Vrai Writes (Parts of) Books – Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis


When all is madness…
      …there is no madness.

Is there wisdom in insanity? Enlightenment in blackest despair? Higher consciousness in the depths of chaos? These are the stories of the men and women who choose to cast off from the shores of our placid island of ignorance and sail the black seas of infinity beyond. Those who would dive into primeval consciousness in search of dark treasures. Those who would risk the Deadly Light for one reason: it is still light.

I’m pleased down to my meat-socks (feet, I believe one calls them) to announce my involvement in the Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis anthology. Longtime readers might’ve noticed a certain predilection toward cosmic horror around these parts, so it was a real treat to get a chance to play around with the concepts left behind by Lovecraft himself (the good ones; not so much with the xenophobia and misogyny).

My contribution, “Keys in Stranger Deserts,” starts with the attempted theft of the Necronomicon; turns into a road trip involving a con artist looking to make some of that sweet, sweet cult money and probably the only student to ever actually be expelled from Miskatonic without raising some unspeakable horror (and even then…), and ends…well, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

You can get the book in physical or ebook versions, both on Martian Migraine Press and Amazon (and if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free!).

Venture on for a sneak preview of “Keys in Stranger Deserts.” Happy reading!

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Quality Dystopian Propaganda: Our Fair City


In the tunnels below and the singular monolithic tower looming above an icy, postapocalyptic wasteland, the policies of Hartlife huddle close together and listen to recorded histories of the company’s glorious history. Such is the stage for Our Fair City, a serialized podcast created by veterans of the Chicago theatre scene and spanning, thus far, six completed seasons.

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A History of Herbert West – Re-Animator

head desk

Dr. Herbert West’s longevity is something of a marvel. Lovecraft nerds love to turn up their noses at the Herbert West – Reanimator” stories, declaring them the weakest point in the author’s body of work. Lovecraft himself didn’t even think much of them – by which I mean he loathed them utterly, and mostly used them to bring in a paycheck from Weird Tales and take pot shots at that upstart lady writer’s new hit Frankenstein. At the same time, those six serial shorts went on to birth the single most successful Lovecraft adaptation and the most memorable, longlasting character not sleeping in R’lyeh or bound in human flesh. Dr. West’s quest to defeat death has made quite the hallmark on western culture (and beyond). And, well, I haven’t seen anyone else try to catalogue that impressive body of work yet. So let’s take a look at the Re-Animator through popular culture.

A note: while I’ve been mulling over this sort of post for some time as an outlet for my obsessive researching tendencies, it still seems only right that I tip my hat to Lindsay Ellis’ excellent Loose Canon series, which takes a similar investigative tack.

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Professional Words, Unprofessional Nerves (November 2013)

Instead of an editorial this week, I wanted to take a moment to highlight two published pieces of mine, as well as a short (and somewhat surreal) author interview. Worry not, I’ll be back to Lupin on Friday and ocer-anaylzing the world of fiction by Monday next.

Courtship by Wire:

“I woke up one morning and thought that you might be a serial killer. I never told you why.”
Published September 2013

Flash Fiction. Proof that the painfully awkward misunderstandings of first love are by no means limited to the real world. Not all of us become convinced the person who gives us the warm fuzzies is secretly plotting our death, though.


Genre Surfing:

“The radio on his belt grows from faint hiss to incoming frequency in the middle of dinner, detailing a horror story of shattered lives. I fill in the emptied spot at the table.”
Published November 2013

Flash Fiction. Wrap yourself up in stories long enough, and you start thinking of everything that way. It’s a lot easier to turn family into late-night TV than to wonder if they’re ever coming home again, isn’t it?


The Interview:

“Subtlety is bizarrely easier to grasp once you’ve let it all hang out.”
Published September 2013

A series of oddities and observances, all the stranger for being divorced from the questions that the lovely editor originally sent to me. But they run the gamut from style questions, to the world of writing at large, to my unwavering obsession with HP Lovecraft’s hilarious fear of seafood. If you’ve any lingering questions, please feel free to ask them around here – I consider this blog a sort of informal, ongoing AMA.

A fantastic week to you all, and glad tidings additionally. See you Friday!


Back to my usual swanning about
(thanks to Rainbow Jacket for the screencap)