Weird Review: Cthulhu Lives! An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft Edited by Solomè Jones
Title: Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft
Editor: Salomè Jones
Publisher: Ghostwoods Books
Number of Pages: 272
Format: Print (Paperback)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars aligned
At the time of his death in 1937, American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was virtually unknown. The power of his stories was too great to contain, however. As the decades slipped by, his dark visions laid down roots in the collective imagination of mankind, and they grew strong. Now Cthulhu is a name known to many and, deep under the seas, Lovecraft’s greatest creation becomes restless…
This volume brings together seventeen masterful tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft’s work. In his fiction, humanity is a tiny, accidental drop of light and life in the endless darkness of an uncaring universe – a darkness populated by vast, utterly alien horrors. Our continued survival relies upon our utter obscurity, something that every fresh scientific wonder threatens to shatter.
The dazzling stories in Cthulhu Lives! show the disastrous folly of our arrogance. We think ourselves the first masters of Earth, and the greatest, and we are very badly mistaken on both counts. Inside these covers, you’ll find a lovingly-curated collection of terrors and nightmares, of catastrophic encounters to wither the body and blight the soul. We humans are inquisitive beings, and there are far worse rewards for curiosity than mere death.
The truth is indeed out there – and it hungers.
Cthulhu Lives! Or so I have been told, And I believe that is true…to some extent. In fact, in the minds of many of H.P. Lovecraft’s contemporaries, devotees, or worshipers, all his creations are real. Whether taken literally and practicing such worship or devotion with a cult, or simply creating a space in your mind whilst reading Lovecraftian fiction, creations such as Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep or Yog-Sothoth have made their place in our world for better or worse. Yet it is the high priest to The Old Ones himself, Cthulhu, who is most recognizable both in form and in unpronounceable name. Whether it be a symbol of a tentacle faced god, or the megalithic shadow beneath the waves that speaks to you in your dreams, this star spawn has solidified its place amongst most of todays weird/cosmic horror fiction. Cthulhu’s presence within these tales is what connects, not only the stories that lay within the Cthulhu Mythos, but also the authors and readers of said stories under the ever growing membranous Lovecraftian banner. These and more were the thoughts I bore as I dipped my mind into Ghostwoods Books newest anthology of Lovecraftian fiction.
17 very unique tales are what make up this collection. Some better than others, and others way better than some, the satisfying content this book has to offer is evenly distributed throughout. None of the tales are too long, the longest being 18 or so pages, allowing for easy digestible reads.
- Universal Constants by Piers Beckley
- 1884 by Michael Grey
- Elmwood by Tim Dedopulos
- Hobstone by G.K. Lomax *
- On the Banks of the River Jordan by John Reppion *
- Dark Watters by Adam Vidler
- Ink by Iain Lowson
- Demon in Glass by E. Dane Anderson
- Scales from Balor’s Eye by Helmer Gorman
- Of the Faceless Crowd by Gabor Csigás
- Scritch, Scratch by Lynne Hardy *
- Icke by Greg Stolze *
- Coding Time by Marc Reichardt
- The Thing in the Printer by Peter Tupper
- The Old Ones by Jeremy Clymer
- Visiting Rights by Joff Brown
- The Highland Air by Gethin A. Lynes
There are a few authors in this collection, one of them G.K. Lomax, who are emerging authors into both the writing scene and the Lovecraftian scene. Upon my initial inspection of the cast of writers I was expected to read, I was a little weary of the unfamiliar names. However, I was incorrect in my judgment of quality these stories possessed. Not being able to choose only three favorites, I settled on four that I believe were the most memorable and entertaining. Hobstone by G.K. Lomax, On the Banks of the River Jordan by John Reppion, Scritch, Scratch by Lynne Hardy and Icke by Greg Stolze. All four of these tales possessed an essence that I believe to be truly Lovecraftian. It was the vague suggestion at a grander menace, or entity with out necessarily giving it a name or advertently connecting it to the Cthulhu Mythos. It was stories like these that convinced me that this book should have been titled Lovecraft Lives! Simply because of the true theme of cosmic horror and fear of the unknown that Mr. Lovecraft is so aptly known for expanding if not creating.
Unfortunately though, there were just one to many stories that left me with nothing. Either ending so abruptly that it borderline made the story incomplete, or just the shear lack of engaging writing to keep me hooked through out the story. These stories made reading feel like work. All in all it was a pleasant and enjoyable book, wrapping up with a sincere afterword from resident H.P.L. scholar, S.T. Joshi. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for some new ideas and easy reads revolving around the Cthulhu Mythos. I hope to see some of these authors again, and also hope to see more publications from Ghostwoods Books that resemble this style and format.
Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, or Salomè Jones’s stuff, have also checked out:
If you have checked out Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Lovecraft eZine Issue #31, June 2014
That’s right, the June issue of the Lovecraft eZine is up and out there folks. This months enjoyment includes, of course, the free online edition, the nook/kindle format, a special print edition, and soon the podcast/recorded edition of this issue. Currently at #31, it is hard to believe that this online fiction eZine has made it so long. I have seen many similar sites/mags come and go, yet there is something special that keeps this Lovecraftian train rolling; The people. The community that Mike Davis has gathered is special. They are kind, supportive, and generally interested in each other when given the chance. This is a good place people, and a good environment to breed creativity and generosity to our fellow man in this insignificant universe we live in.
Though video chats, games, contests, and general awesomeness on Mike’s behalf, the Lovecraft eZine has trudged through the primordial soup of the internet that commonly drags down and devours many a man and fiction mags alike. But with a thriving cult… uh I mean community supporting and enjoying what Mike does, there is no end in sight for this… uh… site… yeah.
