Episode062

We’re back and we’re looking at monsters, hoping against hope that they don’t look back at us! In particular, we’re talking about our favourite monsters from Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu. There’s one entry on our list that was created especially for the game, and another that has rarely seen use at the gaming table. No matter where they came from, however, they will all be happy to devour you. Or worse.

Sea_Lamprey_mouth

It is difficult to believe that Lovecraft isn’t responsible for certain real creatures too.

We’re also back to using our old Top 3 format for this, with each of us counting down our three favourites. Thank you to listener Danial for reminding us that we hadn’t done one of these for a long time and suggesting monsters as a topic! We’ll revisit this format soon with a look at our favourite Lovecraftian gods, once we’ve worked out how to pronounce all their names.

Operation_Upshot-Knothole_-_Badger_001

On second thoughts, maybe some names should remain unutterable.

While discussing one of Paul’s choices, we recommended a book named The Throne of Bones, by Brian McNaughton. Happily it is not only in print, but also available as an inexpensive ebook. You can find a nice little review of it here.

throne

We’re still trying to find out how the cover artist got a picture of Scott’s living room.

In our introductory chat, we make mention of recent posts by user specialflesh on Reddit, featuring photographs of Lovecraft that none of us had ever seen before. You can find them here. At the time of posting, specialflesh had posted no pictures from his or her account that were NSFW; we can’t promise this won’t change, especially given that username!

videodrome stomach

And where does he find all those photographs anyway?

The other thing we mention in the introduction is the Kickstarter campaign for Lovecraftesque, a new Lovecraftian story game from Black Armada (AKA Becky Annison and Joshua Fox). We were going to play a session of it and discuss it on this episode, but life had other plans. Life is mean like that sometimes. It never returns our phone calls either.

lovecraftesque

Lovecraftesque is illustrated by Robin Scott, whose work isn’t made any less lovely by being deeply disturbing.

One of the things that makes Lovecraftesque unusual is that the players control a single investigator between them, taking turns to navigate him or her through a deadly maze of clues. This possibly makes Lovecraftesque the closest gaming experience to an actual Lovecraft story. At the time of posting, the campaign has another 15 days to run. It is fully funded and has hit a number of stretch goals. One of the upcoming goals, tantalisingly within reach, is a scenario by Scott, named Change Our Vile Bodies, which promises body horror and weirdness on a West Country hippie commune in the early 1970s.

Episode057

We’re back from the distant past! Our minds have escaped the sinister and rugose clutches of the Great Race, and we have returned to the present to wrap up our discussion of Lovecraft’s classic story, The Shadow Out of Time. In this episode we give our own personal impressions of the story, take a look at adaptations and have a chat about what elements we can steal for games.

Lovecraft punk

Speaking of stealing stuff, here’s that picture of punk Lovecraft, originally posted by Alex Mayo, that we’re convinced is actually a photograph of Paul.

The only film adaptation we could find was an odd Swedish short (with English narration) that condenses the story into 15 minutes. The result is how we’d imagine a modern piece by Georges Méliès would look, if he weren’t too busy being dead. Happily the film is on YouTube, so you can enjoy its pleasingly idiosyncratic style by taking no more strenuous action than clicking below.

We also mention the HP Lovecraft Historical Society’s audio adaptation, which is part of their excellent Dark Adventure Radio Theatre line. A very different audio take on the story is The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets‘ concept album, The Shadow Out of Tim. We were supposed to be discussing this with singer (not to mention prolific RPG artist and writer) Toren Atkinson, but, appropriately enough, time worked against us. Here’s a little taste of the album by way of recompense.

And, as ever, you can find a comprehensive and eclectic analysis of the story over at the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast. Their discussion of The Shadow Out of Time begins here.

Episode56

We’re back — back about 250 million years in the past, to be precise! At least this gives us a chance to take an extended look at Lovecraft’s classic tale of time travel, identity theft and whistling polyps, The Shadow Out of Time. It is a lengthy tale, and we found plenty to say about it, so our discussion is appropriately split over two time periods (although you probably won’t have to wait millions of years for the second part).

lucy

We’ve heard that one before.

This episode contains our discussion of the story itself, as well as many complaints from Matt about how long it is. We’ll get around to discussing adaptations and gaming next episode, along with more complaints from Matt. In the meantime, you can enjoy our discussion of alien fascists from beyond time, whether this is a story or an essay, and why it is needlessly confusing to name your child after yourself.

ShadowOutOfTime

“You humans have peculiar naming protocols,” observed Kzzkzkzzkkzkkzkzkzk.

And we’ve just noticed that Ken Hite has released a Yithian instalment of his Hideous Creatures series. This came too late for us to mention it in the recording, but we’d be remiss not to do so now!