Archive for H.P. Lovecraft

Update 09/19/2019: Final Revisions for The Fell Fete

Posted in Averoigne, Clark Ashton Smith, Edward Stasheff, Grace Stillman, The Averoigne Archives, The Averoigne Legacy, The Fell Fête, Updates, Weird Tales with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Just sent out the final draft for The Fell Fete. Hope I didn’t miss anything. Mr. Stasheff incorporated my initial revisions and just wanted me to do a quick read-through to ensure that everything looked good. Good thing he did, because there were a few very minor revisions that didn’t take from my last proof-read. I was making corrections on my blog in between calls, so I may not have saved some before I logged out.

I will keep you all apprised of any updates.

The Averoigne Archives (2019, Pickman’s Press).

PS: For anyone who is not familiar with Clark Ashton Smith‘s Averoigne story cycle, Pickman’s Press has published a companion book entitled The Averoigne Archives, containing all of the pertinent tales, which can be found on Amazon. The Spanish language version, Cuentos de Averoigne, even includes bonus translations of the poems The Woods of Averoigne (1934) by one-time Weird Tales contributor Grace Stillman, and To Clark Ashton Smith (1938) by Smith’s long-time pen-pal, H.P. Lovecraft.

Update 09/23/2019

Got my fee for the story, and it has been officially accepted. Now all there is to do is wait for updates on when the book will be available.

Impressions of Spectral Realms #11

Posted in Abigail Wildes, Ashley Dioses, Chelsea Arrington, Clark Ashton Smith, Dan Sauer, David Barker, Donald Sidney-Fryer, Frank Coffman, H.P. Lovecraft, Hippocampus Press, K.A. Opperman, Manuel Perez-Campos, Marcos Legaria, Mary Sinclair, May Sinclair, Pluto (dwarf planet), Robert Nelson, S.T. Joshi, Scott J. Couturier, Spectral Realms, The Coven's Hornbook & Other Poems, The Coven's Hornbook and Other Poems, Wade German, Weird Poets Society, Weird Tales, Yuggoth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Spectral Realms #11 (Summer 2019) [2019, Hippocampus Press]

Tuesday night I received my contributor copy of Spectral Realms #11 and the cover art by Dan Sauer is even more gorgeous than it looks online; the colors really pop and catch the eye. I believe that is true of the last few issues, since Mr. Sauer has taken over the cover & art design anyway. This particular issue is dedicated to W.H. Pugmire, and opens with a very fine tribute to the late author by Wade German entitled The Tomb of Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire which references his works to great effect.

As soon as I got the journal I read all of the poetry in one sitting. I enjoyed most everything included in this issue, but there were some poems that thrilled me more than others. I of course gravitate towards the work of my friends, but there were some odd surprises. David Barker, who collaborated several times with Mr. Pugmire over the years wrote a great little prose piece called Altar of Yig, which seemed like an outtake from a vintage Weird Tales magazine. Liam Garrock‘s Doctor Fulci’s Fantastic Cure for Nightmares was creepy fun as well. Manuel Pérez-Campos contributes three prose poems, all of which are decadent and belletristic in their delineation, but I think my favorite is On Gustave Moreau’s Canvas The Apparition, for I am familiar with the painting he is referring to and he is right on point. Ann K Schwader‘s Solving for X is a clever poem about the connection between the dwarf planet Pluto and H.P. Lovecraft‘s Yuggoth [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuggoth#Links_with_Pluto retrieved 7/24/2019]

As for my favorite pieces by my friends and acquaintances Frank Coffman, the founder of the Weird Poets Society, offered a nice rondel about pagan celebrations called The Great Wheel. A.K. Opperman wrote a fun Halloween ditty called The Jack-o’-Lantern Hearted, and his ladylove, Ashley Dioses, contributed Plague’s Wake which is slated to appear in her upcoming collection, The Withering. Abigail Wildes wrote a sweet yet macabre little poem about a revenant avian called The Blackbird’s Ghost. Chelsea Arrington‘s femme fatale Witch of Hearts is gory fun. Adam Bolivar‘s Cruel Eleanora reads like a cross between the traditional ballad of The Cruel Sister and Classical Mythology. The Necromancer’s Charm by Scott J. Couturier was the one that impressed me the most, with its decadent dark fantasy themes of necromancy in the idiom of Clark Ashton Smith. There are a few lines in there that reminded me of my unfinished work, Helldoradomouth, although Mr. Couturier’s poem is infinitely more imaginative and sublime than my own necromantic foray. The classic reprints are entertaining, as usual. Notably, Fright, by May Sinclair is surprisingly modern sounding, despite it having been initially published in 1920, and has a wistful spookiness about it.

