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Issue 15, Fall 2009 $6.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN


Fall 2009 Issue Number 15 w

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief James R. Beach Art Director/Managing Editor Jason V Brock Design and Layout JaSunni Productions, LLC ( _________


Roger Anker James R. Beach Jason V Brock Sunni K Brock (Web Mistress) Henry Covert Cody Goodfellow H.P. Lovecraft Brian Lumley Dan O’Bannon (Excerpts) Wilum H. Pugmire David A. Riley Glen Singer

Contributing Artists/Photographers

Leslie Barany (Photos p. ) Jason V Brock (Cover/Interiors; Photos p. 17, 20, 35-37, 39; Art p. 28-29, 32, 47) Alan M. Clark (p. 40) Goya Allen Koszowski (Throughout) Kris Kuksi (Labeled; p. 45-46) J.K. Potter (Images p. 33, 50, 54) Donald Wandrei (BG Image of HPL; courtesy J.K. Potter)

Special Thanks Leslie Barany Joyce Beach H.R. Giger S.T. Joshi Kris Kuksi Andrew Migliore Dan O’Bannon J.K. Potter

Printing B & B Print Source (with veg-based inks) _____________________

DARK DISCOVERIES (ISSN 1548-6842) is published quarterly (Spring: April 30th, Summer: July 31st, Autumn: October 31st and Winter: January 31st) by James R. Beach and Dark Discoveries Publications, 142 Woodside Drive, Longview, WA 98632 Copyright ©2009 and beyond by Dark Discoveries Publications, and where specified elsewhere in the issue. All rights refer to the authors upon publication. Nothing shown can be reproduced without obtaining written permission from the creators. Direct all inquiries, address changes, submission queries,subscription orders and changes, etc. to:

fiction The Thing in the Moonlight (Classic Reprint) by H.P. Lovecraft and Brian Lumley Some Bacchante of Irem by W. H. Pugmire Transfusion: A Tale of Innsmouth Reborn by Glen Singer Rapture of the Deep by Cody Goodfellow The Fragile Mask On His Face by David A. Riley

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interviews Brian Lumley: Master of the Necrosphere by James R. Beach S.T. Joshi: Lovecraft Today by Jason V Brock Kris Kuksi: Dark Horizons by Jason V Brock

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non-fiction The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival: An Overview by Jason V Brock “Be Careful What You Ask For...”: Serling, Bradbury and Beaumont (PART 2 of 2) by Roger Anker The H.R. Giger Museum: Where Darkness is Truly Faster Than Light by Jason V Brock Dan O’Bannon: An Excerpt from The Real Necronomicon by Jason V Brock Re:discoveries - Marvel Comics and the Mythos by Henry Covert

James R. Beach Dark Discoveries Publications 142 Woodside Drive Longview, WA 98632 U.S.A. e-mail: Please make check or money order payable to: James R. Beach or Dark Discoveries Publications. Advertising rates available. Discounts for bulk and standing retail orders.



