Two wildly different reviews in this week for Scott R Jones’ When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality. The first can only be described as “glowing”, the kind of glowing that might require the reader to don a lead apron, actually, and that makes it our favourite, for obvious reasons. The second has a lot to say about the book, and much of it in the category of complaints about what the book is not. Now, Nick Mamatas (a fellow who we trust) claims that no one actually reads these reviews, and he’s very likely correct in that. But the dynamic tension between these statements from readers of WTSAR has got us thinking. Some excerpts…
the Glowing review
“There’s no denying the potency of Jones’ profound examination of R’lyehian thought. This book is a beautifully weird Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen trinity paradox, where the author prods the primordial swamp of R’lyehian existence which invokes ripples across the mindscape, thus throwing interpretations of locality and reality askew. A literary Eliphas Levi, he weaves astral light into words with such honed wit, such wisdom, such a deep passion the title of literary mage is clichéd but appropriate…”
(full review here)
the Whiny review
“… the whole books reads like a lot of random journal entries from one guy who took a LOT of psychedelic drugs, had some tentacle dreams, and then decided that collecting his own writings about his personal experiences and how you are supposed to act once you have already begun to foster the Black Gnosis equates to writing a how-to on actually getting there yourself from scratch…”
(full review here)
Have you read When The Stars Are Right? If so, what’s your opinion: is Jones a trailblazing Lovecraftian mystic? or a damp, trippy hippy with pseudopods on the brain? Does WTSAR trust in the reader to find their own way into the R’lyehian mysteries? or should it hold the seeker’s hand more, explicitly pointing to the Black Gnosis? Let us know in the comments, or better yet, write a review of your own and let us know where you post it.
And speaking of polarizing books, we here at MMP HQ are extremely pleased to hear of the imminent release of Bobby Derie’s new book, Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos, coming out later this month from the esteemed Hippocampus Press. Mr Derie has been a friend of the show for a while now, and we’ve been fortunate to watch the process of the writing of what is sure to be a groundbreaker of a book that will ruffle a few skirts and spark lively debate. Mr Derie’s research skills are frighteningly impressive: many times we’ve been on the receiving end of some casually dropped piece of Lovecraftiana scholarship that has blown our minds (and we don’t mean Upworthy-style, either!) and reformatted our perceptions of Lovecraft the Man, the Product, and the Mythos. Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos (with a snazzy Gahan Wilson cover, no less!) is available now for pre-order: we very strongly urge MMP readers to pick up their copy today, because this one? This one will be on more than a few lips upon its arrival, and if you’re at all interested in the seamy overlap between the perceived prudishness of classic Lovecraftiana and the boiling sexuality that froths between the actual lines of HPLs fiction, you’ll want in on the discussion. Order direct from Hippocampus Press here
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache
UPDATE: SOLD OUT! Thanks for reading!
Folks, the thing is done: we are 1 copy away from being SOLD OUT of the original print run of When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality, the groundbreaking work of Lovecraftian mysticism and life-enhancement by Scott R Jones. Once this last copy is purchased and mailed away from MMP HQ, only electronic versions of the book will be available, at least until we make arrangements for a second printing (which should be soon, by Halloween 2014 at the latest)… but that’s an entire summer season away, people! Do you really want to wait that long to start #KeepingItRlyeh? Nope.
So, we’re loading up this final copy with extra goodies from MMP: purchase your copy of WTSAR (autographed by Jones) and you’ll also receive a very rare copy of R’LYEH SUTRA and two MMP ebooks of your choice at no extra charge. The Sutra has been out-of-print since 2011, and there were only 50 copies made at the time: this copy is from our special reserve of 4.
Here’s how to pick up this blow-out pack of weird goodness (we’ve made it simple): order WTSAR from its page HERE (through Paypal) and we’ll work out all the details from there through email.
Our thanks go out to everyone who bought When The Stars Are Right, all those who reviewed it, and the many individuals who have embraced the #KeepingItRlyeh philosophy!
