Some of these college and university theses that concern HPL may already have been mentioned in prior issues. Description of the contents is usually based on a thesis' abstract.

     Martin, Sean Elliot. H.P. Lovecraft and the Modernist Grotesque. (Ph.D.) Duquesne University, 2008. The study aims to contextualize HPL in modernist and grotesque literature, and uses the three concepts of alienation, subjectivity, and absurdity. This title is available through Amazon.

     Opel, John E. Transformations in the Sublime. (Ph.D.) The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008. Immigration and other issues are examined through such texts as Henry James' The American Scene , H.P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls," F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby , William Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath , and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.    

     Huggins, Paul. Identity crisis: Oppressive Ideologies and Fearing the Loss of the Self in the Work of William Godwin. (M.A.) Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 2007. The final chapter is "'What was once a man!'"[a quotation from "The Beast in the Cave"] - Concluding Fragments." The author had earlier compared a quality in Godwin's novel Caleb Williams with such forbidden texts as that in HPL.

     Ralickas, Vivian. Abjection, Sublimity, and the Question of the Unpresentable in Poe, Baudelaire, and Lovecraft. (Ph.D.) University of Toronto, 2006. The three authors had an aesthetic common ground.

     David, James Michael.  Stories for Orchestra. (D.M.) The Florida State University, 2006. This suite for large orchestra has three movements entitled "Cortazar," "Lovecraft," and "Song of the Valar."

     Schachel, Robert C. Textual Projections: The Emergence of a Postcolonial American Gothic. (Ph.D.) University of Florida, 2006. America's gothic literature came from the emergence of America as a postcolonial nation, as shown through the works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and H. P. Lovecraft. One chapter looks at the Cthulhu Mythos, which modernized the American gothic.

     Rhodenizer, Darrell Thomas Douglas. "That is not dead which can eternal lie": Horror and Terror in the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. (M.A.) Acadia University (Canada), 2006. HPL at first evoked horror through the return of the repressed. His eventual practice of cosmic horror diverges from his views in Supernatural Horror in Literature, but rather is closer to Ann Radcliffe's.
     Frisoli, Michael. The Modernist Undoing of Knowledge: Implications for Student Subjectivity and the Status of Academic Knowledge. (Ph.D.) University of Southern California, 2005.  Elements of literary modernism as related to the subject-object are found in Sartre, Adorno, Beckett, Lovecraft, Henry James and Kafka.

     Fitzgerald, Charles T. The Essence of Fantasy: A Matter of Belief. (Ph.D.) Kent State University, 2004. Fantasy is at heart a belief in God or that man is alone in an impersonal universe. The former is represented in the works of George MacDonald, Arthur Machen, and C. S. Lewis, the latter through Norse mythology, Milton's Paradise Lost, and works by H. G. Wells, H. P. Lovecraft, and others. (Advisor for the dissertation is Donald M. Hassler, who has written about HPL, Arthur Machen, etc.)

     Tully, David Martin. American Grotesque: Terry Southern and the Capacity to Astonish. (Ph.D.) New York University, 2001. Novelist Southern's grotesque quality is derived from Poe, Lovecraft, and a childhood reading of the pulps. (The advisor for this dissertation is Kenneth Silverman, author of biographies about Cotton Mather, Poe, and Houdini.)

     Alsowaifan, Sabah HabesQasim's Short Stories: An Example of Arabic Supernatural/Ghost/ Horror Story. (Ph.D.) University of Alberta, 2001. "The influence of Edgar Allen Poe, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, William Shakespeare, and other Western writers can be seen in Qasim's work (especially in terms of evoking horror, making use of folkloric motifs, and using grotesque images)."

     Clements, David Cal. Cosmic Psychoanalysis: Lovecraft, Lacan, and Limits. (Ph.D.) State University of New York at Buffalo, 1999. HPL is analyzed via Lacan's psychoanalytic theory along with a definition of the weird.

