Uploading Problems

Well, the good news is that the files for URBAN CTHULHU: NIGHTMARE CITIES, hplmythos.com Vol. 3, are done and ready to go. The bad news is that I am having.serious problems uploading them… and don’t know why. And I won’t be able to do anything before Monday. I’m away this weekend.

It’s quite frustrating but I can’t do more now. So — Monday. Monday.

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Urban Stirring In the Deep

The good citizens lie in their bed, sleeping, dreaming.

It’s an uneasy sleep. Something disturbs even the deepest of sleep.

Below the city — far, far below, deep down in the darkness where even the sewers and the polution barely exist — something stirs. Something ancient, something unknown.

Soon, urban life is never the same again.

Soon, something wakes up and rises from the deep.

Soon.

Very soon.

TWO AGAINST DARKNESS Available Now! Cthulhu Mythos & Carcosa Meets Raymond Chandler

Illustrated by Mortimer Dempsey.

Isn’t this just a beautiful cover by Mortimer Dempsey? A fine piece of art in itself. The first of the long-awaited books are now available: Two Against Darkness by Ron Shiflet and Glynn Barrass. It can be purchased straight from my store in Lulu.com (Amazon will follow later): http://www.lulu.com/shop/ron-shiflet-and-glynn-barrass/two-against-darkness/paperback/product-20005340.html#

It’s 280 pages long (in all), and you’re in for an exciting storyline… Here’s the blurb:

In the tradition of Raymond Chandler and H. P. Lovecraft, this hard-boiled supernatural thriller follows two investigators embroiled in the Cthulhu Mythos, Towers & Barnes, as they cross paths with the likes of Herbert West and the King in Yellow.

Two Against Darkness is a special treat for connoisseurs of Eldritch Noir.

Honestly, what’s not to like here, eh? Ron Shiflet and Glynn Barrass have really created something unique here — hardboiled PI style — check; Lovecraftian cities and monsters — check; strange persons and relationships — check; other worlds — check…

Really, it’s hard to describe this one. Why don’t you check it out yourself?;-)

DYSTRE DANMARK 2 nomineret til Årets Danske Horrorudgivelse!!!

(Danish post, where I share the Short-list to the Danish Horror Publication award next weekend, featuring Dystre Danmark 2 from my press:-))

Yay! Dystre Danmark 2 er røget gennem nåleøjet og er blandt de sidste 5 til at kunne vinde prisen for Årets Danske Horrorudgivelse den kommende weekend, på Krimimessen i Horsens. Prisen uddeles af Dansk Horror Selskab, som blev stiftet sidste år (og nej, jeg har intet med nomineringerne at gøre). En stor tak og tillykke til forfatterne, som gjorde det muligt for Dystre Danmark 2 at dette kunne ske: A. Silvestri, Lars Ahn Pedersen, Sandra Schwartz, Patrick Leis, Jonas Wilmann, Freddy E. Silva, Nikolaj Johansen, Morten Carlsen, Jeppe Bisbjerg, Thomas Daugaard, Søren Kayser, Thomas Bøttern og Bjarke Schjødt Larsen. I er fantastiske.

Der er tale om en samling bøger af ualmindelig høj kvalitet. Og, som I kan se, så er det en bred vifte. Jeg er meget stolt af, at en udgivelse fra mit forlag kan dele plads blandt dem. Også et stort, stort tillykke til alle de andre nominerede. Fedt, at der virkelig sker noget i disse år! May the best man win, som man siger på nydansk;-)

Her er pressemeddelelsen:

Shortlisten for Årets Danske Horrorudgivelse  offentliggøres 

Lørdag d. 24. marts afsløres det, hvem der løber af med den nyindstiftede pris for Årets Bedste Danske Horrorudgivelse.

Prisen uddeles af Dansk Horror Selskab på Krimimessen i Horsens, og vinderen udvælges af en uafhængig jury. Allerede i dag løfter juryen dog sløret for de 5 titler på shortlisten, som er:

Alt det hun ville ønske hun ikke forstod af Steen Langstrup

Skræmmende tortur-horror fra dansk horrors “grand old man”. Udgivet på 2 Feet Entertainment

Det sker igen / red. Nikolaj Højberg

Spændende antologi hvor forfatterne blev bedt om at skrive en novelle mod racisme og fascisme. Udgivet på Forlaget Kandor

Dystre Danmark 2 / red. Henrik S. Harksen

Velskrevet antologi med både kendte og mindre kendte forfattere repræsenteret. Udgivet på H. Harksen Productions

Moln – jorden husker af Michael Kamp

Novellesamling – eller roman? – om den lille by Moln, som ikke er et særligt rart sted. Udgivet på Forlaget Tellerup

Velkommen til dybet / red. Mathias Clasen

Antologi, der startede som en konkurrence, og endte med 13+1 fængslende noveller. Udgivet på Forlaget Tellerup

Om arbejdet med udvælgelsen udtaler juryen:

”Der har været mange interessante danske horrorudgivelser i år, og det har ikke været nemt at skære titlerne ned til 5. Vi har både været omkring sms-noveller, zombiromaner og sigøjnerfortællinger, men efter gode diskussioner endte vi med ovenstående, som bredt repræsenterer noget af det bedste indenfor dansk horror p.t.

