Are you a Lovecraft fan? Can you pronounce Cthulhu? Do you recognize the guy with the tentacles? Azathoth? Yog Sothoth? Leng? Mountains of Madness? Shoggoths? Innsmouth?
If any of that meant anything to you, the answer is ‘yes.’
If it didn’t, stick around, you might find this interesting anyway.
Or you could go back and read my blog post, H.P.Lovecraft and Me. Seriously, it’s worth reading.
Anyway, I’m a writer, and something of a Lovecraft fan. I’m not blind to his shortcomings either as a human being or as a writer, I certainly don’t endorse them. Lovecraft’s strengths and weaknesses as a person and as a writer both deserve attention and consideration. There are things that can and should be condemned, but at the same time, I think that nuance is appropriate. In the end, all our ancestors were monsters, and all their works are tainted. Yet we live in the world they made, and we build our houses upon their rocks. There’s a blog post I’ll get to.
But Lovecraft did do some things well, Lovecraft was influential, and deservedly so. I certainly have, in some ways, been influenced.
I’ve actually written two major Lovecraft stories.
I will caveat that – not major in the sense of setting the genre on its ear, winning awards or even getting much notice. But major in the sense of being very large works, the two stories together probably run better than 25,000 words, and which, I think have unique but effective and interesting twists on the mythos. Maybe someday they will get some notice.
One of these is called Life, Love and the Necronomicon, its psychological horror exploring the mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred and his world. You can find it in Giant Monsters Sing Sad Songs.
The other is The Secret History of the Cthulhu Cult, one of three long stories found in Dawn of Cthulhu. I don’t think I need to explain what it’s about. The three stories are about Cthulhu, Lost Continents, and Muppets.
Yeah, you heard me. Muppets.
Tales of Cthulhu, Mu, Lemuria… And muppets? All in one volume? How can you not want to read that? I rest my case.
I have to warn you. They aren’t conventional stories. Conventional stories have incidents, plot, dialogue, narrative. There are characters who do things to each other. There’s no dialogue per se, it’s just me talking to you.
Honestly, I don’t even know if they should be called stories, the way we usually understand them. They’re more along the lines of explorations, essays, interrogations, discussions. But even that isn’t quite it, because its all about unreal things, building and extending. It’s about real world rules and history applied to unreal things, to fiction or entertainment or just ideas.
What if the Cthulhu Cult was real? What if Cthulhu was as real or unreal as Yahweh or Jehovah, and the Cult existed alongside Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, in our world. Just another religion.
That’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?
Where does the Cthulhu Cult come from? What’s the history? Where did it start from? And how did it evolve into what it is today, in the era that Lovecraft wrote about it? How did it fit into the world?
And how does it fit into real history, into the rise and fall of Empires, of trade routes, wars and civil wars, into the human tapestry of ever evolving ideas and changing peoples and growing knowledge?
Would this take things away? De-mystify? De-mystique?
Or would it fill in the blanks, link to what we know and believe. Would it infiltrate our sense of the real? Gain power from groundedness and tangibility.
As if the Cthulhu cult was something that could have existed in our world.
Wouldn’t that be disturbing?
Or, to take a 360 degree, what about muppets – cute friendly muppets, with Big Birds and Snuffleupagas. What if they were real animals? Just flesh and blood?
If they were real, what are they? What’s their taxonomy? Where do they fit onto the tree of life? Where did they come from? How did they evolve? How can they talk? Why do they act like they do? How did they end up on Sesame Street?
Let’s apply principles of biology, of evolution, of geography. Let’s apply the theories of intelligence and language. Let’s treat them as if they were real, and bring them into a world like ours.
I’m not sure if there’s a proper name for what I do. I’ve been doing it for a while though. If you look in my free section on my website, you can find other similar work. I happily recommend you check it out.
And if you’d like it, or if you’d just like to take a chance… If you want a very different Cthulhu story…
Check it out, buy my book. Buy all my books. I won’t mind.
Available at Apple, Smashwords, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Tolino, Overdrive, 24 Symbols and other online ebook platforms.
Just go to your favourite online platforms and look for my name.