This months issue includes stories from a few commonly known entities in the Lovecraftian writing milieu; Joseph S. Pulver, Ross E. Lockhart, and Scott Nicolay. And features a few regular columns that everyone thirsts for; Robert M. Price’s Echoes from Cthulhu’s Crypt, and Ronnie Tucker & Maxwell Patterson’s hilarious comic strip, Cthulhu Does Stuff.
Get over to The Lovecraft eZine and share in the weirdness. Enjoy a little horror and maybe gain some perspective through the tales you read or the information you siphon from these texts. While there, do Mike, and presumably every reader and partaker of the site, a plus one and buy the print edition, or simply click on one of the sponsors that endorse the eZine, or click on one of the Amazon portals to access all sorts of Lovecraftian goodness while supporting the site.
Weird Review: When The Stars Are Right, By Scott R. Jones
Title: When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality
Author: Scott R. Jones
Publisher: Martian Migraine Press
Number of Pages: 130
Rating: 3.75 Out of 5 Stars Aligned
ANSWER THE CALL
ENTER THE BLACK GNOSIS
The Great Old Ones: hideous monster-gods that populate the pantheon of weird-fiction writer Howard Pillips Lovecraft’s increasingly popular milieu, his so-called Cthulhu Mythos. Protean, nebulous, unimaginable, and impressively persistent in their psychological and spiritual presence.
In When The Stars Are Right, author Scott R. Jones deftly breaks down the barriers between the bright logic of our daytime intellect and the fearful non-Eucliean symmetries of our darkest dreams, revealing the Black Gnosis: a radical mode of being that anticipates a new appreciation of humanity’s place in an increasingly dire and indifferent cosmos. When The Stars Are Right asks the reader a simple question: “Are you keeping it R’lyeh?” The answers may surprise you.
“When all is madness, there is no madness”
A few months ago I was contacted by publishing company, Martian Migraine Press, and asked to review a fairly new book that explores a new spirituality based potentially off of the works of the late H.P. Lovecraft. Being primarily reviewer of weird fiction, I was a little reticent at first to consent to analyze anything non-fiction, let alone something set in a religious context. However also being a fan of Mr. Lovecraft, I had to see what this was all about.
For years I have been familiar with the H.P.L’s work, and for those years I have been submerged in minor research dealing with Lovecraft’s nihilistic world views, and how they influenced his writing. His outlook on human life as being meaningless paved the way for giant aliens, monsters, and deities that break our sanity only to put to scale how insignificant we humans really are in this vast universe. Though we might be able to stop these creatures from taking over our realm, there is always that underlying theme that beyond the veil of reality, there are always hellish entities scratching at the membrane of our dimension to break a passage through and reign supreme. But something that may be forgotten is that most of the time there are people behind these nightmarish creatures whose life’s purpose is to open the gates to let these things in. Cthulhu cults, worshipers of Yog-Sothoth, Witches of Azathoth all are bent on assisting their deities on ruling the universe, whether it be through some occult magic, or sacrifice. But that is not what Scott R. Jones preaches in his new book, When the Stars are Right: Toward an Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality.
What Mr. Jones has accomplished is beyond any Cult of Cthulhu, or Esoteric Order of Dagon. It is not so much a practice of occultism, but rather a philosophical approach to what Lovecraft may have been hinting at in his writings. Taking a more poignant stance behind Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, and Dagon and unveiling a study in character of each of the gods, taking into account what they stand for and what teachings they have in store for those who are enlightened by what Jones identifies as, The Black Gnosis.
“The Black Gnosis is madness, yes, and that madness is infinite and all engulfing and will consume a mind in order to free it, but the R’lyehian recognizes that there is nothing there to be consumed in the first place.”
This is technically the Zen of the R’lyehian. The knowledge and understanding, of what it means to truly believe the dreams that Cthulhu is broadcasting, and the acknowledgment that Nyarlathotep lies behind every message, both heard and unheard. But this is a level of clarity that is not reached through meditation, but rather through Divinely inspired Madness. It’s that moment, Jones explains, when the protagonist catches the merest glimpse of Dagon’s form as it embraces the white monolith and is plunged into a madness. The moment when Danforth peaks out side of the escaping plane in Mountains of Madness and sees the Plateau of Leng. That is the Black Gnosis.
Amid the teachings and direction induced by Jones, are personal events that endeavored the author to write such a tome. It is through these shared experiences that we begin to see a partial biography that guides the reader down the path Jones took toward finding his own R’lyehian spirituality.
I say his own, because this book does not possess a formatted practice for each follower. Rather asserts each reader to discover their own path, create their own altar, and write their own tome/Necronomicon to follow. There are no gods to worship, yet through the teachings that are presented through Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, and Dagon, one can find the advice and guidance needed to creating their own path. This outlook on religion being about philosophies and not consistent worship is a method of spirituality that allows the practitioners of it’s faith to find inner strength and peace of mind – or lack of it through the Black Gnosis – *wink wink.*
I myself am not very religious and don’t find much significance in the daily worship, but rather in the ideas that religions have to teach and be used toward humanity. Though Jones may have a darker outlook, it is a structure that is more appealing in today’s environment. I admit I did not agree with every theory he has to share, yet I felt a connection to this book that alone says good things.
In the beginning of the book, Jones immediately attempts, though respectfully, to dismiss Lovecraft’s doing in this spirituality. But what I think readers might not understand right away is that the dismissal is toward what the public has done with Lovecraft’s creations, and not what the man himself created. By which I mean, when reading this book, for the love of Cthulhu, don’t think of tentacle face slippers, Nyarlathotep plushies, or cutesy anime cartoon adaptations of any of Lovecraftian creations. Those things aren’t in the nature of Keeping it R’lyeh.
