Happy solstice. What better time for my round-up of ‘the year in Lovecraft’.
–§- HERE AT TENTACLII:
Tentaclii had the usual posts and pictures, and made too many new discoveries to list. I was aided in this by my mammoth re-read of all five volumes of the Selected Letters, this time making notes and posting these here. I posted a detailed review of the Lovecraft Annual 2021. For Lovecraftian online researchers I made the one-stop SALTES (‘Search Across Lovecraftian Sites’) powered by Google Search. I also went back and retrospectively tagged Tentaclii posts with tags such as ‘REH’ and ‘Astronomy’. Some of the broken images (broken by the move to a new Web server) were fixed on key older posts.
The easiest way to reach me with a message is still to simply add a comment (held for moderation) on one of my frequently visited blogs, such as Tentaclii or Spyders from Burslem. I’m still looking for regular monthly paid work, and with increasing urgency. Researching / writing and editing / and content marketing (‘marketing via creating quality content’) would all suit me well.
-§- ORIGINAL MATERIAL:
In newly unearthed or for-sale ‘original Lovecraft’ material, the L.W. Currey sales site showed three new pen-drawings of Providence, inked into a letter by Lovecraft. Apparently there are four more such pictures, also new to the world, as yet unseen. I linked to a scan of the Lovecraft poem “New England Fallen”, new at the Brown Repository and not in the published collected poetry (though it was printed in the Lovecraft Annual for 2021). The original Finlay artwork for the memorable dust-jacket of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider (1939) came up for sale, with good pictures. Work continues at Brown on preparing the Long letters for public release, though these are not as yet public.
-§- PUBLISHED LETTERS:
Newly published books of Lovecraft letters in 2022 included Miscellaneous Letters and Letters to Woodburn Harris and Others. For your reading convenience I created a free PDF of the Brown scans of the Letters of E. Hoffman Price to H.P. Lovecraft, a work which complements the published Hippocampus volume of letters from Lovecraft to Price. S.T. Joshi announced the titles of the final forthcoming volumes of the Lovecraft Letters series, and I understand that work on a final mega-index volume is ongoing for what is likely to end as a 24 volume series.
The scholars of R.E. Howard also succeed in producing an affordable set of The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard, in three paperback volumes.
-§- BOOKS & SCHOLARSHIP:
New books included…
– Ken Faig Jr.’s collection of research essays Lovecraftian People and Places, accompanied by his Pike’s Peak or Bust: The Life and Works of David V. Bush (Lovecraft’s major revision client in the 1920s).
– H.P. Lovecraft: An Introduction to His Life and Writings.
– S.T. Joshi’s The Parameters of the Weird Tale (with some Lovecraft-related essays not in his recent volume collected essays on Lovecraft).
– Theology and H.P. Lovecraft.
– The Robert H. Waugh Library of Lovecraftian Criticism (a new third book, new editions for the first two).
– S.T. Joshi’s Miscellaneous Writings.
– Esoteric Traditions: Influences of Cosmic Horror on Occultism.
– Cosmicism and Neocosmicism in H.P. Lovecraft.
In new paperback editions of previous hardbacks, we had a new $20 paperback edition for David E. Schultz’s Fungi from Yuggoth by H.P. Lovecraft: An Annotated Edition.
S.T. Joshi visited the British Isles in May, and was said to be set to give least one museum lecture. The S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship restarted, after a lockdown-induced hiatus of several years.
Various blogs continued to post worthy new musings and scholarship on Lovecraft, R.E. Howard, pulp magazines and more. The Fossil continued to produce regular issues on the history of amateur journalism.
-§- TRANSLATION & OVERSEAS:
The French released the fifth volume of their sumptuous new Mnemos edition/translation of Lovecraft’s works, apparently an excellent new translation. Their Universe of Books news publication brought news that leading French prestige publisher La Pleiade now has a major Lovecraft edition in the works. Russian readers had the first volume of Joshi’s I Am Providence in hardback. The Spanish had H.P. Lovecraft: poesia fantastica completa (‘the complete fantastic poetry’), and also a Spanish edition of Joshi’s I Am Providence.
The Hippocampus Press website at last became accessible from the UK, and perhaps elsewhere, without needing the use of a VPN.
-§- ARCHIVES & SCANS:
Various books that Lovecraft owned or was influenced by slipped into the public domain, including the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1926 three-volume supplement. This offers a reliable snapshot and summary of the state of human thought and achievements by the time of the 1910s and early 20s, as Lovecraft emerged from his hermitage.
