Haemopolitics

Whilst modern portrayals of vampires are as varied as modern society, the most common trope in Western media is still the male vampire biting female prey (whether willing or not). But why does this image endure so strongly when other classic monsters are portrayed without such a clear biological divide? Unsurprisingly perhaps, a combination of … Continue reading Haemopolitics

Pitch Black Gnosis

Theories disagree on why exactly cultists might embrace the worship of Lovecraftian beings, but a common thread is forbidden knowledge, insight into a greater truth beyond normal human understanding. But what if the opposite were true? What if true cultists actively sought the oblivion rather than arrogantly assuming they will avoid it? The gospels of … Continue reading Pitch Black Gnosis

Edge Cases

I came across this video earlier today—ironically, not while doing research for the Legend of the Five Rings game I've just started. There's a pleasing combination of athleticism and humour from both combatants. However, one thing did seem very wrong; wrong enough for what appeared otherwise to be a great short film that I spent … Continue reading Edge Cases

Cucku

A poetry community to which I belong selected one of my haiku for October Poem of the Month. Which obviously brought me joy, but also highlighted how subjective the experience of poetry can be. A little cuckoo Echoes from beneath my feet A cave in winter The haiku is part of an ongoing series shaped … Continue reading Cucku

Cosmic Head Scratch

One of the common themes of Lovecraft's oeuvre and cosmic dread in general is that the threat comes not from some moral imperfection or defined antagonism but from mutual incomprehension, from a universe filled with intelligences so different from humans in outlook and scale that we are irrelevant. The analogy of humans seeming as ants … Continue reading Cosmic Head Scratch

The Black Sea of Experience

Proving once more that psychogeographers and chaos magicians might be onto something, the chance collision of pedestrian-crossing etiquette and computer gaming has summoned forth before me a dread irony: the human mind inconsistently correlates the meaning Lovecraft's work, and that results in a lack of mercy. A couple of days ago, a friend shared an … Continue reading The Black Sea of Experience

UnOccult Secrets

Matt Larkin (author of some rather spiffing riffs on Nordic mythology) posted an article recently suggesting fantasy novels can benefit from the lack of systematized magic. While I find his arguments engaging, for me the best answer lies in what is revealed rather than what is systematized. Larkin's thesis is that magic—at least magic that … Continue reading UnOccult Secrets