And lo, like a creature from beyond our understanding the darkest of holidays has arrived: Black Friday. But all is not lost! I’m delighted to introduce my eighth annual List of Lists for 2021. In it, you’ll find a plethora of paraphernalia for the weird-fiction fanatic, cosmic-horror connoisseur, or mythos maniac in your life. As with previous years, I’ve worked to assemble a list of exceptional items for all ages and budgets.
A few notes: as of last year I’m now linking to IndieBound for all books where possible. Please do what you can to support your locals. They can get you anything the big box stores can, and it’ll help out your community. Author links go to their web pages and blogs. While I’ve ordered these by price, the prices and availability are subject to change. Shipping is out of my control. I’m just sharing cool stuff made by cool people.
❄️ QUICK LINKS ❄️
• Books • Music • Apparel • Games •
• Housewares • Miskatonic •
❄️ Books ❄️
A new clean energy source might sound perfect until it awakens an ancient evil set on subjecting humanity. Now it’s up to the inventor, technological genius Johnny Chambers, and her pal Nick to stop it in this coming-of-age cosmic horror tale.
A darkly twisted yet thought-provoking heart-of-mankind story about our shared history, the formation of myth, and the stories we tell. While the narrative hints at an allegory, it’s not burdensome. A small but powerful novel that is very much worth your time.
I read this collection of stories by Tidbeck back in 2014 and I still think about the tales of genre-blending weirdness scattered throughout its pages. A must-have for the bookshelf of anyone calling themselves a weird-fiction aficionado. When the late and great Ursula K. Le Guin blurbs a book you know it’s got to be fantastic.
Why, yes. It’s out. The fourth book in my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series The Bell Forging Cycle is finally here. Waldo Bell finds himself outward bound on an enormous floating casino en route to the canals of Empress, the mysterious capital of the hermit-nation Victory. There Wal will discover darkness runs deeper than he ever thought possible; reality is not what it seems, and a new apocalypse is closer than anyone predicted.
I’m currently reading this 2020 debut and I’m loving it. Phenomenal language, solid worldbuilding, and an engaging plot. The story follows a lighthouse keeper sent to keep the light burning to protect the sailors of the salt-swept port of Vigil. While rumors that her neighbor might be more monstrous than the mighty creatures of the deep. Bits of steampunk, gothic romance, and gaslight fantasy. It’s good.
On the heels of Birth of a Nation rides the Klan, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even the monstrous Ku Kluxes can die. It’s up to Maryse Boudreaux and her friend to stand in their way, and they will stop at nothing to defeat the Klan before they can end the world.
In this new collection of loosely interconnected stories, horror-master John Langan maps the branches of his literary family tree, tracing his connections to the writers whose dark fictions have inspired his own. A surreal anthology that will entertain as much as it’ll frighten.
Sweet Dreams Cthulhu by Jason Ciaramella
$19.99 + Shipping (Board Book)
In his house at R’Lyeh, Cthulhu can’t sleep! So it’s up to his pal Howard to help him get back to the land of slumber in this adorable little board book for the tiny cosmic horror enthusiasts in your life. From the creators of C is for Cthulhu and the recently released Counting, Colors & Cthulhu. Be sure to check out their plushies as well.
Own a piece of history with this first edition, first printing, presentation copy, of Frank Belknap Long’s infamous collection. The author inscribed this limited and softly-worn edition on the front free endpaper to American writer and editor Richard E. Hughes. Many more details are in the listing.
❄️ Music & Audio ❄️
Cosmic horror and trip-hop are generally two genres you wouldn’t expect to go together. But, this 2010 Third Person Lurkin release manages to walk that razor edge, bringing a sound as haunting, ethereal, and mysterious as it is chill.
This 2018 release from the Boston prog-thrash-death-metal band Revocation goes heavier on death metal compared to their earlier albums, which is fitting for a collection of songs so steeped in the lore of cosmic horror. But, like R’lyeh of old, those earlier prog and thrash elements remain, and The Outer Ones has become a favorite of many Lovecraftian death-metal fans.
You’ve probably heard that the Nineties are back, which means now is a perfect time to return to the 1996 sophomore album of the infamous mythos-influenced rock band, The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. Punk and Cthulu with a heavy dose of that prevalent 90s-grunge sound. What’s not to love?
Sense Impacts by Chad Fifer
$14.99 (Digital Download)
The Venn Diagram of TTRPG players and Lovecraft Enthisasist is nearly a circle, so I’m sure most of you are familiar with Call of Cthulhu publisher Chaosium. Well, to aid in creating the proper atmosphere for your next gaming session, they’ve partnered with Chad Fifer (of H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcraft fame) to assemble a soundtrack of ambient soundscapes to enhance your tabletop experience.
Whenever readers ask me what music I write to, some of the first words that come out of my mouth will always be “Cryo Chamber’s stuff.” From my first to my most recent novel, the albums from this incredibly talented collective have added a dark ambient soundtrack that my brain craves when I’m carving out weird fiction. If loving a record label is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
H. P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth 4X LP Set
$89.00 + Shipping (Vinyl, Limited Pressings)
I’ve featured many limited vinyl releases from Cadabra Records before. (In fact, some of the rare hate mail I’ve gotten was when I didn’t feature a Cadabra release.) They make incredible collector editions of some classic cosmic horror. This 4X LP Set of Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth is read by Andrew Leman and scored by Chris Bozzone. Be sure to check out Cadabra’s other LP offerings as well.
