Newly for open sale, “a remarkable collection”…
of 244 H.P. Lovecraft items, with over 200 rare amateur press appearances dating as early as 1914 and nearly 20 miscellaneous appearance by Lovecraft or directly relating to his writing.
Newly for open sale, “a remarkable collection”…
of 244 H.P. Lovecraft items, with over 200 rare amateur press appearances dating as early as 1914 and nearly 20 miscellaneous appearance by Lovecraft or directly relating to his writing.
Here’s a link to my earlier comprehensive post on What’s Entering the Public Domain in 2022. With a focus on genre fiction and interesting non-fiction, and special attention to Lovecraft-related items.
My round-up of ‘the year in Lovecraft’:
The highlight of the year must be the publication of Lovecraft’s Letters to E. Hoffmann Price and Richard F. Searight, complete with the New Orleans curry recipe! Yet more is to come, as a successful crowdfunder purchased the Lovecraft-Long letters and ferried them to safety at the John Hay Library. It was recently announced that David E. Schultz has already done the bulk of the work on preparing these letters for publication, and that S.T. Joshi is now at work on the same. Joshi notes that their “intellectual content … is unsurpassed”. A broad multi-year schedule was also announced by Joshi for the completion of the publication of the many volumes of Lovecraft letters. Also of note in originals, this year Lovecraft’s handwritten “Pickman’s Model” came up for public auction.
Among his vast output S.T. Joshi published his book The Recognition of H.P. Lovecraft on the reception of Lovecraft over the decades, a new essay collection The Progression of the Weird Tale (mostly on Lovecraft/Barlow and Lovecraft/Long), and two volumes of his new annual scholarly mega-journal Penumbra. The Lovecraft Annual 2021 also shipped under his editorship, and I reviewed the 2020 edition here at length. His S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship at Brown remained suspended by Brown during the pandemic.
The 2020 book Ideology and Scientific Thought in H.P. Lovecraft was revealed to have been definitely written in English throughout, as in 2021 S.T. Joshi bagged a physical copy and blogged about it. Lovecraft: The Great Tales appeared, a weighty new non-fiction survey of the tales by Derleth expert John D. Haefele. There was advance news of a new uniform set of books called the Robert H. Waugh Library of Lovecraftian Criticism, including a wholly new third book of essays by Waugh. Ken Faig will also have a new collection of older work as a book, planned for 2021 and now due in early 2022. Among various scholarly reprints, Donald R. Burleson’s Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe became available as a new ebook edition. Also in ebook, the Lovecraft ‘autobiography’ Lord of a Visible World can now be had from Amazon for just £5 (about $8).
In smaller one-off publications, the apparently-new scholarly booklet Copyright Questions and the Stories of H.P. Lovecraft appeared. For Lovecraft’s birthday I gave the second edition of Lovecraft’s collected poetry the back-of-the-book index it was lacking. This free PDF should be especially useful for many, as the book lacks an ebook edition which could be searched by keyword.
For researchers Archive.org uploaded numerous long runs of microfilmed vintage journal titles, about 15 of which are useful for researching Lovecraft and his times. In more contemporary scholarly work, the Tentaclii ‘Open Lovecraft’ page has so far added 20 new links to open scholarly work published in open-access in 2021. Including one substantial open Phd thesis. More will be added to 2021 as I discover them. More items have also been added there as fill-ins for the various other years.
In Italy the Italian translators of Joshi’s Lovecraft biography I Am Providence have reportedly published all three volumes as Io Sono Providence: la biografia di H.P. Lovecraft. Journals such as Circulo de Lovecraft, Ulthar, Zothique, Studi Lovecraftiani continued to publish, and Cthulhu Libria set itself up as a proper journal and published its second issue. There was a festschrift book of essays in Italian for the major Italian scholar and Lovecraftian anthologist Gianfranco de Turris.
Lovecraft’s poetry is now available in a Swedish translation. Leslie Klinger’s Annotated Lovecraft is now complete in two volumes in German translation. H.P. Lovecraft was also suddenly popular in Hungary, with the nation enjoying a string of new pocket-book editions with what are said to be fine translations.
Spanish speakers had a book on Lovecraft and astronomy, El Astronomicon Y Otros Textes En Defense De La Ciencia (‘The Astronomicon and Other Texts in Defence of Science’), and there are possibly other books in Spanish that I haven’t noticed yet. The Mexican Lovecraftians appear to have had a face-to-face ‘Lovecraft birthday’ symposium in Mexico City in 2021.
