I couldn’t tell you what I was expecting from Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos, because I honestly did not know at the time I opened the book. I mean, ever since my first teenage daydreams in which I imagined myself as Lavinia Whately waiting up there on the mountaintop for her extra-dimensional paramour/sire, I’ve known (in that way that a girl always knows what’s a turn-on and what’s not) that the fiction of Lovecraft had some pretty deep currents of sexuality running through it. You’d have to have industrial-strength blinkers welded to your temples to not see it… though I’ve since learned that those devices must come as part of the standard issues HPL Fan Kit, if sales of our own NECRONOMICUM magazine are anything to go by.
And I guess it was those blinkers that I expected to be part of the package with this book. (Okay, I did expect something, I guess.) I expected that it would read as a dry, scholarly, “yes, but actually…” sort of half-examination of Lovecraft’s use of sexuality in his work, maybe somewhat like the limp-wristed wave-it-away analysis of his (and let’s just face it already!) crazy-virulent racism.
Well! I am very happy to report that this is not the case! Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos goes deep, and then deeper still. No dirty stone is left unturned. The level of Mr Derie’s research here is, charitably, exhaustive. So exhaustive, in fact, that even I (a mere toiler in the smut vineyards myself, though with a special focus on the niche of Lovecraftian weird-erotica) was pleased to learn of new authors to read, new books and magazines to check out. I’m overjoyed to know how strange this niche is, and that I’m not alone in pulling what I do from Howie’s miscegenating Mythos!
Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos is broken up into four sections. The first examines Howard himself: his sexual life as revealed in his personal writings and correspondences with members of his writer’s circle and the women in his life, including Sonia Greene, who he was married to briefly. Is this part juicy? Not really… but! it reveals that HPL was not necessarily the prim asexual being that his fan club would like to have us believe. Sure, the old boy was a late bloomer, but given time and experience (and had he not died so young, of course) we would have possibly seen a much enlightened person in matters sexual (and otherwise) in his later years. I’ve never been all that into reading about Lovecraft the Man, but this was an enjoyable trip into his letters and life.
The second part of the book deals next with the works themselves with an early focus on the obvious choices (like Dunwich Horror and Shadow Over Innsmouth) before having some interesting fun with more the more obscure stuff. Just as a for-instance: I’d not twigged to the homosexual implications of the relationship between Edward and his wife Asenath in The Thing on the Doorstep but Derie has, namely, that’s not really Asenath at all. It’s her dad, possessing her body! Probably there was no Asenath at all, which brings up all kinds of weird stuff dealing with gender and presentation and so on. Very cool (not to say Freudian!), and there’s a lot of this kind of in-depth insight into the stories here, which I really appreciate. After reading this, I feel like I should carry the book around with me, to open up and shove under the eyes of tut-tutting doubters when I encounter them. “See?!” I’ll say. “Sure, sometimes a tentacle is just a tentacle, but come on.”
Third part examines how the sexuality of the Mythos has been interpreted and exploded and remixed over the decades by other writers. Easily, this is my favourite section, with examinations of Ramsey Campbell (the Master!), McNaughton and Pugmire and Caitlin Kiernan (I love her stuff!) and names I hadn’t heard of but will now seek out, like Stanley Sargent and Edward Lee. Really, if you’ve been trawling through the bookstores despairing of finding decent horror/weird erotic work, this is your guidebook, right here. It could easily be marketed as Best Weird Erotica of the 20th Century (a book I hope Derie decided to write or edit at some point)!
(I should mention that my own Blackstone Erotica series gets a thumbs-up in the chapter on the recent surge of Lovecraftian erotica that’s been made possible by the rise of the electronic book. I could brag here and say that obviously Mr Derie has good taste, but honestly, I’m just too humbled to be mentioned in the same pages as some of my own idols to go that far. It’s a thrill, and certainly won’t help put me off my delusional goals of writing stardom!)
