My copies of H. P. Lovecraft’s Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge and Anne Tillery Renshaw (Hippocampus Press) have finally come. Several of my spare copies were already reserved previously, but I may have one available for sale. (A customer reserved this copy also, but has not confirmed his interest in it.) So anyone is welcome to put in a request for it in the event that it becomes available.
In the box with that book came another very welcome title—the German translation of my Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature (the revised edition of 2012 published by Hippocampus Press). This is titled Das übernatürliche Grauen in der Literatur and is published by Golkonda Verlag in Leipzig. It is translated by Alexander Pechmann and includes substantial additions to my bibliography (chiefly in the area of German-language publications) by Robert N. Bloch, a longtime scholar of weird fiction. I have one spare copy of this book that I would be happy to let go for $20.
I recently recorded two vlogs in regard to the recent Penguin Classics edition of Clark Ashton Smith, The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies. A shorter version—in which I read several pieces from the book, including his moving elegy “To Howard Phillips Lovecraft”—can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5HonrvWSZM. We (i.e., Wilum Pugmire and myself) had initially done a longer vlog, and I had thought that this version was not able to be uploaded onto YouTube, but evidently it has been. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFjmQPFst1U. I read several pieces here also, including the poem to Lovecraft as well as the exquisite prose-poem “From the Crypts of Memory.”
I have recently read two splendid unpublished novels that I hope will get into print eventually. One is Josh Kent’s The Witch at Sparrow Point, which the author had originally submitted to me all of two years ago, when it went under the title Spook. I liked that version but felt that it needed strengthening at various points. The author has apparently been busy at the job of revision, for he has come back now and sent me this new version, which clocks in at nearly 118,000 words. It is a wonderful supernatural novel set in Appalachia, and perhaps inevitably will draw comparisons with the Silver John novels of Manly Wade Wellman. But this is a work that can stand on its own as a contribution to weird fiction.
Kent’s novel is not Lovecraftian, but the other novel I’ve read emphatically is. It is boldly titled Necronomicon: The Manuscript of the Dead, and has been written by a Greek writer, Antonis Antoniades. It focuses around Theodorus Philetas, the (fictitious) translator of the Arabic version of Abdul Alhazred’s nameless tome into Greek in the 11th century C.E. It is a thrilling read, and I hope I can help it get into print somehow.
I have recently received several requests to reprint articles of mine (some of them quite lengthy) in two library reference volumes being prepared by Layman Poupard Publishing LLC (Columbia, SC). One of them is entitled Cthulhu Mythos and the other is titled Robert Ervin Howard. At least four of my articles (including the entire chapter on Lovecraft from The Weird Tale and my long essay “Barbarism and Civilisation: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard”) will be included in these books, which are scheduled to appear this year or next.
I see that my collected essays on Lovecraft, entitled Lovecraft and a World in Transition, is now available for advance order from Hippocampus Press: http://www.hippocampuspress.com/h.p-lovecraft/about-hp-lovecraft/lovecraft-and-a-world-in-transition. Publication will apparently occur in June. I am hopeful that sometime after that date, the paperback edition of Unutterable Horror will also appear from Hippocampus.
I have apparently been scheduled to appear on three panels at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR (April 11–13). Dates and times haven’t been set yet. This time, maybe I’ll actually sample some of the films!
I was flattered to be the subject of a substantial article in the New York Times (March 15, 2014—HPL’s deathday!) by the paper’s “religion” (!) columnist, Mark Oppenheimer—who, in fact, has written extensively on atheism, agnosticism, and freethought. Here is the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/15/us/spreading-the-word-on-the-power-of-atheism.html. The online edition includes a colour photograph; the photo in the print edition is only in black and white. The article has a few slight inaccuracies—chief of them the suggestion that I am more of an agnostic than I really am—but nevertheless the coverage is welcome.
The New York Times article referred to an edition of Chambers’s King in Yellow that I have hastily produced for Barnes & Noble Publishing. This project was inspired by the fact that the creator of the TV show True Detective admitted to being influenced by Chambers’s eccentric work. So I quickly produced an annotated edition, with introduction and other matter, and it will be published as early as next month.
A British filmmaker, Digby Rumsey, has completed his documentary on Lord Dunsany, charmingly titled Shooting for the Butler. The 60-minute film will be shown on March 25 at Directors UK in London. I was interviewed at length for the film when I was in England last fall for the World Fantasy Convention and the “weird” conference at Birkbeck College, and I figure I am in it at least to some modest degree. I look forward to receiving the DVD from Digby in due course of time.
