Mike Davis here. I asked author Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. to write the following because I feel that it’s very important to remember that if it was not for people like Robert M. Price, Lovecraftian fiction would not be where it is today. We owe him a lot.
Thank you, Bob.
Dr. Price. PhD in Systematic Theology (1981), PhD in New Testament (1993).
Bob Price. beelzeBOB. The Hierophant of the Horde—our horde.
Former Baptist preacher.
Writer (of fact and fiction).
(Pizza FREAK!! !)
(Comic book/action figure WACKO! !!~ ~~make that, junkie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !)
Brian Lumley and more than a few others have called him a titan. In our pond, he is! !!
Before I’m accused of praising a friend simply due to him being my friend, let’s pause here and look at my bias. Yes, he’s my best friend. BUT that does not count when I talk about The Work or his contributions to the enlightenment and enjoyment of Lovecraftians. As an editor he’s rejected my work and as an editor, I’ve rejected his. We see eye to eye on some parts of the canon and not on others. He’s somewhat old school and I’m crazed seeker of new directions. Friendship does not enter into our views and opinions of The Work, and that’s as it should be.
Bob’s primary claim to fame is as an editor of Lovecraftian stories, articles/criticism, and introductions, in magazines like the entertaining and essential “Crypt of Cthulhu”, and in many (approx. 40) volumes of Lovecraftian fiction, from publishers like Hippocampus Press, Chaosium, and Fedogan & Bremer. Got that? About 40 volumes of Lovecraftian fiction (many of which have been translated into French, Spanish, and Japanese editions). And we have 20 years of “Crypt of Cthulhu”, 108 issues. Hell of a track record, ain’t it? That said, his (few) naysayers can pack up their tent and drag their dusty bottoms home.
Let’s look at “Crypt of Cthulhu: A Pulp Thriller and Theological Journal” (published by Necronomicon Press, and soon to be issued as collected volumes by Lance Thingmaker) for a bit. “CoC” (by any reasonable estimation, is an essential contribution to Lovecraftian fiction, criticism, and fandom) featured tales (many were obscure gems we’d only heard passing reference to)/poetry, articles, letters pages, obits and indexes, and art (many of the covers were by Bob Knox or Allen K). Robert Bloch, Thomas Ligotti, Michael Cisco, Gahan Wilson, Brian Lumley, Lin Carter (criminally undervalued as an editor!), Ann K. Schwader (for my money, our finest Lovecraftian poet), Richard L. Tierney, Ramsey Campbell, Colin Wilson, and Peter Cannon and S.T. Joshi, to name a few luminaries, filled its pages. Like Lin Carter before him, Bob championed up-and-coming writers like Ligotti (“The Mystics of Muelenburg” appeared in v7 #1 1987 and issue #68 was all Ligotti), Stan Sargent, Michael Cisco, and others (beelzeBOB even had his unholy paws in bringing me along). (To this day, Bob is still at the promoting new talent game, just ask Pete Rawlik.) Some of the issues of “Crypt” featured all Lumley works, or all Ligotti, and all Tierney, all Campbell, or all Duane Rimel.
Over the years, some of the contributing editors to “CoC” have included familiar names like S.T. Joshi, Will Murray, and Stefan Dziemianowicz.
“Crypt of Cthulhu” was drop dead serious and often funny as hell. Its “R’lyeh Reviews” examined hundreds of books and magazines, the good, the bad, and as many occultations of grim as it could get its tentacles on. It was full of passion (both heated and friendly), and it ran as much non-fiction as fiction. In its pages, poetry was not the red-headed stepchild it is in many other venues. It, in those eldritch pre-internet days, was the torchbearer and precursor of the “Lovecraft eZine” (today’s one-stop hub for THINGS Lovecraftian).
As I’ve mentioned, Bob’s Cthulhu Mythos and Lovecraftian anthologies are MANY. His “Cycle” series for Chaosium (primarily) is often vital and never less than hellishly interesting. The “Cycle” series, (currently approx 20 volumes) examines a theme, say the Mountains of Madness or a Lovecraftian entity, like Hastur, and chronologically traces the roots to fruits. THE HASTUR CYCLE, for example, begins w/ Bierce and flows into Chambers before taking on Derlerth’s reworking of Hastur and the King in Yellow (King in Yellow fans need THE HASTUR CYCLE!). Each tale or poem included in these anthologies bears a notable intro by Bob. The following are some of the subjects/themes covered in a few of the volumes; Robert Bloch, the Necronomicon, the Book of Eibon, Dunwich, Shub-Niggurath, Robert E. Howard, and Innsmouth (two volumes, the 2nd being an anthology of new tales).