While reading this book I experienced some issues with my heart, which inevitably scared the hell out of me and my family. With doctors unable to explain what was happening, I was left with a mind full of anxious fear. Temporarily forgetting about the book in the midst of all the excitement, I found myself in a very negative frame of mind, and one day decided to pick it back up. Full of fear, and anger I found a new hope and acceptance in Jones’s words. Though, as I said, the book may have some darker spots than I needed at that time, it was all about the message that can be found within. No, I am not a R’lyehian, at least not yet, but I did take something away from my reading. And I believe there is something in there for anyone who may be looking for a sense of identity, or searching for a purpose in their life. You don’t have to pray to Cthulhu (though it might help,) nor do you have to partake in any occult worship. Just listen to your dreams and don’t be afraid of what they have to show you, and what messeges they might convey.
Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed When the Stars are Right have also checked out:
If you have checked out When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Weird Review: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2 Edited By Dan Lockwood
Title: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2
Editor: Dan Lockwood
Publisher: Self Made Hero
Number of Pages: 128
Rating: 4.75 Out of 5 Stars Aligned
“That is not dead which can eternal lie…” Out of the uncharted places of the world and the prodigious imagination of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, renowned master of the eerie, come nine nightmarish tales of terror. From the dreaded remnants of long-dead civilisations to unhallowed monstrosities scheming in the darkness, Lovecraft’s stories have never lost their power to astound and unsettle. This graphic anthology breathes new life into classic works of weird fiction. “…and with strange aeons even death may die.”
Self Made Hero has done it again. like its predecessor, The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, Dan Lockwood has ushered into this realm a beautifully illustrated hoard of horror. I am of coarse talking about The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2, incase you didn’t realize already.
Looking back on my review for The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, I have reflected on some of my comments. To this day, I still visit the pages of volume 1, and have to disagree with some of those late comments. Though I still believe the illustrated panels are what make up an efficient comic/graphic novel, it is the words we rely on when our eyes get ahead of us and we need to read whats happening to interpret the image. After all, we’re readers not viewers of these works. That said, most of these works are illustrated so brilliantly that my eyes hardly touched a word. I am very familiar with Lovecraft’s work, and know a few of his tales like old songs. So for a lot of these addaptations I was fortunate enough to know what was happening and only needed the images to carry me through.
In the tradition of how I formatted the review for Volume 1, I have listed each adaptation and have a small something to say about each.
Pickman’s Model, adapted by Jamie Delano, illustrated by Steve Pugh, Staging by Jon Haward: Right out the gate Dan Lockwood enlists one of his best choices for this collection. Delano, Pugh, and Haward have worked magic into bringing this piece to life. Every panel, every phrase took me down into the cellar with Thurber and Pickman and had me filling in the blanks as to what damnable creations Pickman was responsible for. Great stuff!
The Temple, adapted by Chris Lackey, illustrated by Adrian Salmon: Everything about this entry is spot on. The hard shapes, thick lines, and heavy shading are appropriately placed for the era this story is set in. You can tell Lackey has a fondness for the tale and does what he can to capture the images meanings.
From Beyond, adapted by David Camus, illustrated by Nicolas Fructus: Another grandslam for this graphic collection. Great accompaniment by Camus, but anyone can tell, Nicolas Fructus gets what this story is about. Amazing fuscia/violet panels that has set my pineal gland a fire!
He, adapted by Dwight L. MacPherson, illustrated by Paul Peart Smith: I really dislike Lovecraft’s original story, however I believe MacPherson and Smith have done and excellent job with a crappy tale. The illustrations weren’t my favorite but I did enjoy the protagonist looking just like H.P.L.
The Hound, adapted by Chad Fifer, illustrated by Bryan Baugh: I feel this adaptation took on a bit of the Harley Warren/Randolph Carter archetype, St John being the dominant male figure. Baugh’s sepia skinned panels stand out from the other adaptations in this book, while Fifer adds a comedic style to the dread he portrays.
The Nameless City, adapted by Pat Mills, illustrated by Attila Futaki, Colored by Greg Guilhaumond: A clever recreation of a fundamental Lovecraft piece. The ending was unfamiliar, though it may have hinted to a possible “origins” tale of the Terrible Old Man…Maybe…
The Picture in the House, adapted by Benjamin Dickson, illustrated by Mick McMahon: To me the story is best told as a literary tale, maybe even a short film. Unfortunately the backwater dialogue is pretty hard to follow panel to panel, and McMahon’s illustrations did not captivate my attention.
The Festival, adapted by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Matt Timson: This is my favorite adaptation in this collection. Changing up the format a little to more of a picture book quality, Spurrier and Timson have portrayed a horrifying experience that leaves the reader still wanting to visit Kingsport again and again. I only wish this was the closer in the collection.
The Statement of Randolph Carter, adapted by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by Warwick Johnson Cadwell: I don’t have much to say about this adaptation. Closing out the collection and with one of H.P. Lovecraft’s best known short works, I thought this would have been done better. Didn’t care for the illustrations, and the writing did little to keep me interested.
All in all, I would recommend this volume over the first. Both are a must if you are an H.P. Lovecraft fan, and just necessary to have to stimulate ones imagination. Again, Dan Lockwood has done an amazing job gathering these brilliant artists and writers to collaborate in creating such great work. This is what feeds the Lovcraftian community and what grows the population of new readers of the late mans legacy. As I said while closing my review for volume 1, I really hope that these volumes continue to be made. I know there are only so many short stories that one can adapt (We’ll leave the larger adaptaions to I.N.J. Culbard!) but maybe new artist can give their take on a tale and give us some new perspective. This review took me a pathetic one year to complete, and in a way I am happy it did. I read it in a white heat, immediately following The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, and didn’t have the best opinions of the work. After a year of continuous viewing of volume 2 I have come to the conclusions you have already read. My thoughts on volume 1 have changed as well, however I must leave my initial thoughts on the piece as they are. Either way I hope you enjoy both volumes as I have and continue to do. Cheers.
