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HP Lovecraft and His Work

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  • It's been tried, it never works.

    The Goo/EG conflict seems to work best off stage, best of all as past events coming around to bite you you-know-where.

    These things are not human, nor are they easy to understand, ever mysterious nasties looking to GET IN!

    They have some minor footholds(the Deep Ones and cultists, the Tcho-Tcho, a few other degenerates, and the towns of Innsmouth and Kingsport. The South Pacific is rife with pockets of cult activity), but they are marginalized.

    But let them GET IN, and it'll be goodbye Columbus, one priority for them is 'clearing off the Earth', the extermination of humanity and other life forms unloved by the GOO.

    Actually, a fairly simple story. But hard to tell properly.

    Ancient Astronut theorists have adopted the HPL approach, and by using suggestion managed to persuade some drum-dumbs that the world was once ruled by calimari-headed horrors from beyond.

    There are a lot of things in our world that remain unexplained, and more that are kinda iffy.

    Anybody see that strange stone structure built by a French postman? Or the Mystery Hill(America's Stonehenge ). By no means mysterious when the story is told without the intent to frighten and mystify.

    Karl Edward Wagner made a really great story out of that, 'Sticks'-Truly great.

    Do remember that Charles Fort was inclined to trim a story, to make it better. He was also not above a bit of outright manipulation, not to mention bald-faced lies. Many cases have been muddied beyond any hope of understanding.

    But what fun would an explanation be?

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    • Originally posted by SeeDoubleYou View Post
      ...
      Makes me think, has anyone written of the mythos from the point-of-view of the Great Old Ones? or the Elder Gods?
      ...
      Pay no mind to that cultist trying to keep the curtain closed. ;)

      Not exactly what you're asking for but try Peter Watts' short story "The Things" (http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/), which tells the John Carpenter version (much more shoggothy than the Howard Hawks version) of The Thing from the Thing's point of view.

      And here's Elizabeth Bear's "Shoggoths in Bloom" (update note: complete story link http://web.archive.org/web/201107161...shoggoths.html), which, though told from the protagonist's very human point of view, has a bit of insight into shoggoth mentality.

      Finally, again not quite what you're asking for, but Ruthanna Emrys' "The Litany of the Earth" (http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/05/t...ruthanna-emrys) is told from the perspective of one the Marsh family from "The Shadow over Innsmouth" and has some interesting ideas about the Deep Ones' world view.

      Maybe someday the tale of the Shoggoth Spartacus will be told...
      Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-21-2015, 07:01 PM. Reason: Forgot the link for "The Litany of Earth" and the completer version of "Shoggoths in Bloom"

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      • Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
        Maybe someday the tale of the Shoggoth Spartacus will be told...
        ing-YES!!
        Exactly; that would be amazing!
        Glanced over the Thing retelling, very cool; gonna listen to the audio-link of it; done and amazing!
        S'ppose I'll give Shoggoths in Bloom a read-y (awesome title)...Finished; damn-good!

        And, now I get this reference; Shoggoth ala Groening:
        Last edited by SeeDoubleYou; 04-22-2015, 11:46 AM.
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        • 'Shoggoths In Bloom' a great tale.

          Somehow, I doubt that a story about a bunch of intelligent boogers getting all Bolshy would be easy to write, or particularly popular. But that's just me.

          I think the Hawks version of the Thing is a very Lovecraftian story. No matter how often you've seen it, it still manages a scare.

          At the other end, we have "The Giant Claw" a classic that cries out for a remake. Or euthanasia, your pick. Schmock! Schmock! I had to wait twenty years to see it, my parents said it was 'too rough'. It was not worth the wait. However, for a remake, the final duel should be between a B-36 and the Big Birdie. Early versions of the Peacemaker carried a horrific battery of 20mm cannons, just the thing for engaging an interstellar buzzard in a stratospheric dance of death..

          They didn't object to 'Godzilla' though. I've often thought that Cthulhu and Godzilla might be connected, somehow. Keep that oxygen destroyer handy!

          I'm getting punchy, g'nite all!

