The 2020 Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide
The phrase “Black Friday” has a more menacing tone in 2020—especially here in the United States. Hopefully, you’re following the advice of the experts, staying home, laying low, wearing masks, and washing your hands. But a pandemic shouldn’t stop gift giving! So, once again, I took some time and assembled my List of Lists for 2020. 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.
There’s a few changes this year. First, I’m now linking to IndieBound for all books. Please do what you can to support your local bookshops and small businesses. Odds are they can get you anything Amazon can, and it’ll help out your community. Secondly, where possible, I’m also linking to the author’s personal webpages. Check them out. Follow them. It’s a nice way to stay current with what’s happening in the world of weird fiction. Please remember, while I’ve ordered these by price, the prices and availability are subject to change. I don’t have any control over that. Happy shopping!
❄️ QUICK LINKS ❄️
• Books • Music • Apparel • Games •
• Housewares • Miskatonic •
Mother Hydra’s Mythos Rhymes by Jarred W. Wallace
$9.95 + Shipping (Paperback)
This mock children’s book features twenty-one sinister nursery rhymes twisted with a Cthulhu Mythos bent and illustrated by the incredible Heather Hudson. Also included is a complete Edward Gorey-style alphabet. Every budding cultist should learn their ABCs after all.
The Worm And His Kings by Hailey Piper
$13.00 + Shipping (Paperback) $6.99 (eBook)
This arrived only a few weeks ago, and I can’t wait to dive in. Set in New York City in 1990, the story follows Monique as she hunts for her missing girlfriend. But the trail goes much deeper than she realizes, sending Monique into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures.
The Stars Were Right by K. M. Alexander
$14.00 + Shipping (Paperback) $2.99 (eBook)
I’m nearly finished with Book Four’s edits. So, if you haven’t, now is the perfect time to start reading my Bell Forging Cycle. Follow Waldo Bell as he is sent careening through the multi-level megalopolis of Lovat, fighting to clear his name as a bloodthirsty killer stalks him. It’s mystery and monsters, chases and cults, and an ancient evil in a world that is similar but not quite like our own.
RADIO by J. Rushing
$15.99 + Shipping (Paperback) $3.99 (eBook)
A jazz-infused, opium-soaked, historical fantasy with a transgressive edge that explodes from the opening chapter and never relents until its final pages—a welcome addition to modern fantasy literature and weird enough that it earned a place on this list.
Murder Ballads And Other Horrific Tales
by John Hornor Jacobs
$16.95 + Shipping (Paperback) $7.95 (eBook)
Seems like it’s becoming a tradition to see a new book from John Hornor Jacobs on this list every year, and it’s no surprise. He’s arguably one of the best mythos writers working today. This collection of recent horror and crime short stories takes you through tales involving old gods to malevolent artiﬁcial intelligences, plus it includes the sequel to his 2011 novel, Southern Gods.
The Cipher by Kathe Koja
$17.95 + Shipping (Paperback) $3.99 (eBook)
Part haunted house story, part body horror, part descent-into-madness tale all told in the style of Transgressive Literature. The Cipher is one of those stories I was shocked I hadn’t read until this year. Koja writes stunningly physical characters and knotted complex relationships that feel eerily familiar to anyone who’s spent time in artist circles. Enjoy the Fun Hole. (One of my 2020 Three Great Horror Reads for Halloween.)
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
$26.99 + Shipping (Hardcover) $9.99 (eBook)
At its heart, this is a horror novel about growing up poor and native in western Montana. But The Only Good Indians also a novel about revenge, mistakes, and their extended consequences. I blew through it. I grew up not too far from where this novel is set, and I have yet to find a recent author that captures the behavior and actions of the people in that area quite as well as Jones. You’ll never look at elk the same way again. (One of my 2020 Three Great Horror Reads for Halloween.)
The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
$28.00 + Shipping (Hardcover) $14.99 (eBook)
The first of the Great Cities series focuses on a roiling, ancient evil that stirs beneath the streets of New York City and threatens to destroy the city. New York must go on, and it will take five protectors scattered across the boroughs coming together to stop it. An allegorical response to Lovecraft’s work and a love letter to the city.
The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces by H.P. Lovecraft
$650.00 + Shipping (One Copy Available—Sold via AbeBooks)
This rare late-60s first edition copy from Arkham House is in fine condition with a fine dustwrapper. It also comes with an inscription by the publisher and editor of this work: “for Herb Arnold from the compiler – August Derleth.” An extremely unique find and a unique piece of weird fiction history.
No book catches your interest? Check out the books featured in one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Books • 2015 Books • 2016 Books • 2017 Books • 2018 Books • 2019 Books •
❄️ Music & Audio
Tribute To H.P. Lovecraft by Epsilon Eridani
Free (Digital Download)
This atmospheric and somber dark ambient album is the third project from Mexican electronic artist Juan Pablo Valle. Blending instrumental tracks, spoken words performances, and recitations of parts of Lovecraft’s stories, this tribute serves as an excellent horror soundtrack.