On Archive.org a wealth of Lovecraft-related books became available to borrow, the most notable being the very much out-of-print So Many Lovely Days: the Greenwich Village Years (the family history and picture-album of Kirk, a key member of Lovecraft’s New York circle).
The Lovecraft Annual 2022 was published. The Italian journal Studi Lovecraftiani No. 21 appeared. The Armitage Symposium Lovecraftian Proceedings #4 was was issued as an ebook, featuring Lovecraft scholarship from emerging scholars. There was a substantial new Crypt of Cthulhu (#114, July 2022) which included an interview with David E. Schultz, among other items. A large and handsome new issue of the Italian Linus magazine devoted itself to Lovecraft. The Litteraria Copernicana academic journal has a new Lovecraft special-issued titled “Lovecraftiana”, under Creative Commons, which was not all about adaptation. The Gothic Studies journal Studies in Gothic Fiction also issued a Lovecraft special-issue, albeit very much focused on media adaptation rather than the man.
The German Lovecraftians released a German-language double-issue of their substantial annual Lovecrafter #9 and #10. Zothique #9 and #10 appeared. The semi-annual Lovecraftian ‘zine The Blasphemous Tome released a new issue after a long gap. The old HPL ‘zine (1972-74) was scanned and is now free and public on Fanac.org. Various other newly-liberated old zines with Lovecraft-relevant material arrived on Archive.org. Behind the scenes, I believe various APA mailings continue.
Important U.S. conventions included Pulpfest, NecronomiCon, and the Howard Days in Texas. There was apparently a “Symposium from the Untold Depths: Lovecraft and the Popular” in the UK, although nothing more has been heard about it. The German Lovecraftians reported a successful annual summer gathering. The French held their big annual Campus Miskatonic 2022 event. Sadly the grand tradition of lengthy convention reports from fans appears to have died out, although we do now sometimes get listenable YouTube recordings of talks and panels instead.
-§- NOVELS & STORIES:
Leslie Klinger’s annotated The Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories appeared, being an affordable cut-down one-volume paperback version of the previous volumes. The selection and ordering of the paperback looks very suitable for beginners, and I believe that he used the approved Joshi-edited texts.
Thanks to Martin A. for letting me know of the 2022 availability of… “the expanded edition of the fourth Variorum volume, now with the four Eddy revisions” with Lovecraft. This series offers variant versions of the Lovecraft stories and his revision-work, in the form in which the texts appeared at different times. I believe these volumes are also accompanied by scholarly notes, and I seem to recall they are limited editions.
In novels, S.T. Joshi released his 1920s Lovecraft-as-detective novel Honeymoon in Jail. We also had the paperback edition of the Joshi-edited anthology His Own Most Fantastic Creation: Stories about H.P. Lovecraft, some of which feature Lovecraft as a character. The Spanish had a new police-procedural historical Cthulhu Cult novel, El Asesinato de Robert Barlow, a fiction built around the real history of Barlow and the Beat poets in Mexico.
Tentaclii doesn’t track Mythos anthologies, but there were of course also a number of new Lovecraft Mythos anthologies in 2022. Including one from Holland, unusually. It turned out that this was not Mythos stories with a Dutch or ‘olde Dutch’ New York City setting, but simply tales by contemporary Dutch writers.
In Canada the works of August Derleth and C.M. Eddy (“The Loved Dead”, etc) slipped into the public domain at the start of 2022. Changes to the law in late 2023 does not affect this, as Canada’s new 70-year law is not retrospective.
Two ‘Lovecraft as character’ graphic novels appeared, both with French connections. The acclaimed The Monstrous Dreams of Mr. Providence is now also in English. There was a new Lovecraft in Quebec gallery exhibition in Canada and I discovered an accompanying French-language ‘BD’ graphic novel based on Lovecraft’s real-life visits to Quebec. In other comics the Spanish now have Alan Moore’s major work Providence as a translated one-volume omnibus book. Gou Tanabe’s 2020 Innsmouth 480-page graphic novel was released in Italian print, although has yet to see any official English edition. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is now a current ongoing comic-book series from a professional.
-§- VISUAL ARTS:
Too much to offer a summary survey here, but I note that Lovecraftian RPG maker Chaosium offered a new video profile of their key artist Loic Muzy titled ‘Illustrating Cthulhu’. There is also much ongoing Lovecraftian picture-making activity over in the red-hot new ‘industry’ of image-generating AIs.
-§- CRAFTS & MODELS:
An unusual item in the Lovecraftian arts for 2022 involved model-making, in the form of the incredible “Welcome to Arkham — the (HO) Model City”, a labour-of-love in miniature. Tentaclii doesn’t tend to track crafts much, but I recall that activity continued in Lovecraftian crafts making and also hand-crafted stop-motion animation.
