That was the year that was 2012
The Christmas tree is winking away at you, glittering with lights and baubles; the bins are stuffed full of empty bottles and discarded wrapping paper. Now’s the time to actually relax a little and contemplate the fact we survived the Mayan apocalypse of 2012 and are rapidly approaching what is likely to be one of the most challenging years in human history. Will Europe survive as the interlinked economies teeter ever closer towards a brink of oblivion – and anarchy in the UK? Will a global pandemic of weaponised bubonic plague unfold? Will reality TV and plastic home-brew “celebrities” increase their hold on the declining values of western civilisation: Ancient Rome, anyone? Don’t take your eyes off the ball.
Meanwhile, take a moment to ponder the year that was 2012.
I’ve been running this blog for a couple of years now. It’s a great counterpoint to the daily grind of crafting novels and RPG systems – where often there is very little to show for weeks at a time. This is a place where I can pin-up the things I find online, or post promotional offers on my products or scribble down thoughts and ideas. I’ve gone from a few hundred folks a month taking a peek to now over 17,000 uniques a month. Not bad. Quite pleasing, actually.
Here’s a countdown of the top ten ranking articles as viewed by you, from sci-fi and dark fantasy, cyberpunk, and the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
John Waters Says: We Need to Make Books Cool Again
Danil Golovkin is a Russian fashion photographer who has a spectacular eye for detail. These images come from a series that he calls Garbage Reign. For me, these characters could fit very easily into a decadent post-apocalyptic scenario, where the “top of the pile” survivors perpetuate the same-old human instincts of social isolation and exclusion through fashion – are you a part of the club? Equally as much this is pure cyberpunk, figures who float through the parties held by one of the corporate dynasties, members of the social elite or grifters waiting for the moment to move in on their mark. Certainly these are images good enough to inspire a myriad of ideas.
Terrorcat. Heavily manipulated but I like this image. More club-wear than sex; a character who can comfortably settle into the fringes of the dance floor where shadows are sliced apart by the laser rigs, a bemused grimace held in reserve for anybody who actually reacts to the partial nakedness. Prowling the club with an easy and confident stride, fluorescent irises gleaming like predatory cat-eyes in the purple neon gloom.
Hastur (The Unspeakable One, Him Who Is Not to be Named, Assatur, Xastur, or Kaiwan) is a fictional entity (Great Old One) of the Cthulhu Mythos. The King in Yellow is merely one of many aspects of this potent and truly amorphous denizen.
It is possibly one of the most written about and discussed Great Old Ones within this Mythos, and conversely, one of the least understood. This fuzzy, blurred and vague state of comprehension is exacerbated by a divide between literary fans of Hastur, and the RPG community. The fact Hastur is so hard to accurately quantify is no coincidence.
Part of a series of images from the liquid metal, carbo-plastic, hydrogel and permacrete core of visual creators on the Internet. Images that stir my senses and evoke plots and concepts for what I’d like to see (or fear) in the future.
This is a great image from the highly accomplished and experimental Moscow based photographer Igor Vasiliadis. It immediately weaves some stark and intriguing story possibilities into your mind; sex games and the roles of sub, dom and voyeur. Of course, it could equally plunge a little further into the realm of dark art if you consider that the centre-posed figure is not taking part in this with any sort of free-will. What is the distant male figure expecting to observe? His relaxed posture speaks of a boredom with the mundane pleasures of life – a killer or thug who’s sensitivity has been dulled and blunted by repeated exposure to the visceral highs of violence and danger. Or is he just a bored businessman looking to satisfy shadowy sexual desires that some men can’t exorcise with their pretty wives? There’s certainly a sense of mystery within the glossy and brightly lit image; shadows that are more off-camera than in-shot. I’d strongly recommend you check out Igor Vasiliadis’ website, there’s some fantastic images brought into enigmatic life with silver and cyanide.
The Ninth Gate is probably one of my favourite movies of all time, as is the official soundtrack. A film by Roman Polanski, its stars Johnny Depp as the ambivalent protagonist, Lucas Corso; and features an incredible performance by Frank Langella as the brazen, smug and sinister collector of all things diabolical – Boris Balkan – a wealthy man where money and morals are no obstacle to acquiring books that deal with the Devil.
The film is an adaptation of The Dumas Club, a book written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
I’m a huge fan of H.P.Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos cycle of stories which provide unnerving glimpses of a pantheon of Outer Gods and their minions, writhing obscenely within alien vortices of inarticulate sounds and invisible light, sometimes only just beyond the perceptions of ordinary folk. The cosmic horror of the Mythos has nothing to do with this movie which limits itself to the spiritual, psychological and metaphysical menace of Evil, and all its many incarnations within the Quantisphere (the realm of Man, Spirits, Elementals and Angels & Demons).
Yet another brilliant piece of digital art by Benedict Campbell. Sums up the nature of synthetic humanoids perfectly – and perhaps the darker aspect of male interest in the female form: an attractive woman with blank, almost submissive features lacking the “complication” of limbs? Or just a bit a cool cyber tech eye candy for your computer desktop.
The Mi-go are highly intelligent and independent race, renowned for their worship of the Outer Gods: Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, and Shub-Niggurath.
Also known as The Fungi from Yuggoth, their first appearance in Lovecraft’s work was within the excellent and spine tingling tale The Whisperer in the Darkness, since then they’ve been brought in as “bugs” in CthulhuTech and given some decent exposition in Pagan Publishing’s sourcebook for CoC: Delta Green Eyes Only Volume One: Machinations of the Mi-Go.
This is a public safety notice from the early days of the catastrophic, apocalyptic event known as Yellow Dawn, when the Infection was even less understood than it is today. It’s an example of UTOC attempting to exert control of survivors in the wake of the disaster.
That’s all folks. I hope you found something that ignited a spark of inspiration or stirred something deep inside your chest. This is all about sharing creativity and ideas. It’s also about me throwing out hooks to try to catch the interest of people who like reading sci-fi dark fantasy novels, who like fiction with cyberpunk and Cthulhu Mythos flavours – and of course, people who enjoy RPGs. If you’re one of those people then please take a moment to investigate my fiction writing (7 novels) and the Role-playing game: Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur.
Wishing you the best of dark dreams for 2013.
David J Rodger – Bristol, England
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