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          • The Dr. Who(anybody remember how he got that name?) connection with Lovecraft is possible.

            The menaces usually come from the deep past, and are stumbled upon by accident, of course, the UXB dangers in England and Europe are similar.

            Most writers of sf or horror know Lovecraft well, and his influence has oozed into many strange places, in strange ways. Some of his ideas have become subliminal-witness the Ancient Astronuts.

            One case, long cited, is the vanishing of Mr. Bathurst, the man who 'walked around the horses'.

            Actually, Bathutst was a secret agent and a diplomat. The part of Germany where this vanishing happened was in a state of chaos, Bathurst went to the stable to check on his team and never came back. A skeleton that might have been Bathurst was found nearby, years later. This casts much doubt on the incident, and remember what I said about careful editing?

            Before you set much store in vanishings, read Stephen King's foreword to "From a Buick Eight" It's enlightening.

            Ambrose Bierce's 'Difficulty in Crossing a Field' has become so confabulated that what truth there may be is lost in the fog of time. And do remember what I said about humbugs? Bierce was a newspaper man.

            We begin a paranormal drought, a time of ruthless debunking. Does no good, in a couple of decades, the same loony theories are back again-remember what I said about the Vile Vortex Hoax?

            Recently, it is being noised about that Somerton Man(the original Colorado Kid) was indeed a Soviet agent, either murdered by his lover, or a suicide.

            Framed in that context, it begins to make sense. The heavy hand of fifties era security services is obvious, if you look carefully.

            Soon, there will be no mysteries, and perhaps we will be the poorer for it.

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            • Originally posted by krakenten View Post
              The Dr. Who(anybody remember how he got that name?) connection with Lovecraft is possible.

              The menaces usually come from the deep past, and are stumbled upon by accident, of course, the UXB dangers in England and Europe are similar.

              Most writers of sf or horror know Lovecraft well, and his influence has oozed into many strange places, in strange ways. Some of his ideas have become subliminal-witness the Ancient Astronuts.

              ...
              Astronuts? Lovecraftian slip?

              Lovecraft didn't invent the idea of ancient astronauts. And he wasn't the first to write a story that used the trope. And I think it's pretty easy to see connections between the ancient astronauts idea and the high technology tropes found in earlier stories about Atlantis/Mu/Lemuria.

              I think Jagged's got it. Trying to patent so many tropes common in Lovecraft's era as Lovecraft's property is wrong. Which isn't to say it might not be fun. But really, all the grandiose claims make me want to torque Eco into this form:
              The lunatic on the other hand, doesn’t concern himself at all with logic; he works by short circuits. For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up ...[Lovecraft]...
              Anyway...

              Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-22-2015, 10:13 AM.

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              • Certainly, HPL built upon the work of others-the hidden, otherworld goes back a long way, and HPL exploited various aspects of it skillfully.

                Machen made a strange framework to use in the "Three Imposters''-the antagonists were based on real occultists of the time-multiple unreliable narrators and strange words spice the stew. The reader has to fill in a lot of blanks, an extremely effective technique.

                You get just enough information to make a series of wrong deductions. Great stuff!

                Ancient Astronuts is what I call that whole genre. I have my doubts about some of the 'official' explanations of ancient mysteries, but little green men don't figure in my ideas.

                Lovecraft's aliens from 'The Whisperer in Darkness' come to Earth the get 'a certain kind of stone they can't get anywhere else', and eschew contact with us primitive critters. Get the rocks and get hat, that's the order of the day. Then a fly lands in the ointment.

                Makes a certain amount of sense,eh?

                'Whisperer' is not part of the Mythos mainstream. And the HPLHS film version is a ding-dong dandy, do see it!

                There are a few cases in history that give one pause.

                Mostly there are false memories, tall tales and bull-jive.

                "Gort,klatuu barada necto!" Which seems to mean, "Robot, do not dance the merengue!" Or something like that.

                Perhaps someday.....

