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Cthulhu Mythos 101

Cthulhu Mythos 101

If you’re looking for a decent primer on H.P. Lovecraft’s work and the Cthulhu mythos in general, this video from TedEd and author Silvia Moreno-García is a solid start. It’s surface level—but an easy entry into the world of cosmic horror and not a bad way to spend five minutes.

If you enjoyed that and now want a deeper dive into the man and the mythos—tragedy and all. I highly recommend checking out Frank H. Woodward’s 2008 documentary Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown. It’s fantastic and quite a bit longer. Plus it features a ton of interviews from a variety of authors and artists working in the subgenre.

I’d personally love to see a fresh take on the documentary going into 2020. While Fear isn’t that old—just over ten years—so many more amazing and talented creators have spent time in cosmic horror and added so much over the last decade. Today, the genre as a whole is stronger than it’s ever been and I think their take on the lore and legends would be most welcome.

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

My Top Five Posts of 2018

My Top Five Posts of 2018

The year is coming to an end in a few weeks, and in these twilight days of 2018, I’m one to reflect on the things I’ve accomplished. Last year, I revisited my top five posts of 2017, and I thought it’d be interesting to do that again this year.

This has been a banner year for my blog—I’ve seen a lot more traffic than I ever have before, which is always exciting. After all, I’ve wanted to make this site my primary focus rather than spreading bits and pieces of myself all over social media. My hope is that this becomes a place where readers can find more than just generic author-bloggy stuff but also interesting content. Based on my top posts, I think I’m finding that balance. So, let’s see what resonated, we’ll start at number five and work our way to number one.

Eight Writing Tips from Eight Different Writers5. Eight Writing Tips from Eight Different Writers

Writers are often asked to offer up their personal “rules” for writing, and unless you’re Jonathan Franzen, other authors (or aspiring authors) love to share and discuss their thoughts. I noticed a correlation between the number eight and decided to riff off that—and then things went out of control. There is good advice to be had here from masters in the field, glean from it what you can.

Mapping Resources for Authors4. Mapping Resources for Authors (and GMs)

My background is in graphic design, and as a reader, a good map has always drawn me in—many fantasy authors (and game masters) need maps for their various projects, and they don’t have the skill set to render them in a useful way. My hope with this post was to deliver a handy guide for the more artistically challenged authors (or GMs) by exploring the map creation software and sites currently available.

Your Fav is Problematic—That's Okay3. Your Fave is Problematic—That’s Okay

If there is one post I am most proud of this year, it’s this one—for a long time I thought it’d be number one. Consider this my manifesto. An appeal for the wicked, as it were. I want you to write fiction that makes people uncomfortable. Give us perspectives outside our echo chambers. Make us care. Let our hearts be in conflict.

The 2018 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide2. The 2018 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

As always the internet loves a good gift guide. For the fifth straight year, my Lovecraftian gift guide has attracted all manner of visitors who are eager to see what strange and unusual items I’ve discovered over the year. This year’s list is no different. There’s a ton of great gifts, and there is still time to get your orders in on many of these products.

That brings us to number one… the most prominent post of 2018 was…

H.P. Lovecraft Really Liked Sending Christmas Poetry1. H.P. Lovecraft Really Liked Sending Christmas Poetry

I’ll be honest, this one took me by surprise. For a while now, during the holiday season, I’ve often shared Lovecraft’s weird Christmas poems, but this rarity quickly took off, in a single day it surpassed all other posts for the year. That’s the weird internet for you. Go figure.

So, there are the top five posts decided by you, the reader! I’m disappointed that none of my Raunch Review series made the top five, but I still have high hopes for those posts. I firmly believe they’ll eventually find their audience and I’ll get some crazy email from someone adamantly disagreeing with my judgments.

Thank you to all my readers who read, comment, and share the stuff I post on I Make Stories. Sharing my posts on your blogs and social media accounts makes a difference. It means a lot to see your excitement and that excitement makes it all worthwhile. With your help, you made 2018 the best year ever, and I’m excited to see what 2019 holds.

❄️ 💀 ❄️

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

The 2018 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

The 2018 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

The List of Lists is back for its 5th year and it’s bigger than ever! Once again I’ve assembled a highly curated collection of Lovecraft-related items for your holiday season. Here you can find a plethora of paraphernalia for the weird-fiction fanatic, cosmic-horror connoisseur, or mythos maniac in your life. (And maybe a little something for yourself. You need gifts too.) As with previous years, I’ve worked to assemble a list of great items for all ages and budgets.