The third and final installment of Marcos Legaria’s article on the apprenticeship of aspiring weird poet Robert Nelson and his mentor Clark Ashton Smith contains several examples of the acolyte’s work and quotes extensively from their correspondence.

There is a very informative review by Donald Sidney-Fryer of Mr. Coffman’s latest collection The Coven’s Hornbook & Other Poems which made it sound even more intriguing than I had originally anticipated. Now I definitely want to snatch up a copy. You can get yours at https://www.boldventurepress.com/the-covens-hornbook-other-poems/

Finally, it was so rewarding to finally see my prose poem Vampire Vigil in print, although I was surprised to see the first word of the poem The Baleful Beldam changed from anent, which means beside, to around. I’m surprised Mr. Joshi didn’t mention it when he had me change the false rhyme in the same line.

“In all,” to quote the folks at Hippocampus Press, “this issue demonstrates why Spectral Realms has become the go-to venue for today’s weird poets.”

Get your copy here: https://www.hippocampuspress.com/journals/spectral-realms/spectral-realms-no.-11?zenid=ppi0dtcis656d390jmfc026271

“The Dreams in the Witch-House” (1933)

Posted in August Derleth, Gothic Horror, H.P. Lovecraft, Masters of Horror, Science Fiction (Sci Fi), Stuart Gordon (director), The Dreams in the Witch-House with tags , , , , , , on May 14, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

“The Dreams in the Witch House” first appeared in the July 1933 issue of Weird Tales.

Although often dismissed by critics, H.P. Lovecraft‘s The Dreams in the Witch-House is actually one of my favorite of his latter tales. I’ll admit that it is imperfect, but it is also admirable in it’s scope. Lovecraft mixes Gothic Horror with really high brow Sci Fi. And therein lies the problem. Lovecraft gets so technical and oblique in his descriptions of Walter Gilman’s night-time sojourns that it gets a bit distracting. Also, he introduces elements that don’t really pay off, like the mention of the Elder Things which goes nowhere or even the Black Man of the Witches (an avatar of Nyarlathotep) who never makes a proper appearance and is only glimpsed furtively running around with the witch, Keziah Mason, and her familiar Brown Jenkin. Then there is the all too familiar xenophobia creeping in with Lovecraft’s descriptions of the Polish immigrants, who are portrayed as brutish and uncouth.

Even so, I got a kick out of some of the scenes where Gilman sees Keziah and Brown Jenkin in the outer spheres either as weird geometrical congeries of bubbles and polyhedrons hinting at their earthly forms or when they are seen outright making cryptic hand gestures to guide Gilman to the desired portals into the dream dimensions. I also like the hints of how Keziah used her secrets culled from ancient tracts, like the Necronomicon, to find a way to escape Salem Gaol during the infamous Witch Trials of 1692. The horror elements of the tale are terrifying and very dark: witch’s Sabbaths, black books and child sacrifice, all told in a very effective and convincing way as only Lovecraft can do.

Variant title poster for Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968).

I think the tale has definite cinematic potential and indeed it has been adapted a couple of times before. First in the 1968 film Curse of the Crimson Altar, featuring the triple threat of Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee and my beloved Barbara Steele! It is a very loose adaptation however that, although entertaining, has very little to do with the source material. Stuart Gordon‘s 2005 Masters of Horror adaptation H. P. Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch House is much closer to the story, but still makes some notable changes. For starters, Gordon and co-writer Dennis Paoli eschew most of the Sci-Fi parts and only hint at the geometrical basis of the dream travel. They focus on the horror elements but change Gilman’s college buddy Frank Elwood to attractive single mother Frances Elwood, who is presented as a potential love interest, and whose baby ends up replacing little Ladislas Wolejko from the original tale in the final confrontation between Gilman and Keziah.

DVD cover for Masters of Horror 2005 adaptation by Stuart Gordon.

All in all, I think it’s a much more daring and ambitious tale than critics give it credit for. Even August Derleth was critical of it, which made Lovecraft a bit self conscious I think. For more on that, check out the Wikipedia entry here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dreams_in_the_Witch_House#Reception.

It remains, in my estimation, a great work of dark fantasy and I also think, given a thoughtful reworking, it could make a fascinating film.

