The “H.P. Lovecraft Bronze Bust Project” Kickstarter is now live!

hpbronzeposter
Look, we’re on the poster!

Spearheaded by sculptor Bryan Moore, The H.P. Lovecraft Bronze Bust Project is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the famous author’s literary legacy. Lovecraft’s cosmic imagination has influenced every region of pop culture including video games, comic books, music and film. After years of hard work, The H.P. Lovecraft Bronze Bust Project has finally secured a location for a life size bronze tribute to Lovecraft at the Providence Athenaeum Library (founded in 1753) and we are looking to his fans and the public to raise the funds needed to place the bust there as a gift of public work on August 22nd, 2013. Please back our project and help give the Dark Prince of Providence the bronze monument he so rightfully deserves.

It has been for four days, actually, but before we got a chance to tell you about it (and the 5 signed/numbered copies of Cthulhurotica we donated as a reward tier) it had already made it’s initial goal. Plus, the copies of Cthulhurotica were one of the first things to be sold out.

We couldn’t have that, so we donated 5 more.

We’re the first to admit that Lovecraft’s work is problematic–the whole inspiration for our anthology was to take his world and do something with it that didn’t exclude all the bits we love. But the undeniable truth is that Lovecraft is inspirational, and this project not only gives thanks to the man for getting a lot of us started, it also brings the community together to create a work of art. Please note that we’re not affiliated with the project in any way (outside of donating books). However, we do support it, and would like you to as well.

The H.P. Lovecraft Bronze Bust Project has stretch goals that allow the sculpture to buy a better pedestal and pay for a higher quality of bronzing, which will help the bust last longer. If we’re going to do this (and we certainly are), let’s do it right.

Click on the link to read more about the people behind it (who also make the award sculptures for the HPL Film Festival), the library where the bust will be installed, and to pledge:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66144730/the-hp-lovecraft-bronze-bust-project

You can also follow the project on Facebook to get regular updates.

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Making Sense of Lovecraft’s Madness

Humanity, as portrayed in Lovecraft’s fiction, is not only incapable of resisting the impact of racial and hereditary degeneration, but also incapable of maintaining itself ‘properly’ via sexual reproduction, an act that for Lovecraft gives birth to nothing but nightmare. – Brian Lord, “The Genetics of Horror: Sex and Racism in H.P. Lovecraft’s Fiction“, 2004

Most fans of  HP Lovecraft’s writing will concede that as a person, he was a jerk. Racist, misogynistic, anti-sex tendencies appear over and over again in both his published writing and his personal letters. Contemporary authors have struggled to reconcile his vile opinions with his work as the creator and shaper of the Cthulhu Mythos, a universe too much fun to ignore. (Read Nnedi Okorafor’s discussion of the Lovecraft-shaped World Fantasy Award, which she won.) In the first book of the Cthulhurotica series, we talked about the need to create more fiction in his world, in order to show a wider range of characters living and breathing and making love there. But can we really separate the man from his Mythos?

We don’t have to. The simple solution is to realize that Lovecraft was mad, in the classic sense of the word. It just wasn’t the Mythos that made him that way.

Lovecraft was right about his monsters. Cthulhu is out there, sleeping in the darkest depths of in-between space. Innsmouth exists, as does Arkham, if not on our maps than in the maps of thousands of authors and artists and musicians and filmmakers in the last century. Deep Ones float on ice cold currents at the bottom of the sea. Cultists chant, Shoggoths squish, the Black Goat bears a thousand young, the terrible trees lie in wait, and Dagon passes the time on a tiny island you can never find unless you’re trying to get away from it. There is much more to our existence than we can comprehend without a little madness of our own.

But Lovecraft had issues before he ever conceived of that which should not be named. He was already afraid of women, and of people of color, and of the world in general, and of himself. He reached out and saw the Mythos universe looking back at him, and in an effort to understand it, he wrapped it in the fears he already knew. He looked into the unknowable, the creatures and places that drive you insane. It’s genius, really, that he engineered a way to survive that. By convincing himself that the real monsters were girls in short dresses, and Jews (and blacks, and Asians, and gays, and lipstick and nail polish and a pretty smile) he could keep his mind in one piece.

We’re stronger than that. We don’t need to make excuses for our monsters. We don’t need to hide behind lesser fears in order to comprehend the greater ones. We can look upon the Mythos and we can love it for what it is.

Be braver than Lovecraft. Put down your defenses, find the unmarked door, turn the ancient key, and go inside. Bring a date.

Or meet someone there.

– Carrie Cuinn, Editor