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Non-Mythos Novels that could be used as the basis for a scenario


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#41 mojojojo

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 02:51 PM

The Last and First Men, Odd John, and Star Maker (all by Olaf Stapledon) as they deal with future evolution, superhumans and life on other worlds (in that order)


Also Floating Dragon by Peter Straub https://en.wikipedia...Floating_Dragon

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#42 Graham

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 07:24 AM

Conrad's Heart of Darkness of course.

 

Also Jack London's story The Red One.

 

Jason Colavito has The Red One up on his site, it is well worth looking at.

 

http://www.jasoncola...he-red-one.html


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#43 Graham

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 12:53 AM

Got another possibility, Sax Rohmer's Egyptian themed, 'Curse of a Thousand Kisses', which can be found in this copy of the Avon Fantasy Reader

 

https://archive.org/...ader_no._7_1948


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#44 Graham

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 12:43 AM

Algernon Blackwood was an author Lovecraft admired. 'The Human Chord' describes an attempt to tamper with things best left untouched, the results are as always not as the experimenter wanted:

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11988


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#45 Lisa

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:45 AM

From Graham's post:

 

Daniel Easterman, The Ninth Buddha, 1988

 

Plot summary: The year is 1920, the young son of a former British Intelligence agent who spent the whole of WWI in India is kidnapped by those who see him as fulfilling a prophecy. The quest to recover him goes from Britain to India, Tibet  and Mongolia.

 

The novel is very dark in tone, and the quest could be very easily recast in Lovecraftian terms.

 

[No idea why the blockquote didn't come out right]

 

Just finished the book. Yeah, it's very dark.

Still trying to figure out why I didn't like it -- e.g., was it me, the writing, or it just not being the eighties anymore?

 

Either way, that plot can totally be recast, and a lot of the background information in it was familiar to me because of Trail and Call material. I'm trying to figure out how to use it for my Kerberos Club game (currently in nominal 1860 which is more like about 1856 or 1857...), and I suspect I will be greatly aided by the fact that most of the players won't have done a lot of research about the period... maybe they won't have, anyway...


Edited by Lisa, 27 March 2017 - 04:09 AM.


#46 Thekinginpurple

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 01:08 PM

You could probably use Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness?



#47 Graham

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 04:29 PM

You could probably use Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness?

 

Or H.R.F. Keating's last novel (Written circa 1987, published as an audiobook in late 2016, will be out as an ebook/paperback sometime in 2017), if the information is correct it was inspired and takes it's title ('A Kind of Light') from Conrad's legendary short story.

 

http://www.endeavour...scovered-novel/


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#48 JMG

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 04:29 AM

This is more a source of sources, but the Old Solar System website at http://www.solarsystemheritage.com/ is the best guide to the pulp-era solar system, back when Mars had canals, Venus was a jungle world and Mercury had an inhabitable Twilight Belt. Lovecraft's fiction is set in that imaginary space -- see "In the Walls of Eryx" for a classic tale of Venus by Lovecraft himself -- and Clark Ashton Smith even more so. Weaving that outer-space dimension into a pulp-era story makes for seriously cool plot twists in a game: the investigators pass through an uncanny glowing portal, and oops! They're in the deserts of Mars, with a long adventure ahead of them before they finally make their way home again...



#49 Graham

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 05:58 AM

This is more a source of sources, but the Old Solar System website at http://www.solarsystemheritage.com/ is the best guide to the pulp-era solar system, back when Mars had canals, Venus was a jungle world and Mercury had an inhabitable Twilight Belt. Lovecraft's fiction is set in that imaginary space -- see "In the Walls of Eryx" for a classic tale of Venus by Lovecraft himself -- and Clark Ashton Smith even more so. Weaving that outer-space dimension into a pulp-era story makes for seriously cool plot twists in a game: the investigators pass through an uncanny glowing portal, and oops! They're in the deserts of Mars, with a long adventure ahead of them before they finally make their way home again...

 

That is a very nice find.


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#50 yronimoswhateley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:42 PM

Agreed - that's a fantastic find, JMG!

 

I'd gotten interested in that sort of thing lately while working out a "Lovecraftian" Mars and Martian Dreamland based on the sort of Percival Lowell-inspired dying Mars that seems to run through the work of H.G. Wells, Edgard Rice Burroughs, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury, and so many other writers, and I've been planning to look into the Jungle Venus and other worlds as well, so this is the perfect resource at exactly the right time for me!


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#51 JMG

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:12 PM

Agreed - that's a fantastic find, JMG!

 

I'd gotten interested in that sort of thing lately while working out a "Lovecraftian" Mars and Martian Dreamland based on the sort of Percival Lowell-inspired dying Mars that seems to run through the work of H.G. Wells, Edgard Rice Burroughs, Clark Ashton Smith, Ray Bradbury, and so many other writers, and I've been planning to look into the Jungle Venus and other worlds as well, so this is the perfect resource at exactly the right time for me!

 

I know the feeling. I was trying to chase down some details out of Clark Ashton Smith via search engine divination, stumbled across the site, and started cackling with glee.

