Well, that’s August gone. Tentaclii Towers sailed serenely on through the shimmering August blue and the increasingly chill nights of late summer, avoiding power-cuts or flash-flooding. My daily blogging continued, although my Patreon remains stubbornly stuck at $59 a month.
This month the password-protected posts for my Patreon patrons were:
* “A Century Less a Dream, new for $4”. (Effectively the ‘best of Lovecraft Studies’ as a nice hardback. I got one, but one was also left available at $4 for someone else to bag).
* “Friday ‘picture postals’ from Lovecraft: Finding Bolton”. (My new discovery on the mysterious Bolton, a place featured in several Lovecraft stories).
* “Moving Lovecraft’s House” (an eyewitness account of the event and a photo).
* “Knowing Derleth” (Derleth on the gay scene within early science-fiction fandom, and more).
Just $1 a month or more (ideally more) gives you access to protected posts at Tentaclii.
In the arts, another ‘Lovecraft as a character’ appearance was discovered in the graphic novel Atomic Robo and The Shadow from Beyond Time, and this discovery led to issue #42 of Digital Art Live magazine having a superb and long lead interview with the Atomic Robo guys. Tentaclii also featured: a brief first look at the new Colour Out of Space movie, with my musings on why it might have been time-shifted; an unearthing of a lost French Lovecraftian sculptor Henri Etienne-Martin with good pictures; an update on the Blaschka’s ocean invertebrate glass-models, including news of restorations and a new book; the Lovecraft Birthday ‘InnFest’ festival in the Second Life virtual world (now with 90 minute ‘best of’ video; and a couple of other Lovecraftian arts items.
New books were noted, such as: Lovecraft’s Letters to Wilfred B. Talman and Helen V. and Genevieve Sully; Lovecraft’s ‘autobiography in letters’ Lord of a Visible World (as a second revised edition). In fiction, new affordable and properly edited ebooks of The Averoigne Archives (Clark Ashton Smith) and the best of Wilum Pugmire; plus Arthur Machen: Collected Fiction. I noted that the French can expect a “Fully Upholstered Luxury Lovecraft” set in early 2020. I was also pleased to find the Lovecraft Lexicon encyclopedia in affordable ebook, and I read through it cover-to-cover during August.
August was a light month for new journals, but the new Lovecraft Annual #13 and Pulpster #28 were both major releases and also packed with independent scholars who Know Their Stuff. I also noted two calls for non-fiction material from future editions of the Arkham Gazette fanzine.
Useful freebies were linked to here, as usual. These included: concise synopses of Lovecraft’s revision works, totalling 13,000 words; Krazy Kat 1916-22 free online (incidentally, I also found that Lovecraft made a probable passing reference to Krazy’s mouse “Ignatz”, so maybe he did come to know this famously surreal kittee strip after all); The Fantasy Fan’s 1933-34 issues were found and linked on Gutenberg; I found 15 pages of Breccia adapting “The Whisperer in Darkness”; and a French website called Cthulhu & Co. was found, this being a fine online catalogue of Lovecraftian zines and journals. Of course August and Lovecraft’s birthday brought my own freebies: Lovecraft’s “The Cats of Ulthar” with 8,000 words of scholarly annotations; and my new revised high-res map of “Lovecraft’s Providence”.
In my biographical posts, ‘Lovecraft on a bicycle’ offered my detailed timeline of Lovecraft’s bicycling, done in order to rebut a recent tendentious (and now, proven false) claim about Lovecraft. Several of my regular “Picture Postals” posts at Tentaclii were biographical, with one of these including the full run of Frank Belknap Long’s ‘comic strip by postcards’ featuring Lovecraft as a character; “HPL in an aquarium”; and an unusual night-view photograph of College St. very near to Lovecraft’s final home.
I feel I had a breakthrough in the post “On that elbow”, by tallying story-interpretation against historical context. I similarly looked into the real Sydney Bulletin, of “Call of Cthulhu” fame — I’ve long suspected that Lovecraft had several unknown Australian correspondents, and though this post wasn’t on his correspondents it served to further confirm my hunch.
My big discovery this month came in the post “Eddy bookstore on Weybosset St”. I found a seemingly previously-unknown 1948 memoir of Lovecraft, by one who knew him well. This led me to the equally un-noticed uncle Eddy, Providence’s used bookseller. Just a few streets over from the Public Library, Lovecraft had access to a large (20,000 volumes?) used bookstore, whose friendly proprietor would open up especially for him and who was also the uncle of his best friend in the city. Who knew?
Due to the tribble-like expansion of volumes of Lovecraft’s letters, I wrote a quick post suggesting the need for a public ‘mega-index’ of these and I suggested how this might be speedily created. I also noted that Rhode Island newspapers before 1923 should be online soon, after news of a $250,000 funding grant for scanning and digitisation. One wonders if the Library might offer some sort of ‘hunt the Lovecraft’ prize, once that database is online and public. Talking of Providence, I thought I might get a blog post by rounding up all the reports from NeconomiCon Providence 2019. But after extensive searching I can only find one… and curiously that doesn’t even mention Lovecraft.
Scholarly links this month included a free detailed paper on the history of the lost Arabian desert city of Irem/Iram, plus a number of new additions (inc. one thesis) to my Open Lovecraft page. I also noted that the call for “Tolkien’s Legendarium and the Arts” included explicit openness to Lovecraft; and that there’s a call for general horror scholarship from the UK’s Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference 2020.
For my own puny shelf I bagged the book A Century Less a Dream: Selected Criticism on H.P. Lovecraft, new in hardback for a mere $4, via a fire-sale book direct from Amazon USA. It was just $11 even with shipping to the UK, which was irresistible. It was fine on arrival, the only slight mar being a bar-code sticker firmly affixed to the back cover. I’ve also been able to bag a copy of the Lovecraft Annual for 2015 at a low price, and this should be arriving here shortly.
That was August. Please help me to continue the Tentaclii blog by pledging $1 a month or more via Patreon. It would be nice to get to $100 a month by the late Autumn/Fall, a year after re-starting Tentaclii. If you made new contacts at summer conventions and conferences then please let them know about the blog and my need for patrons.