Her er udgivelser fra både store og små forlag, ligesom både etablerede og nye forfattere ses på listen.

Mange horror-elskere holder af novellen, som er et utroligt godt medie for det intense og overraskende gys. Shortlisten indeholder da også flere antologier og novellesamlinger, samt en roman indenfor den relativt nye subgenre torturhorror.

Det har været en spændende udfordring, og vi glæder os til at offentliggøre den endelige vinder på lørdag.”

Venlig hilsen

Jakob Stegelmann, redaktør på DR’s Troldspejlet; forsker Rikke Schubart; Janus Andersen, Horrorsiden.dk; og Jette Holst, Gyseren.dk

Happy Death Day, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937)

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On this day, the 15th of March 2012, it is 75 years ago that a gentleman lovingly called “Grandpa” (a term he used himself) or simply “HPL” (which he also used himself) died from cancer and kidney failure. In 1937 no one would have dreamed that the Dreamer from Providence taking his last breath at Jane Brown Memorial Hospital, a pulp writer of (let’s be honest here) almost no fame, would in the future be hailed as one of the absolute giants in the field of weird fiction — and one who almost single-handedly shaped a new future for horror.

HPL himself would be amazed, no doubt. Even he — who had such a vivid imagination, and such a keen mind — couldn’t imagine being famous all around the globe. No, he is not a “household name,” obviously, but his influence has seeped into mainstream culture in ways uncountable, and one can actually meet a person once in a while who has at least heard of him.

And people keep reading his stories — and his letters — and his essays (originally mainly published in amateur magazines) — and biographies about his life.

And people keep writing stories inspired by him as well as the Cthulhu Mythos genre (not HPL’s own idea as such, but yeah, let’s for a moment say it too originates from him, without debating the issue;-)) — and even more people actually keep reading those stories.

How many writers can brag about that, eh?

Admittedly, there’s been published a lot of so-called Cthulhu Mythos stories that are not — to put it diplomatically — of the best quality. But on the other hand, some are of an amazing quality. In fact, the present (the 2000s) seems to witness a resurgence of quality stories. It’s uncanny how many, really.

All thanks to a man who, all in all, lived a quiet (if not as reclusive as legend would have it) life more than 75 years ago.

Personally I first encountered him in the late 1980s — thanks to the Chaosium roleplaying game The Call of Cthulhu. And I was so fascinated (who wouldn’t be?) by the underlying, bleak universe (not to mention the cool sanity system, hehe), and decided to read the source. I first read a Danish translation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and at the time it really got a hold on me. My love for that story has since faded a little (I see things in it here and there that makes me understand why HPL himself were dissatisfied with it, and I am sure he would have preferred to edit it quite much — for the better — before publication; but of course he had no saying in the matter, since it happened after he died). After that followed a score of his short stories (I think the very first here was “The Lurking Fear,” which, for all its faults, I still find charming).

The rest, as they say, is history.

And here I am today — not only writing stories inspired by him and his ideas (in my way), but I can also thank him for the people around the world that I have gotten to know; we share the same passion. And it is also thanks to him that I started my own small press, publishing books that are either Lovecraftian or Cthulhu Mythos in nature — even scholarship about it.

And I am only one among… Who knows how many, really?

Happy Death Day, Grandpa. You’re more alive than ever.

URBAN CTHULHU: NIGHTMARE CITIES Cover Revealed (Sort Of)

Okay, just so you know that things are progressing. Here’s a hint at the cover for Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities. It’s not done yet, but it should give you an idea. The artwork is by the amazing artist Paul Carrick, but the design and, well, mash-up or collage-like style (depending on your temper) is by yours truly.

So yes, late March for that tome is still well on track:-)

Here’s a reminder of what writers we’re talking about… ‘Tis cool stuff, folks.

CONTENTS:

“Dancer of the Dying” by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

“The Neighbors Upstairs” by John Goodrich

“Carcosapunk” by Glynn Owen Barrass

“Architect Eyes” by Thomas Strømsholt

“Slou” by Robert Tangiers

“Ozeelah’s Lake” by Morten Carlsen

“The Statement of Frank Elwood” by Pete Rawlik

“In the Shadow of Bh’Yhlun” by Ian Davey

“The Screamer” by T. E. Grau

“Night Life” by Henrik Sandbeck Harksen

“the guilt of each … at the end…” by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

Off to bed I go…

Words From A Weird Publisher and Writer: Mission Statement & Resolutions

(Far below the fertile soil of Denmark, somewhere in the region of Odense. Voices in a forgotten and, it is commonly believed, abandoned dungeon.)

