That was the year that was 2013
The Christmas tree is gone. The decorations are down. I’m staring down the barrel of 2014 with a sense of wanting to achieve big things.
Time to take a moment to ponder the year that was 2013.
I’ve been running this blog for three years now, superceding the clunky thing I used to run. I’m loving the WordPress vibe – a fun place to blog, and 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 around 8,000 uniques a month. Very pleasing.
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.
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.
Within the high medieval walls, survivors are wealthy, successful, political creatures that do whatever they can to ensure their lives remain comfortable and well-supplied with the resources they need.
A name that can conjure a masochistic smile of gleeful horror on the lips of many – a part of the charm of the human aspect of this monstrous shape-shifting denizen; and a word that injects ice cold dread and paralysing terror into the veins of mortal men tainted with the knowledge of what this Thing truly is.
Somebody recently shared a link containing a list of Cthulhu Mythos images. Most of them were okay – well executed works of art – but most of them missed the essential quality that makes such images work as “Mythos”. It’s a quality that is very hard to describe in words but I think it really comes down to the sensitivity of the artist towards the works of H.P.Lovecraft and the many talents that have followed in his footsteps. Such artists need to step away from the idea of science fiction fantasy. They need to embroil themselves in the earthy colours of blood and bile, in the blurry aspects of lonely places, of mist and the stained tints of miasma.
Another simple yet striking image by Terrorcat. A fusion of industrial club culture and the daylight hours operator who wants to express guarded sexuality and “don’t fuck with me” attitude.
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.
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.
There was an iconic moment in my life some time in the early 1980’s.
At the age of 11 or 12, it blew me away.
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.
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).
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 (8 novels) and the Role-playing game: Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur.
Wishing you the best of dark dreams for 2014.
David J Rodger – Bristol, England
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