eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Weird)
Hey everyone! Remember me? Apologies for being quiet. I am slammed with work at the moment. I look forward to catching up with emails and comments soon. In the meantime, I wanted to make a quick post with some updates.


First, in one week until HP Comics will start its first Kickstarter! I hope you'll check it out. I'll post more when the event is live.



Speaking of HP Comics, huge congratulations to our President and Publisher Dwight L. MacPherson! His comic Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom is being adapted to film, and Mark Hamill, Jeffrey Combs, and Christopher Plummer will be voicing roles! Too cool!

In other news, my Apex Magazine essay "The Once and Future Chief: Tecumseh in (Science) Fiction" is now online here. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you a wonderful day, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze smiling)
It's time for my annual navel-gazing post, in which I take stock of the year beyond my university teaching for my own information/edification.

So here's my reading, podcasting, and published work this year.





Below the cut: lists! )
eldritchhobbit: (Edgar Allan Poe/Raven)
How about starting December with some good news?!?

I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this.

Hocus Pocus Comics Launches With Edgar Allan Poe and Houdini Comics: The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe marks debut for innovative digital media publishing company

Lakeland, FL: Start-Up Comic Publishers Hocus Pocus Comics will release their dynamic debut comic, The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, and their website, hpcomics.net, on January 1st, 2017. This begins their first wave of properties to be sold on ComiXology, with the publishers releasing four additional titles throughout 2017.



The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe is a rebranding of the Harvey and Eagle Award-nominated Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo created by Hocus Pocus Comics’ founder, Dwight L. MacPherson. The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe offers a twisted glimpse into the dream-life of America's greatest fantasist, Edgar Allan Poe, in the darkest time of his life. Book 1 will be reprinted as Book 1, Issues 1-4 (with an exclusive cover by David Hartman, Rob Zombie album cover artist and producer of Phantasm: Ravager). Book 2 will feature an updated script and all-new art by Luis Czerniawski (Transformers: Evolutions, Kolchak the Nightstalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe) and Book 3 is a brand-new story that will finally complete MacPherson’s magnum opus. As he says, “Many readers have asked me what happened to Book 3, as they loved the characters and story. I’ve often joked that it’s a ‘lost book.’ Well, the time is right to finally complete this epic, and I couldn’t be more excited to share this ‘lost book’ with the world!”

Hocus Pocus Comics’ second title, Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits, is described by MacPherson as “Harry Potter meets Gravity Falls.” The first issue will be released this spring, and it will feature a cover by David Hartman and interior art by Mathieu Benoit (Jim Reaper: Week One, Lil’ Hellions: A Day at the Zoo).

Speaking on Hocus Pocus Comics’ mission, MacPherson says, “I believe that telling incredible stories is fundamental to a successful publishing company. There are many publishers pumping out a whole lot of mediocre properties, but we would rather take our time, stay small, and produce 3-4 extremely well-written, beautifully-illustrated books per year that will stick with readers long after they finish reading. We believe that good stories are magical, and we will do everything in our power to conjure some truly unforgettable magic.” To that end, MacPherson has put together several stellar teams working on books of several different genres. Hocus Pocus Comics’ motto is Imaginatio est Magicae (Imagination is Magic). Their goal is to create the future’s myths and legends, one comic at a time.

President and Publisher: Dwight L. MacPherson
Comic creator, writer, and editor Dwight L. MacPherson has been one of the most prolific writing professionals for more than 10 years. A longtime advocate of webcomics and digital media, his steampunk webcomic, Sidewise (DC Comics), won the June 2009 Zuda competition. He has also seen his creator-owned properties published by Image Comics, IDW Publishing, and many others. For more information, visit his website.

Editor-in-Chief: Amy H. Sturgis
Amy H. Sturgis holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University, teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and specializes in Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies. The author of four books and over fifty essays, and the editor of six books, Sturgis has won awards for her scholarship (The Imperishable Flame Award for J.R.R. Tolkien Scholarship), journalism (Best Magazine Review/Criticism/Column Award from the Los Angeles Press Club), and podcasting (The Sofanaut Award from listeners of the Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa). For more information, visit her website.

Creative Director: Bruce Brown
Bruce Brown is the creator and writer of Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, now a motion picture. He is also the co-writer (with Dwight L. MacPherson) of Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, which is now in pre-production. Several of Brown’s properties have been published by Image Comics and Arcana Comics. He has multiple properties currently in production as well as a spin-off to the wildly successful Howard Lovecraft series.