19 24 35 38 59



Brian Lumley: Master of the Necrosphere by James R. Beach Born 2nd December, 1937, Brian Lumley came into the world just nine months after the most obvious of his forebears – meaning of course a “literary” forebear, namely, H. P. Lovecraft – had departed from it. By his preteens, Lumley had read Dracula and other horror classics, but having followed the adventures of Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future in the British Eagle comic, his first love was Science Fiction. Then, in his early teens – as a result of reading Robert Bloch’s Lovecraft pastiche Notebook Found in a Deserted House in a British SF magazine – he became more attracted to macabre fiction: an attraction that has lasted a lifetime. In his early twenties while serving with the Corps of Royal Military Police in Germany, and after chancing upon some of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, Lumley began searching for every available item in the author’s catalog. This culminated in his contacting publisher August Derleth (Arkham House) in Sauk City, WI, in order to purchase a few volumes missing from his growing collection. After Derleth read various “extracts” of the Necronomicon and other “Black Books” of the Cthulhu Mythos (which Lumley had included in his letters), he asked if the aspiring author had anything solid he could use for a book he was prepping for publication, to be entitled Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. Thus, Lumley began writing in earnest. Thirteen countries and counting have now published, or are in the process of publishing Lumley’s novels and short story collections, which have sold over three million copies in the USA alone. In addition, Necroscope comic books, graphic novels, a role-playing game, figurines, and a series of German audio books have been created from themes and characters in the Necroscope books, and Lumley has added his “real” voice to Dangerous Ground, a Downliners Sect rock-&-roll album released in the UK in 2004. Lumley’s works other than Necroscope, such as his SF-ish novel The House of Doors and its sequel Maze of Worlds, collections gathered from his more than 130 short stories and novellas (most notably Fruiting Bodies & Other Fungi, whose title story won a British Fantasy Award in 1989) and other works have seen or are seeing print in many European countries as well as the USA. Recently, both Subterranean Press in the USA and Solaris in the UK have undertaken to publish two companion volumes of Lumley’s previously uncollected Cthulhu Mythos tales: The Taint and Other Novellas and Haggopian and Other Mythos Tales. Other books from Subterranean include Brian Lumley’s Freaks, Screaming Science Fiction, A Coven of Vampires and The Nonesuch and Others. In 1990, the readers of Fear Magazine voted Lumley “Best Established Genre Author” for The Source, and his short story Necros was adapted for Ridley Scott’s The Hunger series on the USA’s Showtime Television series. As Guest of Honour at the 1998 World Horror Convention in Phoenix, AZ, he received the genre’s coveted Grand Master Award in recognition of his work. The original Necroscope has now been optioned for a major film, with the original trilogy to be included in the deal. Widely travelled, Lumley has visited or lived in the USA, France, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, Malta, Canada, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and a dozen Greek islands. He still makes regular visits to the Mediterranean, indulging a passion for moussaka, retsina, just a little ouzo... and Metaxa, naturally! When not travelling, the Lumleys keep house in Torquay, Devon, England...

Dark Discoveries: Brian, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. I’ve been a fan of your work since encountering a beat up old paperback copy of The Year’s Best Horror, and reading your story “The Sister City” way too many years ago. How influential/important was Derleth to your writing when you were starting out? Did he give you a lot of encouragement? Did he edit your work a lot at the start? Lumley: In 1967, I wrote to Derleth from Berlin where I was serving with the Royal Military Police. I never met him, but might have spoken to him on the phone once or twice. Derleth accepted The Man in