❄️ Apparel ❄️
Elder Party Lapel Pin
$10.00 + Shipping
The history is murky, but it’s believed that Richard Nixon was the first US President to wear an American Flag lapel pin. Since then, and for some odd reason, it’s become expected by a subset of Americans that anyone running for office will wear a similar pin. And, they take great offense when you don’t. So, next time you run for political office in the US, get yourself a flag pin that does double duty and satisfies the whims of both the terrestrial and extraterrestrial.
$28.00 + Shipping (Limited Availability)
Providence sculptor Gage Prentiss has created a series of Lovecraftian netsuke for your kimono (or feel free to enjoy without.) Choose a Cat of Ulthar, one of the Deep Ones, ol’ Dagon on Whale, a Ghoul with Bone, or an Elder Thing. Or, better yet, collect all five!
Rage of Cthulhu Sweater
$34.99-$39.99 + Shipping
Ugly Sweater Contests are now ingrained in the zeitgeist of Western Christmas Culture, but just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can find a sweater that allows your cosmic horror side to show a little bit. Look, if it drives your office into a sacrificial frenzy, that’s on you. It’s the downside when you slap the visage of a Great Old One on your chest. Upside: more eggnog for you.
Tentacle Cuff Links
#34.99 + Free Shipping (US)
If you’re looking for a more subdued nod toward the cosmic horror fandom, these elegant tentacle cufflinks add a touch of weird to any fancy french cuff. One-inch wide and cast in pewter, these cufflinks aren’t tiny, but they are large enough to add a touch of weird to any fancy dress occasion.
$75.00 + Shipping
Weird fiction and cosmic horror already have a cult status (in more ways than one), but Stuart Gordon’s 1985 comedy-horror Re-Animator (based on the Lovecraft short story) double-dips into that cult status. So, it’s hard not to appericate a 100% cotton flannel in glowing reagent-green created as a nod toward the classic film—featuring some subtle design accents under the pockets, cuffs, and collar.
$79.99 + Shipping
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!” Winter is a time for coziness—and dreaming—so why not toss that old flannel pajama set away and opt for a thematically appropriate onesie created in the appearance of everyone’s favorite Lovecraftian horror: Cthulhu! Look, I know it’s adorable, and as a person coming from a household with several Kigurumi, I wouldn’t blame you for owning several.
The Innsmouth Look Mask
$550.00 + Free Shipping (Made to Order)
It’s a face only Obed Marsh could love (and maybe Dagon). But if you’re looking to take your Deep-One cosplay to the next level, look no further. This handcrafted, made-to-order silicone mask takes the Innsmouth-look in a stunningly creepy direction and allows you to apply your own custom paint scheme. Horrifying holiday fun.
❄️ Games ❄️
$1.99 (Digital Download – PC/Mac)
This unnerving yet compact one-button horror game enthralled me from start to finish. Based on a poem of Lovecraft’s, the story follows a pair of laborers as they attempt to clear out an old farm after a gruesome murder. If you like this one, be sure to check out Yames’ other Secret Games.
$11.99 (Digital Download – PC)
A walking simulator (with a few combat sequences) that oozes atmosphere, The Shore puts the player in the shoes of Andrew, a father searching for his lost daughter, on a mysterious island that will feel eerily familiar. Solve mind-bending puzzles, encourage strange creatures, and help Andrew as he fights to save his daughter’s life while uncovering the secrets to his sanity.
Miskatonic University – The Restricted Collection
$24.99 + Shipping
A set-collection card game from the world of Call of Cthulhu created by Reiner Knizia. Take on the role of a student of Miskatonic University vying against other players for the prestigious position of Head of the Library Committee. To do so, you’ll need to help Professor Armitage by exploring the Restricted Collection for items he needs. But the journey is perilous, and venturing too far can lead to madness.
$19.99 (Digital Download – PC/Mac)
Set after the events from Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness, Conarium put you in the role of Frank Gilman, a scientist and explorer, who wakes with very little memory except knowing you’re inside the Antarctic base of Upuaut. What follows is a suspense-filled tale that takes you deeper into the Antarctic and even into dreams themselves.
$79.95 + Shipping (Pre Order)
The year is 1913. The steamship SS Atlantica is two days out from port on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You and your friends play as one of the passengers on board. But some among you are traitors. It’s up to you to uncover the traitors (or sink the ship) before making port! (Some places this is available, some places this is on preorder, it sounds fantastic regardless.)
$329.99 + Shipping (Two Shipments)
I’m a big fan of the Mysterious Package Company. It’s no secret. They take the customized gaming experience to a whole new level, and they have only gotten better over the years. Their latest experience, Nyarlathotep, weaves a creepy puzzle-heavy story over two dense mailings and includes a bunch of digital/augmented reality for only the most deductive of Kakuet employees.