People, who’ve enjoyed The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2, also enjoyed:
If you have checked out The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Cthulhu All-Spark, #1 Choice for NameMyDaughter.Com
You know the works of H.P. Lovecraft have permeated society when the number one name choice at, NameMyDaughter.com, is Cthulhu All-Spark. That’s right folks, as I write this post, those are the most popular first and middle name ranked. There is a big 50% chance she will either be the coolest kid in school, due to the growing popularity of Lovecraft’s works, or the most picked on (I know, I went to school with a girl whose name was Sunshine Bear… Yeah.) But of coarse the Dad is behind this one, and has been cleaning up the absolutely ridiculous suggestions such as, WackyTaco692, stating: “We will ultimately be making the final decision, Alas my daughter shall not be named WackyTaco692. Sorry guys the wife wouldn’t go for a free for all.”
Some of the other crazy suggestions in the top 15 are: Laquisha, Megatron, Zelda, Not Zelda – Seriously…, Slagathor, and Streetlamp. Yes I said Streetlamp.
*UPDATE* As I type I see that the game has changed and Cthulhu has been bumped for Amelia All-Spark McLaughlin! Some glitch must have happened because I see Amelia has the number of votes Cthulhu had, and Cthulhu is down about 900 votes. The runner-up for middle name is Mae. Everyone gets one vote, per name, per household, per day until April 2nd, which is the due date, so hurry over to NameMyDaughter.com to place your vote or new name suggestion.
Though it is crazy to let the internet name your child, I do find this pretty funny. I remember attempting to convince my wife that our daughter, Dylan’s middle name should be Lovecraft. She didn’t buy it.
**UPDATE #2** As of 5:39 am this morning, (the day after this was originally posted) Cthulhu All-Spark McLaughlin is in the lead. Numbers have jumped over 50,000 votes alone in the last 24hours. Will this get interesting, or be a landslide?
Weird Review: My Name is Dee by Robin Wyatt Dunn
Title: My Name is Dee
Author: Robin Wyatt Dunn
Publisher: John Ott, San Diego (August 28, 2013)
Number of Pages: 230
Format: Print (Paperback)
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars aligned
John Dee is a magician in Los Angeles. He is going Insane.
That single sentence captured my interest. It is also that sentence that begins the blurb on the back of the book. I have always found stories with mad magicians/wizards to be fairly destructive and entertaining, so I was sold, but the rest of the description is laced with plot outline and intriguing sentences such as, “…a novel for the educated reader who enjoys noir action, intrigue and dark romance, for the child in all of us who wants to go on adventures, and for the fearful adult who marvels at the terrifying scale of the universe.” With those words I felt a challenge, as if I was supposed to say, “Yes, yes I am an educated reader who, for the child in me, likes adventures and as an adult am fearful and marvels at the scale of the universe!”
I was contacted by Robin Wyatt Dunn back in March in regards to reviewing his forthcoming novel, My Name is Dee. I didn’t even hesitate in answering his query by telling him I would love to do so. It took a couple of weeks to receive the review copy, and a little longer before I was able to read it. But as I waited to dive into the book I looked up Mr. Dunn and his previous work. Robin Wyatt Dunn lives within Echo Park located in Los Angeles, California. The 33 year old writer has been a very busy the last couple years, publishing over 40 short stories, poems, and flash fiction in a number of places, such as Phantasmacore, and The Blue Hour. He also has contributed stories in anthologies from West Pigeon Press, Echelon Press, and Postscripts to Darkness. Robin was kind enough to send me a free version of his prose poem, Son and Woman, published with Smashwords. Dunn’s style is like nothing I have seen before. Which is good. Though sometimes a little difficult to follow, he always manages to punch the reader in the chest with strong emotion, giving his pieces a mood that helps carry the reader along. This pre reading of the authors work made me more excited to enjoy his book. Unfortunately I was not as impressed with the novel as I had been with his shorter works.
As I began My Name is Dee, I noticed a series of breaks on the pages that jumped from scene to scene. I thought it might only last through the first few pages, like a series of flashbacks that feed the story, but it turns out that that’s how the book is formatted. Along with the jumps I found some of the character dialogue to be awkward and hard to follow at times. Time has become muddled through some rift, I think, causing the breaks. Or is everything so out of place because the main character has gone insane? I don’t know. Finding the book hard to follow lead me to reading it out loud to myself. Somehow that made things a little easier to put together, though with the constant setting and character shifts I felt like I was putting together a complex puzzle. Each new scene representing a disassociated piece of info that is intended to fit with another piece of the story, ending with all the bits falling together, if you can remember them all.
The plot itself was an interesting concept. The reveal of an opposing force, the Foo, a.k.a. aliens, and the greater reveal of Chai, the powerful presence that Dee has gotten the attention of, were nice highlights. I especially enjoyed the idea of writers being this profession that needs protecting. As I read I kept waiting for some Lovecraftian reference to the John Dee copy of the Necronomicon, as mentioned in H.P. Lovecraft’s, “The Dunwich Horror“. Unfortunately no mention of that, at least that I saw, but a small mention of Cthulhu in regards to the Children of the Corn movie.
Overall I found reading the book to be more work than pleasure. The effort it took to stay focused on the bits and pieces needed to build the story was exhausting at times and caused me to do a lot of back tracking to previous scenes. Maybe after all I’m not the educated reader I thought I was, or I just couldn’t find the right setting to read it. Either way it just didn’t jibe with me. I cant say I recommend the book, but I urge readers to take a look at Dunn’s other works. A list of them can be found here.
