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HP Lovecraft and His Work

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  • Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
    It's a shame, but I do think we've missed our chance at group survival and are due for extinction. I'm sorry future generations won't be there to enjoy the fun but there it is. We blew it.
    And you're saying you're the optimist? I don't think you entirely got Tom Lehrer's message, so let me invoke him one more time.
    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.


    • Pretty much every creature-with a few exceptions-becomes extinct in time.

      A few species have adopted/evolved/lucked into life strategies that have extended their stay for vast periods of time. Note that none of them has built machines or developed a material culture, Food for thought?

      We will join that grim parade one day.

      But not today.

      I expect we may be in for a long recession in our numbers, but extinction? Not yet.

      Some day, the last Homo Sap. will die-a sad thought for us-and something else will be running the show. Indeed, once there were several human species, now dwindled to one. As far as we know.

      We may fly to the stars, we may give rise to a mechanical life form, all of this is possible-not probable, possible.

      Or we may die beside a mud-hole, and be forgotten in time.

      But not quite yet.


      • Now, back to the meat of the topic!

        As the years have passed, and other hands have steered the Good Ship Cthulhu, the mythos has come to resemble 'Paradise Lost'(there are worse things) whereas HPL conceived the Mythos as totally abstract, something that just with it.

        Humans can contact the Great Old Ones and their various minions to gain small powers(to be used to benefit the GOO) and there are the Ghouls and the Deep Ones as well. Human cultists are portrayed as depraved and mostly expendable.

        Since I've had a go at writing such tales, I can tell you that this is NOT easy fiction-keeping the light touch and mystery required is difficult.

        There have been fictions where Cthulhu has engaged in conversation with human cultists-might as well be a vampire bodice-ripper.

        Cthulhu must be kept at a second or third remove. But it's too damn difficult to maintain the idea of unknowable motivations. Our pitiful human brains were not made to contain such knowledge and motivations, after all....

        Oh, yeah? As time goes by, we discover how rare a planet like Earth may be(our magnetic field seems to be quite rare. And necessary for life to exist) therefore, ipso facto bingo, the GOO want this planet rather badly.

        And a few humans are tasked to keep our planet out of the flabby claws of certain creatures, rugose and squamous to the max!

        The fun will never end.


        • Frankly, if they had wanted it, they'd have had it by now. Unless you believe there is something or someone watching over us. But so far nothing has persuaded me that Dr Who exists.

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          • Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
            But so far nothing has persuaded me that Dr Who exists.
            He does. The whoniverse makes no sense without him, and if there's one thing humans have always strived to, it's to make the world make sense. Darn, we do need it our way, don't we? Take war and annihilation, we need neat well-formed verses with rhyme and meter to gulp it down.

            In our neat little patterns, the number 3 is divine (I don't know why -- maybe it approaches pi?), and thus when we have said something twice, we really feel the itching to make it a trilogy.

            So here, as Tom Lehrer would have said, goes:

            "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.


            • Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
              ... But so far nothing has persuaded me that Dr Who exists.
              I keep hoping...


              • Ah, but you forget the Elder Gods.

                As far as I can see, the Elder Gods don't care a rat's ass about humanity, but they do want to keep Earth out of the hands of the Great Old Ones. Rather like the campaign in the Aleutian Islands in WWII.

                This led to a number of very strange developments in Alaska, like the Buckner Building (look it up, there are photographs of this mysterious edifice, once known as 'The City Under One Roof) which is ruined by earthquake damage and almost impossible to demolish.

                Indeed, as my understanding of how the Mythos has evolved, I get a cargo cult vibe.

                The Great Old Ones were defeated, but not destroyed-think of WWII if the Battle of the Bulge had gone the other way, and the Germans had gotten a negotiated peace. The world that might have made would be very odd indeed, a three handed Cold War?

                Whither Japan? Lawdamassey!

                Another thought, Bonnie Prince Cthulhu in exile,up the shout and out the blade,Shoggoths forward!

                The Elder Gods seem to have thought of this and left the Great Old Ones debilitated and pent. They seek to open the 'gate' and bring Yog-Sothoth to Earth, where the auld rip will cause no end of trouble.

                See how complex this became, in about a century?

