ENnie voting, Interviews, and Gravestone Carvers galore

First off – I’ve put out a new call for submissions to the Arkham Gazette for our fourth (!) issue.  Please give it a read and consider submitting something.  The Gazette lives by the aid of many hands. 🙂

If you’ve somehow not heard, ENnie nominations have been announced, including a whole host of Lovecraftian-related projects have honored:

Vote now!

Speaking of of the MUP, I had a great chat with Keepers Jon and Murph of the Miskatonic University Podcast about the soon-to-be-released next issue of the Arkham Gazette, long-forgotten witch trails of New Hampshire, and Colours Out of Space.  I’m always glad to talk to the MUP crew and it was a special treat to talk a bit about one of my favorite of Lovecraft’s creations.

What else is new in podcast land?

In other news have Pelgrane Press revealed the subject of their recent countdown – Cthulhu Apocalypse, The Doomsday Edition, which collects the previously released Apocalypse Machine, the Dead White World,  and Slaves of the Mother and adds on eight new short scenarios.

Cubicle 7’s World War Cthulhu: Cold War Kickstarter continues to recruit assets, crossing over $40k.

FeltonI have been doing research on New England’s Colonial gravestone carvers, and drawing upon that research, I’ve put together an annotated list of all those carvers known, including the related sources about each carver.  If that pique’s your interest, give it a look.  It is still very much a work in progress – I need to regularize all the citations and start adding more links

Let’s conclude with a projects update:

  • The Arkham Gazette #3 – issue save scenario is done and laid out (I guess I need to write an intro though); out scenario author Chris Huth is revising “The Queen of Night”.  When that it ready, be assured I’ll trumpet the news here.
  • My Jackson Elias scenario for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion backers is still in progress.
  • My unnamed scenario for an unannounced project is in the earliest draft stages – outline only currently, waiting for me to finish the two projects above.
  • Our first stretch-goal scenario for the Arkham Gazette Kickstarter backers is done and waiting layout.  The other scenario is being worked on and the bonus article is still being written.  The former will be released in the near future.
  • I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but those projects are what has been on my mind of late.

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You have 364 days…

Marking HPL’s 124’s birthday, NecronomiCon 2015 has been announced in an email to 2013 attendees:

The next NecronomiCon Providence will be August 20th to the 23rd, 2015 – coinciding with Lovecraft’s 125th Birthday anniversary – and will have a theme of an International Homecoming, bringing together academics, authors, artists, and Lovecraftian devotees and fans of Weird Fiction of all stripes from around the world. As with last year, we anticipate lots of eldritch events held all month leading up to the conference and festival weekend, in partnership with our various local allies and friends. Expect another intensive immersion into the city central to Lovecraft’s life and literature, filled with scholarly talks, panel discussions, author readings, art shows, film screenings, walking tours, gaming, music and parties, and myriad other stellar events bringing your into the heart of hoary Providence that you’ve all been clamoring for since last year.

Fingers crossed and I will be there.  The official site currently has the poster and not much more, but I suspect that will change soon.  I’m considering offering some sort of graveyard-related presentation, perhaps updating my guide to Providence’s graveyards (I still have a few old ones!).  Maybe I’ll do that Providence/Rhode Island special issue of the Arkham Gazette… I feel the mental gears spinning…  Any thoughts from my reader(s)?

Lovecraft Country graveyards, Tulpa-talk, and more from the MUP

What’s been going on of late you ask? I can report the following:

There’s been a new episode of the Miskatonic University podcast – this time the MUPers talk about The Men of Leng, Cthulhu Dark Ages, their GenCon plans and more.

People following the supposedly-inspired-by-Slenderman stabbing in Wisconsin from a few months back will do well to listen to the latest episode of Monster Talk. They present some interesting information tracing the notion of the supposedly Tibetan concept of the Tulpa back to the Theosophists. Curse you Blavatsky!!!
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Over on the Sentinel Hill Press blog I’ve posted a preview of one of the project I’ve been working on – Graveyards of Lovecraft Country, covering Namacknowatt Island’s Sand Hill Burying Ground, a location I developed with Keith Herber for an as-of-yet unpublished scenario.

Finally, a few scenario reviews – King of Scabs (a now no-longer available online scenario) and the new Cthulhu Dark scenario He Who Laughs Last.

Graveyard Visit – South Cemetery (Shrewsbury)

Shrewsbury is the home to eight cemeteries, including three dating from before 1800. The most obscure of these older burial spots is South Cemetery (aka Grove Street Burial Ground). Now located in a residential neighborhood just slightly south of Route 9, the stones here are in generally poor condition, probably due to a combination of age, stone nature (i.e. marble), and neglect. While there are not any particularly interesting stones, the grounds are interesting, with a large pair of crypts built into the hillside. The hill top is covered in a thick layer of moss and spongy plant life, causing your feet to sink more than one might expect. In a cemetery, this is never a welcome sensation.