     Burns, William Francis, A Thrill of Repulsion: Identifying Cultural Ideologies in the Early Works of H. P. Lovecraft (M.A., Southern Connecticut State University, 1997). The stories are in particular "Dagon," "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family," and "The Horror at Red Hook."

     Glickman, Steven Ross, Forbidden Texts: The Ambivalence of Knowledge and Writing in Horror Fiction from Mary Shelley to Stephen King (Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 1997). The "work centers on close readings of three texts: Shelley's Frankenstein, H. P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" and Stephen King's It." In "Call" the forbidden text is not the Necronomicon, but the queer bas-relief.

     Palumbo, Carmine David, Folklore and Literature: The Poetry and Fiction of Fred Chappell (University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1997). The third chapter goes into the folk and literary influences of Chappell's Lovecraftian Dagon.

     Graff, Bennett, Horror in Evolution: Determinism, Materialism, and Darwinism in the American Gothic (Ph.D., City University of New York, 1995). The last chapter looks at "national fears of miscegenation, inbreeding, criminality, and immigration" in the "reactionary fantasies" of "Arthur Jermyn," "The Lurking Fear" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth."

     Anderson, James Arthur, Out of the Shadows: A Structuralist Approach to Understanding the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1992). This analyzes fifteen stories, with four subjected to the theories of Roland Barthes and Gerard Genette.

     Wolf, Rosemary Alice, AvaStars: A Collection of Poems on Subjects from Fantasy and Science Fiction, with Apologia and Appendix (Ph.D, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1991). Among the poetry examined is that by HPL and George Sterling. The collection of fifty poems is introduced by Robert Bloch.

     Gibbons, Anne-Louise, Horror And Terror: Lovecraft's Alienated Protagonists (M.A., Carleton University, 1986). "The Rats in the Walls," "The Colour out of Space," "The Dunwich Horror," and "The Shadow out of Time" show a pattern of terror/horror/terror in a close study.

     Lacaze, Marie Francoise, Creative Gesture in Music Education (Universite Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 1979). The French text has in the abstract "Azatoth de H. P. Lovecraft-Dagon [sic]," apparently with one or both stories used in teaching music.

     Estren, Mark James, Horrors Within and Without: A Psychoanalytic Study of Edgar Allan Poe and Howard Phillips Lovecraft. (Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1978). No abstract is available.



     According to artist Paul Carrick a Lovecraft-themed art show was to take place in Brooklyn and run for six weeks, beginning in June (unfortunately, by the time you read this, it will be history). *** Winning a prize for the best skateboard design, Tyler Stewart credited At the Mountains of Madness for his inspiration (via Innsmouth Free Press). *** The Outer Alliance interviews artist John Coulthart, responsible for a series of HPL adaptations.



     There is some background on Mrs. Wood, who the six-year-old HPL visited when she was about one-hundred. *** The Thirty-First Annual Report of the Providence Public Library . for the Year Ending December 31, 1908 has in its Appendix 13 list ("Acknowledgment of Gifts, Exchanges, etc."), on p. 78 "Lovecraft, H.P., 3 nos." I wonder if they were the astronomy publications that he wrote.


Comics and Graphic Novels

     The Song of Saya by Todd Ocvirk and Daniel Liatowitsch bears a Lovecraftian influence. *** Besides an adaptation of "The Picture in the House," Cthulhu Magazine also has adaptations from William Hope Hodgson and M.R. James. CM is based on the original Spanish version of Cthulhu.



     Silvia Moreno-Garcia provides a report on a Lovecraft panel at the Seattle horror Crypticon. *** The 2010 Readercon's program included the panels "The Fiction of A. Merritt," "The Writing of Olaf Stapledon" (who was Memorial Guest of Honor), and "The Appeal of Lovecraft" (i.e., why is HPL more popular than ever?).