If you have checked out My Name is Dee, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Microbes Found in Termites Named After The Great Old One, Cthulhu
That’s right! Some exciting news for Lovecraftians as our favorite Great Old One gets some recognition times two. The recently discovered digestive microbes, found in termites, are indeed inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and Brian Lumley’s Cthylla- Cthulhu’s daughter, created by Bryan Lumley and introduced in his novel, The Transition of Titus Crow. Both Cthulhu macrofasciculumque, and little Cthylla microfasciculumque are exciting discoveries. Most commonly known as protists, the tiny microorganisms help researchers learn more about our evolution, and how some protists cause disease, or in the case of these new discoveries, prevent disease, Below are a couple of photos of father and daughter; on the left is Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and on the right is Cthylla microfasciculumque.
To get the facts and learn something cool check out the whole original article by Megan Gannon over at Live Science: http://www.livescience.com/28426-lovecraft-monster-cthulhu-microbe.html
But if that wasn’t enough mind shattering news concerning good ol’ Cthulhu, then check out the Piomoa Cthulhu spider. Primarily found in California, this beast has some long legs and loves to hang out in hollowed redwoods. Click on the photo to get some more info.
Unspeakable Holiday Gift Ideas
The holidays are upon us folks! And if your like me your spending too much time on the computer and not out shopping for your loved ones special holiday gift. Time is running short no matter how you stick it, but if you act now, there is still time shop online and find a “unique” gift for the “unique” person in your life… and by unique I mean weird.
Below is a quick list I whipped up that showcases some interesting ideas. From Christmas cards to Tentacle door stops, I hope this helps in your search to make someones holiday fun and maybe a little bit crazy.
Send someone a special Christmas card personally drawn by Adam Bolton, author of “Where’s My Shoggoth?” or an awesome wall hanging of your favorite urban legend, Slender Man, by our buddy Steve Santiago?! Click on each image to get some info but do it quick, there’s only a limited amount of time till these things will show up on your doorstep before christmas:
December 21, 2012 is supposed to bring about the end of the world, right?. That may or may not happen, but incase it’s a zombie apocalypse, here are a few items that may help you beat em’ or join em’. The Truckers Friend a.k.a The Zombinator (says Amazon.com), Bowling Zombies, The Zombie Survival Guide:
Need a new holiday tale to sit the family down and start a new tradition too? Here are a few moldering tomes to send the little ones off to dreams of Krampus and flying polyps dancing through their heads. Click on each cover to see how you can get these books. Horror for the Holidays, Dead but Dreaming, For When the Veil Drops:
Gift your favorite elder god worshiping cultist with a variety of tentacled trinkets and tools, just click on the pictures below to see where you can pick them up. Some of the pics wouldn’t line up right but here are some names to click as well; Tentacle Attack Metal Art Bookends, Scary Solstice Combo By HPLHS, Tentacle USB Drive, Tentacle Door Stop, Tentacle Bottle Opener, Cthulhu Hot Dog Roaster:
If you liked this post, let me know what you think. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Don’t forget to check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/unspeakablegibberer.com.
Weird Review: Where’s My Shoggoth? by Ian Thomas, and Adam Bolton
Title: Where’s My Shoggoth?
Writer: Ian Thomas
Illustrator: Adam Bolton
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment, LLC (October 9, 2012)
Number of Pages: 56
Format: Print (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars Aligned….Uh oh!
Your tentacled friend has gone missing. What can you do? Go looking for him of course!
Travel from the deepest cellars to the highest spires of a sprawling mansion. Search the grounds from the forest to the lake. On the way you’ll meet monsters and demigods, aliens and Old Ones, and all manner of other creatures from the Cthulhu mythos. Surely something, somewhere, has seen your shoggoth?
An affectionate homage to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, beautifully illustrated by Adam Bolton, and rhymes by Ian Thomas. For mythos dabblers and shoggoth owners of all ages.
Back in June I posted an update on this project by Ian Thomas and Adam Bolton, and mentioned a contest they had to see if anyone could guess where the Shoggoth was. Turns out I won with the best answer which earned me a signed copy of Where’s My Shoggoth?, and a canvas print of a double-page spread of my choice from the book. I first learned of this book in September of 2011, when researching a new wave of Lovecraftian Children’s books, and was very excited to get my tentacles on it. At the time there were only a couple images that teased at what the book would look like, but it was enough to catch my attention. Since then I have been watching its progress and patiently waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail.
Signed copy in hand, I am happy to have finally received this amazing book! As I sat down to take a look at it my wife, who knows only a little about the Lovecraft/Cthulhu Mythos (We’re working on it), plucked it from my hands and began thumbing through the pages as I watched on. After a few giggles and Praises she said she loved it and could see herself reading it to our little one that is on the way. This of course slated my plans to brain wash my child to loving everything Lovecraftian, and it seems my wife just might be on board.
Ian Thomas and Adam Bolton (who is enjoying this as his first publication) have brilliantly created an excellent addition to the Lovecraftian Universe. Where’s My Shoggoth? is a silly joy ride through H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos that anyone, adult or child, will enjoy. The book follows a young boy as he searches for his pet Shoggoth through creepy mansions and the damned grounds that surround it. Through the tale we encounter a plethera of Lovecraftian goodness and get to meet some interesting characters. Along with Ian’s seussian rhymes, Adam brilliantly illustrates the young boy’s journey and captivates the reader with minute details that brings cause for many re-reads.
The book is a thick stock hardcover, making it very durable to thrashings from your joyfully insane child, and has a detail that I found very appealing. When I was a kid one of my favorite books was about a witch who flies on a broom for the first time and all the things she sees, it’s kind of similar to Where’s My Shoggoth?. And though I enjoyed the material, what really appealed to me was that it could glow in the dark. The pages of Ian and Adams book don’t have this capability, but I found it a nice touch that the cover is webbed with invisible luminesces so that you’re any little Lovecraftian will be able to spot their favorite book, like an unnatural color out of space, in the dark as they drift off to sleep. And when they wake up and might be slightly tired of reading, they can play the board game, Stairs and Tentacles, that is located on both the front and back cover.
