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1  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: Stupid Lovecraft characters on: August 19, 2015, 01:58:23 PM
Or even better, invest in a few camera flashbulbs.  When the horrible thing with the three-lobed eye shows up outside the window, you tell it to say 'cheese', and blast it back to hyperspace.

Haha, yes, excellent suggestion.
2  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: Stupid Lovecraft characters on: May 18, 2015, 05:09:54 PM
OK, this is *just* the thread I was looking for. So I was bored the other day and re-read 'The Haunter of the Dark', because for sheer creepiness it's one of my favourites, I think, and it struck me: if the titular entity is "repelled by weak light and banished by strong light", why the hell does Robert Blake allow himself to be made so vulnerable by power outages? If you were him, wouldn't you spend every penny you had on hurricane lamps, oil and matches? The power goes out, oh well, light a lamp - or a few lamps, for good measure - and wait for the power to come back on again. Easy peasy. What an idiot.
3  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Strange Happenings on: March 14, 2015, 07:31:34 PM
Great idea for a thread! Reminds me of this:

The Carancas impact event refers to the fall of the Carancas chondritic meteorite on September 15, 2007, near the village of Carancas in Peru, close to the Bolivian border and Lake Titicaca. The impact created a crater and scorched earth around its location. A local official, Marco Limache, said that “boiling water started coming out of the crater, and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby”, as “fetid, noxious” gases spewed from the crater. Surface impact occurred above 3,800 m (12,467 ft).

After the impact, villagers who had approached the impact site grew sick from a then-unexplained illness, with a wide array of symptoms. Two days later, Peruvian scientists confirmed that there had indeed been a meteorite strike, quieting widespread speculation that it may have been a geophysical rather than a celestial event. At that point, no further information on the cause of the mystery illness was known.

“Nothin’ . . . nothin’ . . . the colour . . . it burns . . . cold an’ wet . . . but it burns . . . it lived in the well . . . I seen it . . . "
4  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Happy Halloween! Let's get dressed. on: November 20, 2014, 10:03:01 AM
Thanks! We just used a sharp pocket knife - I think she may also have used the end of a teaspoon handle for her tentacles.

Ahem, *for the tentacles in her Cthulhu design*, I mean.

Edit: she tells me it was the cap from a ballpoint pen - even more impressive!
5  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Happy Halloween! Let's get dressed. on: October 31, 2014, 07:19:19 PM
OK, so it's not costume-related, but my girlfriend and I made Jack-o-lanterns for the first time ever.

She did Cthulhu, which I thought was pretty good, so not to be outdone I had a go at The King In Yellow on the reverse. Should have got two pumpkins, really.

6  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: The 'racist Lovecraft' thread on: October 23, 2014, 10:03:52 AM
Hey hey, reopening an old thread...

I haven't read any of Howard's letters (or HPL's, for that matter), in fact I know very little of Howard other than that he was a friend and correspondent of HPL's and killed himself at a tragically young age. However, from what I've read of the Conan stories, they are undeniably redolent of the racial preoccupations of a white man growing up in Texas in the early 20th century.

Interestingly, it's not as straightforward as HPL's instinctive superiority towards (and fear of) anyone who wasn't of WASP ancestry, as Howard was of Irish extraction himself, and this was at a time when white WASP Americans widely regarded the Irish as being somewhere in between blacks and 'proper' white people, so he could well have faced a certain amount of xenophobic prejudice himself (although nothing like the outright racism faced by black people, of course).
7  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: What Danforth Saw; or, the unspoken Lovecraft on: October 21, 2014, 11:42:03 AM
Wouldn't a Shoggoth infected by the Colour just become grey and brittle and finally turn to dust? They're crazy creatures but they're still terrestrial like us.

Weeeell, maybe. You say "terrestrial" - I guess they must be made of earthly matter but remember they were created from scratch by the Elder Things, so they're pretty damn alien really. (OTOH, it's hinted that perhaps *all* life on Earth came about by that very means, so perhaps it's moot.)

