Around Tentaclii Towers the verdant summer sward swoons and wilts, and certain leaf-edges begin to hint of a wistful Autumn. But first, most likely, the Towers will be enveloped in a typical English August of brooding thunderstorms and heavy rains. The dark cloudscapes may perhaps be made all the more eerie to behold, by the fact that everyone is now masked up like so many Lovecraftian cultists. The Tentaclii choice of face-mask is suitably cosmic, in dark dusk-blue cotton scattered with small white stars.
This month, in considering Lovecraft’s life and inspirations I purled through Lovecraft’s Dictionary; noted the Hope Street Reservoir as a possible inspiration for his “The Colour of of Space”; spotted various clues to the whereabouts of some of Lovecraft’s older books shortly before and after his death; considered the possible link between elephants and the Lovecraftian tentacular; looked into the fate of the lost Providence drawings of Henry J. Peck, once so admired by Lovecraft; and in an answer to a $6 Patreon patron’s question I wrote the post “On Lovecraft and Hemingway” (now newly updated a bit at the end, to note that Hemingway actually had his start as a writer in very pulpy circumstances).
In new books, I noted the new expanded H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to Alfred Galpin and Others; and that Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill has finally gone into paperback in two volumes. The latter has the Lovecraft-CAS correspondence. In other languages I noted the new book Il linguaggio di Cthulhu: Filosofia e Dizionario di H.P.Lovecraft (‘On the Language of Cthulhu: A Philosophical Dictionary for H.P. Lovecraft’).
In older books newly-discovered, The pageant of Benefit Street down through the years (1945) has appeared at long last on Archive.org; the erudite A Letter Book was a nice discovery on Archive.org, offering a history of letter-writing to 1922 in 100 pages; I was pleased to learn of Brian Stableford’s three-volume scholarly history The Scientific Romance in Britain, 1890-1950 (1985). His first volume, The Origins of Scientific Romance, sounds especially interesting. But sadly I find I can’t get the UK’s self-employed cash bailout, so from now on it’s back to cat-food dinners and few book purchases.
In new scholarly/fan journals: I noted the June 2020 edition of The Dark Man: Journal of Robert E. Howard and Pulp Studies; that Monster Maniacs #2 has appeared, along with No. 27 of the review Dead Reckonings; and I also looked into recent relevant material the Vastarien journal. In academic journals, I was pleased to find Zanzala: Revista Brasileira de Estudos de Ficcao Cientifica (trans. ‘Zanzala: Brazilian journal for the study of science-fiction’); the new Journal of Gods and Monsters from Texas; and also an outstanding free French journal of comics and juvenile books which will be linked here in a few days. The worthy historical Providence blog Architecture Here and There was also noted and linked here.
Elsewhere in journals the new issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review surveyed “H. P. Lovecraft’s Odd Couples”. Incidentally, that reminds me that in my reading of the Moe letters I’ve spotted a rare comment — in which Lovecraft revealed his awareness of how his own string of “grandsons” might be misconstrued by others. A correspondent had remarked on a priest suddenly acquiring a “son” after returning from a long holiday in Europe. Lovecraft remarked wryly to Moe that… “Possibly he was being modernistically candid about what most priests call their “nephews”” (page 385).
In the arts, I spotted two excellent bronze cast busts of Lovecraft by the Joyner Studio; Heavy Metal magazine kindly placed the the missing pages for Druillet’s Necronomicon online; The Ring of the Nibelung was found in a fine comics adaptation, this being a handy way to discover the stories without spending 18 hours listening to German opera. This latter led me to discover that Archive.org has a new “one-hour borrow” feature available. A call for a forthcoming Mythos anthology, Shadows Over Avalon, was noted here due to its unusual British and historical theme. The major fact-and-fiction exhibition “Monsters of the Deep” was noted at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall, UK.
A couple of nice RPG items were prised from the Archives, these being an envelope from Brown and a curious bookmark from a naturalist’s notebook. Also relevant to the RPG world, a couple of apparently forthcoming ‘Lovecraft Country’ books were noted, Tour de Lovecraft: The Destinations, and Miskatonic Country.
In scholarly software, I noted that the fine PDF Index Generator 2.9 had appeared, and that it now handles footnotes nicely and no longer requires a Java install.
A bit of blog housekeeping was done at Tentaclii and my blog’s ‘Lovecraft on the Web’ Directory was updated and repaired by hand.
As for other authors, I was pleased to see that Christopher Anvil’s 1960s Interstellar Patrol series of stories is now available as a new 17-hour audiobook, with the promise of the rest of the stories in audio by September 2020. The start of a new series of podcast interviews on Ray Bradbury was noted. Marvel’s Savage Sword of Conan mega-reprint #3 is shipping, and #4 is dated. There’s also a handy new Who’s Who In New Pulp guide to writers, and I noted Doc Vandal as being an especially interesting-sounding series. The new Who’s Who is probably also of interest to indie comics artists seeking suitably enthusiastic writers.
That’s it for this month. This blog’s weekly ‘Kitty Tuesday’ feature may have to ‘paws for thought’ in August, due to paucity of material. Expect such posts when you see them.