The Yellow Sign
$6.99 (Digital Download)
While Lovecraftian music often skews towards dark ambient or metal performances, The Yellow Sign goes takes a more orchestral approach. Composer Graham Plowman has created a fantastic classical soundtrack putting this album on par with any feature film—brooding, menacing, and wonderfully enjoyable.
Beyond Madness by Aklo
$9.00 (Digital Download)
Erich Zann would be jealous. Aklo, like its madness-inducing namesake, is hard to pin down. But this album captures “the beyond” in ways not often heard in modern music. Part noise, part experimental, Beyond Madness is an excellent addition to any Lovecraft fan’s collection.
Live from Stockholm by Ogham Waite
$12.00 (Digital Download)
Ogham Waite, one of Innsmouth’s Deep One inhabitants, and the Amphibian Jazz Band are the mythos’ answer to the lounge stylings of early Tom Waits. Bluesy and moody, this seductively smokey album drips with saltwater. Waite’s performance and delivery are melodious as they are melodic, a great addition to mythos music.
Ambrose Bierce’s The Boarded Window
$20.00 + Shipping (Vinyl)
This limited vinyl pressing of Bierce’s unsettling perspective-shifting tale is read by Anthony D. P. Mann and scored by Chris Bozzone. Cadabra Records always goes the extra mile with their products, and it’s clear from the hand-poured red and white splattered vinyl to the incredible art by Jeremy Hush.
Deities by Tortuga
€22.50 ($26.68) + Shipping (Vinyl) €5.00 ($5.93) (Digital Download)
This one showed up randomly on a playlist, and I found myself intrigued. Once I listened to it, I became a fan. Tortuga is a Polish doom metal band whose work is loaded down with intricate and heavy driving riffs inspired by Lovecraft’s writings. It’s good stuff.
Not finding any music or audio that interests you? Check out one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Music • 2015 Music • 2016 Music • 2017 Music • 2018 Music • 2019 Music •
Tiki Cthulhu Embroidered Patch
$9.00 + Shipping
I see many patches as I search for new cosmic horror gear throughout the year, and occasionally I find one that rises to the top. This sew-on tiki-styled Ctuhulu is 3″ x 2.5″ and was created for the 2018 H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival. If you want a mythos inspired adornment for your bag or jacket that’s a bit outside the norm, look no further.
$18.00 + Shipping
It’s winter in the northern hemisphere, that means you need to keep your appendages warm. Also, socks-for-Christmas is a right of passage. Why not consider getting these Cthulhu Socks from PutYourSocksOn featuring tentacles up the side and an illustration of the dead and dreaming Cthulhu on the ankle.
Sourpuss Tropicthulhu Rosie Dress
$29.00 + Shipping
When you are associated with the ocean, you generally get associated with the tropics regardless of where your sunken city dwells. This 40’s style Rosie Dress allows you to show your appreciation of R’lyeh’s favorite son in a subtle but delightful manner.
Amulet of Azathoth
£23.95 ($34.42) + Shipping
It’s the grandpappy of the mythos deities in amulet form! Well, kinda. A representation of the nuclear chaos beyond angled space himself. This antique amulet is a little over an inch and a half long and is cold cast in a mixture of resin and brass—a stunning little pendant.
Mother & Father Statuary Set
$85.00 + Free Shipping
These handmade and hand-painted resin figures of Dagon and Hydra would work perfectly as bookends or garden statues. Aged in a way to evoke feelings of lost treasure salvaged from the seafloor or perhaps a dank and forgotten chamber somewhere beneath Innsmouth. Kinda cute to boot.
Cara Mater Silvae Shub-Niggurath Woodcut Print
$187.50 + Free Shipping (Limited Edition)
Liv Rainey-Smith’s fantastic woodcut work has long been a fixture in the weird lit community. This limited-edition print is done in the style of a sacred icon and features a great rendition of Shub-Niggurath, The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, or as my readers will know her, “Cybill.”
Keeper of the Nightmare Mask
$331.53 + Free Shipping (Made to Order)
Plague doctors always cut a fearsome figure in humanity’s historical memory, but what lies beneath that leather mask and shielded eyes? This custom made-to-order mask twists tentacles to form that familiar (and terrifying) plague-doctor shape adding an extra level of menace to an already menacing form.
Not finding apparel you like? Check out the apparel on one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Apparel • 2015 Apparel • 2016 Apparel • 2017 Apparel • 2018 Apparel • 2019 Apparel •
No Players Online
Name Your Own Price (Windows/Linux)
What starts as a simple old demo of a capture-the-flag 3D shooter found on a discarded tape eventually twists and turns becoming something else entirely. I’m a sucker for the 80s glitch aesthetic, and it’s used here in masterfully unsettling ways—multiple endings, interesting game world, very much worth your time.
$5.99 (Digital Download, Early Access)
This first chapter of a first-person cosmic-horror adventure has you following the case of a World War II Nazi train that vanished only to reappear in a cave in the Himalayas 75 years later. Dripping with atmosphere and filled with brilliant puzzles, this first chapter left me excited for Kadath and wanting more.
