To travel in space you must leave the old verbal garbage behind: God talk, country talk, mother talk, love talk, party talk. You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence. Anyone who prays in space is not there.
William S. Burroughs, ‘It Is Necessary to Travel…’
I was going to say I'd love to have you show me your collection of books on mythology and cults and cosmic horror but then I realized- You kind of can do that. Do you have any book recs of the non-Lovecraft Lovecraftian sort?
Okay so I pulled some of my favourite things off my bookshelf which I think might appeal to people interested in Lovecraft. I tend to veer towards the more gothic of his tales so that’s what this collection reflects. There is a mixture of fiction and non fiction here so I hope this is useful!!
1. The Hell-Fire Clubs by Evelyn Lord
A History of devil worshipping cults in the British Isles which supposedly operated from about the 16th-19th centuries.
2. America Bewitched by Owen Davies
A history of witchcraft in America after the salem witch trials, really interesting to see how that initial incident affected the later ‘outbreaks’.
3. Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell
This is part one in a series of texts about the impact of mythology on the psychology/culture/identity of the human race. It reminds me a lot of the ideas Lovecraft explores about the idea of an ingrained fear that has been passed down through generations.
4. The Devil Within by Brian Levak
The best history of exorcism I have read, worth pointing out that is does only focus on Western history/concepts.
5. Vampyres by Christopher Frayling
Super comprehensive and very literary based, actually a really good reference text for people studying the gothic in any capacity. A social and anthropological history of the Vampyre in popular culture.
6/7. The Blake and Avery Detective Series by M.J Carter
Victorian detective series full of satanic cults, weird witch doctors, ancient symbolism and gruesome murders.
8. Heavenly Bodies by Paul Koudounaris
I have been obsessed with the Catholic practice of decorating the bodies of saints for ages and this is the definitive book on the subject. Full of gorgeous, fascinating photos and lots of insights into the ritual behind it all.
9. This Way Madness Lies by Mike Jay
A really well illustrated and gorgeously presented history of Bedlam in London. Any publication put out by the Wellcome Collection is always worth the money.
10/11/12. The Annihilation Trilogy by Jeff Vandemeer
My favourite weird fiction trilogy ever. Worth reading Annihilation on it’s own even if you don’t pick up the other two. Sort of like At the Mountains of Madness meets The X Files meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Also a nearly all female cast of characters.
13. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
I’m an absolute sucker for things based on Russian Folklore and this is a bizarre fever dream of a narrative which never quite makes sense but the prose is insanely gorgeous.
14. Satantango by Laszlo Kraszahorkai
One to pick up if you like the Lovecraft stories like Dreams in the Witch House, The Colour out of Space and The Cats of Ulthar. Follows the impact of a group of uncanny individuals whose appearance in a rural town causes a slow descent into chaos.
15. Moon Over Soho (The Rivers of London series) by Ben Aaronovitch
The Rivers of London series is dark, funny and perfect as a light hearted monsters, girls and ghosts read. I love them because they are set around where I live which is always fun.
16. The Wolves of London by Mark Morris
Weirdly this series was released around the same time as the above one but has a much more overt Lovecraftian tone to it. I prefer the ideas and the bleakness of this series but the writing style of Aaronovitch.
16. Q by Luther Blissett
Tonally quite similar to Lovecraft’s work. It’s dense but worth the read if you can get through it as it’s a maze of religious fever, manic peasant revolts and political upheaval.
17. The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
One of my favourite books of the last year. Deeply unsettling and an amazing blend of supernatural and domestic horror where you can never tell who is reliable.
18. Thin Air by Michelle Paver
Perfect for fans of Algernon Blackwood, M.J James and all those wonderful classic ghost writers. Genuinely frightening with an excellent payoff.
19/20/21. Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook
Probably visually the most Lovecraftian of this list. A classic tale of supernatural happenings in an isolated rural area but the illustrations and creature designs are some of the most beautiful and horrifying I’ve ever seen.
Not pictured because I couldn’t find my copy of it is Kraken by China Miéville which starts with a giant embalmed squid being stolen from the Natural History Museum and explodes into a story of cults, magical books, sea monsters and a chilling use of origami.
I’m also half way through Là-Bas, by J.K Huysmans which follows a young man who becomes obsessed with Gilles de Rais and eventually pursues satanism in turn of the century France. It’s a morbid delight and the love story at it’s centre will really appeal to people who aren’t normally into that aspect of the narrative. Who doesn’t want to go to a black mass with your lover?
