Right, I think that’s all until after Christmas. I hope you’ve enjoyed your daily Tentaclii during 2023. My blog will return perhaps on Tuesday the 2nd of January or thereabouts, though there may perhaps be a ‘2023 in Lovecraft’ annual post before that. Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
I’m now a twit at twitter.com/In_a_whit/
My PayPal is now plugged into Gumroad. I’m new to Gumroad, and I hadn’t realised that…
If you have not connected PayPal Connect, your customers will not be able to pay via PayPal.
So you should now be able to use PayPal when buying, or when kindly bumping up a price from a free “$0”. There’s not much there that’s paid, at present, but there will be.
Incidentally, if you signed up to Gumroad with a different email than you used for PayPal, be very careful to ensure you plug in the PayPal address. Don’t ever add a second different email address to your PayPal account, as it can lead to instant non-appealable account termination.
Alongside my “REH” (R.E. Howard / Conan) blog-post category, I’ve now also added two more.
1) I’ve collected my Kipling / “Night Mail” related posts under a new Kipling posts category. As with the “REH” one, I’ve gone back and retrospectively tagged older posts.
2) I also did the same for my few Conan Doyle posts.
Time for a July round-up post. It’s been a slow month, and not because of summer heat. Which barely lasted two days for me, on one of which I didn’t even need the air-conditioner turned on. I’m not sure which was worse, the brief 95-degree heat or the hysteria. As a boy who lived through ten weeks of non-stop scorching summer in 1976, I was not impressed by the nation’s wimpy behaviour. Now Tentaclii Towers once again languishes in what has overall been a rather cool summer, only it’s now rather damper than previously. I can feel the early autumn approaching already, and it won’t be surprising if I soon start to spot strange fungi around the Towers.
This month in ‘Picture Postals’ I looked at Columbia Heights, and specifically the “faery” view of the city towers from 110 Columbia Heights which so enchanted Lovecraft when he first arrived in New York City. I found several pictures which should help other researchers to go on to discover 1920s views from more or less the same photogenic spot. It features the Brooklyn Bridge, so a good picture-researcher with access to U.S. and New York archives could probably get an impressive dusk view from 1922 and almost the same spot. Staying in New York City, another ‘Postals’ post identified the mysterious “Chatham” that Lovecraft fondly recalled as one of three “quaint familiar landmarks” of his 1922 visit to the city. So far as I know I’m the first Lovecraftian to identify this. I then found several fine and evocative period photos of the place. Moving back to Providence I also restored and showed a panorama view of Lovecraft’s cherished Prospect Terrace, a view that I’d never seen before.
I completed my mammoth re-read of all five volumes of the Selected Letters, this time making notes. My post “Notes on the Selected Letters of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume V.” appeared in July. Remarkable finds in this post: later in his life Lovecraft thought there was life on Mars; he did read The Black Cat as a youth (“I used to buy that reg’lar-like”); at the end of this life he finally saw a movie he really liked, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935); and I found a photo of the “well-known ‘bohemian’ restaurant called Julius’s” where Lovecraft once stayed for two weeks. It became known, after the war, as one of the most famous gay bars in history. I’m now reading and making notes on the 2021 Lovecraft Annual, which will become a review before the 2022 edition appears.
A mention on Don Herron’s blog, of two Derleth “Lovecraft as character” tales, led me to take a look them. Not so impressive as tales, as it turns out, but in the research I also stumbled on mention of a Ray Bradbury depiction of Lovecraft as a character in The Martian Chronicles. This was actually his Martian story “The Exiles” (1950 version, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Winter/Spring 1950), which though a Mars story did not get into The Martian Chronicles. This led me to the further discovery that there are another two books-worth of Martian stories by Bradbury, beyond those selected for The Martian Chronicles.
For Lovecraftian researchers, I made the one-stop “SALTES, a custom search-engine for Lovecraftian researchers” based on Google Search. Though it still needs to be complemented by a further search on Tentaclii, since Google Search has still not yet properly indexed my blog at the new URL.
