The icy wind of time

A few thoughts on “At the Mountains of Madness”…

One of the fascinating aspects of this story is that the Elder Things are – finally – HPL’s first alien good guys. While the scenario in SooT was definitely written as a sort of utopia, the Elder Things are actually closer to humanity than one might believe. As the protagonist explains, “[…] they were not evil things of their kind. They were the men of another age and another order of being.”

But, of course, they found their nemesis. Not in the other beings living on earth. But in their own creation. The shoggoths, backbone of the Elder Things’ civilization, were the eventual cause of its annihilation. An entire race, wiped out by its own hubris.

Sounds familiar? It is the cornerstone of almost every (post-)apocalyptic scenario. HPL’s warning seems even more urgent today: We have to be careful, or we will be destroyed by our own creation. For some, the climate change may be the creation, for others the threat of nuclear destruction, either from atomic weapons or careless handling of nuclear reactors.

I hope we can learn a lesson from the mistakes the Elder Things made. Otherwise unwitting explorers might stumble upon our dead cities and learn the tale of our downfall…

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 00:22  Leave a Comment  

Peaks of Peril

So, the HPPodcraft guys are doing Mountains of Madness! And immediately, I feel reminded of the shock when Guillermo del Toro’s ATMOM movie was canceled. It was the first chance – at least for a long time – for a truly Lovecraftian blockbuster. But as it turns out, Universal is not interested in movies that contain a significant amount of brain. I don’t believe the hypocritical statements about the rating and non-existence of a romance and/or happy ending. Not more than flimsy excuses, if you ask me.

Why is this so important to me? It would have been a chance to bring HPL out to the masses. His works wouldn’t have become mainstream, I’m sure. They just aren’t. But it would have brought him and his oeuvre out of the obscurity he fell into. A similar thing happened in the early eighties, when Deities & Demigods and, finally, the Call of Cthulhu RPG were released. I’m fairly sure that their popularity is one of the main reasons why we can appreciate so much of HPL’s work today. But while these were limited to the nerds and geeks, ATMOM could have done the same for a much larger group of people. Lovecraft would have received the attention he deserves.

But, of course, it didn’t happen. The sceptic Lovecraftians, who warned us not to get too excited, were right. The world is not ready for the daemoniac revelations contained within HPL’s work, it seems. Or Universal was too scared of the price tag. Or they didn’t want to make a movie without naked female humans. There’s just no place for those in Antarctica. Either way, we’ll have to wait for the next opportunity to see Lovecraft’s visions turned into a movie.

At the end of the day, everyone’s dreams have been shattered, del Toro goes off to make a different monster movie and Universal has the doubtful celebrity of having canceled what could have become an awesome sci-fi thriller… with smiles as cold as the snow that falls on Mount Erebus.

Published in: on May 21, 2011 at 21:31  Leave a Comment  

This Lovecraft Life

There is a substantial element of fun in being a Lovecraftian. You always wanted to belong to a small and mostly unsuspicious cult while simultaneously being able to whisper about the forbidden knowledge left behind by ancient, pre-human civilizations? Come right in, feel at home! It’s a literary, intellectual cult. And the only sacrifices you need to make are the costs of your library and the time needed to study the unholy texts left behind by those who ‘went mad’ before you.

It can be a lot of fun to meet with similar-minded people both on the web and in real life. But being a Lovecraftian also has an impact on your everyday life. Don’t tell me you don’t believe that. I know you do.  Remember the last Walpurgis Night? How you really had to pull an all-nighter because the atmosphere was so deliciously lovecraftian? Gotcha.

Now while I am fully capable of transforming my thoughts into fluid readable text, I do so at a much slower pace than old HPL did. So I will post them here whenever I find time and inspiration. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them!

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 20:16  Leave a Comment