As before, I’ve organized the list by category and ordered them by price making it easy to browse. Have a favorite new weird or mythos-themed item I left off? Leave a comment at the bottom and let everyone know! Appreciate the work I put into this list? Please share it with your friends! Happy shopping!


Books • Music • Apparel • Games • Housewares • Miskatonic


The Sea Dreams it is the Sky by John Hornor JacobsThe Sea Dreams it is the Sky by John Hornor Jacobs
$3.99 (eBook)
A new cosmic horror novella written by one of the most talented new mythos voices working today. A young professor finds herself meeting a mysterious poet known only as “The Eye.” Her relationship leads to an ancient and profane grimoire and a pull home that cannot be ignored. (Also look into John’s fantastic and wonderfully weird Incorruptibles series.)

A Song for QuietA Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw
$11.99 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $3.99 (eBook)
Returning to the world of the haunted John Persons from her debut novella Hammer on the Bone (Featured in 2017’s Gift Guide) Khaw introduces us to rambling bluesman Deacon James who’s horn calls up far more than he bargained in this gritty cosmic horror novella.

The Stars Were Right by K. M. Alexander
$14.00 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $2.51 (eBook)
With Book Four on the way, 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 he’s stalked by a bloodthirsty killer. It’s mystery and monsters, chases and cults, and an ancient evil in a world that is similar but not quite like our own.

Sip by Brian Allen CarrSip by Brian Allen Carr
$15.00 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $9.99 (eBook)
This poetic and wildly bizarre post-apocalyptic novel hooked me from the beginning. A story of violence and addiction set in a world where people can drink (and then begin to crave) shadows. Wildly creative, gritty as hell, raw, unapologetic, and wonderfully written—Sip is a must-read for weird fiction fans that like their weird on the darker side.

Beneath by Kristi DeMeester Beneath by Kristi DeMeester
$16.99 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $6.99 (eBook)
Set in rural Appalachia, Beneath follows Cora Mayburn, a journalist, assigned to cover a snake-handling cult. Struggling against her own history, Cora soon discovers there is much more going on behind the fundamentalist sect. Something darker, something that lies… beneath. (Signed paperback & ebook bundle available directly from Word Horde.)

Deep Roots by Ruthanna EmrysDeep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys
$20.19 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $13.99 (eBook)
The second novel of the Innsmouth Legacy Series (the first of which was featured in 2017’s Holiday Gift Guide) follows Aphra Marsh as she seeks to reclaim the village of Innsmouth—her homeland—from the hands of greedy developers. This is much more than a struggle over land, people begin to go missing and Marsh must unravel the mystery before losing everything.

The Searching Dead by Ramsey CampbellThe Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell
$30.13 + Free Shipping (Hardcover)
The first novel of The Three Births of Daoloth, the first cosmic horror series from Ramsey Campbell, arguably one of the greatest modern horror writers of our time. Dominic Sheldrake is a student in ’50s Liverpool who’s field trip to France revels much more than he expected and exposed him to secrets much darker and deeper than he could begin to realize.

Not finding a book you like? Check out the books featured on one of the previous guides.
2014’s Books2015’s Books • 2016’s Books2017’s Books


Yog​-​Sothoth by Cryo ChamberYog-Sothoth by Cryo Chamber
$9.00 (Digital Download) $19.00 + Shipping (CD)
The latest in their Lovecraftian dark ambient soundscapes, the crew of Cryo Chamber creates an album of surrealist dread that takes us across the eons and is fitting for the outer god of time. (If you really want to full experience I highly recommend the full Lovecraft Bundle as a set they’re damn near perfect. This is music I like to write to.)

The Music of Erich Zann by Forma TadreThe Music of Erich Zann by Forma Tadre
€9.00 ($10.00 USD) (Digital Download)
I found myself pleasantly surprised by this album—and I’m not generally into EDM. A mix of dark ambient and German electronic with a touch of industrial The Music of Erich Zann takes the 1925 story into some interesting places. If you’re a Lovecraft-loving EDM fan then you’ll be right at home with Forma Tadre’s labor of love.

Black Goat Of The Woods by Black Mountain TransmitterBlack Goat Of The Woods by Black Mountain Transmitter
£8.99 ($12.00 USD) + Shipping (CD) £4.00 ($5.00 USD) (Digital Download)
This hard-to-find ode to the lore of Shub Niggurath has been recently re-released. A forgotten and distorted ambient soundtrack to a horror movie you’ve never seen and one you might not want to. Atmospheric and haunting it’s the perfect companion to a gaming session or a late night read.

