I’m taking a vacation day today to sit in front of my computer and start to put things back together, starting with Lousy Book Covers, since a) I’ve got most of the posted content mirrored to the tumblog for easier restoration, and b) it was the only site that made me any real money.
In other news, I’m literally a single paragraph from the end of the first draft of my story for Space Eldritch II. (Then the word came down that the server was starring in a revival of the parrot sketch, so it took priority.) There are a couple of scenes I need to go back and put in, and then it’ll go out to a few trusted readers. The working generic title is “The Haunted Stars,” but I kind of like that for the subtitle of the collection as a whole, so maybe it’ll end up being titled “Late to the Party.”
I’m finding out, between this story and “The Menace Under Mars” in the first Space Eldritch, that I don’t have many Lovecraftian stories in me. Not that I can ever tire of various tenticular ickies, but for both of these stories, I took to heart that most-quoted opening paragraph from “The Call of Cthulhu”:
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
What frightens me, then, in a Lovecraftian sense, is immensity, the fact that the “vistas of reality” are so huge that it’s only the foreshortening of our human perspective — both in time and space — that makes them amenable to the human psyche. Those who have read “The Menace Under Mars” can see that idea in the closing parts of the story. (Those who haven’t read it can rectify that oversight easily.)
I tried to put a different spin on it in this story, so that I won’t be the guy who’s every Lovecraftian space opera ends the same way, and I don’t think this one’ll give anyone deja vu. I’m just saying that if I do any more Space Eldritch collections, I’m going to have to go the Larry Correia route, where killing alien squids takes precedence over cosmic dread.