Archive for June, 2019


Cover art by J.K. Potter

Later this year PS Publishing releases a new anthology of Lovecraft-inspired fiction edited by the indomitable Darrell Schweitzer. THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS REVEALED features stories (and poetry) that expand on concepts created by H.P. Lovecraft in his classic novella “At the Mountains of Madness.” One of his most popular stories, it first appeared in the pages of Astounding Stories in 1936, where it was serialized over three issues.

Above is a peek at the cover design by J.K. Potter, and thanks to PS Publishing’s Newsletter we also have their official description and a complete list of contributors:

“In his celebrated novella ‘At the Mountains of Madness,’ H.P. Lovecraft told of the discovery of a vast, alien city buried under the ice in Antarctica: millions of years old, filled with shocking secrets about the history of life on Earth, and not entirely uninhabited. But after the Miskatonic University expedition of 1930 came to a disastrous end and further exploration was either discouraged or suppressed, the city of the Elder Things slept once more, and the world seemed safe from whatever the Mountains of Madness still harbored. Danforth, the last survivor to look back, saw something he never could describe, that made him lose his mind…

Now, decades later, ice caps are melting and glaciers are retreating. Global warming is an observable fact. That which was once hidden is hidden no longer. So what happens when that horror-filled city of Elder Things and shoggoths is in plain sight, its existence impossible to deny? How will mankind deal with the realization that we are not the only intelligent species on the planet, and that we are masters of the Earth only by sheer chance? Now that something is stirring, that mastery may be coming to an end.

What happens next? Denial? Exploitation? The rise of strange cults? Maybe even an ill-advised attempt at tourism? Or will the cosmic forces now awakened engulf the entire planet? Here are some of the answers…”

Stories by:

ASTOUNDING STORIES – Feb, 1936

Adrian Cole
Gordon Linzner
James Chambers
Melinda LaFevers
John R. Fultz
Harry Turtledove
James Van Pelt
Robert M. Price
Don Webb
John Shirley
Paul Di Filippo
Frederic S. Durbin
John Linwood Grant
Geoffrey Hart
Amdi Silvestri
Géza A.G. Reilly
Darrell Schweitzer

Verse by:
Ann K. Schwader
Adam Bolivar

My contribution is a chilling tale of the not-too-distant future entitled “The Embrace of Elder Things.” A remnant of mankind has survived climate collapse and global floods by migrating to a high-tech moon colony, while horrors from the ancient past have risen to reclaim the waterlogged earth. Psychic powers and eldritch terrors abound…

There is no specific release date for the book yet, but it will almost certainly be released by the time of this year’s NecronomiCon (i.e. August). I’ll post a fresh update as soon as THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS REVEALED is available.

Art by by Eclectixx

Creation vs. Depression

Art by Jim Steranko

Working on a new novel and the beginning of a new phase for my writing career. I have to be insane to write another novel. After all, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. I guess you could argue that I’m not really doing the SAME thing over and over because I’m writing very different books. But it kinda FEELS the same–like you keep rowing but never really get anywhere. But that is an illusion–and a classic symptom of depression.

So I’m battling depression fueled by a sense of existential futility. I’m supposed to be on vacation–but luckily I’m too poor to take an actual vacation (as usual), so that kinda forces me to stay at home and work on a book. What else am I gonna do?

The problem is that my depression keeps saying “Why bother? You’re wasting your time! Writing is a fool’s game.” Then the other voice in the back of my head says “That’s self-defeating bullshit. Get off your ass and write!” But the bottom line is that I can’t write unless I feel like writing. I have to keep reminding myself that every novel is like this: I start out slow–a chapter per week if that–and I gradually build up speed as the novel progresses. Sometimes I even get up to one-chapter-per-day by the time it’s over.

Art by Bruce Pennington

I think the real secret is just to KEEP GOING. Put your head down, follow your muse, and crank out that novel line by line, scene by scene, chapter by chapter.

Why?

Why does a man climb a mountain?

Because it’s there.

Why does a man write a novel?

Because he’s a fool.

Depression is a bitch. Most writers I know have been affected by it at some point. Some of us have battled depression our entire lives–starting many years before we even heard the word “depression.” I remember as a kid the first time I discovered that people weren’t supposed to be sad and anxious all the time. I was surprised. Doesn’t everybody feel like I feel? And the truth is that everybody gets depressed sometimes–it’s perfectly normal–but it’s those extended bouts of depression that can really make existence difficult.

Depression is antithetical to creativity. Or, to put it another way, creativity kills depression. It’s a great feeling to plant the seed of a creative endeavor (such as a novel) and watch it bloom to fruition under your constant care and hard work. Maybe that’s why my depression doesn’t want me to write–because writing will destroy it. At least for a while…

The problem is that it’s so much easier NOT to write. It’s so much easier to do the wrong than the right thing. The easiest thing in the world to do is fail. Failure requires absolutely no effort, no sacrifice, and no work whatsoever. I guess you could say failure is the “default setting” for humans. We spend our lives battling against failure–or we give into it and watch our lives fade to nothing–first metaphorically, then literally.

Art by Enrich Torres

So the whole point of living seems to be STRUGGLE. Not that we all have an equal struggle–and some struggles go completely unseen by others–but everyone’s got their own cross to bear.

For me, the best defense against depression is creation.

It doesn’t want me to create.

It wants me to give up and die.

I say fuck that.

I choose to live, and I choose to write.

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For more info on dealing with depression visit verywellmind.com