Production Manager: J.M. Bryan
J. M. Bryan is a writer and designer. He has an Associates in the Arts degree from Jackson College and a Bachelor of Theology w/minor in Language from Michigan Baptist Seminary. He spends his days with his wife and two children and his nights pouring his imagination onto paper. He is currently writing two comic series.

Vice President, Administration: Rebecca MacPherson
Rebecca MacPherson has over seven years of TV/Film and Theatre Production experience from her tenure at both Tribune Studios and Fox Studios. An NAACP Award for Best Local Producer nominee for the Los Angeles production of Stage Directions, she worked with Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington as Production Secretary on his directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, for Fox Searchlight Films.

For more information on Hocus Pocus Comics, please contact: info.hpcomics@gmail.com

Follow Hocus Pocus Comics on Twitter.
Visit Hocus Pocus Comics on Patreon.
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/vintage)
The day is here, my friends! We made it! Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain, and (slightly early) Happy Día de los Muertos!

Thank you for joining me in my month-long holiday celebration. I truly hope you've enjoyed it. I have!

To those of you who have shared goodies with me through email or snailmail or other means, thank you so very much for making the holiday extra-special for me!!!


(Source: Evil Supply Co.)


Everyone, please stop by, grab a virtual latte or cider or hot cocoa, a candied apple or some roasted pumpkin seeds, or even a goblet of blood and a plate of brains, and say hello!



Now for the grand finale. What can I say? This is my favorite for every Halloween. I hope you enjoy "Hallowe'en in a Suburb" by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

The steeples are white in the wild moonlight,
And the trees have a silver glare;
Past the chimneys high see the vampires fly,
And the harpies of upper air,
That flutter and laugh and stare.

For the village dead to the moon outspread
Never shone in the sunset's gleam,
But grew out of the deep that the dead years keep
Where the rivers of madness stream
Down the gulfs to a pit of dream.

A chill wind weaves through the rows of sheaves
In the meadows that shimmer pale,
And comes to twine where the headstones shine
And the ghouls of the churchyard wail
For harvests that fly and fail.

Not a breath of the strange grey gods of change
That tore from the past its own
Can quicken this hour, when a spectral power
Spreads sleep o'er the cosmic throne,
And looses the vast unknown.

So here again stretch the vale and plain
That moons long-forgotten saw,
And the dead leap gay in the pallid ray,
Sprung out of the tomb's black maw
To shake all the world with awe.

And all that the morn shall greet forlorn,
The ugliness and the pest
Of rows where thick rise the stones and brick,
Shall some day be with the rest,
And brood with the shades unblest.

Then wild in the dark let the lemurs bark,
And the leprous spires ascend;
For new and old alike in the fold
Of horror and death are penned,
For the hounds of Time to rend.
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/Haunted)
Yesterday I mentioned that "The Shunned House" by H.P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite stories. In the tale, the protagonist muses, "I wondered how many of those who had known the legends realised that additional link with the terrible which my wide reading had given me; that ominous item in the annals of morbid horror which tells of the creature Jacques Roulet, of Caude, who in 1598 was condemned to death as a daemoniac but afterward saved from the stake by the Paris parliament and shut in a madhouse."

Here Lovecraft was drawing on his reading of Myths and Myth-Makers: Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology (1872) by philosopher/historian John Fiske, which you can read for free online here. (Note that it contains such Halloween-friendly chapters as "Werewolves and Swan-Maidens" and "The Primeval Ghost-World.")


(Source.)


Our haunting passage for today is the section Lovecraft drew upon from the "Werewolves and Swan-Maidens" chapter of Fiske's Myths and Myth-Makers.

"In the year 1598, 'in a wild and unfrequented spot near Caude, some countrymen came one day upon the corpse of a boy of fifteen, horribly mutilated and bespattered with blood. As the men approached, two wolves, which had been rending the body, bounded away into the thicket. The men gave chase immediately, following their bloody tracks till they lost them; when, suddenly crouching among the bushes, his teeth chattering with fear, they found a man half naked, with long hair and beard, and with his hands dyed in blood. His nails were long as claws, and were clotted with fresh gore and shreds of human flesh.' [Quote from Sabine Baring-Gould's The Book of Were-Wolves, being an account of a terrible superstition (1865).]

"This man, Jacques Roulet, was a poor, half-witted creature under the dominion of a cannibal appetite. He was employed in tearing to pieces the corpse of the boy when these countrymen came up. Whether there were any wolves in the case, except what the excited imaginations of the men may have conjured up, I will not presume to determine; but it is certain that Roulet supposed himself to be a wolf, and killed and ate several persons under the influence of the delusion. He was sentenced to death, but the parliament of Paris reversed the sentence, and charitably shut him up in a madhouse.