French tourists to Providence now have a new guidebook in French, Le guide Lovecraftien de Providence (2021). Having crowd-funded nearly 400,000 Euros ($450,000) for a new French translation in a seven volume boxed-set, the public-sale shipping dates for the sumptuous volumes were announced and volume one will ship January 2022. Also in French, S.T. Joshi’s blog noted the short books Lovecraft, l’Arabe, l’horreur and Lovecraft: sous le signe du chat.
Historians of the Amateur Journalism movement continued their dedicated work in The Fossil journal, and in one issue David Goudsward presented a rich seam of new data about the early life of Lovecraft’s friend and colleague Mrs Miniter. Later amateur science-fiction ‘zines have also seen worthy work, and The Hevelin Fanzines collection scans are now 100% transcribed for researchers. The Hevelin Fanzines include a number of key early Lovecraft ‘zines, and the collection is free online. Behind the scenes, Ken Faig continued to produce his mostly genealogy-based Moshassuck Monograph editions on aspects of Lovecraft’s life, for private Amateur Press Association mailings. On his blog, Bobby Derie continued to research figures active in amateur journalism, especially where they were brought into contact with or collaborated with Lovecraft.
In travel books the short Long/Lovecraft-related book Old World Footprints reappeared as a reprint, newly annotated and richly illustrated. The long-awaited book Tour de Lovecraft: The Destinations is said to have finally shipped. My blog Tentaclii took many ‘virtual trips’ to investigate various places relevant to or known by Lovecraft, from the Weird Tales offices to the remote Newport coves he visited on some of his last trips.
On the history of Weird Tales magazine, 2021 saw a new edition of Robert Weinberg’s book The Weird Tales Story: Expanded and Enhanced, under a new editor and expanded with new essays. Various journals including The Pulpster continued to ably cover the wider history of pulp magazines and their heroes, and blogs also provided many useful introductory surveys on niche topics and characters in the pulps. Writers of the ‘new pulp’ continue to power thriving new original-story magazines, and I get the feeling that this may have taken some of the wind out of the sails (and sales) of Mythos fiction. But perhaps that is simply due to the pandemic’s effect on the demand for horror. Although, that said, non-Lovecraft horror comics have had a fairly good ‘if still somewhat niche’ year.
In terms of the ‘Lovecraft Circle’, the book The Last Oblivion: Best Fantastic Poems of Clark Ashton Smith appeared in an affordable format. The expanded book Out of the Immortal Night: Selected Works of Samuel Loveman was published, with a wealth of new material. Donald Wandrei’s The Complete Ivy Frost story collection shipped. Here at Tentaclii I continued to find various new bits of data about Arthur Leeds and Everett McNeil of the Lovecraft Circle, both of whom are rather more interesting than the Lovecraftians of the 1980s and 90s assumed. November saw Sonia’s sumptuous amateur journal The Rainbow, Vol. 2 No. II (1922) arrive on Archive.org as an excellent scan, this being an important and rare Lovecraft document with photographs.
There was of course a lot of R.E. Howard activity in 2021. The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard, Volume 1 shipped. Todd B. Vick’s new accessible biography Renegades and Rogues: The Life and Legacy of Robert E. Howard had a number of reviews. The Dark Man (the R.E. Howard journal) shipped, and in 2021 had several items of Lovecraft interest. Fred Blosser offered his ebook Exploring the Worlds of REH #3, “Home, Hearth, Heroes, and Hauntings: Howard’s Texas Weird Tales”. The Robert E. Howard Days 2021 were successful held in Texas, with Roy Thomas as the prestigious guest of honour, and dates were announced for 2022. Also of note is the collection Robert E. Howard Changed My Life (reminiscences about individual discovery and appreciation of Howard’s work and life), and what appears to be a ‘journal-artbook’ The Robert E. Howard Collector Volume One: Illustrating Robert E. Howard.
I hardly cover Mythos fiction or contemporary novels here, but Providence Blue seems worthy of note. A major new mystery-adventure novel featuring Lovecraft, R.E. Howard (and possibly Wilum Pugmire) as characters, and written from a Catholic perspective. Sadly this currently lacks an ebook and audiobook.
