H.P. Lovecraft horror in a world of diesel, tanks and shadowy schemes of the Aryan Master Race
I had a video call with an editor over the weekend who is pulling in talent for a collection of short stories (2,000 – 10,00o words) to be set in the World War 2 setting of Achtung! Cthulhu (from Modiphius).
I’m excited because I really like the A!C setting. There’s a grim determination that comes with the options in World War 2. It makes for some interesting characters. Less complexity of plot too. Not simpler, but the grey tones of ambiguity are not so overwhelming as they are in today’s (and the near-future cyberpunk) theatres of conflict. Cyberwarfare gets boiled down longwave and shortwave radios, and to the new invention called radar. Technology and weapons are crude but effective: big ideas held together with brawn and bubblegum.
And of course, the worship of the Cthulhu Mythos fits neatly between the folds of social upheaval, carpet bombings and pseudoscientific doctrine. Uplift the Thule society. Focus on the brutal personalities of leading figures at the time. Take any subset of miscreants, give them an old text of forbidden lore and the means to generate vast amounts of cosmic-ripping energy, and you can side-step the normal avenues of politics and power to bring about massive destruction on a global scale with just a few badly chanted words. No idea of a plotline yet. I have to submit a brief and get the idea approved before I proceed to writing.
If you enjoy short stories, then there’s a raft of free-to-read PDFs that I completed end of last year (14 short stories in 6 weeks) and one of the reasons I’m still on go slow after near total brain burn. There’s also my anthology Songs of Spheres, 15 short stories for 15 years of writing (hand-picked as my personal favourites and presented with a brief introduction to each story).
Credit: Featured Hero Image – a new antichrist? <> Source unknown, apologies; please advise and I will credit artist.