 

H.P. Lovecraft’s “In the Vault” (1925).

Posted in Angus Scrimm (actor), Arkham House, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, In the Vault (1925), Phantasm (movie franchise), The Dunwich Horror and Others (Arkham House), The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

“Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft” by H.P. Lovecraft (2008, Gollancz).

Rummaging through boxes in my closet I found two story collections I’d been looking for as long as I have been at my current residence (6-7 years): The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, and Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft. I was so excited because most of my good books are packed away in boxes at present. I flipped through the Lovecraft book and read his early tale “In the Vault” (1925), which was one of the first tales I read of his some 30+ years ago in the Arkham House collection The Dunwich Horror and Others. At the time it really made an impression on me, but as I became more familiar with his work and was inundated with his Cthulhu Mythos it became lost in the back of my mind and I could only recall bits and pieces of the plot, the title long forgotten and even at one point confused with “The Tomb” (1922).

The Dunwich Horror and Others by H.P. Lovecraft (1988, Arkham House).

If you haven’t read it, here is a synopsis from Wikipedia:

George Birch, undertaker for the New England town of Peck Valley, finds himself trapped in the vault where coffins are stored during winter for burial in the spring. When Birch stacks the coffins to reach a transom window, his feet break through the lid of the top coffin, injuring his ankles and forcing him to crawl out of the vault.

Later, Dr. Davis investigates the vault, and finds that the top coffin was one of inferior workmanship, which Birch used as a repository for Asaph Sawyer, a vindictive citizen whom Birch had disliked, even though the coffin had originally been built for the much shorter Matthew Fenner. Davis finds that Birch had cut off Sawyer’s feet in order to fit the body into the coffin, and the wounds in Birch’s ankles are actually teeth marks. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Vault#Plot, retrieved 03/24/2019]

Reading it now, I admire his ability to invoke the charnel atmosphere and his macabre invention, but having worked in a mortuary, however briefly, I know just how heavy corpse-laden caskets can be and I doubt that George Birch, the drunken protagonist of this gruesome tale, could have stacked four of them so easily, if at all (unless, of course, he was like Angus Scrimm‘s “Tall Man” from the Phantasm movie franchise). One of my first nights on the job a coworker almost lost his fingers lowering a no-frills travel casket into a crate when they got caught between the box and the crate. He was a big guy and there was another big guy on the other end (I was assisting on the side, guiding the casket into the crate). In the “real world” the drunken underhanded undertaker in Lovecraft’s tale would have perished in the vault with the disgruntled resurrected cadavers of his former clients… Just sayin’.

And that having been said, although it’s no Dunwich Horror, nor it does it feature any of the tropes and characters he is famous for, it is a fun creepy tale to read on a chilly autumn evening.

 

Galad Elflandsson’s “Tales of Carcosa” (2018)

Posted in Ace Books, Copper Toadstool (magazine), Cyäegha Press, Dragonbane (fanzine), Galad Elflandsson, Graeme Phillips (editor), H.P. Lovecraft, How Darkness Came to Carcosa, Robert W. Chambers, Steve Lines, Supernatural Horror in Literature (essay), Tales of Carcosa, The Black Wolf, The King in Yellow (1895) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2019 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Tales of Carcosa by Galad Elflandsson (2018, Cyäegha Press).

A while back I did a review on the dark fantasy novel The Black Wolf (1979), by Galad Elflandsson. Mr. Elflandsson saw my review and contacted me starting a correspondence which has been both genial and edifying. Although he has been out of circulation in recent decades, he has continued writing albeit for the most part he has abandoned his Fantasy roots. Even so, he was recently contacted by someone (presumably editor Graeme Phillips) over at Cyäegha Press about some stories he had written which appeared in various fantasy and horror themed journals back in the late 70s and early 80s, like Dark Fantasy, Dragonbane, and Copper Toadstool.

Dragonbane #1 (1978) in which first appeared the story How Darkness Came to Carcosa.

The stories in question were of a specific ilk, focusing on the themes and characters that originated in the book The King in Yellow (1895) by Robert W. Chambers, later incorporated by H.P. Lovecraft into his mythos and augmented upon by subsequent mythos authors. Galad Elflandsson was one such author. According to his afterword, he picked up a copy of the 1965 Ace paperback edition after reading Lovecraft’s rhapsodic endorsement in his benchmark essay Supernatural Horror in Literature. Apparently it left an impression on him because he eventually wrote his own cycle of tales set within the purlieu of Carcosa.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (1965, Ace Books).

