Monday, 27 June 2011

The Whisperer In Darkness

"The Whisperer In Darkness", first published in Weird Tales, August 1931.

This is the the twenty-second entry in my read-through of the commemorative edition of Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H P Lovecraft.

While reading this story again, I have in the back of my mind, the gaming supplement Delta Green , which re-imagines the Fungi of Yuggoth through the lens of contemporary UFO mythology. The supplement takes in Majestic 12, Roswell, greys, Project Blue book and secret government UFO files and places them in the context of decades of contact with the Fungi to great effect. Even allowing for the cleverness of Delta Green, it's surprising how close the fit is.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Posts of Note!

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the stats generated by hits here. I don't know why I thought that, and even as I type those words I wonder at the wasted time that has gone into this!

Still if there were blog regulators they would make you file an annual report like this one, and so I am getting in ahead of the New World Order crypto-fascists before they shut me down. Take a look if you are a connoisseur of boring crap about me.

You can read it right here on the Posts of Note page.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Dunwich Horror

"The Dunwich Horror", first published in Weird Tales, April 1929.

This is the the twenty-first entry in my read-through of the commemorative edition of Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H P Lovecraft.
This is definitely the first HPL story I ever read, regardless of whatever else I might have previously said on the subject. I remember very distinctly the weird cover in an anthology called 11 Great Horror Stories that was in the book box in room six, Greenacres School in 1979. It made a big impression on me at the time. I can't remember the other stories in that collection – the internet confirms my recollection that they're stories by Poe, J P Hartley and the like – but this vivid and bizarre tale stuck with me long after I first read it. I found the image of the hideous Wilbur Whately and the last desperate attempt to banish his twin truly terrifying.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Dervish House

I remember my Dad was partial to what you might call respectable thrillers. He liked Frederick Forsyth, Len Deighton, John le Carre, that sort of thing. He'd happily tear through one of them in an afternoon over a day of test cricket and two packets of Benson & Hedges, happy as you'd ever see him. Part of what he liked about those thrillers, I think, was the way they dealt in almost real-world events, the way they seemed ripped from the headlines.

It's a kind of a sci fi, thing, almost, with a speculative edge to it as it tries to imagine possible scenarios for the shift in geopolitics. Le Carre's novels seem to take place in what would seem like a nightmarish SF dystopia if we didn't know how scarily close to the truth is is. It's not far at all into a cyberpunk thriller if you push these stories a decade or two into the future. Authors like Bruce Sterling, Jon Courtney Grimwood, Neal Stephenson and Greg Egan kind of fit that niche, and Charles Stross has acknowledged the inspiration of Len Deighton.

Like my Dad and his thrillers, I love these near-future crime and espionage capers and The Dervish House is a particularly satisfying example.