“Originally Isis was connected with royalty and not with any part of the cosmos but her role in the Osiris myths linked her to events which were of cosmic significance. As the cult of Isis and Osiris grew so did her importance and her aspects started to diversify. The Greco-Roman Isis kept all of her Egyptian powers and added more from the strong Greek influence in Egypt, particularly in the Delta region. She eventually becomes a beneficial Goddess of nature, a Saviour and, to many, the sole Goddess. There is a danger of being ‘all things to all men’ and through that losing uniqueness and individuality. Did this happen to Isis? Have we lost the character and essence of Isis as she transforms into the generic All-Goddess? How much of the Egyptian Isis was present for her followers in the Classical Period? From about 500 BCE Isis develops from an Egyptian Goddess into a pan-Mediterranean Goddess that virtually everyone could find a connection to. What was behind this meteoric rise? Was it Isis or the aspects attached to her which were so important and how much was manufactured for political reasons?”
I'm sure you've been aksed this before, but do you know of any other good weird horror blogs on Tumblr? I have a mighty need to fill out my feed with more strangeness.
Hey! I suspect that you probably follow (or are at least familiar with) most of the ones I’ll recommend off the top of my head, but I’ll go ahead and call this a ‘starter’ list. Note: I’m certain there are several important blogs that I’ve left off and that will immediately come to mind the moment I click ‘post.’ I’ll do some sort of update for this in the next few days after I’ve had time to click through the gazillion blogs that I follow. (I have a problem with over-following). My apologies to those I’ve momentarily forgotten.
Weird Letterdoesn’t post very often, but when they do it’s usually really interesting content.
The same goes with American Eldritch, which is actually a small press dedicated to Cosmic Horror. I often see likes and such from them even when they aren’t posting updates, so I know they’re still active/around.
As for individual folks who tend to post a lot of Weird Fic/Cosmic Horror content, there are a few that I’ve followed for a while and who are consistent with what they post. One isRauol-duke(a nice Hunter S. Thompson ref, btw). We’ve been mutuals for years at this point—consistently excellent selection. I think we have one of those “nod respectfully/appreciatively at each other as we like and reblog in silence” sorts of things going. :D
Madness-and-godsposts a good bit of Weird and Cosmic Horror and is also in that “mutuals a long time/nod at each other” space.
Official Dark Providenceis the tumblr for artist Jan Pimping (responsible for the Mythos Tarot that’s pretty popular around here).
Corey Press is artist Drew Meger’s tumblr; lots of Weird and Mythos artwork.
I follow many blogs that feature Weird and Cosmic Horror content but whose owners also post personal content. I won’t include those; however, if you want your blog shared in this, feel free to add it in a reply.
As far as film-centered blogs that have a bit more Weird/Cosmic Horror/Cult content than the average mainstream Horror blogs, I’d recommend Classic Horror Blog—I reblog a LOT from Trent, as you’ve probably noticed; Video Messiah—not technically a Horror blog, but they have some excellent taste, and I often find myself saying “Wow, I forgot about that movie” whenever they update; and I like Diary of Horror’s dedicated ‘diary of stills’ approach to films—lots of great “I forgot about that” material in the archives there, as well.
from Dagon (2001)
I’ll look for those I’ve missed and add to this a bit later if anyone seems to want it. Note that I also do my darnedest to avoid/block the n*zi blogs that tend to flock to this area b/c of surfacey/aesthetic interest in the Occult, various musical associations to the subgenre, ‘edginess,’ etc., so these recs are (to the best of my knowledge) non-jackassy, as far as that goes. Thanks for the great question and have a nice rest of your week.
we gather into a circle wearing darkly sparkly purple cloaks with the hoods raised. you remove your clothes and we cover you with flowers and rose oil. we all eat a spoonful of honey and lick our palms and then clasp our hands together around the circle. you spin in the middle of our circle with your hair down and hands raised whilst proclaiming things you love about yourself and the universe as we rotate and slowly chant in harmony. we throw glitter and rain water on you and feed you a bowl of lemon myrtle tea. we lay you to sleep on soft moss and cover you with a blanket we stitched out of your favorite old clothes that don’t fit anymore that you just couldn’t part with. we surround you with candles and take turns watching you sleep as we sing soothing lullabies about your self growth as we watch the demons run out of your ears. when you wake, we feed you berries and spiced wine and fresh muffins and you are now one of us!
Here’s a heckload of art I’ve done over the past year for the tabletop game Breakfast Cult: A Cosmic Horror Anime RPG! I was a contributing illustrator and character designer for the game, so I got to design a bunch of cute playable and non-playable characters.
I just found out I’ve been signed on to contribute art to a few of the stretch goal expansion packs, which is exciting! NO STOPS ON THIS ANIME TRAIN
Oh! Don’t forget about the Fellowship kickstarter! WE JUST HIT OUR FIRST STRETCH GOAL! Back it if you love RPG tabletop adventure games. Or if you love me.