On the screen The Lone Animator continued making his excellent stop-motion animated shorts, also providing long ‘making of’ blog posts. In film, the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival returned to Providence and there showcased the wide range of recent indie productions. But I shall have to leave it to someone else to survey the year’s ‘Lovecraft on the Screen’ for 2021.
In spoken audio the Voluminous podcast (reading and discussion of key Lovecraft’s letters) continued. Dark Adventure Radio Theatre shipped their CD for “The Horror in the Museum”. “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” Vinyl LP Box Set, from quality vinyl purveyors Psilowave Records, apparently shipped at Halloween. Also in spoken audio there were of course numerous podcasts and numerous story readings during the year, including S.T. Joshi interviews, and with Horrorbabble offering especially notable and regular story-reading work on YouTube. Some of the more obscure Lovecraft items and poems, and even some letters, are now getting good readings. There also seems to have been an upsurge of Lovecraft YouTube readings in languages other than English, and Clark Ashton Smith is also a beneficiary of this trend.
In classical music there was the new “A Symphony of Galpin”, Reber Clark’s orchestration of Galpin’s “Lament for HPL”. In popular music there were of course numerous rock / heavy metal / prog albums and EPs which claimed to have strong Lovecraftian influences and lyrics. I also recall a couple of ambient / soundscape albums in that line.
In digital arts there were superb ‘3D human’ H.P. Lovecraft demo renders by Khoi Nguyen, which sadly surfaced too late to feature in the Lovecraft-friendly Halloween ‘Gothic’ edition of Digital Art Live magazine. Lovecraft and the Lovecraftian remains a popular niche on digital art showcase sites such as ArtStation and DeviantArt.
Traditional arts & crafts seemed somewhat lessened this year, despite the worthy tracking work of Propnomicon. Possibly this was due to the lack of conventions and the closure of white-walled galleries during the pandemic, and the general impoverishment of many artists (crafts are expensive). But perhaps there is crafts work going on in out-sheds and attics that will appear in 2022.
In comics the manga master Junji Ito offered in English his new and ambitious Lovecraftian 240-page graphic novel called Sensor. It’s quite possible that many other Lovecraftian manga works appeared in 2021, but Sensor was the one that grabbed the western reviewers. There was a new graphic novel adapting Dream-quest in Spanish, H.P. Lovecraft: Kadath by screenwriter Florentino Florez. A new 64-page anthology comic, Nightmares of Providence #1, was a hit stretch-goal anthology as part of a big Alan Moore crowd-funder.
In illustrated books / art-novels, Gary Gianni’s heavily illustrated The Call of Cthulhu book shipped. Francois Baranger shipped the second volume of his acclaimed oversized cinematic art-novel for Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.
In games a new essay-book from Carlos Gomez Gurpegui of Spain examined H.P. Lovecraft et le jeu video (‘H.P. Lovecraft and the videogame’). The arty Myst-like Lovecraftian one-man indie videogame The Shore was released, becoming a modest critical success in a very crowded and hyper-critical market. Numerous other ‘Lovecraft-influenced’ games and mods appeared as usual, on almost a weekly basis, and some were quite major titles.
In RPGs the German Lovecraft Society provided Germans with their full completed FHTAGN book, this being a wholly open and royalty-free Lovecraft RPG said to be based on Delta Green. Doubtless there was also much other Chaosium and non-Chaosium Lovecraft-related activity in the world of table-top RPGs and wargaming, but I don’t keep track of such things here. Someone else will have to summarise the year in RPGs and videogames.
That’s it for 2021. Onward to 2022!
Right then, it’s time for a ten-day break from my daily posting here at Tentaclii.
And don’t worry, I’m not going to be stricken by Omicron in the meantime. Because… I’ve already had it (with all the right symptoms and counter-symptoms) and have recovered. Peak symptoms from 10th-13th December, and I’m now over it and its lingering catarrh.
Thus I’ll be back to Tentaclii and posting around 1st January 2022. Have a merry Christmas and a kitten New Year! By which I mean… you might consider making it a New Year’s Resolution to bring home a kittee from the local cat-rescue shelter.
In France Editions Mnemos now has shipping dates for its giant Lovecraft ‘shelf-trembler’ of a set. It’s reported they crowd-funded nearly 400,000 Euros ($450,000) for a new French translation in a seven volume boxed-set.