All in all Where’s My Shoggoth? has brought a modern appeal to children. Growing up in today’s world holds many visually arresting things. Video games are no longer only 8-bits, movies and TV are now in 3D, and books are now read on electronic devices. So how do you capture a child’s attention long enough to physically flip through pages of a book? You give them Where’s My Shoggoth? I know I am looking forward to sharing this with any who have kids and who love to read to them.
If you are interested in this book, check out Ian and Adam’s website at www.wheresmyshoggoth.com. And if that’s not enough and you’re wondering how this book sounds, check out a free audio version at http://wheresmyshoggoth.com/audio/Shoggoth.mp3. And please visit both Adam and Ian’s official sites by clicking on their name anywher in this post, and see what there up to.
One final note. With this amazing prize, I also received an amazing sketch done by Adam Bolton, along with a hand written note. It was very kind and I thank both Adam and Ian for sending me these goodies, and I hope to see more from these two in the future! In the sketch you’ll see the Unspeakable Gibberer that Steve Santiago created for me, playing chess with Adam’s Shoggoth. I’m not sure what struck me more, the amazing art, or the fact of seeing my creature playing with another from the mythos. Really cool!
People who enjoyed Where’s My Shoggoth? might also enjoy:
If you have checked out Where’s My Shoggoth?, let me know what you think. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Don’t forget to check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.
Weird Review: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1 Edited By Dan Lockwood
Title: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1
Editor: Dan Lockwood
Publisher: Self Made Hero (April 1, 2011/reprint April 15, 2012)
Number of Pages: 120
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars Aligned
“For what has risen may sink…” Out of the dark corners of the earth and the still darker imagination of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, renowned master of the eerie, come seven sinister tales of terror. From cosmic horrors gibbering in the night to uneasy stirrings in the boundless depths beneath the seas, Lovecraft’s stories have never lost their power to amaze and unnerve. This graphic anthology breathes new live into classic works of weird fiction. “…and what has sunk may rise again.”
When it comes to Lovecraftian based graphic novels/anthologies, though the writing takes a big role, it seems the whole package rises or sinks with the art. Lovecraft’s work was visceral. It created disturbing images that we had trouble correlating and left our minds troubled with confusion. Through his words he tried to show us other dimensions, and described creatures and forces outside any human comprehension. So, how does one exactly draw blasphemous fish-frogs of nameless design, or ink a color out of space?
The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1 is courageously edited by Dan Lockwood, and is penned and inked by some of arts greatest devotees to Lovecraft’s mythos. This volume contains seven adaptations by different writers and artists and is a great collection.
The Call of Cthulhu, written by Ian Edginton, Illustrated by D’Israeli: A great story to open this anthology, though I felt that it missed some of Lovecraft’s best moments. D’Israeli’s style isn’t my favorite, but his depiction of Cthulhu and the M.C. Escher-like R’lyeh were the best panels of this adaptation.
The Haunter of the Dark, written by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by Shane Ivan Oakley: Definitely not my favorite retelling in this anthology. The best panel was the conclusion
The Dunwich Horror, written by Rob Davis, illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard: I wasn’t much of a fan of I.N.J Culbard’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, and I feel that his art is generally not very Lovecraftian. That being said, I was surprised at his attempt with this story. Along with great writing, Culbard’s vision left me wanting more.
The Colour Out of Space, written by David Hine, illustrated by Mark Stafford: This is one of Lovecraft’s greatest unnerving and unexplainable tales, making it one of the most difficult to visually adapt. Good news is Stafford does a valiant job with twisted images that carry this adaptation to the end.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth, written by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illustrated by Leigh Gallagher: At first I didn’t like this one, but the more I reviewed it the more I enjoyed Gallagher’s classic comic book style and hollow white eyes.
The Rats in the Walls, written by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by David Hartman: Were Lockwood’s writing fails, Hartman’s creepy/gory Disney-like illustrations did this tale justice.
Dagon, written by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by Alice Duke: Lockwood finally shines in this anthologies final adaptation. Accompanied by Duke’s lovely imagery, Lockwood triumphantly wraps up with one of Lovecraft’s most original stories.
Overall the artists are what make this book what is. Though I wasn’t fully impressed with all of Dan Lockwood’s adaptations, he still effectively edited an amazing looking graphic anthology. It is truly good to see how others view Lovecraft’s work, and fun to see how untraditional some folk’s visions are, I like that. I have already begun going through Volume 2, and am pretty impressed so far. I hope Self Made Hero continues to pump these volumes out. I have read/looked over Volume 1 many times and still can’t get enough of it.
People, who’ve enjoyed The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, also enjoyed:
If you have read The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, let me know what you think. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post!
Weird Review: The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham, by Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas
Title: The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham
Authors: Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Number of Pages: 205
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars Aligned
January 1972. Resenting his unexpected fame and suffering from severe writer’s block, America’s premier “gonzo” journalist decides to reinvent himself. He creates a new persona–Uncle Lono– and hatches a scheme to return to his roots, reinvigorating his patriotism and his writing in the process. On a freaked-out journey to Arkham, Massachusetts, and the 1972 presidntial primary, evidence mounts that sinsiter forces are on the rise, led by the Cult of Cthulhu, and its most prominent member–Richard M. Nixon! Will the truth set Lono free or simply drive him insane?
Hunter S. Thompson and H.P. Lovecraft were two very influential writers from two very different times. Though they shared no commonality in the genre in which they wrote, the two authors always seemed to have a way of captivating my literary attention. Lovecraft, a writer of cosmic fear, never let us forget that we were an insignificant force in this universe. His writings in the early 1900’s helped to define the weird genre and opened up doors to aspiring writers of fiction. Thompson wrote to an already fearful generation that craved information, no matter how twisted it was, about the world at war and how insignificant the American dream and its people were to the white collared swine in charge… Namely Nixon.