Findagrave Entry

Graveyard Visit – Old First Cemetery

My second (and unfortunately final stop due to the rain) in Upton was the Old First Cemetery.  Established in 1735 near the site of the original meeting house, the graveyard is now up a dead-end street between some farms and a paintball course, just as the colonists would have wanted.

First off, some links – Findagrave; Macris; and the Farber Gravestone Collection.

Towns are not as permanent as we imagine.  The ‘gravity’ that draws people to certain spots fades or is overwhelmed by the pull of a stronger spot.  Graves, without human help, do not care about the vagaries of logistics, economics, rail roads, or urban development and stay put.  This leads to places like the Old First Cemetery in Upton, which once sat next to the heart of the community but now is in a forgotten, out-of-the-way corner.  While it is not the most poorly kept-up cemetery I have seen, it is definitely in need of some help.  Like with Bradish Cemetery, it was raining during my visit, necessitating speed on my part, causing some less than ideal quality photos.  My apologies.  Even under ideal conditions (when will I learn to have a light and mirror stored in the car?) the stones here would be a challenge.  Moss and lichen covers many stones; in some cases this is compounded by fallen leaves or even whole branches.  While a wall lines the yard, brush is encroaching the gravestones in several places, especially the southern portion where whole gravestones are all but buried in downed branches and knee-high growth.

Additionally there has been damage to a small but significant number of stones and I worry that vandalism or even theft has been going on.  While I could find the battered but intact stone for Rev. Fish, I couldn’t spot his wife Hannah’s (I didn’t double check since the rain really picked up by the end of my visit- to see both, click the link to the Farber database.)

As for sculptors, there are good number of those from James New, a several among the older stones a mix of winged skulls and abstract plant designes from Joseph Barber (in the somewhat overgrown section towards the back wall on the slope).  The most notable of these are the two portrait stones previously mentioned.  I believe at least the Rev’s stone appeared in Forbes “Gravestones and the Men Who Made Them”.  I’ll check my copy and update to confirm.

Hopefully the next time I come back this way it will not be raining (so I can finally explore the Upton Chamber) and someone will have begun to restore this historic graveyard.

Graveyard visit – Bradish Cemetery

With outside temperatures no longer conducive to the baking of bread, I figured I should continue my graveyard adventures.  Hoping to make multiple stops, I hied myself to Upton, Mass, a picturesque community in Southeastern Worcester County.

My first destination was Bradish Cemetery (aka Old North Cemetery), established 1771. (Findagrave listing; Macris Listing – click on INV to see record)

Unfortunately I arrived just as a rainstorm began so I had to dash from stone to stone, leading to some less-than-optimal photos.  Sorry about that.

It is a rather lovely and peaceful spot, set just off of Westboro Road, a few yards north of where it intersects North Street.  Parking is limited to a narrow strip off the road next to a few stones set to prevent further off-road driving.  As for the stones, there are a few soul effigies, mostly from James New and a goodly number of (unmarked) field stones.

(Next up, Upton’s Old Burying Ground)

How do you say ‘Podcast’ in German? (Updated)

In case anyone was wondering why I’ve not posted any new graveyard photos, I’m happy to report that the current air temperature in my corner of Lovecraft Country has finally dropped below molten lead and I hope to post another soon.  Hopefully the stones have not melted.

ENies voting time is upon us again. There are a lot of great Lovecraftian books nominated this year; vote now, eh?

Arc Dream is having a sale on their One Roll Engine, Fate, and Savage World products in order to raise extra funds in advance of GenCon and NecronomiCon.  Let’s give Shane extra cash, eh?

In other news there are two more Lovecraftian podcasts to report-

First off, a reduced crew from the Miskatonic University Podcast (augmented by guest host Brian Sammons) picks over the bones of their recent discussion of Lovecraftian films and finds a lot more meat than you might expect.

Secondly, Paradroid (of the late, lamented ‘Paradroid Papers’ on Yog Radio) has interviewed Golden Goblin Press’ Oscar Rios.  The introduction is in German (about 45 seconds) but the remaining 18 minutes is in English and includes some tantalizing details about future GGP books.

(And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I publish this there’s another new podcast- the Good Friends of Jackson Elias have released another episode – number 7 – this time talking about how they got started in RPGs and Lovecraftian games in particular.)

(FYI – According to Google Translate, Podcast in German is… “Podcast”.  How disappointing.)