      His comments from Supernatural Horror in Literature about "The Fall of the House of Usher" are excerpted by Jay B. Hubbell in Eight American Authors (The Modern Language Association of America, 1956), p.36. *** "H.P. Lovecraft, a writer of supernatural stories, is almost as important as Poe in the history of the short tale" (Roland E. Wolseley, The Magazine World: An Introduction to Magazine Journalism [Prentice Hall, 1951] p. 40). *** For whatever reason two of HPL's New York stories have drawn comments from several literature titles. A New Literary History of America (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009), edited by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors, has references to "He" in a discussion of Diedrich Knickerbocker's vision of New York, while The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York (Cambridge University Press, 2010) edited by Cyrus R. K. Patell and Waterman Bryan looks at the anti-immigrant attitudes in “The Horror at Red Hook.” *** I imagine that HPL and certainly REH has a place in Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns: Supernatural and Science Fiction Elements in Novels, Pulps, Comics, Films, Television and Games (McFarland, 2009) by Paul Green. *** Steven Moore’s The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600 (Continuum Pub Group, 2010) includes a number of references to HPL. *** “Aboriginal Lovecraft” by Cécile Cristofari discusses the connection between the Dreamlands and the C Mythos, using as a starting place the attitude of Australian aborigines toward dreams. *** David Javet’s master’s thesis on HPL, The Pen That Never Stops Writing, evokes comments from Gerard Houarner. *** Stefan Dziemianowicz has “Terror Eternal: The Enduring Popularity of H.P. Lovecraft” in Publishers Weekly. Cyrus R. K. Patell (Editor)

isit Amazon's Cyrus R. K. Patell PageAre you an author? Learn about Author Centr    


    HPL's romanticizing of education in his writing motivated a teenager to graduate from high school. Years later she has founded The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, which "offers a variety of theory and production-based workshops for youth aged 14-29." 



      Looking at the fanzine Space & Time (no. 24) from 1974 I discovered a letter from Bill Pugmire Jr., which contains several references to HPL.



     Author of Witches, Wenches & Wild Women of Rhode Island (The History Press, 2010), M.E. Reilly-McGreen says she would have liked to have included something on Susie Lovecraft.



     A George Lovecraft Taylor of Mt. Vernon, New York attended the New York University Law School, according to its Catalogue and Announcements for 1897-1898.



     Indiana's Lilly Library owns letters by HPL, Vincent Starrett, August Derleth, former EODer Dirk Mosig and, apparently, Frank Belknap Long.


      A British-made super 8 film, The Amulet by Michael Tilley, has this summary: "Melodrama about a country gentleman's fatal involvement with Black Magic, based upon the works of H.P. Lovecraft" (Movie Maker, July 1975).


     The Norwegian group S(ermo) III have released as their debut album Easy Listening for the Great Old Ones. *** Matt Pike of the trio High on Fire draws on HPL's stories in the album Snakes for the Divine. To the Winnipeg Free Press he states, "Lovecraft is the best songwriter of all time."



     Howard P. Lovecraft is listed in Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1921 as author of "Winifred Virginia Jackson: A 'Different' Poetess" in The United Amateur (March).


Radio and Audio

     James Anderson of Washington received a grant of $5,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts "To support production of 'The Outsider,' a story for radio by H.P. Lovecraft." (p. 216, Annual Report, 1981) *** The 1963 lp Roddy McDowall Reads The Horror Stories Of HP Lovecraft--i.e., "The Outsider" and "The Hound"--can be heard online.



     Places associated with Lovecraft's world are mentioned at National Geographic's Nat Geo Adventure (via Lovecraft News Network).



     Haffner Press is bringing out Terror in the House: The Early Kuttner (volume one), which begins with the most frightening story I've ever read, "The Graveyard Rats." Most of the stories have never been reprinted. The publisher will also be bringing out Detour to Otherness by Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore, which draws upon several collections by these authors. Other authors from this press are Jack Williamson and Edmond Hamilton. *** Russ Jones has a graphic adaptation of August Derleth's "Wentworth's Day." *** To be published later in the year by McFarland: Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman by Deborah Painter.