The tales as I found them, are entertaining although not as fast paced as his novel, The Black Wolf. Knowing his personal writing, I could recognize his penchant for focusing on the human experience. The Exile in particular has a focus on social/class issues and the inner world of the protagonist, Henri. In fact, many of the tales herein seem almost like a mixture of existential literature, and Fin de siècle decadence with a soupçon of horror thrown in on occasion to remind one that these are dark fantasy tales after all. As with The Black Wolf, I would have liked a bit more of a macabre atmosphere maintained throughout, but that is just a personal quirk of mine. I think my favorite story was the opening tale, How Darkness Came to Carcosa, which apparently delineates the origin of the King in the Pallid Mask, and I especially liked the few poems which are scattered throughout the book alongside fitting illustrations by Steve Lines.  Over all, it is a highly enjoyable read, and one does not necessarily need to be familiar with the extended mythos built around Carcosa or The King in Yellow to enjoy these tales, but it wouldn’t hurt going in knowing the reputation behind the forbidden play and the significance of the Yellow Sign.

The book appears to be a limited run, my copy being #8/50 numbered copies, so if you see it, grab it!

 

Lin Carter’s “Dreams from R’lyeh”

Posted in Clark Ashton Smith, Cthulhu Mythos, Dreams from R'Lyeh, Fantasy, Fungi from Yuggoth, Gothic Poetry, H.P. Lovecraft, Lin Carter, Lovecraftian Horror, Merlin, Poetry, Ramsey Campbell, Robert Bloch, Speculative Poetry, the Xothic Legend Cycle: The Complete Mythos Fiction of Lin Carter, v, Weird Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

In my quest to bone up on my weird poetry knowledge I decided to pull my copy of Lin Carter’s Dreams from R’lyeh off my shelf and give it a fair shake. I bought it years ago, when I worked at HPB, and flipped through it, but it didn’t quite click with me, so I put it on my shelf and allowed it to gather dust. Going back now, however, I find that it truly is a work of genius. I loved the eponymous sonnet cycle, which the blurb on the dustjacket describes as “…an affectionate and knowing imitation of Lovecraft’s own “Fungi from Yuggoth” sequence, skillfully written and cleverly connected (through its introductory notes) to the central matter of Mr. Carter’s own additions to the Mythos.” and have been enjoying the remaining odd rhymes and poetic tributes to the forebears of the modern weird tale. Actually, the titulary sonnet itself could be said to be a tribute of sorts to all the progenitors of the Cthulhu Mythos. I recognized references in the sonnet cycle to the tales of Clark Ashton Smith, whom I know Carter was a big fan of. There was mention of Ambrose Bierce’s Hastur and Carcosa (respectively), which were later appropriated by Robert W. Chambers and referenced haphazardly throughout his tales in The King in Yellow (1895) then latterly introduced into Mythos canon by Lovecraft in his 1931 tale The Whisperer in the Darkness. Lastly, there was mention of Byatis, the serpent-bearded deity created by Robert Bloch for his 1935 tale The Shambler From the Stars then cultivated by Ramsey Campbell for his own 1964 Mythos tale The Room in the Castle.

“Dreams from R’Lyeh” by Lin Carter (1975, Arkham House, cover art by Tim Kirk).

When I first tried to read the sonnet cycle I was trying to follow the rhyme and was frustrated by the odd scheme, which, not being well schooled in such things, I cannot quite place. The opening sonnet, Remembrances, goes abba cddc effegg. I found, however, that if, instead of reading each line individually, I just read it like prose and followed the narrative, it flows perfectly.

I am New England born, and home to me

Is ancient Kingsport on the Harbour side.

When I was very young my Father died

And so I came to Arkham by the sea

Where uncle Zorad and his servant, Jones,

Lived in the old house. He, my guardian,

Was a strange, silent, melancholy man

Given to dark old books and carven stones.

[edit from I. Remembrances, Dreams from R’lyeh, by Lin Carter, 1975 Arkham House]

Dreams from R’Lyeh is a sonnet cycle which, like Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth, loosely tells a story through macabre vignettes. As in Lovecraft’s cycle, the narrator uncovers some forbidding tomes which contain “eldritch” knowledge that leads him to strange worlds peopled by dark deities and their depraved followers bent on benighting the world and squelching mankind.

