In Italian, a new podcast on H.P. Lovecraft Aveva Quasi Scoperto Un Nuovo Pianeta!” (Lovecraft almost discovered a new planet). Worth mentioning just to show the snazzy typography again, complete with a pleasing new splash illustration of Lovecraft in his imaginary dream-mansion. Once again the stylish Italians show how it should be done…
The Pulp Super-Fan takes a look at the new The Pulpster #30. Mostly the non-fiction articles are concerned with The Shadow and the Love Stories pulp, to align it with this year’s PulpFest convention themes. But turns out it’s also a tail-ender for a ‘history of Weird Tales’ pile, when I get the cash to order such reading. Because it has an…
article by Tony Davis looks at pulp editor Dorothy McIlwraith, who handled Short Stories and Weird Tales for several years. She had been the editor of Short Stories and took over editorship of Weird Tales when the magazine was sold to Short Stories. As well as a good intro to this editor, we also learn a lot about both magazines under her editorship.
Toby Gard was part of the team in the first Tomb Raider game. He later worked with Eidos on Tomb Raider: Legends and Tomb Raider: Underworld. As Cathuria Games he’s now set to launch the first-person game titled Dream Cycle. Nothing to do with riding on an electric bicycle with a bright-toned bell and GPS, but rather…
based on the Dreamlands cycle of tales by H.P. Lovecraft
“The Enchanted Forest” will be the area in the first release on 7th September, with more areas and creatures promised later. Sadly, it only runs on Windows 10, and also has an incredibly cringe-inducing pseudo line-art style…
… on photoreal textures. Ugh.
The latest MonsterTalk podcast is on Chaosium and the Malleus Monstrorum…
Mike Mason of the roleplaying company Chaosium discusses their new two-volume book of Lovecraftian monsters: The Malleus Monstrorum
I blogged on this re-vamped and re-published book back in April 2021.
Incidentally, as the students begin to return to the cities I noticed there are two big Lovecraftian RPG festivals coming soon in Germany (“lockRUF 2021”) and Madrid.
Open and seemingly new online, a run of the journal Cryptozoology (1982-1996), a journal of apparently scholarly articles on ‘yeti-hunting’ and suchlike. May be of interest to writers seeking to glean some obscure but well-grounded nugget of topographical inspiration on monster-matters.
Another annoying change today, on the admin UI for the Classic Editor in free WordPress.com blogs. An ominous ‘greying out’ foggy band across the domain on the left-hand sidebar…
Restored to normal
Add the following to your Stylus UserStyle to remove the fog…
.admin-color-blue .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-blue .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-coffee .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-coffee .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-ectoplasm .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-ectoplasm .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-fresh .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-fresh .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-light .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-light .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-midnight .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-midnight .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-modern .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-modern .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-ocean .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-ocean .site__info .site__domain:after, .admin-color-sunrise .site__info .site__title:after, .admin-color-sunrise .site__info .site__domain:after
It should be pasted below your existing } as you can see in this screenshot…
I should stress that this and my previous fix relate only to the Classic Editor, and not to the new-fangled one. The new-fangled Editor, in a tacit admission that it was crap after all, is now to get yet another wholesale makeover…
So I’m guessing some of the Classic Editor changes are just unforeseen backwash from the changes on the main editor.
MPorcius enjoys and comments on an R.E. Howard horror story new to me, “The Dwellers Under the Tomb”. It’s found to be both complex in plotting and also a little hokey. But fun, and as MPorcius observes it offers several Lovecraftian riffs…
This is a fun story … we see such common Lovecraftian elements as a recovered diary that explains … plans and explorations. Also wall paintings that provide insight on the history…
Lauric Guillaud (in the book The Barbaric Triumph) adds that it is set in “Dagoth Hills” cemetery, in a nod to Lovecraft, and his description further suggests it has a great many Lovecraftian elements and approaches. But stops short of actually naming Lovecraft’s creations. It thus doesn’t feature in collections of Howard’s mythos stories such as Robert M. Price’s Nameless Cults.
