In January, the Multiculturalism for Steampunk Blog challenged us all to learn a new language. In order to enter, you had to prepare a video, here is mine, I tried to tackle Japanese:
- Category Archives Cthulhu Mythos
It has been a while now since I posted something Cthulhu Mythos related. This is an almost unbearable situation. Fortunately, this post concerns the Mythos, this makes the situation more bearable.
Back in the early 1990’s when I read H.P. Lovecraft for the first time (I was in my late teens then) I also came across an example of Cthulhu Mythos/Steampunk crossover fiction. It was by a German author, Wolfgang Hohlbein, and it was then and still is, one of the worst examples of second-hand-ideas fiction. Hohlbein is one of Germany’s most popular authors, I cannot say I am a fan. I think he just mauled the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Jules Verne in his work… Amongst other things, Captain Nemo went to hunt Cthulhu and/or Dagon… Oh well…
But the idea of a crossover between Steampunk and the Cthulhu Mythos is not that far fetched at all. Just a few ideas that come to my mind without much brooding:
- The Great Race of Yith is always good for some mischief, especially in connection with a time machine.
- Ætheral travelers may encounter dimensional shamblers.
- Journey to the Center of the Earth: Cthonians and K’n-yan anyone?
- Space Exploration could lead to a number of different encounters
- Opium dens and the Dreamlands
- Explorers in Southeast Asia have an unpleasant encounter with the Cho-Cho
- I guess I could come up with some more…
And there is always the possibility of weird science gone awry come to think of it… If you choose not to be that puristic, I think Deep Ones and Mi-Go do not need to be hostile after all.
And speaking of Steampunk and Cthulhu, here is one execellent piece of artwork by Travis Lewis:
It is a real shame, I do not have enough time to bring all my ideas to paper, both for an RPG adventure and/or a short story. Well, fatherhood needs a lot of time and obviously gets priority!
But then again, I shall very soon start working at a new place. On the downside, communting will take a little longer now, o the upside, I will very likely have a place to sit now in both directions and can get some work done on the train.
While actually not looking for fashion, I came across a company by the name of The Affair which trades in t-shirts. But to say they trade in t-shirts and leave it at that would be like saying Terry Pratchett writes nice books or H.P. Lovecraft was a horror writer of some note. In other words, it would be a massive understatement. The Affair’s tag-line is fashioned by literature and they are true to that one.
The reason I found them was because I was looking for cool Mythos related things on the ætherweb. You see, I used to have the Miskantonic University Lapel-Pin (the one Chaosium sold a few years back) but I seem to have misplaced or lost it. Sadly, it seems to be out of production.
Anyway, so I came across The Affair. As, I said, they trade in t-shirts, but what wonderful t-shirts these are… They really are perfect amalgams between fashion and classic sci-fi/horror literature.
The one I found first was this one, inspired by Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth:
But then I did some more browsing and was most pleasanty surprised by this one:
A real shame time in the northern hemisphere is heading towards winter now. Oh well, there might still be a few warmer days in store for us, who knows.
And those two shirts won’t go off, they may sell out but I got mine. So, I am looking foreward to wearing them in spring!
And in other news, James Ng, renowned artist with a selection of steampunk-themed works has pointed me towards The Clockwork Man – The Hidden World:
Quite a fascinating, puzzle-based game with beautiful graphics, my wife instantly fell in love with it. So, saunter over and check it out! Beside the game, there are goodies for download and also check out the screenshots!
If he would still be with us today, H.P. Lovecraft, Master of the Macabre, Pulp-Icon, my favourite author and responsible for part of my son’s name, would celebrate his 120th birthday today.
So, let’s take a moment to skip through the pages of the many versions of the Necronomicon available today, take out one of his novels or listen to the most excellent H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast (Traveler Approved!™).
Mr. Lovecraft, You are not forgotten, You lie dreaming just like the Gods You created and the Cult is growing!
Today at 08:44 (CET) exactly, I have begun my greatest and most epic journey yet:
I hope I will be able to bring my son up to be a gentleman and a renaissance man. There are so many things spinning in my mind right now, all these little ideas, plans, different plans and in the end, it will all be done one day at a time anyway.
Friday the 13th… What a day to be born to parents who are Steampunk and Goth and to a father who is rather deep into the Cthulhu Mythos…
Well, maybe this is the start of a new category on this blog: Steampunk fatherhood… Actually, come to think of it, gloves, goggles and a good breathing-mask are excellent accessories when trying to change nappies…
The following photo appeared on the Ætherweb quite a while ago. Rumor has i it was first twittered by Neil Gaiman. Could be… I guess he has ways to access the darker corners of the cosmos.
In any case, I guess this, errh.. Cthulele? proves that the dancers and players at Azathoth’s court have actually learned new skills. Now they are not only piping, they can also use chordophones:
So, I guess we should all catch ourselves a Shantak, take a ride to the center of the universe and get down and party like there is no tomorrow (which is most likely going to be the case, judging from Azathoth’s temperament and the singular hungers and thirsts of his courtiers, larvae and of course, everybody’s favourite incarnation of chaos and confusion: Nyarlathotep).
Today I want to point your inquisitive eyes on another fine blog. It shares many common themes with mine, only the focus is shifted.