"The annals of the Middle Ages furnish many cases similar... If a myth is a piece of unscientific philosophizing, it must sometimes be applied to the explanation of obscure psychological as well as of physical phenomena. Where the modern calmly taps his forehead and says, 'Arrested development,' the terrified ancient made the sign of the cross and cried, 'Werewolf.'"
eldritchhobbit: (Nosferatu)
Last call for entering this week's book giveaway! Look for a new one to be posted on Sunday.

As many of you know, "The Shunned House" by H.P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite stories.

Today's quote comes from one of the texts that inspired the tale. In a mere two paragraphs, Charles M. Skinner in his 1896 Myths and Legends of Our Own Land (which you can read in its entirety online online here) provides readers with the eerie story of "The Green Picture." Enjoy!


Source.


"The Green Picture"

"In a cellar in Green Street, Schenectady, there appeared, some years ago, the silhouette of a human form, painted on the floor in mould. It was swept and scrubbed away, but presently it was there again, and month by month, after each removal, it returned: a mass of fluffy mould, always in the shape of a recumbent man. When it was found that the house stood on the site of the old Dutch burial ground, the gossips fitted this and that together and concluded that the mould was planted by a spirit whose mortal part was put to rest a century and more ago, on the spot covered by the house, and that the spirit took this way of apprising people that they were trespassing on its grave. Others held that foul play had been done, and that a corpse, hastily and shallowly buried, was yielding itself back to the damp cellar in vegetable form, before its resolution into simpler elements. But a darker meaning was that it was the outline of a vampire that vainly strove to leave its grave, and could not because a virtuous spell had been worked about the place.

"A vampire is a dead man who walks about seeking for those whose blood he can suck, for only by supplying new life to its cold limbs can he keep the privilege of moving about the earth. He fights his way from his coffin, and those who meet his gray and stiffened shape, with fishy eyes and blackened mouth, lurking by open windows, biding his time to steal in and drink up a human life, fly from him in terror and disgust. In northern Rhode Island those who die of consumption are believed to be victims of vampires who work by charm, draining the blood by slow draughts as they lie in their graves. To lay this monster he must be taken up and burned; at least, his heart must be; and he must be disinterred in the daytime when he is asleep and unaware. If he died with blood in his heart he has this power of nightly resurrection. As late as 1892 the ceremony of heart-burning was performed at Exeter, Rhode Island, to save the family of a dead woman that was threatened with the same disease that removed her, namely, consumption. But the Schenectady vampire has yielded up all his substance, and the green picture is no more."



Note: If you'd like to know more about the historical "ceremony of heart-burning" in Exeter, in which a Rhode Island community blamed consumption on vampires, check out my "Looking Back on Genre History" segment on this episode of the StarShipSofa podcast.
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/vintage)
It's time for a Halloween-friendly book giveaway!

To enter, you need to be 1) over the age of eighteen, 2) not me (or my doppleganger, Mirror Universe self, alternate universe self, evil twin, or future ghost), and 3) living somewhere on the planet Earth (because shipping costs to the International Space Station are outrageous).

The winner gets to choose one of these new paperbacks, and I will ship it immediately.


Option 1: A Lonely and Curious Country: Tales from the Lands of Lovecraft edited by Matthew Carpenter (2015)

Official Description: "Horror can lurk in the most unlikely places: from the secluded cottage to the teeming metropolis. Lovecraft knew that terror could be rooted in the geography of a place as much as in an uncaring cosmos or a man’s soul. In these 17 brand new tales of chilling Lovecraftian horrors by leading authors, discover new lands of terror. Learn the truth about the glories of Y’ha-nthlei and what really happened to Erich Zann. Discover the fate of Tillinghast’s monstrous machine and do a deal with Nyarlathotep down in the byways of Mississippi. Sometimes that lonely farmhouse, brooding silently in its isolation, can be more terrifying than forgotten monoliths on an uncharted Pacific island."

This collection features stories by Rebecca Allred, Christine Morgan, Robert M. Prize, Pete Rawlik, and many more.


Option 2: Sweeter Than Wine: A Story of Love, Sleuthing and Vampires by L. Neil Smith (2011)

Official Description: "With just one tiny exception, J Gifford is an ordinary, decent, small-town kind of guy. He pays his bills on time. He waters his lawn. He treats his neighbors and the folks with whom he does business with kindness and respect. He's good to children and small animals. The tiny exception? He's a vampire.

