Today would have been the 123rd birthday of one of my very favorite writers, H.P. Lovecraft. The Gentleman From Providence is probably the most influential writer of the 20th century that most people have never heard of.
Lovecraft was the foremost practitioner of “weird fiction” in the early part of the last century. His stories specialized in atmosphere — atmosphere that would suck the oxygen right out of your lungs. Atmosphere that was truly terrifying and really could send chills through your bloodstream. (Read “Cool Air” for a truly chilling tale of… air-conditioning?)
Without Lovecraft, horror movies, books, games and comics would look very different. Perhaps someone eventually would develop the idea of beings from other planets worshipped as gods by primordial humans, and lurid tales of Piscean species interbreeding with centuries of townsfolk and ancient ruined civilizations in Antarctica and leaping, chittering things trapped in crypts — but in our universe, H.P. did that. His was the imagination that gave us an artist who painted ghouls from live models.
Here we are, in the depths of the shopping frenzy for the holidays, counting down the time left for grabbing gifts. I absolutely hate venturing out into the traffic jams to crawl to a mall to buy stuff people don’t really need just to “prove” that I really love them.
I cannot stand those rapid crowds, so I am very much an online shopper. I’m perfectly willing to indulge in the gift-giving frenzy; I just want to obtain the stuff I’m giving from a distance. Give me Amazon.com over a mall with no parking spaces any day!
This is a wonderful Christmas tree* that I found on The Lovecraftsman website and I just had to share it. It put me in mind of that holiday classic, “The Festival.” Don’t we all wish that instead of trudging to the in-laws’, we could spend this Yule-tide in the curious fishing village Kingsport, descending into secret caverns and riding uncanny beasts so hideous that the human brain cannot bear to remember them?
Let us celebrate the season in a fashion that might please H.P. Lovecraft himself: “O Cthulhu Tree, O Cthulhu Tree, how lovely are your tentacles…”
*No discrimination implied. Show me a Mi-Go menorah, etc., and I will feature it!