Derie uses the ebook revolution to tip the book into the fourth and final section, in which he delves into the truly seedy underbellies of the wider pop culture to examine some strange artifacts: the films, the comic books (again, I had no idea so much material had been, and continues to be, produced in this niche), the marital aids (yup!) and so on. The beautiful thing about this chapter, and indeed everything before it, is that Derie’s tone is never nudge-nudge-wink-wink… it’s a serious examination, and though not without a certain humour, it never devolves into snickering. I think that’s important, and I’m glad he went that route with his presentation.
Sex and sexuality in the Mythos is a deep and rich vein that continues to be mined for dark treasures, and if you’re at all disposed to digging for gems, or maybe crafting a few of your own from the raw materials, then this book needs to be on your shelf, ladies and ghouls!
We don’t like to make a big deal of these things, but yes. Yes, we’re three years old. If we could pinpoint the actual birthday of something as nebulous as a micro-press, than by Daoloth we would. But we can’t. We just know (addled as we are by weird smut and gonzo horror and, oh, cosmic rays, probably) that we had our start around this time of the year. Hence, our annual anthology release (this year it’s RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond — say, whaddaya waiting for? Click the link! Go get it!) and of course, a quaking raft of ridiculous discounts on ebooks through the Great Satan, Amazon! So, without further delay, here’s what you, the intrepid Migraineer, can get from us in our insane state of being, and when!
First up… Justine Geoffrey’s collected Blackstone Erotica series: PRIESTESS
Reduced from it’s regular 5.99 to 1.99 from Thursday the 12th to Friday the 13th
This is pure Cthulhu Mythos-inspired smut with shout-outs to Robert E Howard and other great Weird Fictioneers! This collection received glowing praise this year from Bobby Derie in his seminal examination of All Things Lusty and Lovecraftian, Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos. If for some bizarre reason you haven’t checked out Blackstone, here’s your best chance for a while. Click the cover or title to go straight to Amazon for purchase!
SOFT FROM ALL THE BLOOD
0.99 from Saturday the 14th to Sunday the 15th
The debut collection from Scott R Jones, editor of RESONATOR and author of When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality. Seven tales of surreal terror “… to engage you, upset you, unsettle you. Cage-rattling horror … crawls under your skin, and lays eggs.” Who doesn’t like eggs laid under the skin by a good book!? No, seriously. Who doesn’t enjoy that. Click the cover or title to go straight to Amazon for purchase!
FREE POETRY SPECIALS!
skawt chonzz’s R’LYEH SUTRA and the thoroughly trippy ANTHROPOCALYPSE NOW! by West Coast weirdo wunderkinder, 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac
FREE from Monday the 16th to Tuesday the 17th. So much could be said here, but these ebooks are FREE so we’ll let them speak for themselves! Click on the covers or titles to go straight to Amazon for purchase!
Justine Geoffrey’s gonzo sci-fi sextravaganza
ORGY IN THE VALLEY OF THE LUST LARVAE
Reduced from it’s regular 3.99 to 0.99
from Wednesday the 18th to Thursday the 19th
“Low-brow, squelching fun. You don’t grab a book like this on literary merit, you dive headfirst into unapologetic escapism. It is unrepentant camp without resorting to self-satire (which shows admirable restraint). There’s a lot informing this – Lovecraftian subtext and J-Pop tentacle hentai, even French New Wave surrealism a la Moebius and the Métal Hurlant crowd, Laloux’s La Planète sauvage – Like Ray Bradbury Theater rerun gone horribly, horribly wrong. It is a fever-dream of adolescent-imprinting and sexual development during the era of underground VHS cult. Deviant, imaginative, grotesque and what-the-hell-else-were-you-expecting-exactly-with-this-title. The name promises, the text delivers.” Click the cover or title to go straight to Amazon for purchase!
WHEN THE STARS ARE RIGHT: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality
1.99 from Friday the 20th to Saturday the 21st.
