Your Halloween goody-bag…

The monumental 723-page oversize hardback book The Guide to Supernatural Fiction: A full description of 1775 books from 1750 to 1960 (Nov 1983, Kent State University Press) by Everett F. Bleiler (1920-2010). Never reprinted, possibly because it was inevitably an ever-to-be-unfinished work-in-progress (I noted several British authors whose works were not fully covered). It now sells for hefty three-figure prices at both Amazon and antiquarian book dealers. Enjoy.

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Speaking of Lovecraft…

Fascinating Nouns has a new podcast interview with S. T. Joshi on Lovecraft. The interviewer is a newcomer to Lovecraft, so I expect Joshi spends a lot of time covering the Lovecraft 101 basics.

Joshi’s latest blog post reports that according to John Trimble “an elderly science fiction fan”, the SF ur-fan Forrest Ackerman once owned a tape of Lovecraft reading one of his stories…

He [Trimble] said things we all know — Lovecraft’s voice was high pitched, he pronounced Cthulhu oddly, and added that HP was a lousy reader (as a dramatist).

I would note that Ackerman was a correspondent from 1931 and that the Ackerman archive is as yet unprocessed. Is a Kickstarter needed, to pay for someone to process it, and perhaps find the tape?

“Scientists to the last”

Why, gosh — one could almost imagine that the folks at Brown University were channelling H.P. Lovecraft. In the news this month…

Researchers at Brown University have shattered an electron wave function, that near-mythical representation of indeterminate reality, in which an unmeasured particle is able to occupy many states simultaneously”.

A team at Brown University called BrainGate is at the forefront of the real-world movement to link human brains directly to computers”.

“Brown University is part of a team looking at the environment’s influence on human adaptation and how it changes biology… Genes can shape culture and political institutions, which in turn can shape biology and physiology, passing on certain traits to future generations.”

And becoming world experts on creatures that look like this

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Fruit Hill

“Around the All-Hallows period I unearthed a highly picturesque district on the city’s very rim — Fruit Hill [now the Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, its grounds, and the adjacent Captain Stephen Olney Memorial Park], from one point of which I caught a view of almost incredible loveliness which included a twilight-clad descent of walled meadows (with a wood and glimpses of a sllnset-litten river at the bottom), dim violet hills against an orange-gold west, a steepled village in a northward valley, and over the rocky eastward ridge a great round Hunter’s Moon preparing to flood the scene with spectral light. Since then there has been some cold weather — even a premature touch of snow — but yesterday was warm again, and I took a walk through the same Fruit Hill region, now pretty well toned down to bare boughs and grey and brown effects. My season of hibernation looms close — but in my present ancient hilltop quarters I do not mind an indoor existence as badly as I might.” (Lovecraft to Richard Ely Morse, 14th November 1933, in Selected Letters IV, p.318)

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From: large scale topographical map of Providence, 1935.

S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship – open for applications

Applications are now open for the new S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, for research on H.P. Lovecraft and his circle. The lucky recipient gets to spend six weeks at Brown University, with $2,500 to cover travel and expenses. Application deadline: 31st January 2015. The email address below was from the initial announcement, and I’m assuming it’s still the one for contact.

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Art Laboratory Berlin, call for work on nonhuman subjectivities

An open call:


Art Laboratory Berlin is initiating an open call for art works, texts and cooperative works with artists, scholars and scientists on non-human subjectivities.

Recent philosophical works by Graham Harman [known for his work on Lovecraft] [and others] have questioned the solely human role of subjectivity that has formed the core of ‘humanism’ over the past five centuries. [and suggested there may be] a new multiplicity of viewpoints of non-human intelligence, agency and subjectivity, that make up our planet (and beyond).

Possible topics could include:

* Perspectives under threat – non-human viewpoints during the great species die off. [which is a dubious claim]

* Bacterial viewpoints – how microbes communicate, interact and experience the world.

* Non-human perspectives – intelligence and agency in animals, plants, bacteria.

* Re-definition of intelligence, agency and sentience in ways that are not anthropomorphic.

* What do some of these perspectives make of Homo Sapiens? e.g.- 90% of the cells in our body do not have human DNA – we are a host, a topography, for billions of bacteria and fungi.

* How about agency (and even intelligence) beyond life – virii or crystals for instance.

* Are complex data systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence beginning to have points of view, and forms of agency that are beyond human comprehension?

Art Laboratory Berlin is seeking submissions and proposals predominantly for exhibitions, performances and workshops, but is also interested in cooperation with scholars and scientists for the production of a series of lectures, texts and a symposium.

The deadline for entries is 15th December, 2014. Chosen proposals will form part of our 2016-17 programme, Please submit your proposal by email to: nonhumanisms@artlaboratory-berlin.org and please title the subject-line: POST RQST.

The application should include a proposal (not longer than 5 pages), a C.V. and work portfolio (not longer than 10 pages). We ask that you keep the size of attachments altogether under 5Mb. For video or other large files we encourage the use of Web links.

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