On The Traveler’s Steampunk Blog you find Steampunk and Dieselpunk with a side-dish of Cthulhu Mythos Goodness, at The Miskatonic Archive, you find great resources about Lovecraft , the Cthulhu Mythos with considerable Steampunk for variety.
The Blog and the whole website are beautifully in tune with the feel of Lovecrafts work and also looks rather pulp on first glance (i.i. the flickerging The Miskatonic Archive headline), which is only natural, Lovecraft was active during the Golden Age of Pulp after all.
Both The Miskatonic Archive and my blog share a appreciation of the art of Myke Amend, which is rather unsurprising, given the brilliance of his work, and both take the Cthulhu Mythos with quite some humor.
The entirety of The Miskatonic Archive is rather extensive, with a variety of media, starting at the Blog and continuing via original fiction to videos to art. Myke Amend is not the only featured artist, you’ll see.
So please, do as Cthulhu did when he was chasing the Alert. Slide greasily over to The Miskatonic Archive and revel in the horror and steampunkness that will come crawling into your brain right through your eyes.
A Cthulhu Steampunk crossover by Chaosium! And it has been out for quite some time now and I missed it up until five minutes ago!
How could this have happened? I guess it could only have been because Great Cthulhu dominates my dreams and interferes with my perception. Hang on, but this does not make snse since Queensguard actually serves the purposes of the Mythos. Well, since it is Cthulhu-related, it does not have to make sense!
So, the setting is in the world of (you guessed it) Queensguard and the adventure is set in the Kingdom of America. Sounds rather weird already. Chaosium provides a more detailed description on the product page and I guess I will donload it in a few minute and give it a read.
I also wonder what unique ideas the people at Chaosium have come up with.I have so far encountered Steampunk involving elves and fairies (which I do not like, I am too heavily grounded in history for that), the usual Weird West and pseudo 19th century stuff, so I am looking forward to a glance into this book. Although the monograph has been out a while and there will be some reviews, i shall not read them, it could tarnish my own oppinion or pre-tilt it.
When I first read I, Cthulhu, I did not get the joke.
Looking back now, I am at a loss to explain how I managed that. This short piece of fiction is so obviously tongue-in-cheek, with so many weird references that make no sense within the classic Cthulhu Mythos, I really do not know why I did not like the story or thought it was meant to be the true story of Cthulhu’s, errhh…, life.
Come to thnik of it: This could be the true story of Cthulhu’s life so far. After all, he is so beyond our comprehension that the true horror could lie in the relative mundanity of his utterly alien upbringing and experiences. Who knows. Maybe this realisation is what drove good ol‘ Abdhul insane.
Just a few gems:
I was spawned uncounted aeons ago, in the dark mists of Khhaa’yngnaiih (no, of course I don’t know how to spell it. Write it as it sounds), of nameless nightmare parents, under a gibbous moon. It wasn’t the moon of this planet, of course, it was a real moon. On some nights it filled over half the sky and as it rose you could watch the crimson blood drip and trickle down its bloated face, staining it red, until at its height it bathed the swamps and towers in a gory dead red light.
Those were the days.
Or rather the nights, on the whole.
And it goes on:
And then one day — I believe it was a Tuesday — I discovered that there was more to life than food. (Sex? Of course not. I will not reach that stage until after my next estivation; your piddly little planet will long be cold by then). It was that Tuesday that my Uncle Hastur slithered down to my part of the swamp with his jaws fused.
It meant that he did not intend to dine that visit, and that we could talk.
Oh, and lest I forget, Cthulhu is actually an orphan:
I never knew my parents.
My father was consumed by my mother as soon as he had fertilized her and she, in her turn, was eaten by myself at my birth. That is my first memory, as it happens. Squirming my way out of my mother, the gamy taste of her still in my tentacles.
Don’t look so shocked, Whateley. I find you humans just as revolting.
So, it is obvious that Cthulhu is actually not such a bad guy all in himself but rather suffers the long-term effects of a violent, traumatic birth and lonely childhood.
And of course, the family and friends are completly dysfunctional as well, as can be seen in this statement:
The King in Yellow was the first I ever got on with.
I guess it’s hard being a Great Old One.
So, I, Cthulhu is a lovely, entertaining gem. But do not read it unless you have some knowlege about the mythios, otherwise the joke will be lost…
And here is a thought by Gaiman on Lovecraft teaming up with Sherlock Holmes:
there’s this very nicely done Steampunk graphic novel around. „The Five Fists of Science“, although I was aware of it for quite a while, I only recently had the pleasure of reading it. Beautiful artwork, (un-)believable characters and a truely and fittingly weird plot. I found it a most charming touch Tesla being one of the good guys, while Edison was was on the side of evil. Maybe tells you something about the views of the author.
Another charming aspect are the cthulhuesque undertones, starting with the construction of Innsmouth Tower and continuing right through the whole of the novel, including a very obvious reference to Cthulhu and the Deep Ones.
As a Steampunk and a Cthulhu Cultist, I find this graphic novel most appealing. Although I will not review it (for some reason I find it pretty hard to do..) I can still grade it. Based on the Zeppelin system, I give it nine out of ten. I simply wish it would have been longer…