For sale on E-bay was a piece of chocolate candy (for Advent) that was supposed to resemble Santa, but actually (supposedly) resembled Cthulhu. The seller is also the author of the Lovecraftian Move Under Ground.



     There is a review in Fangoria about the CD by The Unquiet Void that is entitled Poisoned Dreams, the first of a proposed trilogy based on HPL, in this case finding inspiration from "Dagon," "The Call of Cthulhu," and "The Shadow over Innsmouth."



     In an interview, artist Paul Laffoley attests his belief in the reality of Richard Upton Pickman and has done a painting, "Pickman's Mephitic Models," based on Lovecraft's fiction.


Movies and Television

     Not directly related to HPL, but worth noting is the publication Horror and Mystery Photoplay Editions and Magazine Fictionizations by Thomas Mann (McFarland, 2004), with an annotated checklist up to 1970. *** In 1953 or 1954 "The Rats in the Walls" was read on television to Chicago audiences by a Ken Nordine.



     How serious you take this discussion of Arabic name origins for "Cthulhu," et al. is up to you.



     H.P. Lovecraft: Tales (Library of America, 2005) is reviewed in Kirkus Reviews (1 Dec 2004). *** is a collection of e-books for the visually-impaired. Among the Lovecraft representations are Black Seas of Infinity, The Lurker at the Threshold, and The Shuttered Room and Other Tales of Terror.



     The Explicator has a so-so article, "Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos" by Mark Lowell (Fall 2004, p. 47-50). *** Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction (University of Toronto Press, 2001) by Suzanne Keen discusses the amateur scholar's quest in the archives. HPL is a subject in the "Wellsprings" chapter. *** According to American Literary Scholarship, HPL receives mention in Alessandra Calanchi's Dismissing the Body: Strange Cases of Fictional Invisibility (CLUEB, 1999). *** In the "not yet published" category is The Lovecraft Lexicon: A Reader's Guide to Persons, Places and Things in the Tales of H.P. Lovecraft by Anthony Pearsall. New Falcon Publications shows the cover and has a sample from the text. *** A 2003 dissertation from the University of Sao Paulo (written in the Portuguese language of Brazil) that deals with a theory about weird fiction, Da Literatura Fantástica (Teorias e Contos) by Marcio Cicero de Sa, refers to HPL and Peter Penzoldt (who has a chapter about him in his The Supernatural in Fiction). *** "Los Mitos de Chtulhu" [sic] in El Gaucho Insufrible by Roberto Bolaño is, according to one critic, a diatribe against the state of today's Latin American literature. Incidentally, some of HPL's stories are translated into Spanish online.


As Character

     In Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained (Dark Horse Comics, 2003), Peter M. Lenkov has a story involving Charles Fort and the young HPL-the time is 1899, making him about nine. There are Cthulhuloid monsters in this one.


"The Shadow over Innsmouth"

     In The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film (Southern Illinois University Press, 2002) Jack Morgan makes references especially to "The Shadow over Innsmouth." One quote is worth savoring, which concerns an HPL tirade about ethnicities in New York: "Lovecraft reveals a depraved biomorphic imagination in a rant that is beyond Hitlerian" (p. 101).



     The 2004 October issue of Mathematics Magazine has a short excerpt from "The Dreams in the Witch-House."


Archives and Libraries

     The archives of such British writers as Ramsey Campbell, Olaf Stapledon, and Eric Frank Russell can be traced through the SF Hub. *** In Sydney, Australia a bang-up science fiction and fantasy bookstore has a Lovecraft section good enough to include both volumes of his amateur journalism published by Hippocampus Press. However, I'm not enough of a Lovecraft addict to want to read this stuff.



     A summary of Arthur Machen's life more than a review of his Ritual and Other Stories appeared in the 30 October issue of The Guardian *** Besides Machen's Tales of Horror and the Supernatural, the knowledgeable Michael Dirda reviewed in his Washington Post column for Hallowe'en Dunsany's The Collected Jorkens, Francis Stevens' The Nighmare and Other Tales of Dark Fantasy, and volumes by Russell Kirk, with comments on Ash-Tree Press, and more. *** A. Merritt's The Moon Pool has been reprinted (Wesleyan University Press, 2004) with a 41 page introduction and 25 pages of notes. *** As a response to an article on "scientifiction," there are letters from Charles D. Hornig (then editor of Wonder Stories and later author of "An H.P. Lovecraft Memoir") and August Derleth in Time, 31 July 1939. *** Alan has a new web address for his information on supernatural fictionalists (HPL et al.); as well as one for "Donald Sidney-Fryer ~ The Last of the Courtly Poets."


W. Paul Cook

     There is a big, fat article about the making of the new W. Paul Cook book (not a cookbook), Willis T. Crossman's Vermont: Stories (University of Tampa Press, 2005) in The Barre Montpelier Times Argus (9 January 2005). The title of the article, "A Hobby and a Discovery," could have been a chapter heading for The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, but the author, A. C. Hutchison, shows unfamiliarity with Lovecraft, who he calls "once-famous" and thinks that "The Shunned House" is about him. Mistakenly, the book is not cataloged under Cook's name, but under his Crossman pseudonym, in OCLC's WorldCat.