There were recordings from Howard Days 2022, and the Glenn Lord Symposium 2022, freely placed online in July. The latter had an especially illuminating discussion of the first phase of topics under discussion in the R.E. Howard / Lovecraft letters. I still can’t afford the HPL-Howard volumes of letters. They’re on the list, but several Ken Faig books and the Letters to E. Hoffmann Price and Richard F. Searight must come first.
Various useful reviews were noted and linked in blog and journals. The latest Spectral Realms poetry journal was listed on Hippocampus, and on inspection the contents list was found to include one non-fiction article on Barlow. The semi-annual Lovecraftian ‘zine The Blasphemous Tome released a new issue after a long gap.
In podcasts the new Voluminous (“Elizabeth and the New York Boys”) very usefully reminded me of emotional context for the writing of “The Shunned House”, and thus for my musing about the depiction of the final and otherwise rather incongruous “elbow” in the tale. This context confirms my earlier supposition that the glutinous “elbow” might well be read as a censorship-avoiding stand-in for some other less mentionable body part.
In open archival materials, I was kindly informed that HPL ‘zine (1972-74) is now free and public on Fanac.org, and I had a quick look through and pulled out or noted biographical materials for Tentaclii. I’ll have to get around to reading it more fully at some point, and I suspect that the Hoffmann Price item differs from that published elsewhere. Yes, it’s Price doing Lovecraft’s astrological chart, but the chart’s interpretation contains perceptive biographical insights on Lovecraft by one who knew him. New on Archive.org are Who’s Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction (1978) and The Pulps: fifty years of American pop culture (1976).
The original Finlay art for the memorable dust-jacket of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider (1939) came up for sale, and I snagged the preview scan.
In the comic and toon arts, Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is now a current ongoing comic-book series, in the stores now as a #1. I’ve little idea what it’s like, but the covers and character-designs certainly intrigue. In royalty-free 3D I noted a “Patrick base mesh”, new on ArtStation and likely to be a very useful starting point for crafting a H.P. Lovecraft 3D toon figure. Also a new free very low-poly 3D figure for Poser, likely to interest noir / crime-pulp and Lovecraftian RPG artists and comics creators.
In the AI arts, I tinkered with a creative writing AI titled ‘Story Machines’, and as an experiment used it to expand a real H.P. Lovecraft dream paragraph. This became, via the AI, a new and much longer story fragment.
Nothing much in books this month, but in the musical arts S.T. Joshi released his Songs from Lovecraft and Others, as a book of sheet music with audio download-code.
Conventions started to become active again, with the RPG focused CarcosaCon 2023 booking and the Armitage Symposium once again arriving in Providence via NecronomiCon 2022. I suspect all such things will be smaller than before, partly due to reluctance to travel because of [insert: disease-of-the-week] and travel restrictions, and partly simply because most people can no longer afford to travel far.
For those interested in early British TV sci-fi (an acquired taste, I know) I also updated by Doctor Who view/watch list for the Tom Baker and Davison years, having now completed the viewings. The Davison stuff tails off badly, and apparently the several Doctors after that were dire. So very appropriately I’ve now gone back in time from Baker… and made a new list for the Hartnell (first Doctor) / Troughton / Pertwee years. Which I’ll view and updated with comments over the coming months. I was also pleased to find there’s a new 2022 second-edition of a complete viewer’s guide book to a rival TV channel’s ‘Doctor Who beater’ series, Jaunt: A Viewer’s Guide to The Tomorrow People, which suggests a follow-on British sci-fi series that I might also revisit.
The next Digital Art Live magazine is to be themed “Battle”, so please let me know ASAP if you’re an R.E. Howard artist or other artist who uses digital tools to make multi-character historical battle scenes. Ideally from a pre-gunpowder era, though I won’t say no to Solomon Kane in-battle art with flintlocks and the like.
That’s it for July 2022. Things will be even slower in August, as Tentaclii is now off the daily-posting schedule for a while. As always, please do seriously consider becoming my patron on Patreon or perhaps boosting your monthly patronage by another $ or two. Every dollar encourages, and I still have hopes of reaching $100 a month in total. Also welcome are simple PayPal donations, or just an inbound Web link to Tentaclii on your blog or a mention in your journal or podcast. You can also buy one of my various books.
