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  • Writer's pictureDylan Doose

Since the a large amount of us around the world are under lock down it is no secret that the most of us are enjoying more art then we have perhaps in are whole lives. During this time I'd like to make some recommendations of some fantastic books, shows, films, albums, visual arts and video games for those who are interested in that type of thing.

I'd like to start off with a novel called "The Blade Itself" by Joe Abercrombie.

This is the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy that had a massive impact on me not just as a writer but as a person and visual artist as well (I am a practitioner of sculpture).

Joe Abercrombie really knows how to weave visuals like magic. His world is so lively, so vivid, so colorful in places like the palace courtyards and gardens. Then dreary and glum in the slums and the docks to the point that I often thought I could smell the rot in the wood and feel the damp on my skin from the cold, sick air that hangs over that wicked place where dark dealing are done.

The way the Joe writes a battle is unbeaten as far as I am concerned. Abercrombie gets the reader into his character's heads in a manner that is nothing short of spell work. You feel the rattle of swords, the claustrophobia of fighting pressed between hundreds and hundreds of bodies as dread and desolation close in, you feel the ache of one man's crippled leg as he takes his pain staking steps up endless stairs in evil towers home to dark orders. You feel the pounding of your heart as Logan Nine Fingers, fights that one last fight that never seems to be his last, or the roof top chase scene that has the intensity of a Jason Bourne movie some how generated from the pages of a fantasy novel.

Inside this epic of war and wizardry, is laced the sharpest humor in a fantasy series matched only by the Witcher, in my opinion. Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy, which The Blade Itself is the first installment of is for anyone who thinks they might be interested in seeing what would happen if writer-director Guy Richie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes a Game of Shadows, Rock'N'Rolla) had a go at penning Game of Thrones. There is an amazingly diverse cast of characters all with there own charms and fatal flaws and the experience is over all thrilling, thoughtful and above all epic.

  • Writer's pictureDylan Doose

Dear Reader,

Today we are going to take a brief break from H.P. Lovecraft, and his evil things coming from the sea with the hateful eyes of primordial gods staring down upon us with disdain and violence. I do believe there is enough doom and gloom in the world at the moment, so I'd rather share inspirational words today, I hope you all don't mind.

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

A friend said this quote from the Sci-Fi masterpiece, "Dune" to me yesterday, I thought I'd share it with you, my dear Reader. Caution is important and danger is real, panic is pointless and fear is a phantom that hides inside your mind.

Be resolute, be strong, be mindful and aware.

Stay filled with love and try your hardest to believe in all the beautiful things still to come when we make it past this dilemma as a global community.

Try to be thankful we live in this wonderful age of connectivity so that even if we must spend time away from those we cherish and adore we can still call. We can still message, and video chat. And most importantly we can all rally together and make the right choices as educated individuals. Call me naive, but I can't help thinking that during this time of turmoil, we will continue to see people do strange and wonderful things to help each other on personal levels and more so to help man kind on medical, technological and environmental levels.

I leave you, for now, dear Reader with a few words from the magnificent John Lennon, "Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given, never forgotten, never let it disappear."

Thanks for reading and do wash your hands.

  • Writer's pictureDylan Doose

In the last posts, I introduced one of my favorites, and perhaps the most inspiring book for me as a writer, The Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft—a book of short stories, serialized novellas, and poems written by one of the forefathers of modern horror in literature, film, videogames, music, and even demonology itself. And I told you about The Shadow OverInnsmouth, a story that helped inspire my creation of one of the Sword and Sorcery Saga’s strangest cults, The Friends of the Void.

In today's post, I’d like to address how sometimes art, particularly stories, can have such an impact that they start to bleed into reality. Indeed, from those imaginative realms of quantum creation, sometimes the mightiest of things that were only once a single human beings’ idea, expand and slither out their shadowy tentacles through the ages, forever lingering in so many tainted minds. The tales contained in the Necronomicon reach out in such a way, I do not doubt that in some passing of years the name of Cthulhu will be as taboo to let spill from one’s lips as those unholy names of Lucifer and Belphegor. With dreadful foresight, I clearly see those future cults gathered under neon lights, in dark basements of future cities, and in the moonlit woods of future forests, of earth or some other world on which we shall then dwell.

Those dark outcasts of the status quo, those neo-pagans, those heathens, they shall utter inverted prayers to The Old Great One, they will speak in tongues to The Great Dreamer, oh that horrible thing, The Sleeper Of R’lyeh. To he, they shall say, Iä! Iä! Cthulhufthagn! This the untranslated prayer repeated many a time in Lovecraft’s works. It is believed to mean, “Hail! Hail! Cthulhu Dreams!” Where on the internet this translation started, or if it appeared in a translation pre-web I know not. I think perhaps it means exactly what it says: Iä! Iä! Cthulhufthagn! Just madness, just fear. In the end, I think Cthulhu is not all that complex of a concept. I think that is exactly what it is, a concept, and that is why it works so well in turning the blood cold and sapping hope from the mind and soul.

Cthulhu is the idea that we are not alone in the universe, in fact, we aren’t even alone on our little planet that drifts unaccompanied in the obsidian star-speckled cosmic sea. Something mighty, something ancient sleeps in the darkest part of the blackest ocean deep, that place that is the very reflection of outer space. The sleeper, his rest is almost up, and when he wakes, he shall remind us all that he is king. And vengeance he will have upon humankind for all the ugly devastation they had wrought as the world’s custodians in the Old Great One's absence. Cthulhu is the collective subconscious dread of a race of beings that strive to command and contort the world at their will. Cthulhu is the punishment the human race fears it deserves, and that is another core ingredient of what makes H.P. Lovecraft’s works so timeless.

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