I am pleased to announce that my Penguin Classics edition of Clark Ashton Smith, The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies, is now out. It is a splendid-looking book with a lovely Smith painting on the cover, and containing a wide selection of Smith’s fiction, prose-poems, and poetry. I have a number of copies for sale. I can offer it for $15 per copy on the usual terms.
I am scheduled to do a podcast on the Smith book on May 7. This will be conducted by the New Books Network; presumably it will be posted soon thereafter. This is one day before I head to the World Horror Convention in Portland, OR, where my visit will be truncated because my choir will be performing on May 10. The dates and venues of my choir performance (we will be singing two Requiems, one by Maurice Duruflé and the other by John Rutter) have now been set and can be seen here: http://www.nwchorale.org.
I am sorry to report that copies of Lovecraft’s Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge and Anne Tillery Renshaw (Hippocampus Press) and of Black Wings III (PS Publishing) have still not arrived; indeed, copies of the latter were only sent out to me (from the UK) last week. But I have been informed that I will receive ten copies of that book. Currently, five individuals have paid for or reserved copies, so I can assure all these individuals that they will in fact receive copies in due course of time; and that still leaves me with four additional copies of Black Wings III that I can sell to interested customers.
The Smith book was my 203rd; my 204th, somewhat unexpectedly, proves to be Michael Aronovitz’s story collection The Voices in Our Heads (Horrified Press), since I was to my surprise listed as editor of the book. I had only done routine copyediting, but I am grateful for the acknowledgement of my work. I am currently reading Michael’s new novel, titled Phantom Effect, and it has some wonderful stuff in it!
A new book in my Scarecrow Press series, Studies in Supernatural Literature, has just reached me: James Goho’s Journeys into Darkness: Critical Essays on Gothic Horror. This is a splendid volume of essays covering authors from as far back as Charles Brocken Brown and as recent as Fritz Leiber, with discussions of Poe, Bierce, Lovecraft, Blackwood, and others. (I fear I have no spare copies for sale.) The next book in the series is likely to be Jason V Brock’s Disorders of Magnitude.
Several individuals have reported receiving copies of Black Wings III (PS Publishing), but I have so far failed to do so. But given the likelihood that I will soon receive at least 5 to 10 copies from the publisher, I will be happy to offer these copies for sale on the usual terms. The list price of the book is £25, which comes to about $40. So I am happy to offer copies for $30 (postage included for US customers; extra postage will have to be added for overseas customers). I believe this constitutes my 202nd book.
My 201st book, my edition of Lovecraft’s Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge and Anne Tillery Renshaw, is apparently out from Hippocampus Press, but I have not received copies. I see that this book is listed as being available for $25. I may as well begin taking orders for this book as well, as I expect to get my copies soon. I will be happy to let the book go for $20.
I gave two interviews recently. One was conducted by John Brownlee, a writer for www.fastcodesign.com. I discussed with him the recent phenomenon of the TV show True Detective (on HBO), whose creator has acknowledged the influence of Lovecraft, Robert W. Chambers, and other weird writers on the show. I discussed Chambers at length, talking about the “King in Yellow Mythos” and its influence on Lovecraft. A second interview was conducted by Todd Hatton, a producer for a public radio station, WKMS, at Murray State University in Kentucky. Hatton wished to discuss the interrelations between Irvin S. Cobb (a native of Paducah, Kentucky), H. P. Lovecraft (particularly Lovecraft’s fondness for the story “Fishhead”), and H. L. Mencken (who had written rather harshly on Cobb in an essay in Prejudices: First Series ). The latter interview will probably air later this month. I am not sure what Brownlee plans to do with my interview with him, but no doubt he will inform me in due course of time.
I now see that Michael Aronovitz’s story collection The Voices in Our Heads is listed on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Our-Heads-Michael-Aronovitz/dp/1291655638/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393788263&sr=1-2&keywords=michael+aronovitz). It is a splendid book, so better order it soon!
I have just signed the signing sheets of Searchers After Horror for Fedogan & Bremer. I have been informed that some copies of the book may be available as early as the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon (April 11–13), which I will be attending; and copies will certainly be available at the World Horror Convention in Portland (May 8–11), which I shall also be attending. (I shall, however, be there on on May 8–10, as I have to return home that afternoon for a choir performance that evening.) I am convinced it is one of my finest anthologies, so I hope it does well for the publisher.