     Editor (of Re-Animator: Tales of Herbert West) and author Steven Philip Jones talks about his influences and more at Aurora. *** Best-selling author Lois Gresh chronicles a walking tour of Providence, which includes her disappointment at the John Hay in being given photo-copies of Lovecraft manuscripts when she hoped to read the originals. *** In May at the Roanoke Main Library "Mike Allen, Nebula Award nominated science fiction writer and contributor to the new book CTHULHU'S REIGN ... present[ed] an evening dedicated to the writing and pop culture influence of H. P. Lovecraft." Also promised for the event were excerpts from feature films, a live theatrical performance, and more. *** Comic book artist Alan Moore is coming out with the series Neonomicon. *** Most identified with Twilight Zone episodes, writer and screenwriter Charles Beaumont also had to his credit such movies as the adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (The Haunted Palace). Find more about him in a documentary film by Jason V. Brock, Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight  Zone's Magic Man, which brought forth commentary by friend and co-scripter, Richard Matheson, at Cinefantastique. *** Author of the young adults novel Unleashed, Kristopher Reisz writes of HPL and adolescence.


Subject Terms

     The Library of Congress has a note about when to assign the subject term "Horror fiction" to the catalog record of a book: "Use for works of the gruesome and horrific. Themes can include possession; people or creatures rising from the dead; and characters with psychic or occult powers. Examples include Stephen King's Shining and W.W. Jacobs' Monkey's paw."


From Publishers Weekly

     "Vrest Orton is compiling a bibliography of the works of Theodore Dreiser, which will be published by the Centaur Press" (p. 876, 5 March 1927).

     Arthur Machen's The Hill of Dreams is one of "Fifty Conspicuous Novels, A Selection from the Best Fiction of 25 Years Made by Pratt Institute Free Library" (p. 2319-20, 18 June 1927). Other listed titles are Walter de la Mare's off-beat Memoirs of a Midget and James Stephens' fantasy Crock of Gold.

     The first appearance of "The Call of Cthulhu" in hard-covers and one of HPL's earliest anthology appearances was in Beware After Dark!(1929). The PW ad in the 13 July 1929 issue, p. 168, characterizes it as "The World's Most Stupendous Tales of Mystery, Horror, Thrills & Terror," continuing later that it has "The thrills that everybody wants--and without crime, as President Hoover recommends."


The Best of Science Fiction

     An early (1946) science fiction anthology edited by Groff Conklin, it was also one of the first science fiction collections that I read. In its introductory discussion of s-f, the editor touches on the supernatural, to which he adds a footnote: "The late and well-known H. P. Lovecraft is omitted from this book because it seems to the editor that he was much more a supernaturalist than a science-fiction writer, despite his adherents' claims to the contrary." Since he would choose "The Colour out of Space" for his 1952 The Omnibus of Science Fiction, I guess he changed his mind.


The Ten-Cent Plague

     "By the end of 1952, nearly one-third of all the comics on the news-stands were devoted to the macabre"--David Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), p. 189. This may speak to the popularity of comic books, but not to the genre. Weird Tales would die within two years and Arkham House would have a reduced publishing list. Or were they also collateral victims of the censor attack that severely diminished the comics field by the mid-fifties? Comics with the theme of horror, crime, etc. were the main targets, but others could have been swept up in this. 

     According to Hajdu's work, among the nearly 900 writers, artists, and others whose comic book careers were permanently terminated due to the political purge of the 1950's there were these genre names: Henry Kuttner, Manly Wade Wellman, Charles Beaumont, Ralph Leslie Bellem, Leigh Brackett, Edd Cartier, Ralph Farley and Roger Hoar (though listed separately, I'm guessing both are the same pulp writer), H. L. Gold, Harry Harrison, and Sam Merwin. (One of the important researchers who contributed to this list was Jon B. Cooke, a founder of The Friends of H.P. Lovecraft, which got the Lovecraft centennial conference going.)



     In the later part of the sixties perhaps the first fanzine I saw and owned was the Lovecraftian Anubis. It was published by Paul Willis, whose name cropped up in Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained, under the entry "International Fortean Organization," co-founded in 1966 with his brother. Both are deceased now.


