So you can read my books

Sunday, October 31, 2010


"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 fear for Roland.

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. Your stories just amaze me. "and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life." I love this line. ;D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  2. H.P. lived in Providence for awhile so that makes him a favorite writer of mine, although I've never read a thing he's written. I guess I should probably try and find something of his that won't scare me or spook me.

    And my prayers are always for you to find that one elusive agent who loves your writing the same way I do.

  3. Gorgeous prose! Although, I'm hoping 2012 will end with a whimper, rather than a bang (or Cthulhu). :)

  4. I've never read H.P. but I will now. An inspired post. Thank you!

  5. I think Lovecraft had his issues. Somehow, that probably made for a certain genious. I think he was one of those who walk "the fine line". I think he's still walking it somewhere.

  6. Wendy : Lovecraft definitely had his issues. Some were extreme. But he was loyal as a friend and true to his word. And Hitler loved puppies. As with all authors, we must learn from both their vices as well as their virtues.

    Ellie : You might start with the short story "Under The Pyramids" (first sentence : mystery attracts mystery.)which details an adventure of Harry Houdini held prisoner in the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Unlike many of his other stories, it ends mostly well for the hero.

    Laura : Personally, I just think the Mayans ran out of stone. But it makes for interesting speculation and an entertaining movie.

    Anne : I think "Under The Pyramids" might interest you. Poor H. P. lost the manuscript on his way to be married, having to hurriedly re-type it from memory!

    Thanks for the good wishes for my success in finding an agent. It seems a wasteland out there for me.

    Jules : Thanks. Though candor forces me to admit that particular line was Lovecraft's. Uh, actually Lovecraft's ghost is clearing his throat and tapping the keyboard!

    Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

  7. I've only read a few H.P.Lovecraft stories but he definitely intrigues me and I have a book on order for the library from him!

    And I totally agree with your thoughts on 2012. I think they figured they'd cross that bridge when they got to it and then were never able to.

    Happy Halloween :D

  8. Is this how he wrote? If so, I gotta get a copy of something.

    There's news about 2012. Considerable doubt has been cast on the interpretation processes used for the whole 2012 conclusion.

    Something about not taking into consideration subtle differences in languages used, languages used to process, and, oddly, calendar changes not taken into consideration. All of which make me happy-I still have time to get published!

  9. Mia : H P certainly had a style. Sometimes he told the story instead of showing it as in THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE (but it has a mesmerizing quality to it and is one of his most anthologized stories -- and the inspiration for my Victor Standish warring against one of the off-spring from The Old Ones.

    Words Crafter : Yes, I've heard the same theory about the miscalculations. H P did write well. I suggest reading the online version of UNDER THE PYRAMIDS (a Harry Houdini adventure ghosted by H P.)