An Even Scarier SolsticeAn Even Scarier Solstice
$20.00 + Shipping (CD)
The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society is known for quality audio productions (among other things) and this incredible follow-up to their A Very Scary Solstice album continues to inject cosmic horror into songs styled after classic Christmas music. The perfect soundtrack for those yule nights before the fire with a cup of mulled wine—also for creeping out the family.

Not finding any music or audio that interests you? Check out one of the previous guides.
2014’s Music • 2015’s Music • 2016’s Music2017’s Music


Bell Caravan Patch Now Available

Bell Caravans Patch
$5.00 + Shipping (Order by Dec. 10th for Christmas Delivery.)
This beautiful 3″ patch, designed by illustrator Sean Cumiskey, is the perfect way of declaring your loyalty to your beloved caravan master. Put it on your backpack, a tote, or display it on the sleeve of your jacket, just make sure the world knows who you roll with. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]

The Call of Cthulhu ShirtThe Call of Cthulhu Tee
€20.00 ($26.00 USD) + Shipping (Order Early)
I don’t feature a lot of T-shirts on here because most Lovecraftian-themed shirts come across as a bit… uh, silly. More comedic in tone than anything cosmic. But this shirt from Credo quia Absurdum is different, like most of their work, it draws off ancient esoterica to create stunning designs that feel more darkly authentic than cheesy.

Deep One BroochDeep One Brooch
$25.00 (Silver) + Shipping (Order Early)
Ignore Zadok Allen’s warnings, that man’s just an ol’ drunk. No one pays attention to him anymore. This small resin brooch with silver leaf was apparently worn by members of Innsmouth’s elite Esoteric Order of Dagon. Each item—and there are a limited few—comes in its own specimen box. Worthy of any Innsmouth collector.

Octopus Tentacle Ring inspired by 'Call of Cthulhu'

Octopus Tentacle Ring
$35.92 USD (Sterling Silver) + Shipping
This charming little ring from Serebra Jewelry is delightfully detailed and evokes the reaching tentacles of Cthulhu himself. The ring is made from .925 Sterling silver and adjusts to fit fingers from size 4-14. Consider pairing this with the tentacle ear cuffs as well. After all, a Cthulhu devotee might as well double down on their devotion.

Cthulhu CufflinksCthulhu Cufflinks
$36.00 (Golden Brass) $66.00 (Sterling Silver)
You’re a person of taste and refinement. Culture. Perhaps you’re a bit fancier than your average cultist (or this humble author) and you need to wear fancy shirts that require cufflinks. Well, you can go wrong with these lovely little monstrosities. Stylized images of Cthulhu that remain as terrifying as they are tasteful.

Bell Caravans HoodieBell Caravans Hoodie
$55.00 + Shipping
Join the caravan with this classic zip hoodie with a warm fleece lining. The full Bell Caravans logo designed by Sean Cumiskey is on the back, while the small wheel-and-bell symbol resides on the front. Stay warm, look good, fight the Firsts. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]

Large Elder Goddess Tentacle HornsLarge Elder Goddess Tentacle Horns
$225.00 + Shipping
Looking for the perfect piece to take your Pan + Cthulhu cosplay to the next level? (The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young was Cthulhu’s grandmother after all.) Consider these tentacle “horns” which come in a variety of incredible colors or customized to your liking. Do these look too large? Fret not, they also come in a smaller size for more subdued dreaming.

Not finding any apparel you like? Check out apparel on one of the previous guides.
2014’s Apparel • 2015’s Apparel • 2016’s Apparel2017’s Apparel


The Shrouded IsleThe Shrouded Isle
$9.99 (Digital Download)
In this management sim from Kitfox Games, you play the high priest of an island cult working to fulfill the orders of Chernobog. To do this you must bring about the apocalypse, choosing servants to sacrifice. Each game is procedurally generated yet a surprisingly engaging foray into the dark world of the island’s inhabitants. Complex and addictive.

Cultist SimulatorCultist Simulator
$19.99 (Digital Download)
I featured Cultist Simulator last year when it was in alpha, and I’m leaving it on here this year because it has launched and it is amazing. Beginnings have to start somewhere, Alexis Kennedy—director and writer of Sunless Sea (Featured in the 2015 Gift Guide)—explores the rise of a Lovecraft-esque cult in a strange little narrative card game.