Famous Monsters of Filmland (no. 30, September 1964)

     There's a letter from a G. John Edwards, who later appeared in Anthology of Weird Stories (1969) edited by Forrest J Ackerman and including "The Challenge from Beyond." *** Under "Fright Films to Come" is Matango, a story of shipwrecked people who find a fungus that changes them into the same. According to IMDB, this Japanese film was released in the U.S. as Attack of the Mushroom People. Not surprisingly it was an adaptation of William Hope Hodgson's "A Voice in the Night." Among other films planned are A. Merritt's 7 Footprints to Satan and The Dunwich Horror. *** There are photos of both Fritz Leiber and Robert Bloch. *** The title The Haunted Village became The Haunted Palace (i.e., The Case of Charles Dexter Ward).


FM (no. 32, March 1964)

     "[A.] Merritt was alive to weep when he saw his 7 Footprints to Satan turned into a farce" (p. 7).


 "Who Goes There"

     Some readers have found parallels betwixt At the Mountains of Madness and this novella by John W. Campbell, Jr., e.g., after being frozen in Antarctica an alien revives among scientists. I suppose that one could equally discover that John Martin Leahy's 1928 "In Amundsen's Tent" was an influence on "Who Goes There." Perhaps there is another parallel, where after twenty million years (Campbell writes) "the creature wasn't dead, had a sort of enormously slowed existence, an existence that permitted it, none the less, to be vaguely aware of the passing of time" and the coming of the men. They learn about it through dreams, "in the dream it could read minds, read thoughts and ideas and mannerisms." Though otherwise different, this story element makes the creature seem like Cthulhu.



     I mentioned issues ago that there is a collection of Houdini movies and footage on several dvd's. I've now seen them. One includes a collection of his escapes, filmed in several cities, among them Providence, R.I. in September 1924. This has a shot of many onlookers. Upon viewing I wondered excitedly, could HPL be in that crowd of faces? He already knew Houdini, and it would be natural for him to watch the exhibit. I checked HPL's letters and found--alas--he was at this time in New York. L


Sesquicentennial Ish

     Ken: Thanks for the Proceedings of the Exoteric Order of Dagon reprint, with the emphasis on "re" rather than "print," reminding me of that recent story about using spectrums of light to read hitherto indecipherable, ancient manuscripts. *** You write of HPL and Sonia that "their aspirations were so high in the early days of their marriage that they acquired a home lot in Yonkers, New York," which recalls the lyrics, "We'll go to Yonkers/Where true love conquers." *** Re the New York Times being available only on a fee-basis online--I suggest you visit a library that subscribes to the database, where you can see it without cost.

     Fred: Like you, I had the image of someone under the sea in seeing that statement of responsibility, "H.P. Lovecraft and Divers Hands." *** I suspect a number of librarians thought of typing up catalog cards for the Necronomicon, but never acted on this mischievous impulse. *** Re "how 'witch-fire' can mean both 'holy fire' and 'fool's fire' simultaneously"--words can have multiple and contradictory meanings, e.g., "let" can mean "allow" and "hinder."

     John G.: While I enjoyed your book reviews and agree with you about the nuisance of typos, as a pedant I must dispute that you are the one to fix them. You several times refer to "Liard Barron"-put in a "z" and he becomes "Lizard Barron"-when it should be "Laird Barron"; and you refer to "Balknap Long"--sounds like an inveterate insomniac--when it should be "Belknap Long." No matter how expert someone is, when that person has misspellings in an article or book, I find it damages his credibility. (This criticism extends to myself, and I cringe whenever I find a Criticaster typo or misspelling--I ask myself, how could I have done that?)

     John H.: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"--Emerson. My response to the possible inconsistencies or contradictions of HPL is, they are not too important. In different Sherlock Holmes stories Doyle stated that the bullet that hit Doctor Watson entered either his arm or leg; but is it really that objectionable? When authors world-build, there are bound to be slip-ups, especially if the stories are separated by years, and with a questionable intent to have a master plan. I don't feel inconsistencies seriously impugn HPL's artistry.

