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TheFolklorist

The Octopus Cycle by Fletcher Pratt

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TheFolklorist

Here's something I though deserved to be shared with my fellow Cthulhuvians.

 

Has anyone here heard of sci-fi author Fletcher Pratt and his story "The Octopus Cycle" (co-authored by Irvin Lester) which was publish in May of 1928 in the pulp Amazing Stories?

 

I was recently looking through an online catalog of Amazing Stories covers when I came across the one showcasing this tale.

 

(Amazing1928May.JPG

 

My first thought was obviously "Cthulhu?" even though in the very same instant I knew it wasn't. Nevertheless I decided I must find out what this story was and who wrote it. Well I put that off for awhile but then decided to actually "get to it." A carefully worded google search led me to a site which listed the contents of this particular issue of Amazing Stories which in turn informed me that the tale was called "The Octopus Cycle" by Fletcher Pratt and Irvin Lester.

 

When I searched the title and authors I quickly discovered that the story was all over the internet, for free.

 

Here's one link to the story on Wikisource: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Octopus_Cycle

 

I haven't had a chance to read through the story yet but from what I gathered its "about towering octopuses that walk out of the sea into the jungles of Madagascar, from which they terrorize the locals -- and potentially the world."

 

Now "The Call of Cthulhu" was first published in Weird Tales in Feb. of 1928 (same year!) beating this story by only a few months. And of course Lovecraft had written "Cthulhu" several years before in 1926.

 

Nevertheless, I feel there has to be a connection. Was Pratt ripping off Lovecraft? (I have no idea when Pratt penned his story only when it was published.) Or was there just some kind of octopus-mania sweeping the pulps at the time?

 

Obviously this matter requires further investigation which I don't honestly know if I have time to delve into right now. So would anyone like to lend a hand...or maybe a tentacle?

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