It was a mild and damp October here in England, which has raised a bumper crop of strange fungi around Tentaclii Towers. The blog was not quite so fruitful, with a bit less activity than normal. Still, here’s my summary for the month.
In postcard pictures related to Lovecraft and his places, this month I looked at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City (where Lovecraft married Sonia); I found evocative pictures of Newport at Night; and also a few of St. Augustine sea-front including a one-off 1950s low-tide picture. Otherwise there were only small historical nuggets this month. A flick through Robert Bloch’s Once around the Bloch: an unauthorized autobiography revealed the unexpected fact that Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright had a very good sense of humour (at least, when met personally). Who knew? My post on bicycle racing in Providence discovered that the 11-13 year old “veritable bicycle centaur” Lovecraft would surely have known of the opening of a large new cycledrome, backed by the manager of the Providence Opera House. In the third instalment of my notes on Letters with Donald and Howard Wandrei I learned (among many other things) that Lovecraft did eventually see the famous surreal-horror movie Dr. Caligari, and one reel of The Golem. But too late to influence his writing. Another website took a look at the composer Scriabin and Lovecraft, and I responded by doing some digging on possible connections. I found a 1922 connection via Galpin, and various broad parallels between Lovecraft and Scriabin, but there seems to have been no influence of Scriabin’s music on Lovecraft or on “Erich Zann”.
In journals and magazines, the German Lovecraftians released a German-language double-issue Lovecrafter #9 and #10. The thriving scholarly Shima journal released a special issue on sea-monsters in English.
In books, I noted the new Theology and H.P. Lovecraft, and later also linked to a podcast with the author of one of the chapters. I also looked through all the forthcoming McFarland books and picked out those likely to appeal to Tentaclii readers. A costly academic collection The Medial Afterlives of H.P. Lovecraft: Comic, Film, Podcast, TV, Games appears to be due by early 2023.
In useful scholarly tools I discovered the Contemporary Biography Builder tool; noted a useful PDF Index Generator video on making back-of-the-book indexes from custom lists; and I spotted that the Stellarium 1.0 final/stable software has finally appeared.
Overseas, the Portuguese have a new non-fiction book on Lovecraft and the Esoteric Traditions: Influences of Cosmic Horror on Occultism. The Spanish have a new police-procedural historical Cthulhu Cult novel, El Asesinato de Robert Barlow.
In events, this month I spotted several Lovecraft + Halloween talks in New England on Lovecraft. And the French have just held their big Campus Miskatonic 2022 event.
Two ‘Lovecraft as character’ graphic novels were noted this month, both with French connections. The Monstrous Dreams of Mr. Providence has now appeared in English and at a nice price on the Kindle, and there’s a new Lovecraft in Quebec gallery exhibition in Canada and an accompanying French-language ‘BD’ graphic novel based on Lovecraft’s visits to Quebec.
In podcasts, the latest Voluminous podcast revealed not only a wholly new Lovecraft letter, but also that the S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship was once again accepting applications (the deadline has just gone). It further revealed that scanning of the newly arrived Long letters had not started at the John Hay Library, at least as of NecronomiCon 2022. The new LibriVox Ghost and Horror Collection brought new public-domain readings of “The Outsider” by Lovecraft, and “The Loved Dead” by Eddy and Lovecraft. Dark Adventure Theater announced their big December release, R.E. Howard’s Lovecraftian homage story “The Black Stone”. Nice choice, which will please both REH and HPL readers. I was also pleased to find Tolkien’s The Hobbit, unabridged and full-cast and free. A fine listen.
In movies and TV, the Portland (Oregon) edition of the Lovecraft Film Festival even took place in early October. On TV the Netflix “Pickman’s Model” TV one-off was called by The Hollwood Reporter merely “overlong and over-obvious”. This may not worry those who know the story well already, and are keen to see as much period-costume Lovecraft as possible. Though I don’t know what other problems it may have, from a Lovecraftian perspective.
Sadly several of my carefully-made products have ‘fallen flat’ in terms of much-needed Gumroad sales, and they continue to do so. Meanwhile other key income streams have recently fallen away, due to piracy and also people cutting their online spending. Things are getting a bit difficult for me, frankly. If anyone has any regular reliable monthly work I could do, which ideally pays $600+ per month, I’d greatly appreciate hearing about it please. I’m perhaps best suited to being a specialist editor and researcher/writer, and I have strong skills in Web wrangling and picture processing. Many thanks, and thanks also to my patrons on Patreon.