(My new policy is to release the introductions to issues ahead of time. That way, they get read, but most importantly, piss you off because the issue is not out yet. ;) Seriously, though, this will whet your appetite; issue #16 will be online TODAY. — MD)
Introduction, by A.J. French: This is a very special issue of the Lovecraft eZine. One of the most beloved aspects of H.P. Lovecraft’s writing is his dauntless explorations into the sea, and the menagerie of strange beings that he dredged up therefrom. A plethora of globulus glob gods, slimy tentacled deities encrusted with barnacles, stinking mounds of vegetus unholiness, lurking Fish Lords of ancient Polynesian descent, and of course slumbering Cthulhu dreaming amongst the ziggurats of his sunken R’lyeh… the list goes on and on… and so do the adjectives.
Of principal interest, to me, have been the hordes of extremist cult members who worship these elder sea gods and do everything within their power to raise them up to dry-land reality, to summon their briny bulks ashore so they can wreak havoc upon modernized civilization. Sounds awfully familiar to the current state of world events, if you ask me. But who am I to say? I’m only a lowly cult member myself.
And yet the sea always remained a place of fascination for Lovecraft, and so it is for me—and also for much of his readership. The sea mirrors the cosmos in its unknown depths, strangeness, and utter alienness—the one difference being the ocean is much easier to get to. After all, it covers more than seventy percent of our planet, and so it feels more familiar. However we have only recently begun to catch a glimpse of what dwells in its bottommost sectors. And if you ask me, the more we explore and the farther down we go, the weirder it’s going to get.
Mike Davis, publisher of the Lovecraft eZine, regularly trolls the popular science periodicals and websites and comes across some very interesting stuff, which he posts on the eZine blog and the eZine Facebook page for eZine fans to see. Giant squids and oversized fish and huge gelatinous blobs—what in the heck is really going on down there?
The stories in this special issue boldly explore that unusual element of the sea and underwater life. These authors, like Lovecraft himself, have plumbed the depths of their own imaginations and come up with answers and images to this foreign watery world—as so runs the old adage of the mystics: “That which is within, mirrors that which is without.” Squids merging with humans, those extremist cult members I mentioned, a visit to an aquariums and pet store gone horribly awry, visions and undersea revelations—it’s all in this issue for your enjoyment. But just be sure to suit up and don your fins before diving in.
I’d like to give a personal thanks to Mike Davis for making this issue possible, and for all that he does to keep the eZine going, and to all the authors, artists, and voice talents as well. You people rock!
Aaron J. French
Look for the new Weird Fiction issue of Dark Discoveries magazine in stores now, featuring Aaron’s article on Thomas Ligotti, “Thomas Ligotti: Alchemist of Weird Fiction.”