SPRING! And a young entities fancy turns to eldritch couplings beneath a black monolith, doncha know!
Now, in case you haven’t guessed already, we here at Martian Migraine Press are, largely, a pack of feral perverts, which is to say: WE UNDERSTAND YOU. We know the days and nights leading up to May Eve hold a certain special frisson for the initiate and un-initiate alike. And we also know that this season calls for particular needs to be met, else the Avatar of Nyarlathotep look askance at you during the penultimate rites. And Migraineers, we don’t want to leave you in the lurch! We want the Black Man to smile upon y’all!
SO! To that end, we present our May Eve Electronic Book Special! From today through to May 1 2015, a veritable blow-out of the Strange and Sensual, and a swell(ing) Contest besides! Yes, for only TEN CANADIAN DOLLARS, you can purchase our Walpurgis Pack of Weird Erotica. The package includes the following ebooks (in your preferred ereader format): PRIESTESS: The Collected Blackstone Erotica (Volume 1) and Orgy in the Valley of the Lust Larvae by Justine Geoffrey; our 2013 anthology CONQUEROR WOMB: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath, and the first and second issues of our magazine of weird erotica, NECRONOMICUM! That’s FIVE TITLES and a few HUNDRED THOUSAND words of utterly original smut and mind-melting horror! Over $20 worth of fiction for only 9.99CDN, delivered to your inbox almost instantly (within 12 to 24 hours after ordering). And, when you order your Walpurgis Pack, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a paperback copy of Bobby Derie’s seminal work of Mythos scholarship, Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos (from Hippocampus Press — Justine G reviews the book here) … only FIVE WINNERS will be drawn, CONTEST CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT MAY 1, and we’ll announce the names of those fortunate winning beings on May 2.
WALPURGIS PACK MOBI 9.99CDN via Paypal
WALPURGIS PACK EPUB 9.99CDN via Paypal
WALPURGIS PACK PDF 9.99CDN via Paypal
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache!
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!
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond is in the world! We’re preparing to ship out the fine quality prints of Nick Gucker’s cover art to the lucky four winners of the Pre-Order Contest, and readers are beginning to receive their books in the mail! Can a wholesale dimensional breakdown and general apocalypse be far behind? Gosh, we hope so! While you’re waiting for doom to rain down, though perhaps take a read through this insightful interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Leeman Kessler! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
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Well, trust the man who reformats and reinterprets Lovecraft himself for the 21st Century to put a truly unique spin on From Beyond! It’s all there in the title of your story, Deresonator: a machine to counter the effects of Tillinghast’s original contraption. I especially enjoyed your narrator’s voice; he’s essentially an old-school grifter. So, do you come by this voice honestly? Any criminal history in your family?
No criminal history as far as I’m aware although there are an awful lot of pastors and preachers in my family tree and they employ similar showman-like qualities as your average flim-flam man so perhaps I’ve just hit on that racial memory of patter and rhetoric which both helps me as a performer and gave me a fun voice for our hapless narrator in this story.
It’s safe to say you’ve had to steep yourself in Howard (the Man, the Myth, the Mythos) in order to do what you do for Ask Lovecraft. Also, you’re one of the newer writers in this anthology. Have you found that playing a writer on TV has pushed you towards writing? More seriously, is Howie’s phantom hand gently pressed to your writing arm(s)? Is this like a ‘Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore in Ghost’ thing going on? Be honest. We can take it.
Oh man, now I really want to find a way to film or photograph that image so everyone has to experience the horror along with me. I wonder how much Unchained Melody costs these days? Oops, got distracted there. Funnily enough, reading Lovecraft’s fiction and his letters did not in any way give me any sort of writing itch. In truth, I blame the fact that Ask Lovecraft has widened the number of writers I now know and when you spend time with those people, you’re bound to get infected with something. I’m just lucky that this time, I only came away with a mild case of literary inspiration and there are creams for that.
You’re taking Ask Lovecraft on a bit of a festival circuit in 2015. Where will you be seen, and when? Do you have a favourite aspect of live performance?
This year will see me at Cthulhucon in Portland, Oregon this April and then back in Providence for NecronomiCon in August. Live performances are really my favourite part of this whole shebang. My background is in stage acting and while I don’t really work off of a script for my live shows, that energy and immediate feedback one gets from having an audience right in front of you is still so gratifying. I also love being kept on my toes and having to come up with answers for questions on the spot. For the web-series, I mull and I ponder questions and it can take me forever to hone what I think is an acceptable reply but when you’re staring face to face with your inquisitor, you really have to think fast. It’s a completely different part of my brain, almost more muscle memory and reflex than conscious thought and I can’t get enough of it.