❄️ Housewares & Collectables ❄️
Cthulhu Perfume Oil
$4.60 – $19.75 + Shipping
The very popular Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab asks a fantastic question: who wouldn’t want to smell like their favorite sleeping old one? To find out, they created a creeping, wet, slithering scent dripping with seaweed, oceanic plants, and dark, unfathomable waters. A nautical impression of their extensive Picnic In Arkham collection.
Cedric’s Eatery 11oz. Mug
$16.00 + Shipping
The weather outside is frightful, and you need a new mug for a warm beverage. Why not pick up a classic diner mug from Lovat’s own Cedric’s Eatery located in the entresol between Levels Three and Four. (Breakfast served all day.) An in-between place for in-between folks. Waldo Bell’s favorite hangout. Fill your mug with 11 oz. of lousy coffee, your favorite tea, or something more substantial. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]
$32.50 + Free Shipping
You knew it was coming. Somehow we all did. But what is the Christmas season without stockings? And who is to say that stockings should always be shaped like human feet? How boring! This fabulous Tentacle Stocking from HPLHS adds a bit of pizzazz to your mantle, measures almost 33-inches, and has a pleasing bumpy texture. (Yeah, I featured it in the Gift Guide header image.)
“Rainy in R’lyeh” Cthulhu Umbrella
$80.00 + Shipping
This stunningly detailed umbrella features a ton of wonderfully weird touches to add an air of understated authenticity. The umbrella has a subtle silhouette that is printed on the underside of the canopy, a gilded handle of zinc alloy in the shape of the Sleeper himself, and fancy end tips molded into the form of a tentacle. It’s all downplayed but classy stuff.
Octopus Door Handle
$110.00 + Shipping
Tentacles and cosmic horror are now eternally intertwined. We fans can’t escape it, so we should embrace it. On the plus side, they can be subtle enough to hide in plain sight without necessarily drawing attention. Case in point these fantastic made-to-order brass and resin door handles. Creepy with that restrained elegance.
Lady of Innsmouth Bust
$190.00 + Free Shipping (Supplies are limited.)
This 8½” tall resin and bronze bust takes the Innsmouth look in a very different direction away from the hideous and fish-like beings with strange unblinking eyes. If you can’t tell, this year I’m into more downplayed yet thoroughly Lovecraftian art, and this Sheryl Westleigh piece fits the bill nicely. The sort of piece that can be displayed without comment but tells a deeper story when the viewer lingers on the details.
Innsmouth Apothecary Jar
$525.00 + Free Shipping (Only One Available)
This one-of-a-kind, hand-made, porcelain apothecary style jar comes from Berlin Sculpture and features sculpted elements inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft story, The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It stands at 9″ tall and is perfect for storing either sinister dry goods or more mundane normal ones. A rare collectible.
❄️ Miskatonic University ❄️
Miskatonic University Pin
$10.00 + Shipping
Class is still in session, for now, but the winter break looms on the snow-dusted horizon. Why not show you school pride by pinning this new University pin on your hat, bag, jersey, or letterman’s jacket—or anywhere else you want to pin your pin. A lovely 1″ red enamel and black metal design will have you shouting, “Onward, Miskatonic – on to victory!”
Miskatonic University Totebag
$13.30 + Free Shipping
Totebags are always welcome in our house, and the weirder, the better. You can’t get more bizarre than the grandaddy of mysterious collegiate excellence, Miskatonic University. Need a bag for groceries? No problem. Beach Day go you down? This bag will help. Found strange artifacts on an Antarctic exploration? You won’t find a better specimen bag anywhere.
Well-Dressed Miskatonic Alumni (4pc set)
$79.99 + Shipping
This set has it all—first, a lapel pin to satisfy those weirdos who demand lapel pins. Second the proper alumni cufflinks to stay classy. Third, a tie Clip because no one—especially the Old Ones—likes ties flopping everywhere. And fourth, a necklace because school pride should be the last thing you remove. Truly a collection for only the most dedicated. (Also available individually.)
Gold Lovecraft Miskatonic Key Set
$497.00 + Shipping (Includes 20″ gold chain)
What lock does the key unlock? What door does it open? This elegant and subtle nod to everyone’s favorite higher education institution is 15mm in size and is hand-made in Sofia Zakia’s Montreal studio out of solid 14K gold. It comes by itself or on a 16 or 20″ chain.
Not finding any Miskatonic University gear you like?
Check out the Miskatonic University items from one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Miskatonic • 2015 Miskatonic • 2016 Miskatonic • 2017 Miskatonic •
• 2018 Miskatonic • 2019 Miskatonic • 2020 Miskatonic •
❄️ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❄️
So, that wraps up the eighth annual List of Lists. Hopefully, it fills all your wriggly needs. Big thank you to everyone who has suggested items in the past to help me pad out this list. Y’all rule. If I didn’t get to your submission, fret not. There are many more holidays ahead. I always appreciate the help.
Do you have a book, game, album, or other weird fiction-related items I should feature in 2022’s Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide? Leave a comment below with links to your favorite goodies for others to see, or send me an email as a potential submission for next year!
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