I see that three books with which I am associated have been nominated in the category “Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction” for the Bram Stoker Awards. Two of them are books in my Scarecrow Press series, Studies in Supernatural Literature: Robert H. Waugh’s Lovecraft and Influence and Gary William Crawford’s Ramsey Campbell: Critical Essays on the Master of Modern Horror (I contributed to both books); the third is William F. Nolan’s Nolan on Bradbury, which I edited. Let’s hope one of them wins!
One more grammar point:
I have noted lately an increase of the peculiar use of “that” for “who” when referring to persons. This is a very odd development—probably springing (as most corruptions of good English do) from writers picking up usages from spoken English. My good friend Jason V Brock wrote a story in which he referred to a “European director that had bogged the whole production down.” I’m sorry, but this must be “European director who had bogged the whole production down.” One can get away with this usage if one is writing archaic English derived from the King James Bible (“He that dwelleth in Heaven shall laugh them to scorn”; “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace”); but in modern English, who must be used to refer to human beings, and that to refer to other entities. (I won’t address the distinction between that and which, which also throws many readers. British English and American English differ on this usage, so it had best be left alone.)
I am happy to announce that the paperback of Black Wings II (entitled Black Wings of Cthulhu 2) is now out from Titan Books. I have about 4 or 5 copies to sell, as I need to reserve some copies for a Kickstarter campaign that I may discuss at a later time. I see that the list price for the US edition is $14.95, so I am happy to offer copies for $10 on the usual terms.
My essay “Cthulhu’s Empire: Lovecaft’s Influence on His Contemporaries and Successors” is apparently available online as a pdf (http://salempress.com/Store/pdfs/pulp_pgs.pdf). I believe this is a kind of teaser for a book on pulp writers of the 1920s and 1930s, edited by Gary Hoppenstand, that will appear in print later. I’m not entirely clear about this, but I’m happy that the essay (which I quite frankly forgot about) is now available.
I am happy to note that Michael Aronovitz’s story collection The Voices in Our Heads is now available (http://www.lulu.com/shop/michael-aronovitz/the-voices-in-our-heads/paperback/product-21372403.html). The publisher is Horrified Press, a firm in the UK. I went over the book for the publisher, and in fact read most of the stories soon after they were written. I believe I published one or two of them myself, in Weird Fiction Review and elsewhere. Michael’s short novel The Witch of the Wood is forthcoming from Hippocampus, and the author is at work on a new novel that promises to be a blockbuster.
I have been informed that the probable cover artist for The Madness of Cthulhu 1 (and perhaps 2), the original anthology I have assembled for Titan Books, will be John Jude Palencar, a highly distinguished illustrator and painter. (See his website: http://www.johnjudepalencar.com/.) In an ad for Volume 1 at the back of Black Wings of Cthulhu 2, the book is announced for October, but I hope the book will appear a bit sooner than that. Volume 2 will probably follow in a year’s time.
I am doing a considerable amount of work on the future Hippocampus Press publication of Lord Dunsany’s Collected Plays, which may include as many as 53 plays (several unpublished), along with sundry other matter. The book’s publication is of course dependent on our securing permission from the Dunsany Estate and Dunsany’s agents (Curtis Brown UK), but we hope that will occur in due course of time. We are still hoping to publish this year my long-delayed volume of Dunsany’s uncollected short stories, The Ghost in the Corner and Other Stories.
For my amusement (and for an appendix to my 200 Books by S. T. Joshi), I decided to calculate the number of books I have published per year, beginning in 1978. As I expected, the great majority of my books have been published in the last 15 years: 137 in the period 2000–2013. This of course coincides roughly with my need to become a full-time freelance writer with the demise of Chelsea House Publishers in the fall of 1995. I published 12 books in 2010, the most for any year; but in several years during the period in question I published 9 or 10 books.
On a personal note, I am happy to announce that Mary Krawczak Wilson and I are now officially engaged. It was certainly a long time in coming, and I suspect that some friends and colleagues assumed we were already married. We’re not certain when the ceremony will occur—but you’ll be the first to know!
I am not sure there has been an official announcement about this, but Hippocampus Press has decided to publish a biannual journal devoted to weird poetry, entitled Spectral Realms. I have already notified the poets of my acquaintance about the project, and have received splendid contributions by Richard L. Tierney, Ann K. Schwader, Wade German, Michael Fantina, Leigh Blackmore, Phillip A. Ellis, and perhaps others. The journal will also include select reprints of obscure “classic” weird verse, reviews and articles on the subject, and perhaps other matter. We hope to have the first issue ready by July. So if any weird poets out there wish to contribute, by all means send me your work!