"Born in 1920, and "brought over" shortly after D-Day in a little French village, 90-year-old Gifford still looks and feels 24. He has friends, a place in the community, a thriving business, and a big orange tabby cat named Fiddlestring. He knows where all the good restaurants are. He's very tidy about that "tiny exception" and has never killed anybody. All he lacks in his life is the beautiful girl who made him what he is today -- and then mysteriously vanished. Now, suddenly, after sixty-five years, she's back and needs his help. But is she his long-lost love or a serial-killing fiend? Only time—and blood—will tell."



The giveaway is open now and ends on Friday, October 14.

Here it is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, here's a Discussion Question for you: If you could only watch one film on all of the Halloweens to come, which film would you choose? In other words, what's your very favorite "go to" Halloween movie?


“Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimaeras — dire stories of Celaeno and the Harpies — may reproduce themselves in the brain of superstition — but they were there before. They are transcripts, types — the archetypes are in us, and eternal. How else should the recital of that which we know in a waking sense to be false come to affect us at all? Is it that we naturally conceive terror from such objects, considered in their capacity of being able to inflict upon us bodily injury? O, least of all! These terrors are of older standing. They date beyond body — or without the body, they would have been the same. . . . That the kind of fear here treated is purely spiritual — that it is strong in proportion as it is objectless on earth, that it predominates in the period of our sinless infancy — are difficulties the solution of which might afford some probable insight into our ante-mundane condition, and a peep at least into the shadowland of pre-existence.”
— Charles Lamb: “Witches and Other Night-Fears”
eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)


Would you like to see three creepy Lovecraftian short films? Please check out the Indiegogo page for The Dark and The Deep. I'm delighted to be a consultant on this project, and I hope you'll take a look!

Update: Tremendous thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far! The original goal has been met, and now there's a fun stretch goal added. It's very much within reach.

It's "A Cry for HELP"!

eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/What You Bring With You)
October once again is Star Wars Reads Month. This means free events, a free downloadable activity kit and posters, and general celebration of Star Wars books. For more information (and free downloads), see this site.

I know you.

You're wondering how I'm going to connect the topic of Star Wars Reads with Halloween. This is, after all, our Halloween countdown.

Wait for it...

Remember Cthulhu, the monstrous creation of H.P. Lovecraft first introduced in his creeptastic classic "The Call of Cthulhu" in 1928? Here is one of Lovecraft's own illustrations of his cosmic nightmare:


Source.


Fast forward fifty years from Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" in 1928 to 1978. In 1978, Alan Dean Foster published Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the first original full-length Star Wars novel produced after the release of the original Star Wars film, and thus one of the earliest Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Legends) works.



Guess what familiar face makes a cameo in Splinter of the Mind's Eye? I'll let you be the judge.

"A colossal statue was seated there against the dark wall. It represented a vaguely humanoid being seated on a carved throne. Leathery wings which might have been vestigial swept out in two awesome arcs to either side of the figure. Enormous claws thrust from feet and arms, the latter clinging to the ends of armrests on the throne. It had no face below slanted, accusing eyes -- only a mass of Medusian, carved tentacles."
- Alan Dean Foster, Splinter of the Mind's Eye


Here's how the statue appears in the 1996 graphic novel adaptation of Splinter of the Mind's Eye.



May this make your next session of Jedi (or Sith) meditation just a little bit more eldritch.
eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)


Would you like to see three creepy Lovecraftian short films? Please check out the Indiegogo page for The Dark and The Deep. I'm delighted to be a consultant on this project, and I hope you'll take a look!

It's not long now, folks. October is coming soon...
eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
Happy birthday to H.P. Lovecraft (20 August, 1890 – 15 March, 1937)!

Lovecraft


Take my virtual walking tour of Lovecraft's Providence.

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
- H.P. Lovecraft, "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (19
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Dumbledore)
As part of the promotion for Harry Potter for Nerds II, I sat down with my friend and editor, Dr. Kathryn N. McDaniel, to discuss a popular theory in Harry Potter fandom: namely, that Lord Voldemort, Severus Snape, and Harry Potter represent the Three Brothers from The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and that Albus Dumbledore represents Death. Our discussion is now online for free access.



On another note, here are two links that I recommend checking out.

* On Kickstarter: Autumn Cthulhu: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror by Mike Davis. I'm a backer, and I can't wait for this collection (but I will)!

* The Prime Sci-Fantasy Humble Bundle offers some excellent science fiction, fantasy, and Lovecraftian goodness (by the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Madeleine L'Engle, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Nancy Kress) to support charity.
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/vintage)
The day is here, my friends! We made it! Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain, and (slightly early) Happy Día de los Muertos!

