A board-game/card-game based on Neil Gaiman’s Lovecraft/Holmes crossover story “A Study in Emerald” has been abundantly funded on Kickstarter, and should ship in October 2013…

game

Perhaps that’s a special case because the stars have aligned: Lovecraft / Gaiman / Holmes / steampunk-era, all wrapped up in an accessible game format. But I’m wondering how Lovecraftian scholars might tap into such generosity for things Lovecraftian? Some off-the-cuff ideas…

* A search-engine for the full collection of the Lovecraft letters would surely get handsome funding. It could be done in the same proven-secure manner that Google Books uses for presentation of its search results, only letting you see small snippets. The source would be the full Schultz/Joshi digital archive of the letters. The engineers at Google might even help out with that, as they helped with deciphering the recent Lovecraft postcard-letter.

* If a long-time Lovecraftian researcher wanted to be compensated for making all their texts “open access” in digital perpetuity on archive.org, as they headed into retirement, I’d imagine a Kickstarter campaign might do it.

* A full searchable online library (built on a combination of Google Custom Search Engine and Omeka) reproducing Lovecraft’s own library in searchable digital form, plus all the books he’s known to have read. It would have to be limited to public domain materials, but if you look at Joshi’s book Lovecraft’s Library you’ll see that a lot of it is now in the public domain.

* Maybe some kind of simple-but-full digital gazetteer of all Lovecraft’s places, built on Omeka and with each record having embedded links to Google Maps and Google Streetview for the location. Could be done as a wiki, but in my experience small open collective wikis fail even faster than a socialist economy. Might be best done by a small team of long-time Lovecraftian geographers.

* A simple introductory “Beginner’s Guide to Research in Lovecraft and his Mythos”, along the lines of the “For Dummies”… books? I suspect there’s a whole lot of intelligent people out there would might like to write and blog about Lovecraft and the later Mythos authors in a more grounded manner, but who lack any real guide to start them off. The other problem of course, is the sheer expense of acquiring the print-only Lovecraft books that are needed if one is to triangulate and fact-check the many discoveries still to be made via the free online resources. Such a “Beginner’s Guide” could also usefully be translated into other key languages.

* There’s my Lovecraft timelines idea, but the software doesn’t yet exist to do that in an elegant or easy manner.

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