 

A Martian Dreamland? Oh my. That sounds very very fun.



#52 yronimoswhateley

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:56 PM

I had a lot of fun with the Martian Dreamlands. 

 

Spoiler

 

 

Anyway, with Mars in mind, some additional suggestions for Non-Mythos Novels that Lovecraft fans and Call of Cthulhu gamers might enjoy:

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars", "The Gods of Mars", "Warlord of Mars", "Thuvia, Maid of Mars", "Chessmen of Mars", etc.
  • Percival Lowell's "Mars", "Mars and its Canals", and "Mars as the Abode of Life" (all three are technically non-fiction speculations on what life on Mars might be like, but they are perhaps more imaginative and evocative reading than most science fiction!)

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." - Blaise Pascal


#53 JMG

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 05:09 AM

Yronimoswhateley, one of the points made by "Zendexor," the pseudonymous webmaster of the Old Solar System site, is that most of the worlds of the pulp-era solar system have their own distinctive character. Mars is the poster child here: a pulp-era Mars by definition is -- well, pretty much what you've described in your spoiler. So you're in good company.

 

As I recall, it's canon that each world has its own Dreamland -- just a sec, let me reach down my copy of the Del Rey "Dream Cycle" anthology from the nearest shelf. Yep -- the patriarch Atal, who should know, mentions to Randolph Carter that other planets have their own dream worlds, and so do the bearded priests Nasht and Kaman-Tha. So filling in the blanks -- why, so long as you're willing to risk the black impious gulfs, go for it. ;-)

 

One of the tragedies of Lovecraft's early death is that he never got the chance to write more SF; he was quite good at it (cf. "From Beyond" and "In the Walls of Eryx"), and the thought of a series of HPL stories set in the blasted and blasphemous deserts and sinister, oily canals of Mars is tantalizing. Lacking that, to your list, I'd add Clark Ashton Smith's Mars stories "Vulthoom," "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis," and "The Dweller in the Gulf," and the Martian fiction of Leigh Brackett -- you can tell that Brackett also wrote hardboiled private eye stories; her Mars is gloriously gritty , seedy, and treacherous.



#54 yronimoswhateley

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:06 PM

Thank you!  I've woefully neglected poor Clark Ashton Smith - I managed to track down his collected stories in hardback last year, but haven't had a chance to read them yet.  I did read "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis", though, and it's powerful and beautiful and horrific stuff!  I'm totally new to Leigh Brackett, but some of the references to Brackett's work on that site are intriguing, and your endorsement has sold me on checking that author's work out as well.  I completely agree that it's a shame Lovecraft was never able to write more science fiction before he passed away - the few hints we do get of what Lovecraft's vision of a science fiction universe full of strange and far-flung corners of time and space might look like are tantalizing.

 

For more "non-Mythos" stuff, JeffErwin in another post referred to Borges "Library of Babel", a highly-recommended and short four-page story which makes for some great "Weird Fiction" reading from an author that I don't believe is usually associated with the genre:

 

I've had this dream. Borges did too: https://libraryofbab...raryofbabel.pdf

 

But I am a librarian.


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#55 Wembley

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 07:27 PM

Beau Geste. Written in 1924 by PC Wren and so bang on time (though it is set a decade or two earlier) -- "the adventures of three English brothers who enlist separately in the French Foreign Legion following the theft of a valuable jewel from the country house of a relative."  It's bang-on Boy's Own stuff.

 

It's a classic and you should read it anyway, but there is one section where our heroes discover a 'lost city' which could so easily have turned Lovecraftian, or H Rider Haggard-ish.  The author is well aware of this and is at pains to point out the ordinariness of the inhabitants and the fact that they are not descended from Atlanteans -- but the setup would certainly allow them to be the survivors of some dark and deadly ancient tribe.


Edited by Wembley, 08 June 2017 - 07:29 PM.


#56 Graham

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 01:46 PM

The Curse of Loch Ness. Published in 1979 (Available as an ebook). Authors name is Peter Ellis (Writing as Peter Tremayne):

 

 

London-raised Jeannie Millbuie has received news that she has unexpected inherited a Scottish castle after the death of her previously unknown relative.

As the only heir of Donald Millbuie, Jeannie travels up to Scotland to take a look at Balmacaan Castle to determine its future.

The castle, which stood on the banks of Loch Ness, along with its odd housekeeper, Mrs. Murdo, and tales of the oddly reclusive previous owner, is a bit in bad shape, but Jeannie is determined to not make a rash decision about its future.

The weird wailing that echoed through the castle and the general eerie atmosphere led to Jeannie asking questions which Mrs. Murdo brushes off, but after exploration of her relatives old quarters reveals a journal, she learns of a horrible truth the Balmacaan Castle and lake is hiding.

Millbuie and the being hiding in Loch Ness have tied fates - and the terrifying and hideous truth will threaten safety and sanity in a race to the end.

 

Blurb from Amazon

 

A nicely pulpy tale, that will be easy to rework.  And it will be noted that the 'being' in question is not a Pleisiosaur...

Spoiler


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.