working on or plans to work on, including a series of volumes of ye publish'd correspondence of Clark Ashton Smith! He also says that Hippocampus Press is interested in publishing his annotated edition of Lovecraft's commonplace book (publish'd in two chapbook volumes by Necronomicon Press many years ago) as a single trade pb volume! It was that edition of Dave's annotated commonplace book that inspir'd me to write my long prose-poem sequence, "Uncommon Places".