The narrator in Carter’s story is a youth named Wilbur Nathaniel Hoag, an Arkham man and the last of his line. Apparently Hoag disappeared and was presumed dead, leaving behind no clue as to his fate, save these lines of macabre poetry, now kept in the Manuscripts Collection of the Miskatonic Unversity. That being said, a few knowing hints in Carter’s preface tell the savvy Mythos fan all he needs to know about the fate of the young poet who, among other things, was a distant relation to Obed Marsh of Innsmouth.

One of my favorite poems, appropriately enough, turned out to be the one about the Dark Young of Shub Niggurath, entitled the Spawn of the Black Goat. Which is so tenebrous and Gothic in it’s Mythos-laden content, I really felt it captured some of the dark genius of the old Rhode Island gentleman himself.

They ride the night-wind when the Demon Star,

Over the dim Horizon burns bale-red,

Come from charnel-pits of the undead,

Nadir of nightmare, where the shoggoths are.

Now, till the light of morning-litten east

Bids them return to the unbottomed slime,

Freely they roam the darkling earth a time

And from fresh grave abominably feast.

[edit from XXVIII. Spawn of the Black Goat, Dreams from R’lyeh, by Lin Carter, 1975, Arkham House]

The remainder of the slim volume is taken up by Carter’s poetic oeuvre which is either in the style of or dedicated to the progenitors of the Weird Tale. There are tributes to Lord Dunsany, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, et al., all worthy of their dedicatees.

The sonnet cycle in particular made me curious as to what Carter’s Mythos fiction might be like, but from what I have read online about his Xothic stories, they’re purportedly just pale pastiches of Lovecraft & co.. Even so, if I ever see a used copy of the Chaosium collection The Xothic Legend Cycle in my travels, I may pick it up and give it a go.

The Xothic Legend Cycle: The Complete Mythos Fiction of Lin Carter (2006, Chaosium Inc.)

 

 

H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Hound”

Posted in ghoul, H.P. Lovecraft, Jaxon, Lovecraftian Horror, Necronomicon, Poppy Z. Brite, Roddy McDowall, The Burning Ember Mission of Helldorado, The Hound (1922), W.H. Pugmire with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2017 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Since 2012 I have been a frequent reader at the annual H.P. Lovecraft birthday celebration in downtown Phoenix. For the 1st show I penned my tribute to the Rhode Island gentleman, H.P.L. R.I.P., but since then I have always tried to read a brief story or poem by the master to remind everyone why we are there. The first story I read was one of my all-time favorites, The Hound. Originally written in 1922, it made its publication debut in the February 1924 issue of  Weird Tales and was reprinted in September 1929. Despite being disparaged by critics as a pastiche of Poe’s florid Gothic style and Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, it has many admirers (my humble self included) and it has inspired several tributes and adaptations.

Weird Tales’ February 1924 issue in which debuted Lovecraft’s “The Hound”.

Notable for being the first Lovecraft tale to mention his infamous grimoire, the dreaded Necronomicon, the Hound tells the tale of an unnamed narrator and his crony, St. John, bored with the effete entertainments of the decadent scene they decide to create a black museum, a veritable theme park of the damned with grotesque fountains, noisome censers, macabre works of art (including an unknown portfolio that “held certain unknown and unnameable drawings which it was rumored Goya had perpetrated but dared not acknowledge”), and gruesome trophies pilfered from graveyards around the world:

“Around the walls of this repellent chamber were cases of antique mummies alternating with comely, lifelike bodies perfectly stuffed and cured by the taxidermist’s art, and with headstones snatched from the oldest churchyards of the world. Niches here and there contained skulls of all shapes, and heads preserved in various stages of dissolution. There one might find the rotting, bald pates of famous noblemen, and the fresh and radiantly golden heads of new-buried children.” (from The Hound, by H.P. Lovecraft, 1922)

Eventually they rob the wrong grave, steeling a jade amulet which literally sets a hell-hound on their trail. Now, I have seen this story in collections of vampire stories, but it is definitely not one of those. I assume the editors of those books selected it because of the initial description of the well-preserved cadaver with “long, firm teeth”  and the frequent mention of large bats that seem to be connected with the creature in the casket or the hound, which if you read the story carefully, are one and the same. The thing in the casket was a ghoul; a supernatural creature that subsists on carrion from fresh graves. Traditionally, they are shape-shifters and they tend to shift into hyenas, but not exclusively. Some traditions even have that they take on the countenance of the last individual they ate. This one may have done that, causing some identity confusion in the denouement of the tale and, moreover, shifts into the titular creature, a sort of hell-hound with wings, which is confused by the fact that the cadaver seems to show bite marks from the same (possibly a feint or side effect of the creature taking on the aspect of it’s victim). Even so, when the narrator returns to the scene of his egregious crime to plead for mercy what he finds there is not what he expects.

