This is to be the first of a multitude of recommendations of books, movies, shows, video games, anime, music, and other art forms that have inspired and continue to inspire me to write the Sword and Sorcery Saga.
First atop the stone altar is none other than the big black book, The Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft. A book of horrors we have all heard of, either directly or through the representations of the tales that linger in the shadows of pop culture and pulp fiction for over half a century now. As early as the 1963 film The Haunted Palace. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, all the way to elements in Netflix’s, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. There are hundreds in-between those two, and there will be hundreds of more works of art, inspired by that wicked book, The Necronomicon.
I recall, some years ago, before the idea of Theron Ward was ever conceived, I was bedridden, sick with a rare case of the West Nile Virus. As a get better gift my dearest brother bought for me the Necronomicon.
A big, black, hard-cover book. A textured, obsidian-hued surface that almost looks like snakeskin when you stare upon it under the light. The title, the author’s name, and an image of the iconic horror, Cthulhu, is engraved on the cover in gold leaf.
Although I know better than to do so, and I advise against it myself, I did judge this book by its cover, I judged the thing that looked like a massive golden brain with a mass of tentacles writhing out from it and the small and terrible, mutated wings that sprouted from the monstrosity’s bulbous cranium. I judged the book by its weight made up of 878 pages of fine print, it had enough heft to clobber a man to death with the thing. Just holding it in my hands and leafing through the pages, setting eyes upon the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words and the evil little illustrations that came with each story filled me with anticipation and a small kind of dread.
For when we engage in the arts, as a reader, as a watcher, as a listener, we are opening ourselves up to all manners of unseen energies. And for those of you who don’t believe that, do try and read the whole of the Necronomicon and see if your nights do not fill with nightmares and your days with tricks of the eyes as you begin to see the unseen. And there shall be tricks of the mind that may make you question the very nature of your sanity.
Alas, let us open the book…
As the month of March 2020 goes on, I will take us through some of my favorite stories in the Necronomicon, where they are seen in pop culture and of course in ways, small and large that they have influenced my own writing. Next post concerns The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and how the story helped inspire my creation of the cult, The Friends of the Void.
Thank you for reading and enjoy the void.