Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.278: A Thousand Sons

A guilty pleasure of mine is reading Warhammer 40K and Horus Heresy novels; those familiar with the 40K universe will be aware that it includes more than a few nods to Lovecraft: ancient aliens in the dep background (actually called 'The Old Ones'), hyperdimensional realms inhabited by monstrous, alien beings, as well as the fusing of science and sorcery. Dark Heresy, the Warhammer 40K rpg (which was in part written/designed by Chaosium stalwart Mike Mason), contains echoes of the Call of Cthulhu rpg in its focus on investigating dark cults and reality-twisting horrors. Games Workshop's stable of writers have also produced Cthulhu Mythos novels for Fantasy Flight's Arkham Horror fiction series. However, there also exist a number of Horus Heresy novels and short stories (which detail the foundational events of the 40K universe) which appear to explicitly link 40K to the Cthulhu Mythos. Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons has the space marine sorcerer lords of the planet Prospero consult various forbidden occult tones, including The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan (or Hzan in the novel); in addition to which, a statue of 'the mad scholar Alhazred' has been erected in one of the planet's cities. The Hall of Leng - found in the region of the Himalayas on Earth - is also mentioned (and in another story - Dan Abnett's Blood Games - it is described as being built upon a primordial and unearthly site of strange angles, and where the past and future co-mingle). Maybe not conclusive evidence that 40K is part of the Cthulhu Mythos, but a further indication of Lovecraft's profound influence upon popular genre fare.

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