There was apparently a substantial Lovecraft theatrical opener for the major German Kreuzgangspiele festival in May. The French stage play “Lovecraft, Mon Amour” had at least one further staging. The London Lovecraft festival announced a return and 2023 dates. Dark Adventure Theater released R.E. Howard’s Lovecraftian homage story “The Black Stone” as an olde-time radio drama.
-§- MUSIC & SONG:
In classical music, the opera A Dream at the End of Time was staged in Los Angeles and had a week’s run. Apparently this was based on “The Quest of Iranon”. And in New York, the U.S. premiere of Connesson’s symphonic “Les cites de Lovecraft”. This paean to Lovecraft’s work was played by the New York Philharmonic to what was reported as rapturous acclaim. S.T. Joshi released his Songs from Lovecraft and Others, as a book of sheet music with audio download-code. There were also quite a few Lovecraft-inspired ambient and heavy metal albums in 2022.
Many podcasts continued, including the regular Voluminous podcast with their very accomplished readings of Lovecraft’s letters followed by discussion. They even managed to preview the Long letters, now being scanned and prepared by at Brown University, and were lucky enough to get an interview with the Brown archivist who oversees the Lovecraft Collection. Henrik Moller’s 150th podcast interviewed members of the “Providence Pals”, pioneering early Lovecraft scholars. Robert M. Price’s The Lovecraft Geek podcast returned just the once in 2022, but with a cracker of a new episode. Price also contributed an introduction to the new anthology of Mythos writing by the Dutch Lovecraftians, and produced a new issue of Crypt of Cthulhu (#114, July 2022).
-§- SPOKEN WORD:
LibriVox continued to release public-domain readings of Lovecraft and related writers / materials, and 2022 produced a rich seam of such. Of course, YouTube hosted a daily tidal-wave of free Lovecraft readings and a growing number of readings from the work of the Lovecraft Circle. Unfortunately recordings of formal lectures and public talks to an audience now seem to be in short supply on YouTube, and most of the action there seems to have shifted to podcasts. That’s not just the case with Lovecraft, but also with Tolkien etc. Possibly it’s a reaction to the virus, re: the fact that it’s now just a lot more difficult to get a bunch of older people to leave the house and gather elbow-to-elbow in a stuffy lecture room? There were however several small public Lovecraft + Halloween talks in New England in 2022, and I seem to recall one in London.
In 2022 I discovered great progress has been made in AI-assisted audio tools, with desktop software such as Dragon Professional (automatic AI-aided transcribing of voice from an .MP3) and iZotope RX7 (uses trained AIs to clean up poorly-recorded audio, automatically). Easy-operate pocket hardware audio-recorders are also now very affordable, and ideally all speakers at public talks would also make their own back-up recording — in order to stop this sort of thing from happening to one’s talk.
-§- MOVIES & GAMES:
Tentaclii rarely dips a toe into the waves of RPGs, videogames and Lovecraftian films, but there was of course a lot of activity there. 2022 saw the usual weekly gush of ‘Lovecraft inspired’ videogames and mods being touted or released. I get the impression that RPGs saw much the same activity, though I don’t have so much exposure to news from that sphere. The HPLHS released a massive prop set for RPG gamers, including much printed material.
The Portland (Oregon) edition of the Lovecraft Film Festival took place in early October, and I seem to recall that perhaps two relevant documentaries were also released on the ‘festival circuit’ in 2022. The acclaimed Portuguese director Edgar Pera was reported to have produced a new Lovecraft movie.
The Lovecraft-in-Florida book Adventurous Liberation: H.P. Lovecraft in Florida was reported finished and submitted for 2023. Other books known to be completed, submitted and forthcoming are on the topics of Lovecraft and Astronomy, and Lovecraft and New York City. The forthcoming Two Hearts That Beat as One: an Autobiography by Sonia H. Davis book was successfully funded via a crowd-funder, and is said to be set to publish Sonia’s autobiographical notes for the first time. In Autumn/Fall 2022 the German Lovecraftians reported the imminence of their scholarly volume on the “cultural interplay between H.P. Lovecraft and Germany”, though it seems it may have been delayed into 2023.
In new volumes of work from the Lovecraft Circle, 2023 should see the release of the book Eyes of the God: Selected Writings of R.H. Barlow (revised and expanded). This has more than stories.
Lovecraft anniversaries for 2023 include the 50th anniversary of Lovecraft’s breakthrough into a mass market readership in America and the UK in 1973.