Saturday, May 07, 2016
Lovecaftan Thing acDay No.128: Flowers of Nithon by Michael Fantina
Michael Fantina's Flowers of Nithon - published as a chapbook by Rainfall Books in 2009 - is a more recent homage to Lovecraft's The Fungi fom Yuggoth. Indeed, Fantina's sonnet cycle directly references Fungi in its very title, borrowing from sonnet XI, 'Star Winds':
'This is the hour when moonstruck poets know
What fungi sprouts in Yuggoth, and what scents
And tints of flowers fill Nithon's continents,
Such as in no poor earthly garden blow'
Flowers uses a similar framing device to Fungi and Carter's Dreams from R'lyeh, although in this instance it is a strange prism rather than a book from which marvelous and horrifying visions flow. Beyond this, however, there is little by way of a narrative arc to Flowers of Nithon and, even if Fungi lacks the same, there is more in Lovecraft's sonnet cycle by way of aesthetic and thematic unity. Fantina's sonnets are, however, very good, and - with a few exceptions - do their job by building mood and atmosphere rather than signalling their Lovecraftian roots via a constant referencing of the mythos. Definitely a recommended read.
I'm unsure of the current availability of Flowers of Nithon, but you may still be able to order it from Rainfall Books.