     *** At one online site I found a list of the greatest horror novels. The commentator put The Case of Charles Dexter Ward as number 2, behind only Dracula. I'd not thought of Ward in comparison with other novels, but I think that this is a fair ranking. *** Re "the mystery of Curwen and Ward"--I'm tempted to call this story-line a "non-mystery," for don't you quickly grasp that Curwen has taken Ward's place, even though it is treated as mysterious? Compare this with "The Whisperer in Darkness," where the chief mystery seems to be the imperceptiveness of Professor Wilmarth when the tone of the correspondence with Akeley changes.

      *** You quote from Ward: "Upon us depends more than can be put into words--all civilisation, all natural law, perhaps even the fate of the solar system and the universe." I thought of this line: "the Elder Things wished to strip it and drag it away from the solar system and cosmos of matter into some other plane" and recognized that there are a number of similarities between the novel and "The Dunwich Horror," even beyond this. Both were written within one-to-two years of each other, both feature Yog-Sothoth, both have the dichotomy of good guys and bad, etc. HPL seemed to be working on the same themes, variants of which found their way into these stories. A consultation of his letters written at this time should be helpful.

     *** Re "Willet saved nothing, resolved nothing" at the story's conclusion. Well, he stopped or checked the person and plans of Joseph Curwen. This at the least deferred Yog-Sothothian mischief. The story comes much closer to the exorcism triumph of "The Shunned House" than the shocking knowledge of what lay beyond at the end of At the Mountains of Madness. *** Considering your analysis, my take on Ward is that it is a hybrid of Gothicism (e.g., communicating with the dead) and cosmicism (e.g., Curwen's contact with outer spheres).

     Randy: Re Ramar of the Jungle--months ago on DVD I watched (or maybe re-watched, since the last time I saw it was the nineteen-fifties) episodes of this series. No great shakes, but it was okay. I still have a jigsaw puzzle that is associated with the series.

     Sean: Re the Taj Mahal "as a classic symbol of love." Yet ironically it is a tomb or mausoleum, so in a way it is a symbol of dead love. *** Unfortunately, your depiction of Somaliland is at variance with other sources, e.g., "The Somaliland government requires that all foreigners take armed guards when traveling outside of the major cities" (Wikitravel). *** Since you don't have a problem with the Barry Fells, etc., then you must be tolerant of pseudoarchaeology (junk science), since "more cooks help the pot." Yet "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Substitute "junk science" for "evil" and "scientists" for "good men" and you have my attitude. *** Re your quoting Fred about the physical uses of books and how you used your guidebook to steady your offsping's cradle: "I like a thick book because it will steady a table, a leather volume to strop a razor and a heavy book to throw at the cat."--Mark Twain (I'm far too much the ailurophile to consider the last resort.)

     Graeme: Thanks for enclosing a copy of "The Sin Eater," which I had wondered about but not read until it fell into my hands. *** Poor Harold Farnese. Remembered for a mis-attribution he gave to HPL, (the "black magic" quote). Differently from me do you interpret the Farnese statement to Derleth about a lost HPL letter, "'Yet I am glad to have been able to have given you all the salient points which I noted down in my book of reference.'" The phrase "noted down" need not mean a transcription, but a paraphrase, a remembrance of what Farnese had seen. In another letter to Derleth, after the "black magic" quote, Farnese adds, "'The Elders' as he called them." I suspect that this is a mis-remembrance, as was the "black magic" quote. My first thought was, Farnese had heard the (Great) Old Ones. Then in the next quote, from HPL, there is a reference to "Elder Forces" twice, and this could've been "the Elders." In sum, what Farnese "noted down" was a paraphrase, imprecisely remembered. *** Why Derleth would pass off his story "The Churchyard Yew" as by J. Sheridan Le Fanu passeth my understanding. If he had been suspected of perpetrating the "black magic" quote, this would have been substantiating evidence. *** While I can see your point about a full table of contents for Weird Tales issues mentioned in several Lovecraft correspondences, I can also see why this wasn't done. While not as convenient, the full table of contents for all issues is available online, e.g., for 1931.