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                • Watching "Scanners"; thinking how terrifying Cronenberg doing HPL would be...and after watching eXistenZ, how hilarious it could be too.
                  Last edited by SeeDoubleYou; 04-22-2015, 09:02 PM.
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                  • Yes, a Cronenberg take on HPL would be something to see.

                    eXistenz is a splendid example of the way reality can be tied in knots-by the end of the thing, nobody knows where they really are. In the game? In the world they came from? Somewhere else?

                    Disorientation and dislocation is a Lovecraft hallmark. As I age, I find that I'm unstuck in time, like Billy Pilgrim, and that old memories briefly wash over my current life.

                    I've spent the last few years helping to care for a badly demented friend-she's really gone. Three packs a day, drugs and lots of maryjane, too.

                    For some time she would cry and say "I want to go home!", this while sitting in the living room of the house she lived in for 30 years. Now I understand, because I want to go home, too.

                    Back to a world I understood. Where my life had purpose, where there were people I loved, and who loved me back. All that is gone. It's a new world, and not a better one(for all our advances) because it fails to satisfy. It's empty-where have all the people gone?

                    Never the less, it's the world I've got, and somehow, I have to deal with it. It isn't easy-I've been crying for the past few days, crushed by sadness over a fictional dog. I follow the Diana Gabaldon 'Outlander' novels, and in the most recent one, Rollo, the wolfhound companion of the Highlander/Mohawk Ian Murray died peacefully in his sleep. He was old and full of years, but I mourn for him, and all the good dogs who must go on.
                    Actually, I'm thinking about my old dog, who'll be moving along, soon, and what will I do?

                    However, said dog is quite alive, and wants her walk-who knows what the day may bring?

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                    • Lovecraft is like the number 23, look for him, he's there.

                      Now remember, Fulton didn't invent the steamboat, the Wright Brothers didn't invent flight and Ford didn't invent the automobile. What they did was make these things practical and bring them into widespread use.

                      (The first powered airplane was built by Hiram Maxim, flew just fine, but with little control. The Wrights contribution was the tailplane, which made aircraft steerable.)

                      Lovecraft took a lot of ideas from the past, and served them up in a Mulligan stew. His unique style-otherwise ludicrous-was just right for his stories of obscure menaces.

                      If I see him everywhere, perhaps that's because he has had such a wide influence. Indeed, he is the Gate, and the Key to the Gate. And a gifted hack, too.

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                      • Just saw that Litany of Earth link, giving that a readie-pooh.
                        Still think that a GOO/EG story would be pretty great, making humans into the unknown horror.
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                        • Finished the Litany of Earth; unutterably-beautiful! would love to read more stories of Aphra Marsh.
                          Haven't gotten to the Shadow over Innsmouth, but I did read Stross's Jennifer Morgue. Just finished the Curious Case of Charles Dexter Ward; wonderful.
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                          • "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' was filmed as 'The Ressurected', and done very well.

                            Well worth watching.

                            As is "The Call of Cthulhu" from the HP Lovecraft Historical Society-a silent that deftly mimics vintage film.

                            I'm also a great fan of Stross. His work is really gripping, and I cannot tell you just why. But it is.

                            The Milkweed Triptych is a non-mythos cycle that deserves attention. Spies and Cthulhu go well together, witness Tim Powers' ''Declare''.

                            F'taghn, out.

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                            • Stross, like any great-writer, can really paint a terrific psychic-picture with writing.
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                              • I've seen his CV, he's never held a government job(far as I can tell), yet, he writes about the Civil Service like he had a 30 year career.

                                Bob and Mo Howard are an endearing literary couple, the Laundry is an authentic bureaucratic swamp, and crazy as it is, it inspires belief(the literary kind).

                                Somewhere I read that there is another Family Trade novel in the works. These reality hopping books are very hard to write well, but
                                Stross keeps the story on track.

                                Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is another venture into this sort of thing, and very well done. I just spent nearly a week mourning for Rollo the wolfhound, my heart was broken! That's writing!

                                Almost finished with the latest Gabaldon, somehow I see storm clouds-she jettisoned several characters, like old Rollo and the dwarf, Henri-Christian, and we are not at the end of the American Revolution, not yet. And Ban Tarleton has appeared.

                                How many more volumes, I wonder?

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