Friday Link Pack 09/04/2015

Friday Link Pack — End of the Year Edition (2015)

Happy New Year! Well, we’re finally here, at the end of all things. Okay, not the end of all things, just the end of the Friday Link Pack. As I mentioned earlier in December, this will be the last Link Pack going forward. [Details Here.] We’ve reached number one-hundred, and it just so happens to be the official End of the Year Edition! [Previous years: 2014, 2013] In this, I compile the best-loved links I’ve shared over 2015 into one big post. As always, some of these I’ve mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Even though the Link Pack is ending on the blog I’ll still continue to share stuff I find interesting on Twitter.

All right, let’s see which links you liked the most:

My Most Popular Posts Of 2015:

Map of the Known Territories
The official map to the Bell Forging Cycle has been getting a bunch of interest ever since I shared it in August. The biggest version of the map was also one of the most clicked images on the entire site. Glad everyone likes it so much. [Attn: map contains some minor Old Broken Road spoilers.]

The 2015 Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide
Put together this post in early December and every loved it. (Big thanks to everyone over on r/Lovecraft and r/Cthulhu.) Gifts for the Lovecraft fan on your list, or of course, yourself. A whole slew of books, music, games, and a lot more. If you’re looking for a place to spend some of that Christmas cash, look no further.

Mad Max and the Art of Worldbuilding
I’m happy to see how much everyone enjoyed my look at worldbuilding from the viewpoint of one of my favorite movies of the year, Mad Max: Fury Road. I have another article in the works following this up.

Note: I also got a lot of traffic to my Mysterious Package posts. However after some emails and not wanting to spoil things for others I elected to remove them from my site. That is why they aren’t featured on today’s list.

Most Clicked Writing Links Of 2015:

What I Get Paid For My Novels: Or, Why I’m Not Quitting My Day Job
Novelist Kameron Hurley opens up and shares how much she has made on each of her books. It’s a fantastic post. Awesome to see transparency like this. I think this is good info for every author, indie or traditional, it helps set the record straight.

Cognition as Ideology: A Dialectic of SF Theory
In January, I shared this wonderful talk from China Miéville regarding the importance of fantasy in our modern society. I highly recommend it to anyone who reads or writes speculative fiction.

Why Horror Is Good For You (And Even Better For Your Kids)
Artist Greg Ruth gives us six fantastic reasons why we should all read horror. I’m really happy this was so well received, it’s still one of my favorite articles I shared this year.

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing
I have long been a fan of writer’s personal lists of rules. It’s always good to glean what you can apply to your list (and yeah, we all have our personal list.) Neil Gaiman is no exception. (Note #5.)

10 Twenty-First Century Bestsellers People Tried to Ban (and Why)
The stories behind people trying to ban books are always fascinating to me. History has proven that when one tries to impose prohibition, the effect is usually opposite of the intent. What was it Mark Twain said? Oh yeah: “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.”

Most Clicked Art Links Of 2015:

Kari-Lise Alexander Paints Nordic Beauties In “A Lovelorn Theft”
Kari-Lise’s latest solo show opened at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco at the end of September, and a lot of folks were interested in seeing her work. In this post, High Fructose highlighted many of the pieces from that show. After watching the series develop throughout 2015, I was excited to see it in the wild. I’m sure you’ll agree this series is gorgeous.

Women Trying To Sleep Unsuccessfully In Western Art History
For hundreds of years,  women in art have been trying to take a break and catch some Zs. For whatever reason no one wants to let them. Art is weird.

Korean Artist Beautifully Illustrates What Real Love Looks Like
I loved these sweet little illustrations by Puuung, and so did you. Small touching moments rendered beautifully. Each tells its own story. [Thanks again to Stalara for sharing.]

I See Music Because I Have Synesthesia, So I Decided To Paint What I Hear
Painter Melissa McCracken is a synesthete. When she hears music it comes to her in a variety of colors. Instead of trying to describe what she sees she has decided to paint it instead. The results are fascinating.

