December Belongs To Cthulhu

A Cthulhu Christmas, some gift suggestions—part one

Despite the fact that he’s been dead for over seventy years, and his prose considered purple and overwrought by many, H.P. Lovecraft’s work is still widely read, and has remained influential for generations. Evidence of this is in the 2005 publication of H. P. Lovecraft: Tales by Library of America, that bastion of literary respectability. The 850 page volume includes twenty-two works of fiction selected by Peter Straub. The stories use Lovecraft expert S. T. Joshi’s definitive texts. Included in the appendix is a chronology of Lovecraft’s life productivity and notes. The book is a lovely little hardcover with a ribbon bookmark, making it the perfect gift for oneself or one’s loved ones. (so inclined).

Another gift for the aficionado, which is pricey but gorgeous, is A Lovecraft Retrospective: Artists Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft from Centipede Press. The extraordinarily heavy volume was published in 2008 and is a massive, beautifully rendered undertaking with a preface by Stuart Gordon, introduction by Harlan Ellison, and afterword by Thomas Ligotti. The book is divided into three sections covering: the early art, created in the 1920s to 1950s and including such artists as Hannes Bok, Virgil Finlay, and Lee Brown Coye; the middle art, created in the 1960s and 1970s including Bernie Wrightson, Harry O. Morris, Stephen Fabian, H. R. Giger; and modern art, including J. K. Potter, John Jude Palencar, Ian Miller, Les Edwards, Bob Eggleton. In all, there are at least eighty-five artists represented, and text by Stefan Dziemianowicz introducing the three sections and some of the artists (except for the entry on H. R. Giger, written by Harlan Ellison). In the back is a section of thumbnails of each piece of art found inside the book, and mini-biographies of each artist. The book is two feet high, with full page illustrations in color and in black and white.

And finally, here are two editions of Lovecraft’s infamous fictional grimoire, which figures in many of his stories and novels: Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred by Donald Tyson from Llewellyn Books and The Necronomicon by Simon from Avon. Lovecraft always admitted to its imaginary nature and even wrote pseudo-history of the book in 1927, that was published in 1938, after his death.

Ellen Datlow is currently tied (with frequent co-editor Terri Windling) as the winner of the most World Fantasy Awards in the organization’s history (nine). She has also won, with co-editor Windling, a Bram Stoker Award for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #13, and with co-editors Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, a Bram Stoker Award for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #17. She has also won the International Horror Guild Award for her anthologies The Dark and Inferno; the Shirley Jackson Award for Inferno; the Locus Award for Best Editor in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and the Hugo Award for Best Editor in 2002, 2005, and Best Editor Short Fiction in 2008. In addition, SCIFICTION won the Hugo Award for best Web site in 2005 as well as the Wooden Rocket award as best online magazine for 2005. Ellen was named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre.”


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