So you can read my books

Monday, October 29, 2012


"West of reason the hills rise wild,

and there are valleys with deep woods

that no ax has ever cut or ever will."

- H. P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft here. Or rather his ghost.

It is Samhain, the Three Spirit Night, and I have chosen to write an article for DreamSinger.

Or rather should I say I was chosen and accepted?

Ah, you say. The ghost of H. P. Lovecraft.
Now, he will tell us if what he wrote was true.

Short-sighted mortals. I dare not say. I can not say.

I will but put forth this:

my imagination was too stunted,
my words too feeble to paint what lies beyond.

Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer one,

and that our vain presence on this transitory globe is itself
the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.

Then, what brings me to Roland's apartment in these midnight hours?

I was wandering Thalarion, the City of a Thousand Wonders,
where many have passed but none returned,

where walk only daemons and mad things that are no longer men,

and the streets are white with the unburied bones of those
who have looked upon the eidolon Lathi, that reigns over the city.

Abruptly, the ghosts of Samuel Clemens and Marlene Dietrich, both heavily armed, (one with wit, the other with her icy beauty)

made their cautious way to me.

And well they should have been careful, for I am no longer altogether ... human.

I watched them from the shadows with some amusement. They stepped warily around shards of marble that thrust up from the misty ground.

The shards gave the illusion of ancient bones of some grotesque corpse protruding from an ill-made grave.

The ruins projected a diseased aura as if the very stones were cursed.

Clemens approached me. "You can roll around in your horrors like they were catnip for all I care, Lovecraft. But you owe Roland."

"Indeed I do. What would you suggest?"

"Write a piece for his ... computer newspaper."

"How quaint. On what exactly, Clemens?"

"Why the blue blazes you chose to write what you did."

"It chose me, Clemens."

"Then, write that. And try to remember what it meant to be human while you're doing it."

I fought down the gibbering darkness. "You are lucky I owe DreamSinger, Clemens."

So I am here.

Why did I come?

I came because of my lost childhood:

There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth;

For when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts,

and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life.

But some of us awake in the night

with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens,

of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas,

of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone,

and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests;

and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates
into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.

Enough of me. I ask:

Did your genre pick you?

I know mine did.

My reason for writing stories

is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly the
fragmentary impressions of wonder

which are conveyed to me by certain
ideas and images encountered in art and literature.

I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best -

one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being

to achieve the illusion

of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations

of time, space, and natural law which forever
imprison us

and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces
beyond the radius of our sight and analysis.

These stories frequently emphasise the element of horror because fear is our deepest and strongest emotion,

and the one which best lends itself to the creation of Nature-defying illusions.

Horror and the unknown or the strange are always closely connected,

so that it is hard to create a convincing picture of shattered natural law
or cosmic alienage or "outsideness"

without laying stress on the emotion of fear.

And should you think of fear, fear for Roland who dares to dream though the world slips away into the midnight of the soul.

And if by chance you pray, pray for him,

for what both the Druid priests and the Louisiana shamans

had chanted to their kindred idols

was something very like this:

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." ...

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

In 2012, the cosmic conjunctions allign.

And dread Cthulhu rises,

rises from the dark swamp called Contraband --

the swamp but miles from Roland's dwelling.

I hear the portents even now in the blackness of Roland's apartment.

The moon is dark, and the spirits dance in the night;

there is terror in the sky, for upon the moon hath sunk an eclipse

foretold in no books of men or of earth's myths.

I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror,

and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me.

So should you have breath left over from your prayers for Roland --

sing a canticle for me.



  1. I may be glad my writing does not emerge from such dark depths.

  2. Alex:
    Ah, but that's Lovecraft for you ... especially when you consider it is his ghost, too!

  3. Ah, Lovecraft... such a bendy mind. I am not a giant fan of his writing style, but I ADORE his ideas.

  4. Lovecraft seems aloof. I've not read much of him. I agree writing chooses us, at least for me. Once I discovered my grandmother's old typewriter (she owned her own business)

    I write scifi because I like to think humans (Earthlings) someday will reach beyond this planet.

    All the bad weather and earthquakes that keep happening reminding me of 'Day after Tomorrow'. We had an earthquake, 7.7 in the Haida Gwaii area (Queen Charlottes) this weekend. Less damage since it's a more natural environment, not a metro city.

    Nice choice of post for Samhain.