The Doom That Came To Atlantic CityThe Doom that Came to Atlantic City
$75.00 + Shipping (Price may vary depending on availability)
Here’s a twist on a Lovecraftian board game. In this, you play as one of the Lovecraft’s great old-ones and you’ve recently been awakened by one of your mischievous cults and called back to… Atlantic City? But your not alone, you’re competing with your fellow elder-things and trying to crush houses and hotels, shatter realities, call down doom.

Cthulhu: Death May DieCthulhu: Death May Die
$100 and up + Shipping
The ritual is already happening and it’s up to you and your team of investigators to stop the madness and maybe shoot an elder god in the face. Featuring beautiful figures, engaging gameplay, and loads of scenarios. There’s a lot to unpack and Death My Die looks to be more than just a game, it’s a lifestyle.

CARCOSA: Rise of the CultCARCOSA: Rise of the Cult
$249.99 (Three Shipments)
Not a games as much as experiences, the Mysterious Package Company tells engaging and customizable stories through the mail. They’re like an interactive alternative reality game. This latest production explores the mystery surrounding a secret society honoring the sinister Yellow King. It’s up to you to decide what is true and what is a fabrication.

Not finding a game you’d enjoy? Check out the games on one of the previous guides.
2014’s Games • 2015’s Games • 2016’s Games2017’s Games


Cree-PeeCree-Pee Lovecraftian Portfolio
$8.50 + Shipping (Single) $15.00 + Shipping (Three Pack)
A humorous riff on the classic Pee-Chee folders from yesteryear replaces the sporting life with the esoteric investigatory life. The sort that includes monsters and cults and running from monsters and cults. Also research, always research. Pay close attention to the interior flaps as well, you’ll find a lot of handy information within.

King in Yellow Christmas Cards

King in Yellow Christmas Cards
$12.00 + Shipping
I’ve long been a fan of Heather Hudson’s illustrations, and her Lovecraftian Christmas Cards are the perfect way to add a little cosmic horror to the holiday season. There’s more than just the King in Yellow, she also has several sets based on the Dreamlands stories and a more general Lovecraftiana set. Also available as gift wrap.

Cedric's Eatery 11oz. MugCedric’s Eatery 11oz. Mug
$16.00 + Shipping (Order by Dec. 10th for Christmas Delivery.)
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.]

Carafe of Cthulhu Designer Series Tiki Mug
$28.00 + Shipping
Cthulhu goes kitsch! Designed by William Stout, this fancy (and canon) tiki mug is perfect for your favorite tropical-themed adult beverage—or anything really. After all, we know the true translation of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” happens to be “In his house at R’lyeh, chill Cthulhu sips mai tais.”

Lovecraftian R'lyeh CoinLovecraftian R’lyeh Coin
$42.27 + Shipping
I’m a sucker for props—especially well-designed props—and I found these R’lyehian coins to be fantastic little objects. Made to order, these double-sided coins come in their own little box and feature the countenance of the great old one on the obverse and strange markings (Aklo perhaps? Gotta be.) on the reverse.

Lord Cthulhu Laser Engraving
$125.00 + Shipping (Order early)
Sometimes you’re looking for something more than just your typical print to hang on your wall. This engraved panel is different enough to stand out. Burned into maple, this limited edition beautiful laser etched engraving features the visage of the high priest of R’lyeh himself.

Nyarlathotep Statuette

Nyarlathotep Statuette
$290 + Shipping (Ships in 2019)
Paul Komoda has made a name for himself designing the maddening creatures from Lovecraft’s mythos. (He did the designs for the figures in The Doom that Came to Atlantic City.) Here he captures the Crawling Chaos showing his true form in all his terrible glory. (I particularly like the stack of books he’s standing on.)

Not finding a houseware item you like?
Check out the housewares from one of the previous guides.
2016’s Housewares  2017’s Housewares


Miskatonic U PatchMiskatonic University Patch
$7.50 + Shipping (Order Early)
There’s something retro in the styling of this 3-inch Miskatonic U Patch that makes it stand out from the myriad of other Lovecraft-related ephemera. The color and lettering look like something taken directly from the 20s, so it fits its era splendidly. Plus, it’d look great on your book bag.

Miskatonic Varsity Pins Vol. IIMiskatonic Varsity Pins Vol. II
$10.00 + Shipping (Each) $65.00 + Shipping (All Eight)
The HPLHS has released another set of beautifully designed enameled pins for students of Miskatonic University. (Check out the first set here.) Perfect for your letterman jacket and a great way to show other alumni your club participation and sporting achievements.

