Happy Birthday, H.P.

HappyBirthdayHP

Iä! Iä! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

Today is, or rather would have been, the birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, who was born August 20th, 1890. If you aren’t familiar with who he is, and what he did, and you like Halloween… well, what have you been doing with your life?! 😉

Lovecraft is responsible for the Cthulhu Mythos of elder god-monsters, and dozens upon dozens of short stories that should be considered required reading at Halloween. Much of what came after in the Horror genre was directly influenced by Lovecraft (and before him Edgar Allan Poe). If you’d like to learn more about Lovecraft, there is a great page on Wikipedia, as well as an extensive site at The Lovecraft Archive (including texts of his works for free).

If you’d like a little ambience (music and sound) by which to read, check out Simply Rain as well as Pumpkinland by Mark Harvey at 13thtrack.com.

If you’d like to get some free audiobook versions of Lovecraft’s work to listen to, go to booksshouldbefree.com.

Reading List: Nightmare Store

“What Nightmares are in store for you?!”

That’s the (lame, I admit it) tag line I would have written for the cover of this “Plot Your Own Horror Stories™ ” book I found while going through old boxes in the basement today.

phorror2[TL;DR – I found an old CYOA-style book from the 80s about a haunted store. I’m going to read it and post a summary to Twitter.]

Being 40 now I was, of course, there back in the 80s for the onslaught of Choose Your Own Adventure ™ books and all the various alternatives that followed the premise of a free-form story with multiple options and endings along the way. The reader was prompted to choose between two or more possible paths from each page in the book, which meant they could be read again and again many times and still feel fresh. In a way, they were one of the precursors to the modern RPG video games where the player takes on the first-person role of the antagonist, and must find their way through the adventure. (If you aren’t familiar with these books, you can read about CYOA, the “grand-daddy” of the genre, here: http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa )

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