Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.271: The Star of Hastur

Well this was an unexpected find: I was picking up some books relating to a research paper I am about to start work on, and unexpectedly discovered Karl Stone's The Star of Hastur. I think this is supposed to be a talismanic book of sorts, even though it is a small paperback. At least I'm presuming  that is the case given that I spent THIRTY THREE of your finest (but rapidly devaluing) British pounds on it! I'll just repeat that to give you time to take that in: a small, 160 page paperback about the size of the typical pulp novel you'd find in the late 1970s for £33.00 (well, £32.99 to be precise, but lets not quibble). But being a sucker for this kind of thing, I picked it up regardless (in any case, as this is actually for work purposes, it should be covered by my research fund...)

A brief perusal indicates that this a fairly standard Typhonian Left- Hand Path take on Lovecraftian occultism, replete with lots of Grantian language - as well as illustrations by the author somewhat reminiscent of Michael Bertiaux's art. The early chapters outline Stone's 'sexo-magical' initiation into the mysteries of the Yellow Mist (whatever that might be), along with his explorations into 'Hyperchemistry' (again utilising alluded-to-but-never-described sexo-magical means), leading to the discovery of a constantly capitalised SUBSTANCE (I shudder to think), which in functions as a medium of communication with/manifestation of praeter-human intelligences and the like (cue more Grantianisms...).

Oddly, Stone works from a primarily Derletho-Lovecraftian (see what I did there) interpretation of Hastur, the King in Yellow, and so on; but whilst Robert W. Chambers is included in the bibliography, there is no mention of either Lovecraft or Derleth. In addition to which, Stone treats the Mi-Go as servants of Hastur and the Yellow Sign, even though this is contradicted in The Whisperer in Darkness (and here I am being rather picky).

In fairness, though, I haven't read the book in its entirety, and parts of the text have piqued my interest - so there may be more here than I'm currently giving credit for.

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