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache
(the following is an excerpt from the chapter ‘The Unbearable Strangeness of Being: Sex and the R’lyehian’ which may be found in When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality by Scott R Jones. There are only 2 PRINT COPIES of this provocative title left to order, though the ebook version is always available. Details on how to obtain your copy may be found here… )
Sex is weird. Let’s be honest here: when you get right down into the squelchy, heaving, multi-limbed mass of the thing, sex is very weird indeed. Sex is weird, because just being is weird. The fact that we are conscious entities parading around in flesh, flesh that occasionally comes together to please itself and, when conditions are right, produce more flesh for other conscious entities to parade around in? Completely weird.
Most of the time, we simply don’t notice how odd this is, how utterly strange our existence as a species on this planet has become. We are long past the simple days of our animal bruting-about, and each moment we are engaging more and more with the thing that we are to become. For now, we are strange, soft, pulpy creatures moving about the surface of this rock in our cloths and armours, cloaked in ideas and studded over with glowing memes, parasitical hoardings of belief and faith, ignorance and obsession. Can we truly claim that our behaviours, our proclivities and preferences, are even our own? Our society itself, an epiphenomenal entity sprouting from the fevered bios of its fleshy host if ever there was one, has its own obsessions. In regards to sex, society’s primary obsession is with normative behaviour, and this is a symptom of that not-noticing, that willful ignorance of the outré nature of the human experiment. Of the life experiment.
Sex sells and is sold. Ecstasy and anxiety are its products. It cages even as it frees. Look to the multitude of labels given to gender expression, sexual preference, and lifestyle choice: we are given to understand that the current LGBQT-MNOP alphabet soup of possible roles and modes of sexual being is a progressive movement, a real step forward. And yet this proliferation of labels, each with their staunch and strident defenders and detractors, has contributed little towards any reasonable increase in sexual freedom, and resulted in no real decrease in the level of sexual anxiety in our increasingly fractured society. Labels are for the marketplace, and the marketplace is primarily concerned with cost, supply, demand, brand loyalty, and the act of consuming. Each brand merely serves to define what it is not: by their very existence they shore up and validate the sexualities they set themselves against, reinforcing the standardized behaviours of every other brand. Sexual ghettos are the result, cages in which individuals imagine themselves free.
The R’lyehian, then, sees through this commodification of our sexual nature, to the inherent Being-Strangeness at the core of our existence, and the attendant weird-tantra of the sexual act as an expression of that strangeness. Labels and gender roles flow from the R’lyehian’s skin like water: though they may enjoy and even prefer a primary sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bi-, queer, and yes, even asexual[i]), they are not fixed there, pinned to the board like a common moth to be gawked at and then forgotten. The R’lyehian way is, again, one of camouflage and stealth, and so, as far as sex is concerned, the R’lyehian is, at her core, an omni-sexual being.
[i] In truth, ones preference here is an entirely surface presentation, as much a stealth cloak as the so-called personality: all modes of sexual expression are open to the R’lyehian and can and should be accessed at any time, should the situation call for it. That being said, the R’lyehian is not “in the closet”, so to speak, or, if they are, that closet is effectively infinite, and the multitude of personalities, ideations, and modes of sexual gratification within it are similarly endless. The R’lyehian is a thousand white-hot compartments. He makes no judgments regarding the modes of being within himself (the very definition of a Sisyphean task!) and extends that openness outwards to others as well. If there is a criteria of judgment at all vis a vis R’lyehian omni-sexual practice, it comes down to one thing: the bare wiring of the nervous system. To wit: all beings, if they are wired up at all, move towards pleasure and away from pain (a basic polymorphic approach), and the means by which this pleasure is attained is inconsequential, merely epiphenomenal. As far as the R’lyehian is concerned, sex is whatever turns you on, and this literally so. The wires must fire.