"Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, pea"Death is merciful, for there is no return therefrom, but with him who has come back out of the nethermost chambers of night, haggard and knowing, peace rests nevermore."
Is it dream that dictates the grey boundary between real and false, blurring and steeling the line at will? Is reality so murky, so mutable that it all might as well be delusion? Hypnos, if you'll recall, was the brother of Thanatos, after all. Dream, always so close to death.
This short is about a man who has an encounter with the god of dreams himself in a station, and finds he has something inexplicable in common, maybe a need for escape. They go to the man's house and begin an opium-fueled trip that turns from a burst of creativity into a reality-warping nightmare, and possibly goes on for several years.
"Hypnos" is tilted more towards psychological horror than cosmic horror, even though Lovecraft uses the same kind of imagery he does in those stories. It's a familiar paranoia, that sense of dread and conspiracy that spawns out of the blue, forcing you to question what's real when it's impossible to ever be one-hundred-percent sure. A vivid nightmare or a fever dream can do as much damage as opium, if not a little more because it's a raw product of your imagination. When the man in the story sobers up, he is suddenly white-haired and elderly, and his friend has abandoned him. No one he asks believes that Hypnos was ever there at all.
I'm curious if this story wasn't at least a partial inspiration for Neil Gaiman's Sandman. The way Hypnos is described - gaunt, with ghostly pale skin and depthless black eyes, dressed in a black robe - sounds an awful lot like Dream. Kind of a neat coincidence, if not, though I wouldn't be surprised, since The Sandman uses a lot of Lovecraftian themes.
Dream Reporters is a pet project of mine that I'm working on in spare time, along with a more dramatic series under the working title Bitter Candy. ItDream Reporters is a pet project of mine that I'm working on in spare time, along with a more dramatic series under the working title Bitter Candy. It's a series of short novellas revolving around two amateur journalists who increasingly realize how dystopian their perfect society is just under the surface, and face difficulties in their job as the authorities continue to fail, or plot against them. It's a smash-up of science fiction, murder mystery, and dystopian horror. This project should be young adult friendly. I wanted to write a YA dystopian that truly is scary, and doesn't have the buffer of a romance sub-plot to take away from the suspense. The project is inspired by a lot of retro sci-fi such as They Live and Soylent Green. I've namely added it to Goodreads for the sake of keeping progress, but feel free to add it if it interests you!...more
Where to Find: In Kindle and Paperback on Amazon, and ePub on Smashwords, Apple Books, Barnes&Noble, and some other retailers internationally mid-Where to Find: In Kindle and Paperback on Amazon, and ePub on Smashwords, Apple Books, Barnes&Noble, and some other retailers internationally mid-July 2019.
Trivia & Commentary:The Gutterpunk Blues is the oldest salvageable piece of writing siphoned through my own hands. I scribble poetry namely as a time-killing hobby, but it produces some unique work. Why let it waste to ashes in the dark when it might be an interesting experience to somebody? Gutterpunk Blues is a mash-up of mythological themes and urban grunge, with a slice of cosmic horror, inspired by Japanese mythology and art. I wrote these when I was fifteen, and surprisingly, I had to clean this collection up less than recent work. Several poems that were initially part of this I have since amputated and stitched into other collections, and a couple even appeared in the magazines Radium Piano Band and Infernal Ink Magazine (Spring/Summer 2019).
The original draft was so screwed up and undecided about what genre I wanted it to be. It was like depression chic meets dark fantasy gorefest Bjork-lyric poetry. So, it was pretty much vital to divide it amongst more fitting books, and the final result is much more friendly and lighthearted, despite how the title and its matching poem sound. The title poem is about anxiety, as are several of these, but I don't feel they are that dark, somehow.
Review Copies: Upon request, but it'll only be one dollar for a digital copy.
Content: It's up to your own judgment whether it's for you or not. There is not an explicit amount of graphic content. I would personally recommend for 15 and up.
"For he who passes the gateway always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone."
The Necronomicon strikes again in its coat of human skin, to ter"For he who passes the gateway always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone."
The Necronomicon strikes again in its coat of human skin, to terrorize a poor stranger who happens to find it lying by a gutter. It's interesting how throughout H.P. Lovecraft's body of work, the book of curses manages to destroy reality in such a variety of different ways. In this incarnation, it wavers reality through its very fabric, and the narrator is stalked through the state of flux by a hoard of beings he cannot see.
Does "The Book" sounds familiar? That's because it's an apparently incomplete reimagining, or perhaps another version, of "The Festival". The prose is tighter in this story, at least, and it has traces of that unusual dream-discomfort I love to see in horror and suspense, but this and "The Festival" are essentially the same plot with a different outcome. Reading a heavy dose of Lovecraft at once can, in fact, invoke a feeling of those "choose-your-own-adventure" books from the 90s.
If I'm not mistaken, Lovesick Dead will be the next Ito collection to hit English translation. Lovesick Dead, which has gone by a number of other titlIf I'm not mistaken, Lovesick Dead will be the next Ito collection to hit English translation. Lovesick Dead, which has gone by a number of other titles, including the rather incongruous, Crossroads Pretty-Boy is about a handsome phantom who convinces people they will never find love. They happen upon him by chance at a crossroads, and often commit suicide after hearing their fortune from him.
This is not one of my absolute favourites, though I always like anything Ito does to some degree. It's loosely based off of a superstitious practice in Japan called tsuji-ura, that not a lot of people outside Japan have probably ever heard of, so it is useful to have the cultural context in this case. Tsuji-ura shares the term for the fortunes found in fortune cookies or similar snacks.
I like the villain in this collection, who is its most interesting draw, and will like to see how they handle the translation. There's a handful of unrelated shorts, as well....more
"Azathoth" is a poem of dream states alchemically combusting, a transcription of what it's like to give oneself to the void. The name refers to a demon"Azathoth" is a poem of dream states alchemically combusting, a transcription of what it's like to give oneself to the void. The name refers to a demon of sorts that is mentioned in some of Lovecraft's novels, but before I knew that I thought it was a corruption of azoth, which in alchemy, is the ultimate medicine. So I suppose Azathoth would be the ultimate poison, wouldn't it?
This is a prose piece, that calls up a lot of dreamy, lotus-eating imagery. The creature Azathoth itself is supposed to be a sort of living black hole that is too evil for a solid shape, but is just a mass of everything disturbing and wrong. Its poem, however, is weirdly romantic, making me think that its nature must be to possess people into searching it.