Still, remember that before everything turned grey and brittle and eventually fell apart on poor Nahum's farm, there was that phase when the plants and animals (though not the humans) grew larger than they should and took on unusual colours and shapes? Could some vast "proto-shoggoth" have got stuck in that stage, perhaps permanently? Or maybe it would affect a shoggoth in completely different ways?

Having said all that, I like your idea:

My vague guess is that it is some sort of phenomena, like a dimensional gate that is bleeding weirdness into the our world, possibly it is a bit of Yog-Sothoth himself, maybe his pinky poking through reality, similar to what Erik Zann was keeping at bay or what was seen in From Beyond

as well. "The Elder Pharos" is a particularly evocative phrase - and IIRC it occurs in Fungi From Yuggoth, too? Like a vast beacon shining an eldritch light up into the cosmos - or alternatively a beam coming in the opposite direction, down into the Earth - although the former image resonates again with The Colour.

Something else that occurred to me and could be seen to back up your hypothesis is the phrase "Kadath in the cold waste hath known them..." in the Necronomicon passage quoted in 'The Dunwich Horror'. I'd always assumed 'Kadath' was either Antarctica generally or the plateau where the Elder Things' city was situated, and that the Old Ones mentioned in 'Dunwich' were later retconned into the decidedly more physical Elder Things in 'ATMoM'. But wouldn't it make more sense for the Old Ones to remain Yog-Sothoth and Its ilk - intangible cosmic intelligences - rather than beings that, however alien, are nonetheless made of the same familiar particles we're made from?

In that case, Kadath is the vast mountain range beyond the Elder Things' city, and the Old Ones' presence is strongly felt there as it's one of those spots "where [they] broke through of old" and, evidently, still do. In fact the idea of some sort of dimensional portal would provide a neat link between the Kadath of our world and the Dreamlands Kadath - which I think is meant to be in the northern part of the Dreamlands world rather than at the south pole, but we're talking about a metaphysical rather than geographical correspondence anyway, so I don't think that's a big problem.

Nice idea and thanks for replying to my thread!
8  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: Episodes 77 - 83 ~ At the Mountains of Madness on: September 04, 2014, 11:08:14 AM
OK, so it's not Antarctica but Australia, so close enough...

A catch of tiny creatures from the sea off the Australian coast in 1986, preserved in formaldehyde and recently re-analysed, have been shown to lie outside any known animal phylum. (In case you were you wondering, phylum is the level of taxonomic description immediately below kingdom). Which is to say, they are *totally* unlike any other known living thing.

Some scientists have speculatively pointed out their resemblance to creatures of the ediacaran group, which thrived during the Precambrian era and is thought to have died out around 500 million years ago.

Pretty cool, and I thought resonated quite well with some of the themes in ATMoM. Also, they get extra Lovecraft points for being mushroom-shaped.
9  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: Lovecraftian music, re-animated on: September 03, 2014, 02:47:15 PM
Another tune I made - see what you think:

10  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / What Danforth Saw; or, the unspoken Lovecraft on: August 20, 2014, 07:54:06 AM
I've intended for some time to start a thread about this topic, and I'd be interested to see what all you guys think of it.

The premise is that one of the most common tropes or devices in Lovecraft's writing - to the point of it becoming a well-known cliché - is to describe things as "indescribable", or in some other way to say that something happened or seemed to happen that was so awful that the narrator finds himself either unable to attempt to describe it because he lacks the nerve, or because established human language simply lacks the terminology to describe phenomena so alien to ordinary experience.

So I'd like to tackle some of the most well-known examples from HPL's writing, and to try to get some idea of what it was that actually existed or happened in the story. Perhaps the most tantalising example, for me, is the glimpse caught by poor Danforth as he looked back to the Elder Things' Antarctic city as he and the narrator made their aerial escape in At The Mountains Of Madness. So what did he actually see, do you think? I flicked through a graphic novel adaptation of this story that seemed to imply (by a reflection in Danforth's glasses, rather neatly) that it's the city being utterly overrun by countless shoggoths, or perhaps even a single super-shoggoth. Which is cool, but it doesn't introduce anything new that wasn't already explicitly described in the story. Further, it doesn't make any connection to the still vaster mountain range on the edge of the city's plateau that even the Elder Things feared. I think a clue might be found in the garbled stream of words that pour out of Danforth after he catches that fateful glimpse; and I think the key one is "the colour out of space". As far as I can tell, this is the only explicit connection between TCooS as a story and any other part of the Mythos, which is cool in itself. But the way I interpret it is that some kind of entity that could regarded as the great-granddaddy of 'The Colour' had landed in that distant mountain range and perhaps been gestating and even spreading ever since - assuming it found something to feed on, of course. Couldn't that explain the horror and awe with which even the mighty Elder Things held that region beyond their city?