Thank you for joining me in my month-long holiday celebration. I truly hope you've enjoyed it. I have!

To those of you who have shared goodies with me through email or snailmail or other means, thank you so very much for making the holiday extra-special for me!!!

Everyone, please stop by, grab a virtual latte or cider or hot cocoa, a candied apple or some roasted pumpkin seeds, or even a goblet of blood and a plate of brains, and say hello!


(Source.)


Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] greenhoodloxley, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] ithiliana, [livejournal.com profile] amedia, [livejournal.com profile] madkestrel, [livejournal.com profile] crackferret, [livejournal.com profile] thaisa, [livejournal.com profile] actourdreams, [livejournal.com profile] tlg2009, [livejournal.com profile] coppervale, [livejournal.com profile] st_crispins, [livejournal.com profile] adamantrealm, [livejournal.com profile] sneezythesquid, [livejournal.com profile] bibliotrope, [livejournal.com profile] crazywritergirl, [livejournal.com profile] rymfireebooks, and [livejournal.com profile] darchildre. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!


(Source.)


Now for the grand finale. What can I say? This is my favorite. I hope you enjoy "Hallowe'en in a Suburb" by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

The steeples are white in the wild moonlight,
And the trees have a silver glare;
Past the chimneys high see the vampires fly,
And the harpies of upper air,
That flutter and laugh and stare.

For the village dead to the moon outspread
Never shone in the sunset's gleam,
But grew out of the deep that the dead years keep
Where the rivers of madness stream
Down the gulfs to a pit of dream.

A chill wind weaves through the rows of sheaves
In the meadows that shimmer pale,
And comes to twine where the headstones shine
And the ghouls of the churchyard wail
For harvests that fly and fail.

Not a breath of the strange grey gods of change
That tore from the past its own
Can quicken this hour, when a spectral power
Spreads sleep o'er the cosmic throne,
And looses the vast unknown.

So here again stretch the vale and plain
That moons long-forgotten saw,
And the dead leap gay in the pallid ray,
Sprung out of the tomb's black maw
To shake all the world with awe.

And all that the morn shall greet forlorn,
The ugliness and the pest
Of rows where thick rise the stones and brick,
Shall some day be with the rest,
And brood with the shades unblest.

Then wild in the dark let the lemurs bark,
And the leprous spires ascend;
For new and old alike in the fold
Of horror and death are penned,
For the hounds of Time to rend.
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/trick or treat)
First, a quick FYI for you H.P. Lovecraft fans. The Lovecraftian Science blog is focusing on the extra spooky stuff this month, with delicious posts such as "The Science of Reanimation, Part I" (yes, more is coming!). Don't miss it.

Now, what could possibly be better than fun at a pumpkin patch in October? Yes, this is gratuitous niece picspam. Have some Kaitlyn goodness.



Three little ghostesses
Sitting on postesses,
Eating buttered toastesses,
Greasing their fistesses,
Up to their wristesses,
Oh, what beastesses,
To make such feastesses!

- Anonymous, quoted in Trick or Treat
by Emily Gwathmey and Suzanne Slesin


eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
Every year, my parents send their granddog, the fabulous Virginia, a Halloween costume for her to wear (as well as treats to bribe her to model for pictures).

This year, my brilliant parents outdid themselves, creating and accessorizing a most remarkable costume. I invite you to behold Virginia as H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu, first introduced in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu", which was published in Weird Tales in 1928.

Under the ocean, she waits until the stars are right...

Halloween 2015

Halloween 2015


She was well compensated with treats both during and after her photo session. :)

Under this cut are pictures of some of her previous costumes from recent Halloweens. )

As always, you can see many more pictures of Virginia here.
eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Read More)
To wrap up Lovecraft's birthday month, The Drabblecast has posted a full-cast recording of an original and exclusive Lovecraftian story, "Restless in R'yleh" by Oliver Buckram. I'm "Worried in Wichita" in the production. :) If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

PS. Thanks to all of you who voted in or commented on my recent poll. The Halloween countdown will be back for its tenth year this October! Watch this space.
eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
Happy birthday to H.P. Lovecraft (20 August, 1890 – 15 March, 1937)!

Lovecraft


Take my virtual walking tour of Lovecraft's Providence.

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
- H.P. Lovecraft, "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (1927)
eldritchhobbit: (A is for Amy)
Can you spin a tale like H.P. Lovecraft? The Providence Journal is holding a short-story contest seeking original tales of terror that exemplify the best of H. P. Lovecraft's "weird fiction." Check out the details here.

And speaking of Lovecraft, there's this.

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