                And if the HPL-Weirdness connection is as strong as it seems to be, we may also have insight into the development of religions.

                F'taghn out.


                • Giving another crack at At the Mountains of Madness, I see it as being extremely like Mike's stuff.
                  I think the only difference is that the genre of horror tends to have a kind of disturbing psychic nature, not necessarily inherent to the content, but the readers attracted to it tend to like the psychic-poking game of teasing each other; the audience tend to enjoy scaring the shit out of each other and use the medium as the excuse.
                  Though, if I'm being honest, this is also how much like Mike's stuff it is too; Mike's writings tend to be a playground for psychic hot-potato amongst the readership.
                  With this more out-in-the-open for me, it makes HPL enjoyable reading. It's almost as if you reclassify how you're reading it (I tend to like feeling like I'm observing it from the SF point-of-view) it makes it less noxious and psychically-rapey, and more pleasant and intriguing.


                  • Speaking of At the Mountains of Madness, how did that attempt to get through the whole story go, Mike?

                    SeeDub's comment reminds me of a thought I had that since Lovecraft's great leitmotif is the cosmic insignificance of humanity and seeing as he was also a follower of Poe's Unity of Effect method, then it kind of puts him in a position that should be diametrically opposed to using the weather and/or landscape to reflect a character's inner state.
                    Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-20-2015, 01:42 PM.


                    • Just finished the Mountains me-self; well-done Mr. Lovecraft!
                      I found myself being drawn to reading it from the horror POV and quite enjoyed the thrill of fear. Purgative-medicine, that; really gets out a lot of stagnant-qi.


                      • That's odd, I zipped through ''At the Mountains of Madness'' in one go, many years ago.

                        The mounting dread, the grisly developments, the hideous truth revealed....

                        When this was written, Antarctica was still Terra Incognita-the coast was well mapped, the interior obscure. Otherwise, a blank. Now, we know more-and keep finding very strange life forms.

                        After passing a hard winter here in Baltimore-it was unusually cold and the snow/ice lingered-I can see the isolating potential of extreme cold.

                        Note that some really frightening work has come from the frozen places. 'The Thing' (first film version) is a wonderful example of just how scary it can be.

                        Less closely related to the original story, and deeply influenced by Lovecraft, it exploits claustrophobia, just as Simmons "The Terror" does.

                        In fact, "The Terror" is very similar to Mountains-but more frightening.

                        Well, back to my binge-watch of Ancient Aliens-sometimes, it can be thought provoking.

                        Most of the time, it just provokes me.


                        • I keep wondering as accepted science gets screwier and screwier-entanglement, action at a distance, the uncertainty principle....some of it parlous close to magic.

                          Newton laid out a strictly mechanical universe where A followed B followed C. Then he went and pizenined hisself doing hoodoo-alchemy. Go figure.

                          Recently, I find myself fascinated with WWII. And with the Cold War, where the big shots realized that they could have all the bennies of a Big War and skip the mass destruction. Worked pretty well, too. Nerve racking, but effective.

                          The days of the Secret State left their own scars. And set the stage for the pandemonium of today.

                          The box score has chaos ahead on points.


                          • Originally posted by krakenten View Post
                            That's odd
                            Just between us, my cataclysmical Kraken -- don't tell Mike I said this -- I bet he just went and watched "Doctor Who and The Seeds of Doom" instead of doing his homework.
                            Last edited by Jagged; 04-21-2015, 12:51 PM.
                            "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.


                            • VII from At the Mountains was probably the coolest part; it humanizes the mythos of HPL for me; they're just a bunch of beings, Lovecraft even says as much in one part professing the horrors they endured from the Elder Gods or something...but that to me is just people fighting.
                              Makes me think, has anyone written of the mythos from the point-of-view of the Great Old Ones? or the Elder Gods?
                              I know that is part of the horror, making them indecipherable and beyond humanity, but, come on, that would be so awesome!
                              I mean, if we're being creative, I can imagine a bunch of ways that sound horrible as to how someone deciphered into human-script one of these GOO/EG diaries/etc. that can still playfully point out the merits of horror without being so indulgent (as anything-horror is oft wont to do; but, too much of anything...).
                              To me, if you humanize the GOO/EG that makes them even more stupendously-horrendous!