Some Bacchante of Irem By W. H. Pugmire


imon Gregory Williams stood in the silent gallery and marveled at the sight before him. He had seen the thing – or something like it – only in dream. Of course, in his vision the site had been far more expansive, so as to contain its thousand pillars. But the aura was identical to what he saw before him in this Boston art gallery; and the one addition, the figure that stood like some implacable god on its dais of black rock, caused his silver eyes to shimmer in adoration. Simon walked among the thirty-three pillars, uncertain if it would be gauche to touch his hand to these works of art, to smooth his hand against the signals etched upon them. The symbols were familiar, for he had found their likeness if various copies of the Necronomicon that he had committed to memory; but their combined force and formulae were new even to his expert experience. He looked above him, to the ceiling that had been painted deep crimson and on which there sparkled a conglomeration of black stars. Simon spoke a passage of the Necronomicon from its 13th century French translation and began to make unto those black stars the Voorish Sign; but then he stopped his conjuration, aware of the presence that watched him. He turned and studied the beautiful black woman who smiled at him, taking in the perfect complexion of her amazing face, her jade eyes and long red hair. Returning her smile, he bowed to her. “Was that a passage from the Livre d’Eibon?” “No. It’s from an elder work, but the translation was composed around the same time that Gaspard du Nord made his transcription of the Greek manuscript.” “Ah. I knew it was an older dialect. You spoke it so smoothly, and from memory. Impressive.” She walked to a pillar and ran her hand against its surface. “I copied some of these symbols from an old translation of Eibon that’s been in my family for generations. My great, great grandmother made an abridgement of the book, but these signals were never explained.” “They call forth the black stars, which fall from cosmic aether like dark sand, the sentient silica that howls among the thousand pillars of Irem, beneath which sleeps an elder race.” He grinned. “So legend tells. You know of this, obviously.” “Actually, I don’t. My French is pedestrian at best. I’ve been trying to teach myself the language so as to study my ancestor’s codex; but so many passages are a combination of French and Latin and Greek – it seems an impossible task.” “Perhaps I can help, if you show it me. Miss…” She moved away from the pillar and took his proffered hand. “Charmian Auriol, of Boston.” “Simon Williams, of Sesqua Valley.” “Where’s that?” He touched the nearest pillar and ignored her question. “You have had some success in deciphering your ancestor’s text, if indeed this work of art is your creation.” “It is.” She looked wistfully about at her creation. “But, no; this piece wasn’t inspired by the vision of Eibon. I saw this in a dream. That’s why I’ve titled it ‘Nocturnal Ecstasy.’” She fingered the amulet that dangled from a gold chain around her neck. Simon boldly reached for it with his large sallow hand. The smooth thing was a small crocodile head composed of pale faience. He turned to one of the pillars and saw that a semblance of the image had been etched thereon, and then he noticed another repeated delineation. “This is interesting,” he told her. “It reminds me of the crocodile-men depicted in the African rock art of Zimbabwe.” “You’re well-informed. And I know the rock art, so of course it might have had something to do with my inspiration. But this, too, was an aspect of dream imagery, although in a very fleeting and surreal way. It was such a weird dream. I can still hear the strange wailing wind and feel the falling sand.” “Falling sand?” “Yes, that was one of the oddest sensations. It was almost like I was in some colossus hour glass. Like all dreams, it made absolutely no sense. I remember that I had been reading an article on the discovery of what is thought to be the lost city of Ubar. Perhaps that inspired the image of a city of pillars; but, of course, the original was a city of tent poles – certainly not as impressive as what I saw in dream.” “And the Faceless God?” Simon moved toward the figure on the dais of obsidian rock. It was a figure he had often encountered, in countless representations; but it always thrilled him with uncanny sensation to encounter it anew and unexpectedly. “She’s also something I saw in dream. I don’t understand the triple crown. There were women pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Why do you call her ‘god’?” “There is a repeated legend in certain esoteric sources of such a deity, although it is usually referred to as male. Of course, it’s absurd to consign human gender to these Old Ones.” He turned to look at her and laughed. “But I’m bewildering you with my arcane enlightenment. It certainly takes no occult intuition to enjoy the success of your art. It ‘s magnificent.” “Thank you, Mr. Williams. Do you drink? I’m just on my way home, and I feel a strong impulse to invite you to join me for a nightcap.” “Excellent. Perhaps you can show me your ancestor’s selected translations from the Ebony Book, and I can help explain some of the more perplexing portions.”




was amazed. Somebody had plumbed and squared Innsmouth and given it a new coat of paint from stem to stern. I hadn’t driven through it in over fifteen years. In the bad old days when I was commuting between my first teaching job at Frome College and Boston to see both my thesis advisor and my daughter, I’d occasionally taken the coast route to soak up a little local New England color. In those days I rolled right on through that forlorn place, never stopped. There wasn’t anything to stop for. Innsmouth was a derelict eyesore full of listing buildings and boarded-up Georgian homes. There were ramshackle warehouses and factories down by the seashore, where, judging by the stench, there must have been some sort of fish processing or canning operation. Hardly anyone was ever out on the streets. It seemed one among many of those Eastern Seaboard towns that had evaporated sometime during the past century when either the demography or the economy of the region had taken a sudden downturn. Now it was anything but sleepy or ramshackle. I drove north into town on a smooth, two-lane blacktop. There were trendy diners and slick motels on the outskirts. There were those ubiquitous, metal Elks, Odd Fellows, and Lions Club shields bristling around the city limits sign. A wooden placard that hung between two sturdy poles trumpeted: Innsmouth, Home of the Dragons: Massachusetts Division 3 Boys Swim Team Champions with a list of successive years that went back to 1997. Across the road the unbroken championship reign of the girl swimmers – the Lady Dragons -- was commemorated in the same fashion. Salt marshes, sprouting spartina and eel grass, stretched along the road. At intervals, there were open pools festooned with sea lett uce. Markers noted that the area was an officially protected wetland. When I drove down Federal Street and pulled over at the town square, I have to admit that I was impressed. Innsmouth was now a tasteful mix of the old and the new. Some of the old Georgian mansions had been restored and done up in mauves, greens, and grays with bright accent colors on the window frames and doors. A few had retained their dark brownish shingles and their House-of-Seven-Gables look. The white steeples of churches, built in classic New England style, poked up here and there in the background. New brick shops with shiny, mullioned windows had been blended with storefronts of a much older vintage. On the western curve of the square, the towering Gilman House Pub and Inn established a stately, and – I was willing to bet -- expensive eminence. People hurried in and out of stores. A few tony blonds chatted and laughed on the street corner. An old couple, fussing with their terrier, occupied a bench. I had to question my memory. Could this really be the same miserable burg? A sorcerer must have waved his wand over the place. I parked and set out on foot for a bit of serendipity exploring. I crossed a sturdy, iron bridge over the river which ran through the heart of town. The Manuxet. On my left, falls cascaded down from the heights above town, while on the right, another set plunged eastward to the sea. I had completely missed this stunning feature on my previous road trips.