I’ll be having a bit of a rest during August, starting now. Blog posts will still happen here sporadically, as and when juicy news pops up. For instance, there will likely be news of the release of the 2022 Lovecraft Annual contents-list, Lovecraft’s Birthday releases, NecronomiCon Providence reports, etc. But my daily posting schedule will be in abeyance until the end of August. Thanks for your patience. There are, of course, a great many back-posts to browse and read while you’re waiting for a new post.
SALTES, a custom search-engine for Lovecraftian researchers. Not great at present, partly because Tentaclii is not yet properly re-indexed by Google (e.g. search: “waterfront”). But it covers the basic URLs and it’ll grow over time. You can also jump off the end of the search results, to run the same search on the main Google Search.
You’ve got a treat this weekend. At last, I’ve incontrovertibly found Lovecraft’s fave restaurant in Brooklyn, and even its owner. All will be revealed in posts scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Well, what a month. One of those months where you do a lot of work… and it feels like you’re mostly just back where you started.
Not much in terms of new journals this month, though I noted that Hippocampus has listed the ’emerging scholars’ journal Lovecraftian Proceedings #4 (February 2022) in paper. The ebook of this for #4 has yet to appear on Amazon. Elsewhere I spotted that The Journal of Dracula Studies returned (it had vanished into the mists earlier, with a swirl of its cape). Various new scholarly online items were found and added to my Open Lovecraft page. Joshi confirmed I’ll have items in both his Penumbra journal and the Lovecraft Annual, in due course.
In new books, the paperback edition of the Joshi-edited anthology His Own Most Fantastic Creation: Stories about H.P. Lovecraft appeared. Also Joshi’s 1920s Lovecraft-as-detective novel Honeymoon in Jail. Ken Faig Jr.’s new book of research essays Lovecraftian People and Places appeared on Amazon and seems to be shipping now.
Various reviews and musings were noted and linked here, as well as relevant news from the German and Hungarian Lovecraftians. I also briefly caught up with Robert E. Howard material and events, ahead of the fast-approaching Howard Days in Texas.
On the Letters, I posted my final notes on reading the Galpin book of Lovecraft letters and some addresses in this led me to do some detective work in Cleveland… and I was pleased to newly discover the location of the cafe that Lovecraft and the rest of the crowd frequented during that fateful Cleveland visit. I also posted my notes on reading Selected Letters I, preliminary to tackling a re-read of the rest of the Selected Letters over the summer. From this I discovered the exact location and fabric and destruction-date of the ‘observatory’ tower on Nentaconhant Hill, via Selected Letters and some detective work. So far as I know these data points are also a new discovery. I also un-puzzled some of the puzzling aspects of the ending of Lovecraft’s war-story “The Temple”.
In my ‘Picture Postals’ posts I looked yet again at the foot of College Street, and found not one but two good pictures. Which just goes to show that, even when you think a particular place has been exhausted of old pictures, there may yet be more to be found. One of the two new pictures was a magnificent one showing the looming Industrial Trust building under construction, and I newly colourised this. While writing a post for a Patreon patron on the Brooklyn Museum, I realised that there are now pictures of Lovecraft’s adjacent beloved ‘Hill and Pool’ Japanese garden. Not great pictures, from scans of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record journal (1912-1944), but they are from the correct period. This led me to Part One of a look at the gardens in the form of their adjacent exotic hothouses.
In other ‘Picture Postals’ post I managed to find a good picture from inside the Providence Opera House and of the actual stage on which the young Lovecraft once strutted and slung slabs of Shakespeare at the audience. Judging by other online collections of such pictures I am the first to alight on a picture of the actual stage. Ken Faig also kindly pointed me to a cine home-movie showing the Market Place fruit-market site on the waterfront in November/December 1934, and a Lovecraft-alike man shopping for a Christmas tree (as Lovecraft did, for his new home at No. 66). Incidentally, through dipping at random into another volume of the Letters I learned that Lovecraft’s previous home at Barnes seems to have lacked furnace-heating for much of the time he was there. He seems to have only had piped heating there in the last two years?