Readers will be interested to know that I have been working on preparing two highly provocative books for publication. One is The Dulwich Horror and Others, a story collection by David Hambling. Hambling, a British journalist who writes for the Guardian and the Economist, sent me some stories some time ago, and I at once pronounced them some of the most dynamic and imaginative Lovecraftian tales I had read in years. Based largely on my recommendation, Pete Crowther of PS Publishing instantly accepted the 125,000-word collection, and I have now meticulously gone over it. I suggested the title—a play, of course, on the Arkham House Dunwich Horror and Others (1963), which I revised in 1984. I am not sure when the book will appear, but it may come out as soon as this year.
The other book is Bobby Derie’s Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos, a serious and very perspicacious study of this subject. Derie, a young British critic, has analysed not only Lovecraft’s life and work for its sexual overtones and implications, but also the work of Lovecraft’s contemporaries (Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, etc.) and successors (August Derleth, Brian McNaughton, W. H. Pugmire, Caitlín R. Kiernan)—and has done so in a way that is as far from sensationalist or exploitative as can be imagined. And yet, it is not a dry and academic treatise, but a lively and informative account of this topic. This book should appear later this year from Hippocampus Press, possibly enlivened with some (tasteful) illustrations relevant to the subject.
My work on the Variorum Lovecraft is virtually complete, and the three-volume edition should be on schedule to appear in the summer from Hippocampus Press. This will, I trust, be the definitive edition of Lovecraft for many years to come, and I hope the publisher can issue it in hardcover, paperback, and ebook.
Work is also concluding on William Hope Hodgson: Voices from the Borderland, a substantial anthology of essays coedited by Massimo Berruti, Sam Gafford, and myself. It contains insightful essays on Hodgson’s life and work by Mark Valentine, Emily Alder (author of a brilliant Ph.D. dissertation on Hodgson), Phillip A. Ellis, Brett Davidson, Brian Stableford, Leigh Blackmore, and several other critics. It concludes with the first comprehensive bibliography of Hodgson, assembled by Sam Gafford, Mike Ashley, and myself. This book should come out later this year from Hippocampus Press.
With this Hodgson bibliography, I will have assembled six author bibliographies: H. P. Lovecraft (1981; revised 2009), Lord Dunsany (1993; revised 2013), Ramsey Campbell (1995; revision in progress), Ambrose Bierce (1999), Gore Vidal (2007), and H. L. Mencken (2009). There is also my bibliography of Arkham House, Sixty Years of Arkham House (1999). Forthcoming are bibliographies of Clark Ashton Smith and Arthur Machen. What a lot of toil these have entailed!
There has not been much movement on my backlog of books, but I have heard that my edition of Lovecraft’s Letters to Elizabeth Toldridge and Anne Tillery Renshaw is at the printer, or perhaps already printed up. I also expect the hardcover of Black Wings III (PS Publishing) any day now, as well as the paperback of Black Wings II (Titan Books).
I am of course writing this the day before the Seattle Seahawks play in their second Super Bowl. I fully expect them to win. Go Hawks!
I’ve decided to write a quick new blog as a means of getting back on my twice-monthly schedule, so here goes. Of greatest importance is that I have submitted Black Wings IV to the publisher (PS Publishing). He promises to get it out by September (the same time that he has promised to issue my edition of Letters to Arkham: The Letters of Ramsey Campbell and August Derleth, 1961–1971), but I actually think it would be better to issue the book in early 2015, so as not to compete with Black Wings III (whose publication is imminent) and other Mythos-related volumes of mine. Here is the lineup of stories in Black Wings IV:
|Half Lost in Shadow||W. H. Pugmire|
|The Rasping Absence||Richard Gavin|
|Black Ships Seen South of Heaven||Caitlín R. Kiernan|
|The Dark Sea Within||Jason V Brock|
|Sealed by the Moon||Gary Fry|
|Broken Sleep||Cody Goodfellow|
|A Prism of Darkness||Darrell Schweitzer|
|Night of the Piper||Ann K. Schwader|
|We Are Made of Stars||Jonathan Thomas|
|Contact||John Pelan and Stephen Mark Rainey|
|Cult of the Dead||Lois H. Gresh|
|Dark Redeemer||Will Murray|
|In the Event of Death||Simon Strantzas|
|The Wall of Asshur-sin||Donald Tyson|
|Fear Lurks Atop Tempest Mount||Charles Lovecraft|
I was particularly pleased to get the long (9000 words) story by Fred Chappell, a wonderful tale of archaeological horror. That last item is a poem—a series of 12 sonnets based on “The Lurking Fear.”