Most Clicked Random Links of 2015:

20 Maps That Never Happened
From war plans for the invasion of Canada to the fifty states redrawn with equal populations, Vox explores twenty imaginary maps. You know, I’d be cool living in the state of Rainer.

Abandoned Indonesian Church Shaped Like a Massive Clucking Chicken
Some people do strange things to get messages from God; things like building a strangely shaped church in the middle of the jungle. Apparently the builder had intended it to look like a dove, but it’s clearly a chicken.

Arcology: Cutaways Of The Future City-Hives That Never Were
The futurist idea of arcologies is a mainstay of science fiction. I even play with the concept in the Bell Forging books. So when I saw this post from Cory Doctorow about Paolo Soleri’s 1969 book: Arcology: The City in the Image of Man. It was something I was very interested in. The book sounds fascinating, but the images… you need to see the images. [Thanks again to Steve for sharing this.]

I Won A $5,000 Magic: The Gathering Tournament On Shrooms
I’ve never done shrooms, but this article is hilarious regardless. As my friend Rob pointed out, this is the Magic: The Gathering version of James Blagden’s Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No. [Thanks to Rob for sharing this.]

Most Clicked Weird Wikipedia Link of 2015:

After watching the video, I’d wager it’s safe to say that this is probably one of the more creepy Weird Wikipedia links in 2015. Check out the article and make sure to turn the captions on, makes it that much more effective.

Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion
“The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion was a television signal hijacking that occurred in Chicago, Illinois, United States on the evening of November 22, 1987. It is an example of what is known in the television business as broadcast signal intrusion. The intruder was successful in interrupting two broadcast television stations within the course of three hours. The hijackers were never identified.”

Make sure you watch the video as well:

Lovecraft Story Of The Year:

The Shadow over Innsmouth
Yay! My favorite Lovecraft story was also YOUR favorite. Happy to see this listed as the story of the year. It’s a good one. [Fun Fact: the Innsmouth folk served as the source of inspiration for the anur in my books.]

Animated GIF Of The Year:

I can't get enough GIFs of robot struggling to play soccer/football.

125 Years Of Weird

Today marks the 125th birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, grandfather of the weird fiction genre. If you’re a regular reader of this blog or my books then it’s no secret that the Lovecraft’s mythos was a major influence on me and my Bell Forging Cycle. I’m not alone, there is a growing subculture of weird fiction aficionados and writers and it’s awesome to see.

There’s a lot that has been said about the man. So, instead of waxing poetic about Lovecraft, his work, the controversy around his personal beliefs, and his influences on horror, I figured I’d link to some of my favorite articles that help paint the picture of the man, expand on his influence, or delves into the legacy he left behind.

H.P. Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown

This 2008 documentary by director Frank H. Woodward is the perfect primer on everything Lovecraft. Using interviews with prominent writers, directors, and artists the documentary explores Lovecraft’s life and how his experience help shaped his beliefs and ultimately his work. It doesn’t shy away from anything and everything is presented in an open and candid way. I’ve mentioned it before, but for this post I figured it’d be a good starting point.

It’s OK To Admit That H.P. Lovecraft Was Racist

Using Lovecraft as the example, author Lauren Miller asks the question, can we appreciate a writer’s work while disdaining their offensive beliefs? It’s something every fan of Lovecraft reader must confront and it’s something the Lovecraftian fan community cannot ignore. It’s important that we reflect on the negative aspects of the man and allow ourselves to analyze why Lovecraft was a racist and how it ended up influencing his work.

H.P. Lovecraft And His Lasting Impact On Cinema

From Directors like Guillermo del Toro and John Carpenter, to screen writer’s like Dan O’Bannon. It’s clear that Lovecraft’s influence has impacted the silver screen. In this post from 2011, Den of Geek explores some of those connections and  celebrates Lovecraft’s lasting influence.

H. P. Lovecraft: The Science of HorrorPart 1 & Part 2

In this extended essay, CDK explores Lovecraft’s origins. Starting with the events around World War I and how they influenced him and shaped his reality. Then moving onto the man himself and how his work would go on to influence others, extending from short stories into books, film, comics and beyond. It’s a long essay, but worth the time if you’re interested in a deep exploration of Lovecraft’s influences.