Fate of Cthulhu
$20.00 (Downloadable PDF) $35.00 + Shipping (Book + PDF)
In this tabletop roleplaying game from Fred Hicks and Evil Hat Productions, you and your friends will find yourself sent into the past on a mission to prevent the future. It’s a race against time as you try to stop the stars from being right and prevent Cthulhu’s foretold return, all before you and yours are transformed into something monstrous.
Elder Sign Dice – Blue Aether
$24.99 + Shipping
Infinite Black has been making some wonderful cosmic-horror-themed gaming products for a few years. They’ve finally gotten easy enough to nab for holiday gifts. These Blue Aether Elder Sign Dice stood out to me, but they have a robust catalog making it easy to find the right gift for the dicing Lovecraft fan in your life. (Or yourself.)
Fate of the Elder Gods
$63.99 + Shipping
Cults battle cults in this race to summon your ancient order’s elder god of choice! But it’s not just the other conniving worshippers and cult leaders you need to worry about, crafty investigators are on the prowl, and they’re working to subvert everyone’s goals as well. Hasten the earth’s doom in this competitive area-control game for two to four players.
$274.99 + Shipping (Two Shipments)
I’m a big fan of the Mysterious Package Company, the quality of their products always impresses. This latest journey into the realm of Hastur is no exception. Taking place over several mailings, Hastur invites the recipient into the world of the King in Yellow, the play with the same name, and the utter madness that dwells within those words.
Not finding a game you’d enjoy? Check out the games on one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Games • 2015 Games • 2016 Games • 2017 Games • 2018 Games • 2019 Games •
❄️ Housewares & Collectables
Cedric’s Eatery 11oz. Mug
$16.00 + Shipping
It’s cold out, and you need a new mug. Why not pick one up from Lovat’s own Cedric’s Eatery located in the entresol between Levels Three and Four. An in-between place for in-between folks. Waldo Bell’s latest hangout. Fill your mug with 11 oz. of bad coffee, your favorite tea, or something stronger. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]
Cthulhu Clay Idol & Letter
$29.80 + Free Shipping
Alternative takes on the Cthulhu idol are rare. More often than not, we see the same shape repeated over and over. Because of that, this rawer, more original piece stood out to me. It feels more realistic in many ways, reminding me of the sort of thing one would find on an archeological dig. Plus, with the attached letter, you get a little mini-experience here.
Sea Monster Shower Curtain
$32.00 + Shipping
There be dragons. And there. And there. And… well, all over the place! If you love weird old sea monsters and old maps, then this curtain will be perfect for you. Decorate your shower with this fantastic curtain featuring beasts that look lifted from early Renaissance maps. 70″ x 72″. Liner recommended.
Cthulhu Lovecraft Blanket
$59.99 + Shipping
As cooler air moves into the northern hemisphere, we can all celebrate the arrival of the cozy season. To stay warm, why not cuddle up beneath this cotton and acrylic Jacquard Knit blanket featuring the squatting visage of The Great Dreamer himself? He might be cold but you don’t have to be.
Anxious Blob Original Sculpture
$325.00 + Shipping (Supplies are limited.)
This weird little one-off sculpture of a nervous little entity is made with polymer clay and hand-painted. The eye sits beneath a glass dome giving this piece a unique character. Who among us hasn’t wanted an anxious blob with hundreds of teeth and a single staring eye decorating our walls?
Not finding a houseware item you like?
Check out the housewares from one of the previous guides.
• 2016 Housewares • 2017 Housewares • 2018 Housewares • 2019 Housewares •
❄️ Miskatonic University
Miskatonic University Pennant
$15.99 + Shipping
I love seeing all the different takes for Miskatonic University collegiate gear. Here you can show your support for “Ole Misk” with a felt pennant from H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and cheer on the “mighty Miskatonic Myrmidons” to another victory. Wave that banner proudly!
Miskatonic University Real Leather Notebook
$41.40 + Shipping
Journaler? Artist? Writer? Mathematician? Norwegian sea captain? Random idea generator? If you’re one of these, odds are you need a notebook. This 8″x6″ Miskatonic-themed journal features 100 sheets of thick handmade Khadda paper and is durable enough for the dig site while still being elegant enough for the classroom.
Miskatonic University Wax Seal
$48.07 + Shipping
Secure your correspondence with old friends from bygones eras who seek answers using this classic and exquisite seal. It might not stop prying eyes, but at least your old colleagues will know if someone’s been tampering with their mail. (Wax sold separately.)
Miskatonic University Hockey Sweater
$109.00 + Shipping (Supplies are limited.)
Every sports fan needs a jersey. Miskatonic students are no different. It’s why when I came across this Hockey Sweater from Geeky Jerseys I knew it’d be perfect for the cosmic horror student in your life. (While this one is great, I’m hoping the superior Miskatonic 2.0 sweater becomes available once again.)
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 •
❄️ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❄️
So that wraps up the seventh annual List of Lists. Let’s all keep wearing our masks, socially distancing, and washing our hands so we can all do this again next year. 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 appreciate the help.
Do you have a book, game, album, or other weird fiction-related items I should feature in 2021’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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