Hello, you. So… This is where you are these days. How cozy. How are you?

Oh? It’s you? Hi Me. ‘Tis been been a long time, so very long. I am fine, thank you. Far better than I’ve been for a long while, thanks for asking. I will pull myself together. Things are looking so much better these days. I promise to do better, and to actually follow through on the various publication dates and suchlike. In exchange I hope that you will support me, helping me reach that goal many-fold from then on.

That’s good to hear. I am very happy to hear such good news. Truly, I am. And yes, I certainly will. If you keep your end of the bargain, I will keep mine. So — when can we expect to see you again, up above? People are wondering, you know. They are worried, and wild speculations are starting to take the place of facts; rumors strangling empirical evidence.

Yes, yes. I suppose that makes sense. I suppose I can understand that. Well… It so happens that I have just outlined the outline for what I will do from now on. In fact, I was just scribbling down notes on what I want to do the rest of the year 2012.

2012? This year? How interesting. Please — enlighten me.

Well, yes of course. It’s here… [a nervous rattling of paper is heard] Here. See.

Please. Read it for me. Verbalize it. Make it come alive.

Oh. Erh. Ok. [A slight cough.]

In 2012 I want to catch up with the publishing of the projects that have been lying dormant for too long, just waiting to surface. This includes:

  • Two Against Darkness by Glynn Barrass and Ron Shiflet (cover is complete; only the final typesetting is missing). Early March 2012.
  • Hex Code and Others by John Mayer (cover is complete; only the final typesetting is missing). March 2012. Hardcover btw.
  • Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities, Vol. 2 in the hplmythos.com Series edited by me, Henrik Sandbeck Harksen (cover is almost complete; and only a little editing and final typesetting is still needed). End of March 2012. Same format as Vol. 1 btw.
  • A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos: Origins of the Cthulhu Mythos by John D. Haefele. A huge hardcover publication. John keeps digging up gold and gems from the past, but we will soon settle on the final — final! — publication date. It has been postponed quite often now, but I believe that the result will amaze readers. This book will, in my opinion, stand tall and proud alongside S. T. Joshi’s championing of H. P. Lovecraft, giving August Derleth a more appropriate place in the annals of weird fiction and publishing history. Hopefully we can agree on a publication some time in the Summer of 2012.
  • Lovecraftian Covens by Franklyn Searight, son of Richard F. Searight, a correspondent of H. P. Lovecraft and a Weird Tales writer. Guess who the protagonists are;-) Franklyn Searight is, as many already know, quite an accomplished weird tales writer himself. Fall 2012. And soon after we plan to reveal this:
  • Those Abominable Eltdown Shards by Franklyn Searight, Richard F. Searight, H. P. Lovecraft, William Lumley and others. Winter 2012.

Ok? Not bad, not bad. Sounds good, very good.

Thank you, Me.

You’re welcome, Myself. But what about Danish publications?

Oh. Yes, yes. That’s right…

  • Pix (title subject to change), edited by me, Henrik Sandbeck Harksen. A collection of modern gothic short stories, penned by some of the sharpest and grittiest Danish weird writers today. This is the first “by invitation only” for me, and I can’t reveal names yet. I gave each writer a unique challenge. The stories are being written as I tell you this. (One has already been handed in.)  This will be a very cool Danish collection. Quite something else. Late Summer 2012.
  • Ondskaben fra Alhambra [eng. “The Evil From Alhambra”] by Mads Højmark Jensen, the first full-blown novel from H. Harksen Productions. Mysteries and deaths in the heart Copenhagen — more specifically Frederiksberg — dig deeper into history and darkness than anything you’ve ever witnessed before;-) Winter 2012.

Impressive.

And that’s just the projects for this year, mind you, Me! And I admit that, especially, Alhambra may — just may — take a little longer before we can publish it (Mads wants to make sure it’s written well enough, so we don’t want to rush the publication), but the rest is already quite well on the way. All in all, that’s not bad for one year. There are also some meaty and, well, bloody fine projects for 2013, but, please, I want to focus on this year first. One thing at a time. That’s the only way to make sure I actually deliver. If there’s one thing I’ve now learned from publishing these 5-6 years it’s that.

That makes sense. An acceptable request, Myself. Granted.

Thank you. That’s quite a relief to know.

Now, I suppose I better leave you again, so you can get back to work. So you can keep your word.

(The sound of a cracking whip, followed by a mad scream. Then footsteps leaving, and then… only the odd sound of frantic scribbling on paper and incomprehensible mumbling of a mind long gone mad, down there in the forgotten dungeons.)