Having apparently hefted the subscriber versions out the warehouse, the “publication of the edition dedicated to the bookstore” has now been announced. Presumably for open sale and apparently with a 5,000 copy print run. The stated dates are…
The Dreamlands (January 2022)
The Mountains of Madness (March 2022)
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (May 2022)
The Providence Cycle (September 2022)
The Horror Tales (November 2022)
The Essays, Correspondence, Poetry and Revisions (January 2023)
The Lovecraft Circle (March 2023). (“Around Lovecraft”, but I’m guessing a mis-translation for the ‘Circle’)
Also in France, a lecture musicale, set for 22nd January 2022 in the south of France. Seems to be a performance based around “Pickman’s Model” and a Q&A…
Using a singular instrumentation (electric bass & machines), they interweave original compositions, concrete music and electronic sounds, mirroring in sound Pickman’s underground universe.
Newly popped up on eBay, the original study for “Longitude East” in Charleston, meaning Longitude Lane looking east, near Adger’s Wharf. By Sydney Richmond Burleigh (1853-1931, founder of the Providence Art Club).
His dates and the girl’s clothes suggest the post-Victorian period, so this seems more or less as Lovecraft saw and described it on his trips…
We soon come to Longitude-Lane, leading back to Church-Street … turning into Longitude-Lane, we pass by the moss-grown brick walls of abandon’d cotton warehouses; noting the cobblestones set for mules’ feet, the flagstones for the dray-wheels, and the snubbing-posts at the warehouse doors. One of these posts is an old ship’s cannon. To the writer this place has a melancholy charm of a very acute sort.” (H.P. Lovecraft, on Charleston, in Collected Essays Vol. 4: Travel)
recognised that the heart of colonial Charleston is the relatively small area south of Broad Street between Legare and East Bay, including such exquisite thoroughfares as Tradd, Church, Water, and the like; the alleys in this section — Bedon’s Alley, Stolls Alley, Longitude Lane, St. Michael’s Alley — are worth a study all their own.” (S.T. Joshi, I Am Providence)
One even wonders if Lovecraft’s hymns to Charleston reached the ears of Burleigh in Providence, and sent him down there himself in his old age. Though doubtless such charming and warm places had already been discovered by older artists who were averse to the Providence winters.
H.P. Lovecraft plucks a crumb of comfort from the arrival of the solstice, and turning of the winter toward spring…
Though we must for months to come endure the rigours of inclement weather, we may find a consoling proof of the sun’s return in the increasing length of the days. Between the first of the month [of December] and the winter solstice the days lose 16 minutes, but from the 22nd to the 31st, a gain of five minutes is to be noted.
Some nice new free 3D writing accessories for the free DAZ Studio 3D figure rendering software. Thought not historically exact they have the correct feel and look for H.P. Lovecraft, and offer his preferred simple black as a colour.
If you want real digital inks, as a simple starter I can recommend the free Dave’s Inker Set 2013 for Photoshop. They don’t look much at all, and there are only two brushes, but they’re very nice smooth ‘speed inkers’. They also scale up very well, by which I mean that even when the brush size is made a lot bigger they don’t lag on a big 4k canvas.
I’ve been pleased to discover a new and previously unknown story by Lovecraft’s friend and fellow writer Everett McNeil. I wrote the book on McNeil and his career in fiction and movie writing, and I never found a hint of “A Descendant of the Vikings” (written circa 1906, as it was announced then, and published 12th December 1907 in The Youth’s Companion).
It’s a boy’s hunting tale in one large broadsheet page, in which Norwegian boy Thor hunts a killer grizzly bear for a 200 dollar reward.
McNeil had grown up in Dunkirk, a small Wisconsin town of 2,000 New Englanders and Norwegians — so he would have known many lads like this.
Also new on Archive.org, the trade-journal The Writer for October 1924 announced that McNeil was one of the Triple-X prize winners. Winning a $100 prize for another unknown story titled “The Lost Dutchman”. The $5,000-total open contest appears to have been to launch the successful Triple-X men’s action-adventure fiction magazine from Fawcett.
I’d suspect this tale related to The Lost Dutchman mine, and that on publication it became the snappier titled “The Lost Gold of Mad Wolf Gulch”. It appeared as a two-parter published in Triple-X magazine for January 1925 and February 1925. I had known about this one from listings, and it sounds like a western with a mining element. He was also keen on real wolf attacks (his mother had often told her real-life tale of experiencing attack). So I wouldn’t be surprised if a starving wolf pack made an appearance in “The Lost Gold of Mad Wolf Gulch”. Assuming Fawcett paid the prize on publication, McNeil might have had the cheque cashed by March 1925, easing his worrisome financial situation a bit in time for springtime 1925. So the prize payment adds another small bit of data to the story of the Kalem Club during the years that Lovecraft was in New York.