I was happy to receive copies of the Weird Fiction Review No. 4 (“Fall 2013”) yesterday. It is a splendid-looking issue, with a cover that pays homage to Forrest J Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland. The 271-page issue has the usual bountiful array of fiction, articles, and poetry. Its list price is $35.00, but I have a number of copies that I would be happy to dispose of for $25.00 on my usual terms to interested customers.
On that note, I would like to hold a kind of “fire sale” of some of my recent books (or books in which I was involved in one way or the other, if only as a copyeditor), just to get the books out of the house and clear some space on my shelves. So I am prepared to offer the following books at the bargain basement price of $10.00 a copy unless otherwise noted. Better act fast, as in most cases copies are very limited!
I was pleased to read two nice reviews of my novel, The Assaults of Chaos, although as of this writing neither has (to my knowledge) actually appeared in print. But I believe they will soon. One is by Tony Fonseca and will appear in the (delayed) “Fall 2013” issue of Dead Reckonings. The other is by Don Webb and will appear in some future issue of the New York Review of Science Fiction.
A long and wide-ranging interview of me, spanning the spectrum from weird fiction to atheism, conducted by Matthew Marczi has appeared online on a website called Heathen Harvest (http://heathenharvest.org/2014/01/12/gods-of-the-godless-a-discussion-on-h-p-lovecraft-with-s-t-joshi/). This interview was conducted over several months some time ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed answering Marczi’s thought-provoking queries.
That’s it for now. Many more projects in the works, as always, but more on them later!
After a restful and enjoyable visit to my sister Nalini’s house in Carmel Valley, CA, over the holidays (Dec. 24–27), I have resumed my customarily hectic round of work. I have virtually completed work on the Variorum Lovecraft, which is now scheduled for appearance in 3 volumes from Hippocampus Press this summer—presumably around the time of HPL’s 124th birthday on August 20. I believe it will be a revelation to many readers.
I have also submitted final corrections to the proofs of Searchers After Horror, my anthology of original weird stories from Fedogan & Bremer. I have still not been informed as to the exact release date of this book, but I am hoping that the publisher can issue it by the time of the World Horror Convention in Portland, OR (May 8–11), where I and several other contributors will be in attendance.
I, along with Sam Gafford, have also taken over the editing of the critical anthology William Hope Hodgson: Voices from the Borderland, which Massimo Berruti has been editing for years. Massimo has had various personal and professional difficulties, but he did pass on as many as ten original essays he had commissioned for the book. I have now augmented this material with several additional essays (including four taken from the first issue of Sam Gafford’s journal Sargasso), some older pieces (including those by Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, and August Derleth), and the bibliography of Hodgson that Sam, Mike Ashley, and I have been compiling. The book is now virtually ready and should be a hefty 320 pages or thereabouts.
I expect to complete my bibliography, 200 Books by S. T. Joshi, in the next few weeks, after a flurry of as many as eight of my books appear:
My edition of the stories of Carl Jacobi (edited with John Pelan) is apparently also imminent from Centipede Press, although I am not certain of the exact publication date. My 200 Books, aside from including a complete bibliography of my writings, will also include one of my earliest tales, “Murder” (1973)—although it now appears that I wrote two stories in 1972, which were published in a school publication called The Cosmic Meld of which I have no copies—along with an essay I wrote in 1975, “The Writing of Mystery and Horror Writers of the Twentieth Century,” recounting my first volume of literary criticism. Amusingly enough, this stillborn book—which at one time reached 250 manuscript pages—was the ultimate origin of my Unutterable Horror (2012) and perhaps even of the book on detective stories that I am writing at this moment.
I have received some exciting proposals for books on my Studies in Supernatural Literature series. Justin Everett and Jeffrey Shanks have submitted a proposal for a volume of original essays on the magazine Weird Tales, while Tony Fonseca and June Pulliam (the current editors of Dead Reckonings) have sent in a splendid proposal for a monograph on Richard Matheson. If accepted, both books will be completed in early 2015 and will appear later that year.
I am on the verge of submitting my anthology Black Wings IV to PS Publishing, as soon as one fugitive contribution comes in. When it does so, I shall list the contents here. There is a great deal of splendid material here, by the usual suspects.
On a personal note, I am saddened by the absence of our cat Paolo since the evening of December 26. We have no idea what has happened to him, and we have searched the neighbourhood on many occasions to look for him, to say nothing of putting up fliers, advertising on lost-cat websites, etc. There will be a hole in my heart if that furry little creature is never found.