Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tell Me, Have You Found the Ghooric Zone?

Whence comes the title of my blog? Seasoned Lovecraftians will already know; but for that small minority who a) actually end up reading my blog and b) are even interested, the Ghooric Zone is first mentioned by Lovecraft in his The Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle, and later in his epistolary meanderings. However, my first encounter with this malign realm of abject extraterrestrial horror was in Richard Lupoff's story 'Discovery of the Ghooric Zone'. Originally published in 1977, Lupoff's tale did not see print again until a version was included in the Golden Anniversary edition of Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos issued by Arkham House in 1990. Thankfully, the story is now available online (see my links). This is one of my favourite Lovecraftian tales by an author other than the Old Gent of Providence, and manages to be both intimate and touching at the same time evoking an unearthly sense of cosmic awe worthy of HPL himself (though what he would have made of the interplanetary cyborg sex with which the tale opens is another matter entirely...). Also included is a link to Charles Stross' 'A Colder War'. Stross' recent collection The Atrocity Archive is strongly recommended, and this online tale gives a taste of the unique way the writer combines Le Carre with Lovecraft to create a new genre: the Cthulhoid spy thriller. Read and enjoy.

Yrs most cordially,

Justin

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