Both wrote in times of war, and held correspondence with numerous folks. When standing back and seeing some of the silly similarities they share, along with some of the serious ones, I find it unusual that Lovecraft passed away March 15th, of 37′, and Thompson was born 4 months later on July 18th. Now I like to entertain the idea of reincarnation, mainly because the thought of continuing to another life intrigues me, so I always thought it would make for a smash-up story if somehow Thompson was the reincarnation of H.P. Lovecraft. Bad news is im too late.
Good news is Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas, another pair of great authors qualified for the job, have collaborated to create, The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham. Though there is no connection of the two’s death/birth dates made in the book, I finished the last page and closed the book with a grin on my face.
Fans of both Lovecraft, and Thompson, it seems, are pretty picky when it comes to new additions to either Gonzo writing, or to the Cthulhu Mythos. Granted, Hunter S. Thompson fans are a little harsher to those breaking into the art, both sides seem to be fairly happy with what Keene and Mamatas have produced.
I have been reading both H.P.L and H.S.T for years, so I was no newbie to some of the references Keene and Mamatas successfully pulled off with a strange grace. The mastery of Thompson’s language. Perfectly sewn-together plot of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos into Thompson’s time during the 72′ election campaign. Interweaving truth like Senator Eagleton’s electroconvulsive therapy, and exposing how it was connected to an occult ceremony that had gone awry.
The story took a little bit to get jiving for me at first. The plot was always moving, but some of the begging of the book was slow and seemed a little heavy the usual Hunter S. Thompson references. But after trudging on I kind of felt that it was needed for those who might not be well read in Thompson’s work and his view on the world. Even still I would recommend reading some of both H.P. Lovecraft and Thompson’s work, or at least looking them up and reading about them and their life.
From dead peacocks, to fungi from Yuggoth. From Woody Creek Colorado, to Arkham and Innsmouth Massachusetts. This book fully satisfied that weird little hunger pain I get from time to time for Lovecraftian fiction. Especially Lovecraftian fiction that is seen and heard through the eyes and ears of Hunter S. Thompson.
In the end I recommend reading this one. If you’ve got a small bit of cash and some time to spare, I’d say sit down with this baby and learn how Nixon almost succeeded awaking Cthulhu and damning us all.
Next on the docket is Horns by Joe Hill. Stephen Kings kid gets a shot at showing us how twisted his mind has become. You know, being raised by King himself…might be interesting.
Where’s My Shoggoth?
Before I brought Unspeakable Gibberer to its current home, I started it on BlogSpot.com and generated a post about a new wave of Lovecraftian fiction for children. I was reminded of this silly post by a recent email from Adam Bolton, co-author and artist behind “Where’s My Shoggoth”, due out this month. Kindly, he informed me of a competition he and fellow co-author Ian Thomas threw together to celebrate the “release/escape”, as he put it, of the book this June. For details on how to order/preorder check here.
Entry is free and welcome to all who dare to answer the question, “Where, exactly, is the shoggoth?” The best answer wins a canvas print of a double-page spread of your choice from the book “Where’s My Shoggoth?”, signed by Adam Bolton and Ian Thomas, and a signed copy of the book. And the runner-up also receives a signed copy of the book. Check it all out at http://wheresmyshoggoth.com/competition/
I am very excited about this book and hope to share it with my child someday. If this tasty morsel has stirred your appetite, then maybe you should check out these other mouldering text for the little cultist in your family:
Summoned up by renouned Lovecraft aficionado, Kenneth Hite, and crafted by Andy Hopp, “Cliffourd the Big Red God” features over 30 pages of illustrated madness and is the third in a mini-mythos series developed by the two madmen. The other ones being “Where the Deep Ones Are”, and “The Antarctic Express”
And don’t forget “Baby’s First Mythos” as well! I is for INNSMOUTH, a hell of a town, Where the people wear gold, and are quite hard to drown. Learn your ABCs and 123s – Mythos style! In the tradition of Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies, comes a children’s book based on H.P. Lovecraft’s writings. Blast your child’s soul as they learn their letters and numbers.Written by award-winning author, C.J. Henderson and drawn by Erica Henderson. Contains a forward by Robert M. Price and an afterword by Professor William Jones.
HPPodcraft.com – Episode 99/100 – The Thing on the Doorstep
It’s been a long hard couple of years, but since June of 2009, the world has had the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast to make it easier. I mention this because Chad and Chris have hit their 100th episode! Congrats to those gentlemen. In the beginning of the 100th episode the guys talk about what they’ve done to get where they are now and what’s in store for the future. I am excited to see where these two take it and I am sure I will be listening every step of the way.
Lately when Chris and Chad do a two part story, or three, I wait till the final episode to post about it. If it goes over three parts I usually cover every other episode. So this week I sandwiched episode 99, and 100 to sum up what went down in one shot. The guys didn’t have a physical voice or guest for this story, but they were able to get some side notes from Michael Reaves.
Most people may not know the name, but Reaves is quite prolific. He’s done work for Gargoyles, The New Batman, He-Man, and most notably (especially to me) The Real Ghostbusters. Check out more of his work and what he’s accomplished here. Anyway, the guys were unable to get him on the show, so they read some stuff he wrote for the episodes. Very clever and very sharp stuff from Michael, and I hope to hear, and see more from him in the future.
Now im not going to go into too much detail on what the guys talked about in regards to The Thing on the Doorstep, however I encourage all to listen to what these guys had to say about this story. The reader this week is Fred Cross, and he does an excellent job voicing out the distress from characters Edward, and Dan. Though this story is almost a little to incestial, if that’s a word, it has a great undertone that Chad points out as the trouble people go through when losing their identity, and the perversion of others encroaching in on your morals.