And, thankfully, Fedogan & Bremer continues to release new anthologies of Bob’s editorial Yog-Sothery which delve into the circles of Lovecraftian acolytes, both old and new. Worlds of Cthulhu is the most recent. The Secret Heart of Cthulhu will be released next spring, and Del Rey will be releasing a trade edition of Acolytes of Cthulhu in 2014.
At heart, a raving Lovecraftian fanboy, Bob has written many tales. Most are Yog-Sothery, but a diehard fan of fantasy, REH, and Sword & Sorcery; he’s also penned Thongor tales and novels. A heaping helpin’ of his Lovecraftian works can be found in his 2008 collection, Blasphemies & Revelations. Bob’s also a RUSH fan and along w/ his wife, Carol Selby Price, wrote Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush (1999).
Along w/ S.T. Joshi, Steve Mariconda, Kenneth W. Faig, Jr., Peter Cannon, and many others, Bob was there in the days of early Lovecraftian scholarship when these young disciples began peeling back the layers of the HPL onion. They looked at letters, the circles HPL was part of, his artificial mythology, history, origin and development, fragments, places he lived and traveled, and even what flavor of ice cream he enjoyed, HPL’s worldview… little escaped their critical reasoning or their gleeful scrutiny. Much of this, to the delight of fans, in articles such as, “Lovecraft’s Ancestors” (v7 #7 1988), “Imaginative Allusions in Lovecraft’s Letters (v6 #4 1987), “Mysteries of the Hoggar Region” (v3 #1 1983), “Jung and Lovecraft on Prehuman Artifacts” (v1 #5 1982), “Exploring “The Temple”” (v5 #4 1986), “Call Me Wizard Whateley: Echoes of Moby Dick in “The Dunwich Horror” (v6 #7 1987), Baring-Gould and the Ghouls: The Influence of Curious Myths of the Middle Ages on “The Rats in the Walls”” (v2 #6 1983), filled the pages of “Crypt”.
Regarding Bob’s critical views on HPL, Centipede Press will be releasing Bob’s 5 volume set of Lovecraft’s fiction/poetry, with new critical intros in the future.
Some may be aware of the fact, Bob (along w/ S.T., Peter Cannon, Lin Carter and many others, and from time to time, Frank Long) was part of a resurrected New Kalem Club in the 80’s. You can read about it in his “Lovecraft eZine” column here. During the 90’s, approximately once a month on a Saturday afternoon, Bob would convene his newer Kalem Klub, a meeting of writers and fans from the general NY area, in his home in north NJ. The Dark Angel—C’sys-kohe, A.K.A. Michael Cisco (The Divinity Student; Celebrant; Secret Hours; and many others), Rod Heather (co-editor of LORE), ghoul-master Brian McNaughton (The Throne of Bones 2000), CJ Henderson, me, and others would gather. Between plots and schemes and dreams, we’d read new tales (I can’t tell you how many times Cisco blew my mind w/ his new works of genius!), talk HPL and many other old masters (new ones as well) or films or comics (and action figures, of course) and weird fiction and horror in general… and there was pizza. Religion and the occult were woven into many of our analysis and conversations. Antidotes and “Did you hear about?” or “What if?” flew, ideas were bandied about, inspiration was given and accepted.
Bob’s legendary Cthulhu Prayer Breakfasts began at the NecronomiCONs of the 90’s. Cthulhuvian parodies of songs like “Onward Christian Soldiers” (done as Onward Cthulhuvian Soldiers), mock sermons (that touched on subjects ranging from Hegel and Hastur to comics and politics), litanies, and all manner of invocations, fill Bob’s CPBs. His CPB sermons are inventive riots, filled w/ humor. They are not to be missed!! ! You can watch one of them (thankfully filmed by Mike Davis at the HPLFF in Portland, OR, from last May).
In 2013 Bob, quite fittingly, began a monthly column of essays, “Echoes From Cthulhu’s Crypt”, here in the pages of the “Lovecraft eZine”.
Allow me to end this by saying, all this data is merely the tippy-top of the iceberg. I could easily BABBLE ON for another several thousand words. More on Bob can be found at Wikipedia and other places on the net.
Bob Price. Writer. Editor. Critic. Generous champion of new writers. His contributions to our community and Lovecraftian literature are invaluable. ‘NUFF SAID!
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