Like a lot of other aspects of America ,a lot of the nation’s conventions of supernatural fiction have roots in the generally European and specifically English tradition. Some of the first American supernatural literature, like that of Nathaniel Hawthorne, has a noticeably chilly, Puritan English character. While this work is the product of Americans and American fears, it complements what came before both the work itself and its nation of origin.
Lovecraft, whose name is synonymous with the genres of weird fiction, sci-fi, and horror is undoubtedly influential and iconic. However, many had issues with a modern day award using and honoring the image of a notoriously racist, xenophobic, and problematic writer.
If you’re a fan of Lovecraft, you’ve run into the racism, sexism, and ableism (the latter particularly in regards to mental illness) that pervade his stories. Nevertheless, Lovecraft has a diverse fandom that loves to interact with the mythos in many different ways.
If there's one film project that will make sci-fi nerds collapse to the floor and start twitching... it's The Phantom Menace. But if there are two, the second is Guillermo del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness, an H.P. Lovecraft passion project that got the kibosh after years of work on del Toro's part because it turns out Universal didn't want to risk spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an R-rated horror movie.
But hope isn't dead yet.
Well, possibly not all of Oklahoma City. It might just be the land in front of Lesley Rawlinson's restaurant Paseo Grill. The several hundred pound monolith that appeared there is unclearly worded.
Storied horror writer and really quite mentally ill person H.P. Lovecraft would have been 122 years old today. Yes, much of his catalog may seem verbose, florid, and archaic by today's standards. Lest we forget, yes, he was a racist xenophobe of pretty much the highest conceivable order, but he's also the man who gave us not only the oft-used horror trope of the Necronomicon and the burgeoning cottage industry that is Cthulhu. He's also the man behind the very concept of cosmic horror, because for Lovecraft, the thing in the closet or under the bed wasn't scary enough. The characters in Lovecraft's fiction are under seige by the entire universe. Whole alien species and races of humanoid underdwellers are out to get them, and no one else will buy it until it's too late.
Way back in the earlier part of this year Neil Gaiman decided that it was really too bad that we, as a culture, didn’t have a holiday that was just about giving books to people. Thus: All Hallows Read, an exciting new tradition of giving people the gift of a scary book or story on Halloween. We’re no strangers to devouring a book ourselves, so we offer you not just ten, as these things usually go, but a full thirty scary books, stories, and comics for your reading pleasure.
While the great Theodor Geisel was certainly comfortable drawing strange architecture and stranger creatures, we're pretty sure he never wrote anything reflecting H.P. Lovecraft's much darker mythos...
Which is precisely why DeviantArt user DrFaustusAU had to make it up for us.
Guillermo del Toro's dream project, a film adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness subsided beneath the deeps three months ago, the eldritch whispers of its gestating emergence into reality fading with the news that Universal Pictures wasn't willing to take the bet that del Toro could turn a profit on a $150 million R-rated movie.
However! del Toro, like a certain tentacle-faced high priest we could name, is steadfast in his determination to bring Lovecraftian horrors into the lives of each and every one of us.
Artist/blogger Michael Bukowski at Yog-Blogsoth has been pursuing a goal to draw every character mentioned in the writing of H.P. Lovecraft. Above is one of the most famous of those creatures, Cthuhlu. Descriptions from the writing in which the character appears are also included. He hopes to complete this task in a year, including popular characters with lengthy descriptions to those that are merely mentioned. Click through to see if this artist's imagination comes close Lovecraft's!
Give Late Bloomer, written by Clay McLeod Chapman and directed by Craig Macneill, three or four minutes to present itself as a loving interpretation of how H.P. Lovecraft would write a story about being severely embarrassed in your seventh grade health class. About four minutes in the film does get around to the male reproductive organs and proves itself a treatise on the illicit unknown loveliness of all human bodies and how that can seem like a terrifying abyss of madness in your seventh grade health class, not a metatextually weird joke about how women's bodies are evil and unnatural. I swear, it gets there.
YES, it is probably not safe for work as a whole concept, though the dialogue doesn't get any worse than the word "clitoral" I think. Just put on some headphones.
(via Boing Boing.)
In case you were worried that Guillermo Del Toro's film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, was just a crazed fever dream you had several months ago, set your fears aside. It's going to start filming in June.
Producer Don Murphy (Transformers) confirmed the shoot date, though not much else is known about the production. James Cameron is also tapped to produce, and Tom Cruise and Ron Perlman are the only listed members of the cast. (Perlman confirmed his involvement in January; his character did not appear in the original novel, but will be a "no-nonsense dog sled guy."
Cameron says that this will be an "epically scaled horror movie," and added, "The fans certainly won't want for a visual feast with this film." That's pretty promising coming from the guy responsible for Aliens.
Cthulhu Chick, long time crocheter of tiny Cthulhus and also a librarian getting her masters in library science, has been hard at work lately compiling an eReadable collection of the Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft and it's finally finished.
So, helpfully, she's also kept track of some of the words that we particularly associate with Lovecraft, like "gibbous," "eldritch," and "stygian," and has discovered how many times he actually used them in his original works. And so without further ado, the ten most popular Lovecraftian words in Lovecraft are...