Also this week listen for the special code for 10% of any order at Miskatonic Books. That deal is going through Valentine’s Day, so get on over and make a couple orders. Again congrats to these guys and I hope to be hearing another 200 episodes as we wind down this cosmically colored path beyond the darkest of the hillside thickets. A special treat! I posted at the bottom the actual episode of The Real Ghostbusters, The Collect Call of Cthulhu, and Cheers!
Monster Review: Monsters ~ Alien Invasion Film That Conquers Nothing
So, let me start by saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, like you can’t judge a film by its posters, teasers, trailers etc… What I mean by the later is when you see an upcoming flick with a name like, oh well say MONSTERS, accompanied by a poster that reflects a semi-apocalyptic world, you think you’re going to get some monsters. Right?
The premise: Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon reentry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain “the creatures” … The story begins when a U.S. journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through the infected zone to the safety of the U.S. border.
Ok now that were all on track let’s get into this thing. Written and directed by Gareth Edwards, Monsters, is more of a soft apocalyptic romance than the thriller it’s advertised to be. I was very captivated by the beautiful cinematography, and how Edwards was able to pepper in signs of destruction so naturally. I figured the story between Andrew (Scoot McNairy) and Sam (Whitney Able) would turn into a romantic one, because people seem to come together in times of survival. But I found it hard to sympathize with two people who had to cross “dangerous” territory to get back to America for no particular reason.
After a half-hour in of character building, the only thing that kept me watching was the hope of some serious “monster” action, since the title seemed to imply I might see some. I can’t even remember the word “monster” even being used in the film. The aliens seem to come in two sizes, big spidery Octopuses, which I thought were Cthulhu Spawns, and the larva that grow on the trees of the Mexican jungle that make up the “Infected Zone”. Through the whole movie we get glimpses of dead tentacles and eerie sounds from the shadowed jungle, but we never get a clear shot of them because they come out at night. Nothing about them seems scary, and they only do violent things when provoked or attacked, leaving us to believe they are a docile species and we’re the ones over reacting.
I don’t want to give away the ending in case there is anyone who wants to check it out for themselves, but I wasn’t impressed at all. For those who have heard, or think this is the next District 9 your sadly mistaken, and it’s a crime to compare Monsters to the likes of it. Im giving this feature a single shining star. Bing
H.P.Podcraft.com – Episode #97/98 – Out of the Aeons, with Hazel Heald
Its been a while kids, but were back. I know I skipped the first of the two-part episode covering “Out of the Aeons” by H.P. Lovecraft, and Hazel Heald. I waited until the second part was out to cover the story because it just seemed like a smart thing to do. Then I realized that I haven’t mentioned anything about Chris or Chad or anything for that matter from the H.P. Podcraft Literary Podcast, and that’s no good.
Well when you know Hazel Heald is involved your going to get a few things; changing to stone, museums, and second-hand accounts of a terrifying story. Though the tales penned by Hazel and Lovecraft are extremely pulpy, most people seem to think that they are some of Lovecraft’s best collaborations. Yes, Lovecraft has been known to say anything but good things about the people he ghost wrote for, but as Ken Hite(and yes this link takes you to the Wikipedia page for Mr. Hite. Just for you Ken!) said, “Lovecraft slacking off is still loads better than virtuously anyone else working seriously”.
Out of the Aeons, basically a dumbed down re-write of “The Call of Cthulhu”, is a tale based around the events that transpire at the popular Cabot museum when a strange mummy exhibit begins to gather too much awkward attention. Using a little of his own mythos, Lovecraft spins a fictional web of stores, like “The Call of Cthulhu”, that connect in the end. I don’t want to give too much away, and that’s why you should head over to www.HPLOVECRAFT.COM and read this story along with so many more!
Something cool as well is that the past two weeks the show has been sponsored by J.R. Hamantaschen’s book, “You Shall Never Know Security”. We like this guys work, and if your interested you can check out our review of the book we did about a month ago.
This week we give episode 97/98 of the H.P. Podcraft Literary Podcast 3 out of 5 stars in alignment.
A Lovecraft Dream – Animated by Michele Botticelli
Just a little treat for your Wednesday! If I had dreams like this every night, I would probably kill myself. Enjoy!
Octopus Leaves Water and Walks on Land
There is something completely creepy about the idea of octopuses walking on land, well at least for me its creepy. Though it’s not uncommon to see an ocotpus outside of water for a little bit, especially for captive ones that have been known to escape and turn up in the least expected places. It is, however, rare to catch the act on film. I’m not sure exactly why this one leaves the water and seems to follow the people, but I did see that it left behind a dead crab. Maybe the octopi was protesting pollution, and decided to throw his garbage on our turf.
Maybe its all the Lovecraft reading but things that live in the ocean should stay there. I’d feel more comfortable thank you.
H.P.Podcraft.com – Episode #96 – Winged Death, with Hazel Heald
Hey Kids are you ready for your weekly H.P. Lovecraft fix? Well This week we get what might possibly be the last episode for a few weeks, as Chris Lackey will be off for a few weeks with his newborn son (When he gets here). Until then we will have time to enjoy and talk about this weeks story, Winged Death, by Mr. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald.
Not one of H.P.L’s most well known stories, Winged Death, takes readers to place that Lovecraft has yet to visit, Africa. With a mix of the usual occult ramblings about the Cthulhu Mythos, Lovecraft brings in his smallest adversary, a fly with ancient soul swapping magic. You’ll have to read this one to get it folks, but I have to say its worth it. I liked this one, and I believe that Lovecraft has hit a stage where almost every story he puts out, collaboration or no, is amazingly different and gets one thinking.
Reader this for this weeks episode is J.P. Moore. J.P. is the author of the hit podcast novel “Toothless“, and the highly anticipated “The Old God“. Check out him and his work at jpmooreonline.com. Unspeakable Gibberer is giving this one 3 1/2 stars in alignment out of 5. Cheers!