The R’lyeh Tribune also noted the strong Lovecraftian approaches and themes. Adding that the tale is “consistent with Howard’s evolving theory of human devolution” and suggesting its use of the wall paintings was a response to reading Lovecraft’s then unpublished and rejected “At the Mountains of Madness” (early 1931). Very interesting.
A little research then finds S.T. Joshi suggesting, looking at the story’s approach and tone, that it was written for a particular market — one of the throwaway… “‘weird menace’ horror pulps such as Terror Tales”. It was presumably found too complex in plot for their readers, and was thus sent over to Weird Tales. There it was rejected in early summer 1932, as the magazine wobbled in the deepening Great Depression. The tale only saw print in 1976 in Lost Fantasies #4. After that it was picked up by the popular Howard paperback collection Black Canaan in 1978. In the early 1990s it was adapted by Roy Thomas for comics in the b&w Savage Sword of Conan #224, and judging by the cover he gave it a Conan retrofit and a vaguely Aliens-like monster makeover.
The R.E. Howard Foundation Newsletter has more recently published a facsimile of one of the two extant drafts, Draft A.
Is there an audio version? Yes, at YouTube. A fine reading in 50 minutes, as “The Dwellers Under The Tomb”.
Greg Staples illustration for the tale, in a Del Ray collection of Howard’s horror tales.
Sadly on hearing the story turns out to be not so fine. The main problem is the very hokey and incredibly creaky dialogue between the two nondescript investigators, although the reader of the audio version does his best with it. Then there’s the ‘lookalike brothers’ sub-plot, which is both too convoluted and too throwaway once the monsters appear. The best part is the final third in the tunnels, and the Lovecraft-infused momentary glimpses of the monsters as the tale’s climax begins to reveal their nature. It reminds me a bit of “The Tomb” and “The Rats in the Walls” as well as “Mountains”, and if you wanted a story in which Howard might be seen as poking a little fun at Lovecraft then this could be the one. Although it feels like the intention was not to poke fun but to have fun, by throwing some Lovecraftian ideas into a quick mish-mash of a pulp story. One intended for a cheap-thrills market, where Lovecraft would probably not see it if published.
Added to my Open Lovecraft page of open scholarly work.
* S. Hadalin, H.P. Lovecraft’s Symbols of Indifference: A Combined Critical Approach. (Dissertation for the University of Mariboru, Slovenia, 2021. In English.)
* S. Chattopadhyay, “Finding the Image of God: Searching the ‘Sublime’ through works of Rene Descartes and H.P Lovecraft”, International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies, Vol.2, No.4, 2021.
* A.F. dos Santos, “Passado glorioso, presente decadente: a fabricacao da Nova Inglaterra a partir do conto “The Street” de Lovecraft (1920)”, Temporalidades, 2021. (“Glorious Past, Decadent Present: The Making of New England in Lovecraft’s ‘The Street'”)
* A.O. Soshnikov, “Features of The Structural-semantic Organisation of ‘At The Mountains of Madness'”, World of Science, Culture, Education, 2021. (In Russian. Finds that the interpenetration of genres in the text enhances… “the role of the mystical component … which leads to the expansion of its semantic space and, ultimately, enhances the author’s unique style.”)
* N.S. Mohamed, A Construcao do Locus Horribilis nos Contos de H.P. Lovecraft (“The Construction of the Locus Horribilis in the Tales of H. P. Lovecraft”. Masters dissertation for the Universidade Estadual Paulista ‘Julio de Mesquita Filho’, Brazil. Uses three tales to explore how the combination of spatiality, ambience and atmosphere generates the ‘locus horribilis’ in horror narratives).
The University of Iowa has a YouTube video introduction and tour of their July 2021 exhibition on “Spirit Duplicators: Early 20th Century Copier Art, Fanzines, and the Mimeograph Revolution”.