Everyday when I fire up my computer and rifle through my email, I always look forward to what the Writer's Almanac has in store for me. I find that reading a poem before I start my work day gives me a bit of peace and centers me before I launch into the busy work day.
Thanks to today's entry, I was reminded that today is H.P. Lovecraft's birthday!
I must be honest, I didn't know anything about Lovecraft before I started working here, but in the three years that I have been the acquisitions editor in charge of all things paranormal, I have learned a bit about him thanks to working on The Dream World of H.P. Lovecraft by Donald Tyson. I am forever amazed at the creativity of people, but
When I first started an in-depth study of occultism, I tried to read everything that was available. I quickly realized that the available books generally fell into two large categories, books that were mostly ridiculous inventions by their authors to take advantage of people interested in occult topics and books that were older material or about older material, perhaps with modern commentary. After a period of reading everything, it became fairly easy to separate the good from the bad, the serious from the ridiculous, the wheat from the chaff. And then came Kenneth Grant's first book, The Magical Revival.
Original cover of first edition in my collection.
I read this book not knowing what
Do you remember your first introduction to the works of Edgar Allan Poe? I do. It was watching the low budget films by Roger Corman that usually starred Vincent Price. They weren't very good, but the use of color and lighting was very effective at being scary. Although I was a kid, I knew that books were usually better than the movies made from them, so I sought out the originals. Beside, I'd always heard that Poe's stories were scary.
Edgar Allan Poe
So I read them, looking for the scare factor. I found them to be…boring. I went back to the movies and found one that is really great, The Black Cat, a 1934 film starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Sure, the bizarre, sets were
Happy Samhain (Halloween), everyone! This is the new year celebration for Pagans all over the world. In honor of this I'd like to share a short story.
Years ago, while a student at UCLA, I was drawn to the strange worlds created by H.P. Lovecraft and by those who wrote stories focused on his Cthulhu Mythos. Most of my writing, for long years, had been non-fiction. But my fascination with Lovecraftiana drew me to write a couple of stories. One, called “The Thing on the Desert,” is lost. It was the story of a young man, driving alone across the desert between a mythical spot similar to the Parker Dam area of Arizona and Los Angeles. On the way he has a horrifying encounter with strange