Here’s a quick round-up for December on Tentaclii, for what it’s worth now. In December my ‘Picture Postals’ posts took a look at Robie Alzada Place (1827–1896) and her home place to the west of Providence, this also having been the home place of Lovecraft’s mother; I followed Lovecraft’s travel trail far up into the White Mountains; and I mused on the Ladd Observatory and its relation to time and time-keeping in Providence.
I wrote a long summary here of the year’s more general Lovecraft-related activity by others, in “Lovecraft in 2021: a summary survey”.
Not much in new books in December, but I was pleased to spot S.T. Joshi’s Phantasmagoria: The Weird Fiction, Poetry, and Criticism of Sir Walter Scott and its fine cover. Also the Lovecraft astronomy book El Astronomicon Y Otros Textes En Defense De La Ciencia down in Spain. The French had shipping dates for the various volumes in the sumptuous Editions Mnemos set of Lovecraft’s work in a new translation.
Not much research by me in December, other than for the ‘Picture Postals’, though I am slowly reading through a new book of letters. I did look at who Chapman Miske was, what he published on Lovecraft, and where to find it. I took another look at Lovecraft’s knowledge of Harlem, after finding some new data.
I spotted that H.P. Lovecraft’s first publication (Scientific American, 25th August 1906) was for sale on eBay. Also on eBay I found a good watercolour of the “Longitude” lane in Charleston, which Lovecraft described and admired on his travels. Over on Abe, a set of “At the Mountains of Madness” in Astounding Stories appeared for sale. More significantly, at the end of the month Abe also landed a big bundle of Lovecraft’s earliest appearances in print.
Popping up on Archive.org for free in December was a comprehensive plot-annotated checklist of ‘Bibliomysteries’ (mystery novels across various genres which centre on rare books, book collectors, old bookshops and suchlike); and I was also pleased to see Clifford D. Simak: a primary and secondary bibliography.
Among the audio, the timely story “The Return of the Undead” by Arthur Leeds saw a welcome free release on YouTube. It’s also just gone into the public domain. A new Voluminous podcast looked at ‘H.P. Lovecraft, Detective’, doggedly solving a dastardly crime at the Haverhill Post Office. A books podcast interviewed the author of the intriguing new novel Providence Blue: A Fantasy Quest.
I was pleased to see that the Robert E. Howard Days in Texas announced their 2023 dates. I was also pleased to find a new lost story by Lovecraft’s friend Everett McNeil, “A Descendant of the Vikings” (1906/07).
In software I noted the new writing software CQuill Writer 1.x, an interesting style-prompting assistant which could be filled (in its full paid version) with the works of Lovecraft. I also see that Scrivener 3.x for Windows was released, at long last, something I had missed earlier in 2021. The latter seems hideously complex, but is said to be the best software for writers on Windows. In 3D software I noted free 3D writing accessories for the free DAZ Studio 3D figure rendering software, which could be used with the 3D Lovecraft figure.
Elsewhere I produced a bumper 108-page ‘Moebius tribute’ issue of Digital Art Live, and also interviewed Simon Ravenhill (Striker, in The Sun newspaper) for VisNews. I comprehensively updated my free “The Folk-lore of North Staffordshire” annotated bibliography, now available online in version 1.7. I released my short book Tolkien and the Lizard: J.R.R. Tolkien in Cornwall, 1914, this being a PDF extract from a much larger book on a far larger and more intellectual topic relating to the young Tolkien. Cornwall has sold only two copies, but did at least help pay for the meagre Christmas food shopping.
All this while having Omicron. From which I’m now recovered — and I presumably now have the latest and greatest antibodies.
Coming soon on Tentaclii… Lovecraft’s almanacks, Tom Baker’s best, and taking the Trans-Europe Express to vampire-country. Not necessarily in that order.