I headed down River Street toward the sea, passing through a smaller, pocket square. A three-storey building surmounted by cupola with the date 1847 inscribed upon it loomed ahead. Its pinkish brickwork had been sandblasted and scoured. Ivy climbed a long, featureless wall on one side, while trim shop windows dominated the other three. A sign over the front entrance proclaimed: The Refinery, and in smaller letters below: A Galleria. I turned on Water Street. I could see nothing of the old warehouses and vacant industrial plants that I thought I recalled. There were a couple of glassed-in seafood restaurants that extended on piers out over the sound: The Blue Flounder and La Grenouille. Farther off to the south, there appeared to be beach condos. The air was tangy and salty, with just a trace of fish in it -- not the roll-your-windows-up kind of stink that had blanketed the place before. I had to get back on the road if I was going to get to New


The H.R. Giger Museum: Where Darkness is Truly Faster than Light

by Jason V Brock Gruyères, Switzerland: The place itself – just the name – conjures images of the distant past; forgotten heritage, lost kingdoms. The breathtaking scenery -- in the midst of the Alps, replete with pastoral montages of cows, sheep and farms -- does its utmost to reinforce this unconscious yearning for a seemingly simpler time. Although the Swiss are known for precision cutlery, banking and chronographs, neither money nor time seems to matter here… Then, of course, there is the food (Swiss chocolate is world renowned, and fondue was a Swiss gastronomic invention). But there is another important Swiss export to consider: H.R. Giger. The brilliant surrealist, originally hailing from Chur, Switzerland, is undoubtedly one the greatest artists of the last fifty years. Rising to prominence with the seminal Dan O’Bannon scripted classic Alien, Giger’s fertile imagination and stark imagery have deep


Re:discoveries “He Who Sleeps Shall Awake”: Marvel Comics and the Mythos

by Henry Covert


uring the Silver Age of Comics, perhaps it was inevitable that Marvel Comics would approach the works of H. P. Lovecraft as fertile ground for story material. As the 1960s waned, Marvel’s massive cult following raised them to a plateau among comic book publishers that had previously only been occupied by EC Comics. Like EC, Marvel was critically lauded as groundbreaking, yet also enjoyed mass commercial success. As the Marvel brand soared into the seventies, Marvel’s most important and prolific writer -- after editor-in-chief Stan Lee -- was X-Men scribe and Lovecraft fan Roy Thomas. Thomas succeeded Stan as editorin-chief in 1972, and became the prime architect of Marvel’s creative direction. Roy Thomas is widely regarded as an authority on Golden Age comics and superheroes, which he has tackled as subjects in comics series such as Invaders and All-Star Squadron, and as journalistic fodder for the magazine he currently edits bearing his durable imprint Alter Ego. Roy is also a hard-core pulp aficionado weaned on adventure heroes and science fiction literature. The works of H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Robert E. Howard (especially the latter) have been crucial influences on Thomas since he began writing. Lovecraft conceived the sprawling Cthulhu Mythos, with its tales of malevolent cosmic beings gnawing at the edges of our reality - and our very sanity - while Howard, like a number of Lovecraft’s peers in pulp (notably August Derleth, Robert Bloch, and Clark Ashton Smith), played vigorously in the Mythos sandbox. The first Lovecraft-inspired story at Marvel was “They Walk by Night”, published in Dr. Strange #183 (November, 1969). Written by Thomas and atmospherically illustrated by veteran Strange artist Gene Colan, it was here that Roy began bringing Mythos elements into Marvel’s shared universe of characters. Thomas riffs heavily on Lovecraft’s classic 1926 tale “The Call of Cthulhu”. As in “Call”, the crux of the tale’s mystery lies with an idol inscribed with ominous symbols unknown to human language. Thomas’ florid descriptions of an ancient statuette found by Kenneth Ward (an old classmate of series protagonist Stephen Strange), are closely akin to the account by Inspector Legrasse of the ancient idol of the Great Old One Cthulhu from “Call”. The creature perched on the idol is not Cthulhu; rather it is a winged, two-headed obscenity known as the Nameless One, whose attendant creatures are called The Undying Ones. The cult devoted to these beings is led by an urbane Vermont magus named Van Nyborg, and their rituals are evocative of the feverish Old One worship from “Call”, as well as of cults, strewn throughout Mythos tales, who attempt through arcane sorceries to hasten the return of their eldritch masters. It seems fitting that Dr. Strange should be the venue to fold Lovecraftian concepts into the Marvel Universe, as the character Dr. Stephen Strange seems to be heavily influenced by Algernon Blackwood’s character Dr. John Silence. Silence was introduced in 1908 in Blackwood’s short story “A Psychickal Invasion”, and Blackwood’s work was a tremendous influence on Lovecraft himself. In any case, “They Walk by Night” abruptly marked the end of Dr. Strange’s first attempt to headline his own title. The saga

