Thursday, February 23, 2012


A brief word of explanation here for those who may stumble upon this blog for the first time. I’m a major b-grade 1950s & 60s science fiction and horror film fanatic. As such, from time to time I post trailers or clips of films I like. Such as this one!

A little trip to the moon, anyone?


SORCERIES GNYDRON Volume 2 is a three story arc chapbook from Rainfall Books that includes my stories -

“The Serpent and the Crown”
“The Sorceress of Tutanor”
“The Nature of Magic”

A little historical note, Gnydron was Clark Ashton Smith’s original name for Zothique. Aside from a brief story fragment from Smith himself, I am unaware of any stories ever having been written using Gnydron as a setting.

Further, rather than replace Zothique with Gydron, I have set these stories in Zothique’s past, treating the name Gnydron as the last continent’s name prior to its being called Zothique.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Okay, I do all three with a modicum of success.

Concerning those times where success is fleeting (or non-existent), there are questions. How often do I submit material to the same publisher and get nothing but rejections? Are they trying to tell me something? Is it an exercise in futility to keep sending material and meet nothing but a brick wall, sometimes not even a response to a reasonable follow up query? Maybe they just don’t like ANYTHING I write. Anything? Everything?

Well, it IS an exercise in futility. At last to me. Why waste my time and their time if they just aren’t interested? So, for better or worse, I’ve allotted myself three rejections from the same publisher before I stop submitting material to said publisher. I figure that’s enough. After the third rejection, they won’t hear from me again unless they approach me first. And if they DO approach me for material, they’ll be EXTREMELY lucky if I agree to their request. Of course, I’m sure the well to draw from is deep so a story from me means little to nothing.

Too much to ask for? Am I being selfish, perhaps even a little bitter? Maybe. All I can say to that is que sera sera. Three strikes and I’m outta there! Besides, I’ve got my own ideas on how publishers (most, but certainly not all) select the material they elect to publish, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the story, its content, quality, or entertainment value. But that’s a subject for another blog.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Someone was kind enough to list a few of my works this year. Their standings in the final tally were:

Horror Short Story: 13. The Devil's Whore, Ran Cartwright, Frogtown Press

Horror Novel: 13. Dreams & Nightmares, Ran Cartwright, Frogtown Press

Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Story: 9. Blue Moons Over Widdlydink, Ran Cartwright, Frogtown Press

Science Fiction/FantasyNovel: 22. The Illustrious Annals of Slagheepian History, Ran Cartwright, Frogtown Press

Not bad, mid-range mostly, ‘cept for Slagheep; a little low for my tastes. And nice to see Blue Moons in the top ten (which appears in the Slagheep antho BTW).

Saturday, February 11, 2012


As far as I’m concerned, not to be. By name anyway. Recently I posted a comment in Facebook concerning the name, that it was creation of August Derleth, that I reject the name, and prefer the term Lovecraftian Horror instead.

This little commentary here is to set the record straight on my comments and my view of Derleth and his contribution to the Lovecraftian Horror Canon.

Now, I’m sure somewhere along the line I’ve read Derleth’s reasons for choosing the term, but I’m not a fanatic enough fan to dissect everything everyone has ever written about Lovecraftian Horror and its contributors, and remember everything for the point of discussion and argumentation. It really doesn’t matter.

As I noted in Facebook, Cthulhu is just one of many GOOs (they’re not gods, they’re aliens). Derleth’s creation could have taken on any number of forms…ie., Azathoth Mythos, Nyarlathotep Mythos, Shub Niggurath Mythos, etc., but it became the Cthulhu Muthos instead. Too me, that’s centralizing the character of Cthulhu far too much than need be. I wonder, if not for Derleth’s term, would the character of Cthulhu be as popular as he/it is today?

Another point of Derleth’s I disagree with, and that is the good vs evil fight between the GOOs and the Elder Gods. We might just want to throw in the idea of elementals as well since it fits into the same scheme.

The elementals? Yes, air, fire, earth, and water, and equating various beasties with each. Sure, I understand that in a socio-cultural context of primitive human beings, they would look to forces of nature to explain things they didn’t understand or feared. But modern humanity (can I use that term?) would have been able to differentiate. Ithaqua wouldn’t have been associated with air, nor Cthulhu or Dagon with water, etc.

The good vs evil conflict? It supposedly parallels the Christian Mythos, but that had never been Lovecraft’s point. The GOOs and Old Ones, etc., were suppose to be beyond the comprehension of humanity, something so above, beyond, and apart from any concept we could come up with and still be wrong. They are big bug-eyed monsters with an agenda all their own, stomping on us when we happened to get in their way, or use us for their own inexplicable ends, or use us simply as food. Cut and dry. No good guys, no bad guys, just us and BEMs.

This brings me to the end of this discourse…am I anti-Derleth as so many seem to be, and so many vehemently so? No, not at all. I’ve said on many occasions that when I write Lovecraftian Horror, I write it for the fun of it, the entertainment value. And although I may disagree with Derleth on the term Cthulhu Mythos and the good vs evil concept, etc., Derleth’s written contribution has entertained me. In fact, THE LURKER AT THE THRESHHOLD, mostly written by Derleth based on a short idea that Lovecraft had left behind, remains one of my favorite Lovecraftian Horror stories/novels to this day.