What can be said about our most controversial title of 2014? Leeman Kessler of Ask Lovecraft called it a crime scene. Laird Barron stated that author Scott R Jones gives Thomas Ligotti a run for his money in the Cosmic Horror Philosophy arms race. And S. T. Joshi hisself was seen to squirm uncomfortably when the book was mentioned during a convention panel he was sitting on. Yes, it’s that good. Are you #KeepingItRlyeh? A #Cthulhusattva without even knowing it?! Only one way to find out! Click the cover or title to go straight to Amazon for purchase!
And we’ll bring our discount bacchanal to a fitting close with last years popular anthology… CONQUEROR WOMB: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath!
1.99 from Sunday the 22nd to Sunday the 23rd.
This is the Adults Only Lovecraftian Erotica Anthology you deserve! 18 pulpy tales of fertility and fear, hot sex and chilling sacrifice! Stories that squelch, tales that both titillate and terrify, from some of the best writers working in Lovecraftian horror and mind-bending erotica today: Wilum H. Pugmire, Molly Tanzer, Don Webb, Christine Morgan, Kenton Hall, Brian M. Sammons, Jacqueline Sweet, Copper Sloane Levy, Annabeth Leong, and Christopher Slatsky, along with fresh new voices. It’s SPRING, goddamnit! Time for all you Dark Young to get it on in the Grove with Shubby! Click the cover or title to go straight to Amazon for purchase!
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache … for Three Years Running!
Here’s to Three More Years. And Three after that. 333… that’s the Number of Choronzon, right? Sure, why not. That’s reasonable…
Editors Justine Geoffrey and Scott R Jones, along with everyone else at MMP HQ, are very pleased to announce the authors who’ll be gracing the pages of the premiere issue of NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica! But before we get to those names, we’d like to also present the amazing cover art we’ve commissioned from Vancouver-based artist and illustrator Michael “Alchemichael” Lee Macdonald!
Our intention with NECRONOMICUM is to showcase transgressive weird-erotic stories that go beyond the usual expectations, stories that aren’t simply “monster sex” or be-tentacled parodies of erotica. We want the magazine to push the boundaries of weird-erotica while still honouring the traditions that have built this very specific genre, and to do it all with a certain class. If you think you’ve seen enough hentai to know where we’re going, we’d like to ask you to think again. We also wanted to pay homage to the mythical book of Cthulhu Mythos magic and madness that the magazine’s name puns on. So: sex, horror, and contact with divine (if unholy) beings… the ecstasy of encountering the wholly Other… how to pull that off, and do it in a classy way?
Enter Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his The Ecstasy of St Teresa…
Thanks, you naughty Christians saints, you! It’s that kind of transcendent confrontation with another realm of Being that we want to highlight in NECRONOMICUM (with the occasional break for funny bits!) and so we turned to Macdonald (who provided the interior illustrations for Jones’ When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality earlier this year) and asked him if he could, y’know, give Teresa of Avila a splendidly squamous dose of Lovecraft.
As it turns out, he could. Boy, could he ever.
Sure, sure… the angel and the arrow are gone. But do you really miss them? Nah!
And now, below, the pretty-much-final cover for NECRONOMICUM #1! You’ll notice we have some authors listed here, and we’re very proud to see their names on this fantastic piece of art and design. The magazine will have stories by Christine Morgan, Sean Hoade (with the funny bit mentioned above!), Jessica McHugh, Konstantine Paradias, and the legendary Ramsey Campbell! There will also be steamy poetry selections from Portland’s own Pattie Palmer-Baker and Richard King Perkins II, as well as an illuminating short essay by Bobby Derie (author of Sex & the Cthulhu Mythos) on our literary-smut mag predecessor, the short-lived but memorable CthulhuSex magazine. And of course, a brief letter of introduction from our editrix Justine Geoffrey.
NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica Issue #1 will be online and available for pre-order purchase as an e-magazine (in multiple formats) from the MMP Bookstore and Amazon by the first week of October, and officially drops THURSDAY OCTOBER 23, just in time for Halloween. The magazine will be released electronically three times a year, with a planned best-of collection each autumn. We hope you’ll join us for the ride!