Looking ahead in time I itemised some Lovecraft anniversaries for 2023, including the 50th anniversary of Lovecraft’s breakthrough into a mass market readership in America and the UK in 1973. I also looked at authors entering the public domain in 2023, with an eye to the more unusual or re-workable items. I suppose we will never be able now to confirm the Arthur Leeds death-date (he would have been entering the public domain in 2023) and thus will have to rely on the slipping years to gradually make all his tales public domain in the USA.
Tentaclii has of course returned. The old website host was, I think, trying to get rid of the legacy web-hosting sites it inherited many many takeovers ago, of which I was one. I paid them, but their unreachable ‘support’ meant that there was no way to find out why jurn.org was no longer responsive. I gave up on them and on the money paid, and just decided to move the backups to a wholly new domain on a new paid host, and to forget about the old address. It seemed the only option. The old site still hasn’t come back, so I now feel justified in the move. So, as you can see, Tentaclii is now located at https://www.jurn.link/tentaclii/ and though there was some initial hassle with getting the ‘domain verification’ email that problem is now sorted. As such the blog should now stay online for years, and is also now a lot faster and more responsive. It’s on a large service that only does hosting and does it well, and is also unlikely to get bought-out by some uncaring conglomeration that also does 100 other things and doesn’t much care about its websites. As such the blog and URL should hopefully stay online for a good few years now (sound of frantic tapping-on-wood…).
The site move was sadly not without cost, in money as well as a week of my time and frustration, and I really welcome PayPal donations from a generous benefactor to help cover the cost. The other way that readers can help is simply to link the new address in their own blog posts, and to spread the word on social media to those who might have lost track of where Tentaclii is. Many thanks. As usual, becoming a Patreon patron is also very much encouraged and encouraging.
Elsewhere in April, I completed a large ‘Carl Sagan’ special for the free Digital Art Live monthly magazine, and even managed to do a chunk of work on my forthcoming Tolkien mega-book.
More link-fixing this evening.
For some reason, after the fresh WordPress as first installed, this was fine for getting the PDFs…
Now it’s not and it’s just…
Yet the /index.php/ is needed for the links to the HTML blog post pages. ‘Go figure’, as Americans say.
The other problem is that a direct link to a PDF respects capitalisation. A free WordPress blog forces the filename down to the_cats_of_ulthar_annotated_2019_fontsembedded.pdf in the link and on the server. But a paid hosting server will have it as the original filename of The_Cats_of_Ulthar_annotated_2019_fontsembedded.pdf (note the uppercase) and will thus refuse to serve the PDF. The filenames of all my .PDFs are now lower-cased to match the links.
Anyway, PDFs and freebies links have all been check by hand, again. They should now all be working.
Also, I’ve been able to restore the pictures on my little RPG adventure A pictorial RPG scenario: The Assemblage of Dr. Arnold Astrall.
The sidebar now looks nicer and neater.
I’ve spent a further hour with a regex plugin (search/replace) rooting out any remaining jurn .org links, and as far as I can see they are now fixed and gone.
The PayPal donations link has been restored to the blog’s sidebar.
Hurrah! After numerous support emails and a week of hassle, my new jurn.link domain has now been ICAAN verified within the vital 15-day verification period. It and Tentaclii should now stay online for the foreseeable future.
The Free Stuff and Reviews pages at Tentaclii have had links repaired and fixed and tested by hand. All working as far as I can see. I’ve also fixed the map link on the Free Stuff page. It seems the new server does not like scr links to raw .JPGs without an initial embed + html in a blog post. It’s fine with .PDFs though. It is possible to block hot-linking to images by file-type, in the dashboard, but .JPG is not blocked in that way. So I assume it’s a server thing. It shouldn’t affect other maps, as they’ve not linked in that way.
The blog is still a bit ‘rough around the edges’, but will be patched up further in the coming weeks. One worry at present is that the vital ‘domain confirmation’ email is not being sent. I’ve tried three times so far, and nothing comes through from the naming authority. But I’ll see if I can try to feed it another email address. But… please do pass the blog’s new Web address around, in anticipation of it sticking.