Triple-X proved a useful market for McNeil, and he landed the following there. Thus showing ‘the gang’ that ‘the old fuddy-duddy’ could still hold his own in a substantial new action-adventure magazine…
* “Battle of the Stings”.
* “The Vale of Vengeance”.
* “The Lost Gold of Mad Wolf Gulch”.
* “California’s First Gold” (appears to have been his vivid six-page history of the earliest gold strike, later included in a 1928 schools reader).
* “The Duping of Scarnose” (posthumous).
The Robert E. Howard Days in Texas have their 2022 dates, June 10th & 11th. Also a theme…
The theme for HD 2022 is ‘Howard’s Influence on Gaming’ (think role-playing games, board and table-top games, card games and videogames).
Early photo of the Howard House under Project Pride management, Texas Historical Commission. Newly rectified, lightened (as much as possible) and colorised.
An amusing bit of trivia has spurred this week’s ‘Picture Postals’, but has led me to a subtle but potentially quite deep observation about the nature of time in Lovecraft’s Providence.
One of the two precision clocks at the heart of the Ladd Observatory was called “Howard”, which might have tickled Howard Phillips Lovecraft when he was observing and studying there. As many will know, as a youth he lived nearby, had his own key, and was permitted free access at any time. The clock was a “Howard Astronomical Regulator No. 74”, to be precise.
The “Howard” sidereal clock (measuring stellar or cosmic time) was and still is accompanied in the Ladd’s Clock Vault by a “Molyneaux mean time clock” (measuring solar time, or everyday ‘civil time’).
Once the Ladd was opened and running, from September 1893 Professor Upton of the Observatory operated a wired…
system that transmitted telegraph time signals from precision clocks at Ladd Observatory throughout Providence and to other nearby cities.
The source-time for the signal was calculated by Ladd’s observation of the stars, thus giving exact ‘cosmic’ time. Knowing this gives a certain subtle spin to Lovecraft’s famous phrase of “when the stars were right”. In Providence, the stars were always right, since the stars (and presumably “Howard” as the site’s master star-clock) set the exact time for the city and its neighbours.
For the 1895 academic year Brown University invested in their own $100 “Howard”, precisely set by the Ladd Observatory time…
A very valuable Howard clock has recently been placed in the Steward’s office. It is regulated by Ladd Observatory standard time, and is thus kept as near correct as possible. The clock is connected with the bell-ringer’s room, so that now the college bell will be rung at exactly the right time.
The Ladd’s time-wires also went down to City Hall and to all points, via the services of a time-distribution contractor named the Rhode Island Protective Company.
Soon everyone had their exact time by the stars. One wonders if the wires are still there, presumably having gone down the hill under the earth rather than on poles that might be toppled in high winds. A possibility for a Mythos writer to explore, perhaps.
Here we see my colourising of an unusual view of the back of the Ladd, which corresponds with Lovecraft’s own isometric view as drawn in his boyish hand in 1904.
City documents show that the source of the city’s 1893-1916 wired time-transmissions was the square wooden-clad extension block, in which a “Seigmuller transit instrument” and the wired transmission unit was housed. Lovecraft’s drawing shows the observation-hole shutters on the block’s roof.
Note that Lovecraft has also drawn the path out back, which goes through an obvious gate to the small building with the curved roof. This can also be seen on the above photo, behind the later wireless transmissions hut (as war approached, the U.S. Naval Observatory transmitted exact time to the nation by radio from 1916 and thus took over Ladd’s local role).
What the small building with the curving roof was appears to be unknown, and later city plans for Ladd do not encompass it. But obviously Lovecraft thought it important enough to include on his drawing and there it appears to be part of the site. My guess would be it was a teaching room for the first-year Brown University Astronomy students, something that Professor Upton was keen to include from the first. Possibly with its own roof-flaps which could open to allow night observing, items which seem to be present on Lovecraft’s drawing of it. If so, being a hut-like structure with a stove for warmth, it would also be the obvious place to double-up as an impromptu kitchen — for making a hot early breakfast after a long cold night of traversing the astral coldness.
Horrorbabble has tackled another Lovecraft letter-fragment, “The Evil Clergyman”, in a 12 minute reading.