“Amine Discovered with the Goule”, from the story of Sidi Nouman, of the One Thousand and One Nights. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghoul; retrieved 10/16/2017))

Lovecraft was dismissive of the tale in his later years and many of his most vociferous proponents followed suit. Lin Carter dismissed it as “a minor little tale” that is “slavishly Poe-esque in style”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hound#Reception, retrieved 10/13/2017) and even Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi doesn’t seem to hold it in high regard, even opining that it must have been an intentional parody of the decadent school of writing. In his introduction to “The Hound” Leslie S. Klinger says “While S.T. Joshi calls the story “roundly abused for being wildly overwritten,” he sees it as a deliberate parody. Its “adjectivitis” mocks the prose of Poe and other writers Lovecraft admired, including Ambrose Bierce and Joris-Karl Huysmans.” (The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, pg. 94, Liveright Publishing Corp. 2014)

I, however, am of a different mind on the subject. I love the thick Gothic atmosphere and Grand Guignol-inspired black humor, and as for the “overwrought style” that everyone complains about, think of it this way: the tale is told in  first-person narrative voice, and that person being a aesthetic ghoul with a taste for the baroque, so how could it not be delineated in such a manner? And I am not the only one who feels this way. Despite it’s notable detractors, it has some champions as well. Actor Roddy McDowall recorded it circa 1962/63 for his LP “Roddy McDowall Reads the Horror Stories of H.P. Lovecraft”. When I  discovered the existence of these recordings I looked them up on Youtube and listened to McDowall’s brilliant interpretation, which is where I first encountered the proper pronunciation for St. John, which apparently is Sinjun. I recall reading in Lovecraft: A Biography (1975) by L. Sprague de Camp, that Lovecraft had a high pitched genteel speaking voice and listening to Roddy McDowall, I imagined that his rendition was probably as close as one could get to hearing it read by HPL himself.

Album cover for “Roddy McDowall Reads the Horror Stories of H.P. Lovecraft” (1962-3, Prestige)

Although there haven’t been any film adaptations of note that I am aware of (which I find surprising) there have been at least a few comic book adaptations, most notably the May 1972 4th issue of Skull which features a very stylized adaptation by Jack Jackson (credited as Jaxon), which has a bit of an E.C. Comics vibe to it while being a prime example of the 1970’s underground comic look.

A page from Jaxon’s adaptation of “The Hound”. Note the column of bats in the first frame and the amulet in frame #4. I assume the book on which it rests is the Al Azif, the Necronomicon in the original Arabic.

He really seems to relish the gallows humor and deftly depicts the Gothic atmosphere with great flair and wit. The text is an abbreviated version of Lovecraft’s original text which is cool.

“Uncommon Places” by W.H. Pugmire (2012, Hippocampus Press), which contains the story “Some Distant Baying Sound”.

Apparently, W.H. Pugmire penned a sequel in 2009 entitled Some Distant Baying Sound, which I would love to check out, although his works are a bit hard to come by and pricey when you find them. It is featured in Weird Inhabitants of Sesqua Valley (2009), and Uncommon Places: A Collection of Exquisites (2012), respectively.

“His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood and Other Stories” by Poppy Z. Brite (1995, Penguin).

Southern Gothic author Poppy Z. Brite (now Billy Martin) used the premise of the Hound for the story His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood (1990), which appears in the collections Swamp Foetus (1993) and Wormwood (1996) and was even featured in a Penguin 60s collection called His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood and Other Stories (1995). It is flagged on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database as a Cthulhu Mythos story although, aside from the premise, which I recognized when I read it some 20-odd years ago, I don’t recall anything specifically Lovecraftian about it. I shall have to re-read it now that I am more familiar with the Lovecraft’s oeuvre and might be more apt to detect any allusions in the text to his Mythos.

Finally, I too have made reference to the ghoul, in passing, in my tale The Burning Ember Mission of Helldorado, and both he and the hound are secondary elements in the tale I am currently working on, tentatively entitled “Helldorado-Mouth”.  For a tale which Lovecraft called “a dead dog”, it seems to be tough one to put down.