of the Nameless One would have to be wrapped by Thomas in another Marvel book. 1970 was the year in which Stan Lee’s protégé descended with a vengeance on the Lovecraft circle of pulp writers as source material for Marvel, as Thomas penned the company’s first adaptation of a Lovecraft story. Tower of Shadows #3 (January, 1970) featured Roy’s take on HPL’s 1921 tale “The Terrible Old Man”, and was penciled by Barry Smith (now known as Barry Windsor-Smith), and inked by Dan Adkins and John Verpoorten. At this point in Smith’s career, he was still aping the work of Marvel’s most prolific creator, Jack Kirby. Dan Adkins’ inks, however, were pleasingly rendered in the style of EC legend Graham Ingels. “The Terrible Old Man” is set in Kingsport, Massachusetts, one of HPL’s many fictitious towns. The story boasted this splash page credit: “By special arrangement with Arkham House (publishers), Sauk City, Wisconsin!”. Arkham House was named for another of Lovecraft’s fictional towns, Arkham, MA (located just northwest of Kingsport), a key Mythos setting. Arkham House was founded by August Derleth in 1939, and devoted itself to keeping Lovecraft’s corpus in print. It also published numerous Mythos pastiches by Derleth and others. Contiguous with Thomas’ take on “The Terrible Old Man”, he resumed the Nameless One saga from Dr. Strange #183 in the pages of Sub-Mariner #22 (February, 1970), penciled by former EC colorist Marie Severin and inked by EC veteran writer/artist (and major creator of The Vault of Horror) Johnny Craig. This story, “The Monarch and Mystic”, finds the book’s eponymous character, also known as Prince Namor of Atlantis (a realm spoken of frequently in Mythos tales), rescuing the ensorcelled Stephen Strange from the perfidy of the Undying Ones and their cultists. Like Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner was an inspired choice for a book to introduce Mythos elements into the Marvel Universe. Namor was a noble Atlantean barbarian (as was Robert E. Howard’s Kull) and was half-human, half-aquatic (much like the denizens of Lovecraft’s fictional village Innsmouth). The Sub-Mariner began his fictional life in 1939, not long after the deaths of Lovecraft and Howard (in 1937 and 1936, respectively), in pulp publisher Martin Goodman’s black and white ashcan comic Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939). Issue #1 off y Goodman’s Marvel Comics (which ultimately supplanted Timely as the name of Goodman’s comic company) was Namor’s firstt n four-color comics appearance, and he has proven to be an enduring anti-hero character over the span of Timely/Marvel’ss 70 year history. The Nameless One saga was continued in “Where Stalkss the Night-Crawler!” in The Incredible Hulk #126 (April 1970), a lesss inspired choice for a book to continue the Lovecraftian threadss Thomas was weaving than Sub-Mariner. Hulk bore no conceivablee h thematic connection to the Mythos; Roy simply wrote both books, and Namor and the Hulk had crossed over numerouss d times prior. This story, illustrated by Herb Trimpe, introduced


Dark Discoveries #15: H.P. Lovecraft