Jason Thompson’s Illustrated Lovecraft

A while back I stumbled across the detailed work of San Francisco-based illustrator Jason Thompson. His work is highly detailed and amazingly rendered. I feel like I could spend hours exploring each page. I highly recommend checking out his illustrated take on some of Lovecraft’s stories:

The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Since we’re reflecting on Lovecraft’s weird fiction today, I wanted to pick my favorite Lovecraft tale. For me, that’s easy: The Shadows over Innsmouth has action, adventure, a strange sea-god worshiping cult, and a pretty intense final sequence. It’s a fun read. If you’re so inclined to listen to the story I’d recommend checking out the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre’s production.

Cthulhu The Wimp

Earlier this year I wrote a lighthearted guest post for Michael G. Munz poking a bit of fun at Cthulhu, Lovecraft’s most famous creation. He’s the de facto and beloved mascot for the mythos. But, what if all this love and terror is based on false presumptions? What if I was to tell you that Cthulhu wasn’t all that terrifying. That he’s more a product of good marketing and overzealous rumormongering? What if Cthulhu is, in fact, a wimp?

There’s a lot happening to celebrate the 125th birthday of grandpa weird. Today marks the kickoff for the NecronomiCon in Providence, RI and there are discussions happening all over the internet. One of my favorite sites, Art of the Title, even did a feature for the opening credits of the 1970s Lovecraft B-movie The Dunwich Horror.

How about you? Is there any Lovecraft related link you love? Is there an artist you adore working in the weird? What’s your favorite Lovecraft story? Has Lovecraft impacted any of your favorite authors? Why not leave a comment and let me know!

William T. Riker shares your sadness about the lack of a new Friday Link Pack tomorrow.

There Will Be No Friday Link Pack Tomorrow

Wanted to make a quick post letting you know that there won’t be a Friday Link Pack tomorrow. [Sad trombone.] I’m the best man at a friend’s wedding and will be away from the internet. I do have a great quote queued for tomorrow, but no time to gather the links for a proper Pack. If you’re looking for some links for your Friday, why not check out some of these previous Link Packs:

  • Friday Link Pack 09/19/2014
    Some great links here. Confronting Lovecraft’s racism, working with beta readers, old maps online, the work of Sergey Kolesov, every tree in the United States, and famous paintings of Jacob wrestling with the angel, ranked by how much their actions resemble slow-dancing.
    Featured Lovecraft Story: The Mound

  • Friday Link Pack 01/17/14
    Kids reading digitally, twenty-two reasons why commas are so important, the onion reviews the Desolation of Smaug, Austin Parkhill paints “Ringle”, the Seattle Archipelago, the evolution of the scuba mask.
    Featured Lovecraft Story: The Hoard of the Wizard-Beast

Friday Link Pack 07/11/2014

After the Storm by Kari-Lise Alexander
We’re back! It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!

First Thing First:

It’s my wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary to my lovely and talented wife of 11 amazing years. If you are unaware: Kari-Lise is an amazing pop surrealism painter. You can see her work on her website or over on her blog or her Instagram account. She’s incredible. (That’s her art up top!)


HarperCollins Pivots To Sell Print And Ebooks Directly To Readers
Good for HarperCollins! Publishers should have been doing this long ago. However, part of me wonder if this isn’t a fallback for their own upcoming price negotiation with Amazon. Amazon/Hachette 2: The HarperCollinsing.

UK Author Income Survey: Another Publishing Bombshell
An in depth look into the income of UK authors, both independent and traditional. I’d wager than these numbers are similar stateside as well.

Backing The Wrong Horse: Why Choosing Sides In The Amazon/Hachette Feud Is A Moron’s Choice For Writers
Michael A. Stackpole, author of many many sci-fi books that enthralled me growing up, lays out his own case against picking sides. I am happy we agree.

Cory Doctorow On Intellectual Property In A Digital Age
Authors, just in case you missed it, make sure you listen to this keynote from Cory Doctorow on Amazon/Hachette, DRM, copyright laws, platform channels, privacy, and more. Worth your time.