     Don and Mollie: Re "Presumably Lovecraft had little interest in making his fiction a conscious reflection of a philosophical position." As a counter to this statement, see "The Silver Key." There are other stories, but in this one his philosophy is most forthright, and this weakens the work. *** If Ayn Rand had married a map publisher, she would be Ayn Rand McNally. This name would be appropriate for the author of Atlas Shrugged.

     Martin: Concerning the list you supplied of Swedish HPL titles not in S.T.'s recent bibliography, I wonder that if limited to just this vocabulary, a non-Swede could get by in your country's language. Granted that it would be difficult and very round-about to say something such as "I want a hotdog" (maybe "Hunden?"). *** You are rightly justified in your ire at those people for ignoring the proofing that you did for free. They show no pride in producing a quality text, just laziness or indifference. That you found typos in Essential Solitude which I missed I have no doubt. I bow in awe to your position as proofreader in excelsis.

     Leigh: Does Manticore have an online counterpart? In the David Carson article the links are so "linkthy" that they could easily be mis-typed, unless they are online. As a remedy, you can reduce the link size, as I do, with or something similar. By chance, I was recently looking at Fantasy Tales (1982), and noticed this artist had illustrated a story by Brian Lumley, "The Strange Years." *** I believe I read a supernatural and/or suspense anthology edited by Joan Aiken decades ago, and felt that the stories were far too mainstream and conventional, lacking authentic weirdness--since then I have avoided anything with the Aiken name.  

     Scott B.: Without disputing Ben's encouragement to writers, I will state that one should look upon writing as though it were a contest in running; it is not a sprint, but a marathon in which you lose by failing to outlast your opponent. One must be willing to maintain oneself while enduring multiple rejections and other setbacks. (There's that scene in Lawrence of Arabia where Lawrence has burnt himself with a match without re-acting, but admits to an officer who has tried to replicate this, "Certainly it hurts." The officer: "What's the trick then?" Lawrence: "The trick is not minding that it hurts.") Talent alone is insufficient. Pertinacity and the willingness to continually market one's product is also required for success. Then there is also the case of HPL. Imagine if his first submissions to Weird Tales had been rejected--it is questionable that with his attitude he would have re-submitted. What if his first submission had been "The Call of Cthulhu"? The story would have been rejected, as one knows from history, so no professional writings of HPL may have ever been produced. Lastly, there are few if any sales jobs where one doesn't have many customers walk away--and writing is a form of selling.

     *** Congratulations on landing your book contract. When I recently attended a library convention, one of the vendor booths displaying was McFarland. They had a sign inviting book proposals, so they are an ambitious outfit. *** Sean Cooper is one among the authors who have made known their disagreeable treatment (e.g., unanswered communication) by Night Shade Books. *** If an author is paid for a substandard work, and is a "talentless hack," what do you call an author whose work is also substandard, but can't get published; do they deserve the same epithet? And to continue this amicable bantering over word meanings, I ask that since "talentless" qualifies "hack," could there also be a "talented hack"?

     David S.: The idea of two people sharing the same office space at different times--and with the potential of overlap--sounds like the making of a Billy Wilder comedy.



     The formidable scholar E.F. Bleiler has died at age 90. Among his cornerstone publications are The Guide to Supernatural Fiction (Kent State University Press, 1983), Science-Fiction, the Early Years: A Full Description of More Than 3,000 Science-Fiction Stories from Earliest Times to the Appearance of the Genre Magazines in 1930: With Author, Title, and Motif Indexes (Kent State University Press, 1990), and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years: A Complete Coverage of the Genre Magazines ... From 1926 Through 1936 (Kent State University Press, 1998). As mentioned in Cr'aster 42, Bleiler was co-editor of perhaps the first science fiction anthology I read--from my high school (or junior high?) library--Best Science Fiction Stories: 1952.





Thanks for reading the 65th issue (5,165 words) of The Criticaster (July 2010, mailing 151st and the EOD's 40th anniversary) by limbonautist Steve Walker. Eventually published on the Net as The Limbonaut (no 36).