[And can you imagine what might have resulted from The Colour infecting/possessing a shoggoth? Or even a whole bunch of shoggoths?  Shocked]

The other thing I wonder about is the sound made my Old Squidface's head as it was split by Johansen reversing the ship into it. The narrator says "the chronicler could not put [it] on paper", but I reckon it made a sound a bit like


11  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: PREMIUM: Episode 123 - "The Yellow Sign" on: August 15, 2014, 12:04:56 PM
OK, so who else reckons the weird spiral symbol in True Detective is the Yellow Sign? OK, so it's not actually yellow, but it certainly fits in with the Carcosa theme.

Spirals have practically a whole sub-mythos to themselves, thanks to this disturbed genius:

There is no true Yellow Sign, as Chambers had never described what the Yellow Sign was or looked like. So in the True Detective tv-series, that was the Yellow Sign in that story.

Well yeah, I didn't mean the "correct" or "true" Yellow Sign of course! Just that, perhaps in the writers' minds, they included it as a reference to or analogue of the Yellow Sign in the KiY stories.
12  Mythos Matters / Cthulhu Entertainment & Gaming / Re: Lovecraftian music, re-animated on: July 11, 2014, 05:59:30 PM
This isn't explicitly Lovecraftian, but I think it's cosmic and uncanny enough to fit in here: a tune I made featuring Weddell seals (hey, the Antarctic is pretty 'crafty, right?) -
13  General Category / Episode Discussion / Re: PREMIUM: Episode 123 - "The Yellow Sign" on: June 14, 2014, 10:40:00 AM
OK, so who else reckons the weird spiral symbol in True Detective is the Yellow Sign? OK, so it's not actually yellow, but it certainly fits in with the Carcosa theme.

Spirals have practically a whole sub-mythos to themselves, thanks to this disturbed genius:
14  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: Lovecraft and Mythos in Pop Culture on: May 25, 2014, 05:44:52 AM
Holy crap! I just finished watching True Detective (which I thought was excellent) and was looking up the 'Other Appearances' section in the Wiki article for TKiY. At the bottom is this:

Carcosa Seri Negara, a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was built as the residence of Sir Frank Swettenham, the first British Resident-General of the Federated Malay States, in 1896-1897. He named it after the city in The King in Yellow.

Looks like a pretty nice place to stay, actually. I have GOT to spend at least a night there in the event that I ever find myself in Kuala Lumpur!
15  Mythos Matters / Lovecraft Literary Talk / Re: The best and worst of the Cthulhu Mythos on: May 22, 2014, 03:44:53 PM
I think the only non-HPL mythos stuff I've read is the recent Shadows over Baker Street anthology of - yes, you guessed it - Holmes/Cthulhu crossover short stories. Pretty nerdy but most of them were quite good fun. The first story, Neil Gaiman's 'A Study in Emerald', is a sort of retelling or take-off of the similarly-title Holmes story set in Victorian Britain in an alternative history in which the Great Old Ones came to Earth a thousand or so years previously and installed themselves as humanity's rulers. It rather neatly inverts the characterization of the original stories by BEGIN SPOILER casting Holmes and Watson as the villains  - 'terrorists' hell-bent on destroying the monstrous monarch - sought by the hero and his narrator-sidekick, who (it is implied) are none other than Moriarty and Colonel Moran. END SPOILER

There were some other good stories too; I'll see if I can dig up my copy and write more about them. Also a couple of real stinkers, unfortunately, including a very silly story inspired by the poem 'Tyger, Tyger' about a demonic tiger that was literally made of fire. Um, yeah.
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