The Antarctica FragmentThe Antarctica Fragment
$65.00 + Shipping (Order Early)
This limited edition collector’s item is direct from the University’s Special Collections Department and taken from the Antarctica Expedition. It depicts a bizarre otherworldly scene in relief. The object comes premounted in its own velvet lined box complete with a collections tag. There’s only a handful left, so get those orders in early!

The Angell BoxThe Angell Box
$1,000 + Shipping (Order Early)
For the serious collector or the most dedicated game master. HPLHS has put together this highly detailed real-life version of the box of occult papers and artifacts left behind by Professor George Gammell Angell in the Lovecraft’s story The Call of Cthulhu. Each box is assembled by hand and takes a few weeks to prepare so order early.

Not finding any Miskatonic stuff you like?
Check out the Miskatonic University items from one of the previous guides.
2014’s Miskatonic • 2015’s Miskatonic • 2016’s Miskatonic2017’s Miskatonic

❄️ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❄️

So that wraps up the 5th annual List of Lists. Big thank you to the wonderful folks who read this blog, and the gibbering weirdos over at r/Lovecraftr/Cthulhu, and r/WeirdLit who helped 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 Lovecraftian items I should feature in 2019’s Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide? Leave a comment below or send me an email!

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

A Call for Gibbering Lovecraftian Items

A Call for Gibbering Lovecraftian Items

It’s weird to admit it, but the holidays are just around the corner. For the past four years, I have put together a highly-curated list of Lovecraft-related paraphernalia for the holiday season! Items I’ve discovered throughout the year that would be the perfect gift for yourself or the cosmic-horror fan in your life. I’m pleased to say this year will be the 5th! (I’ll link to past lists at the end of this post.)

While I’m nearly done with this years list, I figured it’d be worthwhile to do an open call and see what else is lurking in the corners of the internet. Not everything submitted will get selected this year. But there’s always something cool out there that I completely missed. What have you found, dear reader? I want to know about it.

The categories are: Books (I generally have this covered), Music, Apparel (no teeshirts—there’s a bajillion of them, and most are awful), Games, Housewares, Miskatonic. You can leave a comment below (I approve all non-bot comments) or just drop me an email and let me know what you’d like to see on this years Lovecraftian Gift Guide!

Previous Lovecraftian Gift Guides

As promised, below are links to the guides from the last four years. Just click on any of the links and start shopping!

❄️ 2017 – 2016 – 2015 – 2014 ❄️

For those waiting don’t fret too much longer, the 2018 Lovecraftian Gift Guide launches in a few short weeks! Be sure to check back to see this years selection. It’s a good one.

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Introducing: Gleam Upon the Waves

Introducing: Gleam Upon the Waves

It’s been far too long so let’s make this official. If you’ve followed my Project Tracker, you’ll have noticed that I’m now halfway into writing the fourth novel of The Bell Forging Cycle. It’s high time I announce it.

Waldo Bell will return in: Gleam Upon the Waves.

Hired to work security for a political envoy, Waldo Bell and the crew of the Bell Caravans find themselves en route to Empress, the capital city of the hermit-nation of Victory. But things are never as simple as they seem. Sinister forces are circling; stuck in the middle, Wal will learn that darkness runs much deeper than he ever thought possible, reality is not what it seems, and a new apocalypse is much closer than anyone anticipates.

I’m targeting Gleam Upon the Waves to be about the length of Red Litten World. The story itself will be standalone, but we’re now at a point where reading the previous books will be helpful. If you read Red Litten World, you understand that there are a lot of moving parts now.

A teaser site has been live for a while but, you can see it here and read the epigraph. You can also check out my inspiration board over on Pinterest. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the plan is to work on this until it’s out. Y’all have been more than patient, and I’m excited. I think you’ll enjoy it.

I’ll see you on the trails, roaders. Things are going to get weird.

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

The Sinking City

Well, My Interest is Piqued

I don’t play many video games these days. I find it difficult to get engaged the way I was in the past, so I can’t rightfully call myself a gamer. However, when I saw the recent cinematic trailer for Frogware’s The Sinking City, I can’t deny it caught my attention. It was the right mix of tone, style, and weirdness paired with Lovecraftian cosmic horror. I’ve posted the trailer below so you can check it out for yourself.

How about that setting? The Sinking City currently being billed as an “open world, open story, investigation game inspired by H.P. Lovecraft” and that’s enough to keep me interested. I’m wildly bored with combat-focused titles, so the investigation angle sounds appealing. How about you?