Gugs and Guggs

     "Gugs" are beings in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath while "guggs" occur twice in M.P. Shiel's famous The Purple Cloud. The latter's meaning eludes me, as it does a dictionary editor I asked. The separate references in the novel are to "English duckies and guggs," and to "avenues, some ascending as guggs, some descending as dipples."


Looking Back at Mailing 126

     Douglas: Thanks for increasing my pittance of knowledge about Richard Middleton, whose "The Ghost Ship" I enjoyed when I came across it in Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. That is the only work of his that I have read.

     Massimo: Your part of the world appears to be getting "crowded" with Lovecraftians, i.e., Timo Airaksinen in Finland and Henrik Harksen in Denmark Thanks for the information about your admirable scholarly activity. *** John Carpenter's Thing has been sliced and diced by several critics. I recently re-watched it, and while I admire its effects and the emphasis it puts on the imaginative, its dramatic element should have been given more preparation. The framework of them vs. us was too pat, and the monster does not develop the presence it ought. *** The news of a movie version of "The Silver Key" is really exciting to me, as is that of an Italian "Pickman's Model." Perhaps you are the one who supplied information to the "Lovecraft Filmography" about their existence?  *** I don't know if there is an anagrammatic connection between the letters in "Carter" and that in "character," but the notion is intriguing. *** The Finnish address of makes a good pun ("fi" is the country domain for Finland). *** Thanks for supplying the article (over my head) and your Ph.D. research plan.

     Ken: Thanks for the intriguing detective work on the "mysterious" life of Dudley Charles Newton.

     Jim D.: The idea that HPL got his information from occult sources is addressed ironically in a letter by himself, refuting the silly idea. Another EODer and myself reprinted the text several years back. People get these ideas about supernatural origins because of the persuasiveness of belief over unbelief-there is a pleasure to be got from re-subscribing to or continuing child-like innocence. Also, as an fyi, several years ago someone published a substantial list of music-makers who alluded to the work of HPL.

     ST: Yours is not the first case I have heard of a cat scratch infecting a person, who did wind up in the hospital. An incident that happened to me was one of my cats tripping me, so that I nearly brought down a book case when I fell. Kats kan be killers! *** Yet thanks again for showing your essays for the in-work Encyclopedia of Supernatural Literature. As a criticism of your work on supernaturalism in classic Greece, I feel you have crammed in so many examples here that the text almost topples over into mere citations.

     John G.: I wouldn't be so severe on the graphic novel Lovecraft. I feel that a novel should be allowed to make up or alter facts to suit the purpose. The question is, is it good art (in the generic sense).

     Scott: Thanks for another meaty and exciting issue that both peers into the unique world of Clark Ashton Smith (sounds like a blurb) and offers entries for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Supernatural Fiction (or is it Literature?). *** After looking through WorldCat, I conclude that Francis T. Laney never published anything after his fan days (ending around 1950), perhaps chiefly because he died in 1958.


"The Thing in the Moonlight"

     In The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei (Night Shade Books, 2002) editors Joshi and Schultz know better than to state (p. 189) that The Outsider and Other Stories was the title of the 1939 Arkham House collection, though it was close to that- The Outsider and Others. Yet I believe that they have erred in a much larger way. I refer to their presentation of the text from the Lovecraft letter (25 November 1927) to Wandrei which was subsequently excerpted as a story, "The Thing in the Moonlight." In his letter narrative (p. 187) there is a scene where the dream HPL arrives at a trolley car:

     "I boarded it & looked vainly about for the light switch-noting as I did so the absence of controller handle which implied the brief absence of the motorman. Then one of them sniffed with singular sharpness, & raised his face to howl at the moon. The other dropped on all fours to run toward the car."

     Compare this with the printed story:

     "I boarded it and looked vainly about for the light switch - noting as I did so the absence of the controller handle, which thus implied the brief absence of the motorman. Then I sat down in one of the cross seats of the vehicle. Presently I heard a swishing in the sparse grass toward the left, and saw the dark forms of two men looming up in the moonlight. They had the regulation caps of a railway company, and I could not doubt but that they were conductor and motorman. Then one of them sniffed with singular sharpness, and raised his face to howl to the moon. The other dropped on all fours to run toward the car."

     I don't wish to talk about the slight different of wording nor the large added section, but call attention to the letter's missing introduction of character, where there is a reference to "one of them" when neither conductor nor motorman has yet appeared. The suggestion is that something from the letter has been omitted either by Lovecraft or, I would think more likely, the editors, perhaps when one of them or someone else transcribed it. Perhaps J. Chapman Miske, who excerpted the letter, had access to the complete Wandrei letter, so the fuller text is Lovecraft's; or he had a copy of a letter sent by Lovecraft to another correspondent. At any rate, the provenance nightmare continues. [Later note: S.T. has acknowledged the omission.]


This has been the 43rd issue of The Criticaster (January 2005, mailing 129) by Stephen Walker.  Eventually published on the Internet as a The Limbonaut (no 14).