Super Pixel Quest
This is very much worth the five minutes to play. Funny, unique, and fun.

Inferno By Steph Davidson
This is how modern internet art is done. Take note.

Miniature Medieval Interiors Carved Into Raw Marble By Mathew Simmonds
Love these. It’s like someone made a miniature Petra then divided it up in parts. (Really they’re based on Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral.) It’s really neat to see architecture from this perspective.


100-Year Old Photos Reveal The Dark Side Of Antarctic Exploration
Incredible photos from Captain Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition and Ernest Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party. The story behind these is both amazing and tragic. I recommend you look it up.

An Abandoned Bangkok Shopping Mall Hides A Fishy Secret
In the last Link Pack I posted a series of haunting photographs by Seph Lawless documenting America’s Abandoned Malls. This is sorta related, only with less America, more China, and a lot of fish.

A Pyramid In The Middle Of Nowhere Built To Track The End Of The World
Incredible photographs showing a old US military radar facility built to track incoming missiles. It’s not a site anyone often sees and it’s kind of haunting.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Shadow Over Innsmouth
I have featured this before, but since it’s Kari-Lise and my favorite H.P. Lovecraft story and it’s our anniversary I’m featuring it again! For fun, compare it to the original discarded draft.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

Weird Al is the best. THE BEST!

Friday Link Pack

The Innsmouth Look by Kari-Lise Alexander
It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week.
Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! I’m always looking for new links if you have any suggestions, let me know.


A bookstore inside a gothic cathedral
Only in the Netherlands.

Analysis of ISBN numbers shows self-publishing jumped 59% last year
Some interesting data from ISBN marketplace Bowkers surrounding the ever growing marketplace of indie publishing. Almost 60% is an enormous leap forward.


“The Innsmouth Look” by Kari-Lise Alexander
I am loving this new piece my wife is finishing up for a group show. (Also shown cropped up above.) It’s an elegant take on Lovecraft’s fishy Innsmouth residents and the “peaked diadem” described in the story.

The Sultan’s Elephant
This is incredible. It’s part installation and part performance art involving a huge moving mechanical elephant, a giant marionette of a girl and other art installations. You can see a video of The Sultan’s Elephant in action here.

Submarine in Milan
Speaking of installation art…this submarine “surfacing” in the streets of Milan is equally cool. I don’t even care if it is for an ad campaign. Bonus points if they repeat this in Venice.


Russian Insults (NSFW)
I’d be a moodeela if I didn’t share this with you all. Some of the characters in “Deep” are Russian, so I was happy when I found this list of Russian language curses and insults. I wonder about the accuracy. If anyone is a native Russian speaker and can confirm…let me know.

Migaloo the Albino Humpback Whale
“What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid.” —Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Migaloo also has his own website over here.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Since I mentioned Kari-Lise’s current work in progress why not feature my favorite of Lovecraft’s stories. The Shadow Over Innsmouth includes some of Lovecraft’s best: a lurking evil, a strange esoteric cult, a surly New England drunk, a cool chase scene, and a lot of observations on architecture.

Farewell Gif(s) of the Week:

What if we're all actually mastodons?


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Jason Thompson’s “Lovecraft’s Dream Quest”

Lovecraft Sketch: Innsmouth Folk

I saw this illustrated webcomic of H.P. Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle  featured over on i09 and I wanted to immediately post about it. However, I decided to take my time reading through the comics first. Man was it fun. Jason Thompson’s (@mockmanLovecraft’s Dream Quest is fantastic. The art great and Thompson does an excellent job retelling the Dream Cycle stories with a style all of his own and a level of detail rarely seen in the webcomic space. I really enjoyed it and suggest you give them a look as well. Start the adventure here. Have fun!

(The sketch is Thompson’s “Lovecraft Sketch: Innsmouth Folk” – while technically not apart of the Dream Cycle, “The Shadow’s Over Innsmouth” is one of my favorte Lovecraft stories so obviously I had to include it.)