Tag Archives: christmas

The 2019 Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide

It’s Black Friday in the United States, the crawling chaos of American holidays, and the List of Lists is back for its sixth year! Once again, I’ve assembled a highly curated collection of Lovecraft-related items for your holiday season. Here you can find a plethora of paraphernalia for the weird-fiction fanatic, cosmic-horror connoisseur, or mythos maniac in your life. (And maybe a little something for yourself. You need gifts too.) As with previous years, I’ve worked to assemble a list of exceptional items for all ages and budgets.

The list is organized into six categories and ordered by price, making it easy to browse. Have a favorite new-weird, cosmic horror, or mythos-themed item I left off? Leave a comment at the bottom and let everyone know! Appreciate the work I put into this list? Share it with your friends! Happy shopping!

Note: Any Amazon products (mostly the books) were originally linked thru my affiliate program and I’ll receive a small cut. I’m traveling today, but will slowly be changing them to regular links as I have time.


❄️ QUICK LINKS ❄️

Books • Music • Apparel • Games
• Housewares • Miskatonic


❄️ BOOKS

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham JonesMapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
$7.98 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $2.99 (eBook)
Told from 12-year old Junior’s perspective, the story is one part family-struggle and one part ghost-story all woven with a heartfelt earnestness that’s easy to believe and hard to shake. It’s a book about childhood, about family, about heritage, about legacy, and the cost and ramification of all four.


The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by by Kij JohnsonThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
$10.30 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $2.99 (eBook)
Professor Vellitt Boe of at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College and her adopted cat, embark on an expansive journey across the Dreamland on the trail of a student who has gone missing after disappearing into the waking world with a lover. Along the way, she’ll encounter old friends as new troubles rumble from the Plateau of Leng.


Agents of Dreamland by by Caitlin R. KiernanAgents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan
$10.60 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $2.99 (eBook)
The mysterious agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. There he meets an unusual contact to exchange information about a bizarre event that happened a week earlier. An event for which neither has an explanation and its ramifications could have far-reaching consequences.


The Stars Were Right by K. M. Alexander
$14.00 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $2.99 (eBook)
With Book Four closing in, now is the perfect time to start reading my Bell Forging Cycle. Follow Waldo Bell as he is sent careening through the multi-level megalopolis of Lovat fighting to clear his name as a bloodthirsty killer stalks him. It’s mystery and monsters, chases and cults, and an ancient evil in a world that is similar but not quite like our own.


A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor JacobsA Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs
$17.99 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $12.99 (eBook)
Two masterful novellas of cosmic horror in a single volume. Beautiful and haunting, lyrical and evocative, raw and emotional, Jacobs takes cosmic horror to new places exposing our oldest fear while remaining starkly human in the process. One of the best cosmic-horror books in recent memory and one that will haunt you well after you’ve put it aside.


The Grand Dark by Richard KadreyThe Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
$19.50 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $12.99 (eBook)
This standalone weird fiction novel takes us into the industrial post-war world of Lower Proszawa and its drug-filled and soot-drenched streets teeming with all manner of strange inhabitants. Here we meet a bike messenger named Largo who discovers that peace runs along a knife-edge and a new war always looms on the horizon.


The House on the Borderland First EditionThe House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
$400 + Free Shipping (Hardcover, 1946 First Edition)
“The true note of cosmic horror.” A treasure for any collector. A rare first edition published by Arkham House in 1946. Details from the seller: Black cloth lettered in gilt, fine with age-toned pages in head-chipped dust jacket, else Very Good with crease along top of front panel, dulled spine panel, toned and lightly soiled back panel.


Not finding a book you like? Check out the books featured on one of the previous guides.
2014’s Books2015’s Books • 2016’s Books2017’s Books2018’s Books


❄️ MUSIC & AUDIO

Black Stage of Night by Atrium Carceri & Cities Last BroadcastBlack Stage of Night by Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast
$7.00 (Digital Download) $19.00 (Compact Disc)
I’ve been enjoying the direction in these collaborative albums from some of the industry’s best ambient artists. Black Stage of Night might be the best. It’s firmly dark ambient, and the classic sounds are there, but in this record, the collaborators weave a cinematic layer throughout. It’s an enthralling listen. Lately, it’s become my go-to music when I write.


Eldritch by Markus JunnikkalaEldritch by Markus Junnikkala
€7.00 ($7.71 USD) (Digital Download)
Often Lovecraftian music is associated with metal, and while that’s not a bad thing, I found it refreshing to hear this dark orchestral approach from Finnish composer Markus Junnikkala. Ethereal and haunting, I found myself drawn to this album again and again.


Cosmicism by The Great Old OnesCosmicism by The Great Old Ones
$9.99 (Digital Download) €25.00 + Shipping ($27.50) (2x LP Green)
This French atmospheric black metal band uses the works of cosmic horror authors like Robert Chambers and H.P. Lovecraft as the basis for their lyrics and album themes. Not my style, but their skills are clearly impressive, the music engaging, and they get suggested yearly. If you’re a metal-head or shopping for one this holiday season, do yourself a favor and check ’em out.


An Abhorrent and Ancient SolsticeAn Abhorrent and Ancient Solstice by HPLHS
$12.00 (Digital Download)
I’ve featured the Arkham Carolers before, but this year they’ve put together a collection of 24 of their very best cosmic horror Christmas carols. I’ve always enjoyed a well-done parody, and the HPLS goes all out with this collection. Plus, it includes one of my favorites of theirs: A Brumalian Wish. Festive! Creepy! (Crestive?)


Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock OperaDreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera
$18.92 + Shipping (CD) $35.00 + Shipping (Vinyl)
Who doesn’t love rock operas? Everyone loves them! (Fact.) Thanks to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the holidays are the perfect time to give rock operas to friends and family or pick one up for yourself. Why not give one built around the Lovecraftian story The Dream in the Witch House. It’s marvelous for a holiday jam out session or a multidimensional trip with Auntie Mason.


Cadabra Records' H. P. Lovecraft's the Colour out of Space 2x Lp SetH. P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space 2x LP Set
$42.00 + Shipping (Vinyl)
Cadabra Records makes some of the finest vinyl recordings on the market today, and this 2x LP set featuring one of Lovecraft’s most beloved stories is read by the talented Andrew Leman, with a score by Chris Bozzone is no exception. Well worth a place in any vinyl-loving cosmic-horror fan’s collection. (Note: these are preorders, and the final pressing will ship in 4-6 weeks.)


Not finding any music or audio that interests you? Check out one of the previous guides.
2014’s Music • 2015’s Music • 2016’s Music2017’s Music2018’s Music


❄️ APPAREL


Cthulhu Mask Papercraft Template PDFCthulhu Mask Papercraft Template PDF
$4.00 (Digital Download)
I’ve always appreciated the simple geometrics of papercraft masks—reminds me of brutalist architecture. Plus with a little effort, you can make yourself a fun costume for next to nothing. This instant download PDF template will provide you the instructions to become the dreamer beneath the waves.


Bell Caravan Patch Now Available

Bell Caravans Patch
$5.00 + Shipping (Order by Dec. 10th for Christmas Delivery.)
This beautiful 3″ patch, designed by illustrator Sean Cumiskey, is the perfect way of declaring your loyalty to your beloved caravan master. Put it on your backpack, a tote, or display it on the sleeve of your jacket, make sure the world knows who you roll with. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]


King in Yellow PinThe King in Yellow Pin
$15.00 + Shipping
Stranger: I wear no pin.
Camilla: [terrified, aside to Cassilda] No pin? No pin!
Based on a woodcut by the incredibly talented Liv Rainey-Smith, this pin of the King in Yellow is rendered in bronze and stands at 1.5 inches. If you dig this, I highly recommend checking out Rainey-Smith’s woodcuts as well.


The Crate of Cthulhu Cult RingThe Crate of Cthulhu Cult Ring
$26.66 + Shipping
The Mysterious Package Company makes incredible products, and this ring from their Crate of Cthulhu experience (which would also make a great gift) is a fabulous piece. A strange ring bearing an equally strange symbol. It is believed that the followers of Cthulhu used this ring as a weapon to inject poison into those who come too close to the truth.


Cthulhu Short Sleeve Button-up ShirtCthulhu Short Sleeve Button-up Shirt
$55.00 + Shipping
When it’s time to put away the graphic tees and slip into something more fashionable, consider this 100% cotton shirt from Middle of Beyond. Covered in an all-over print featuring the ol’ dreamer popping up from the ocean to yell at a boat, this shirt makes the bold statement of a graphic-tee but with a touch of collared class.


Bell Caravans HoodieBell Caravans Hoodie
$55.00 + Shipping
Join the caravan with this classic zip hoodie with a warm fleece lining. The full Bell Caravans logo designed by Sean Cumiskey is on the back, while the small wheel-and-bell symbol resides on the front. Stay warm, look good, fight the Firsts. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]


Ascension Island Aloha Shirt
$315.00 + Shipping
Here it is, folks. The Cthulhu rayon shirt you always wanted. Nine Lives Brand is producing an extremely limited run, and each shirt is made to order. So if you need an Aloha shirt to go with that Cthulhu tiki mug you bought last year, look no further. Also available in a long-sleeved version. Like this print? It’s also available as the lining of this $1250 Sashiko bomber coat.


Not finding any apparel you like? Check out apparel on one of the previous guides.
2014’s Apparel • 2015’s Apparel • 2016’s Apparel2017’s Apparel2018’s Apparel


❄️ GAMES


A Place for the UnwillingA Place for the Unwilling
$14.99 (Digital Download)
Time is running out. Shadows linger in the streets. The city will die in 21 days in this open-world branching narrative game from ALpixel Games. A fascinating game with a unique art style, intriguing premise, and enjoyable gameplay. A bit of Sunless Sea, Majora’s Mask, and a dash of Lovecraft. Time is ticking, how will you spend your final days in the city?


Gibbous - A Cthulhu AdventureGibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure
$19.99 (Digital Download)
Crazy cultists. Cthulhu. A talking cat. Gibbous takes you on an expansive, traditionally animated, hand-painted adventure. Play as three protagonists and explore a lushly rendered Lovecraft-inspired world, unraveling ancient conspiracies. A comedy cosmic horror adventure made in Transylvania! (I backed this on Kickstarted, and I can confirm it’s a lot of fun.)


Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video GameCall of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game
$24.50 + Free Shipping
Focus Interactive did a decent job with this charming retelling of classic Lovecraftian fiction. It’s an investigative game, with a few action elements that blend several of the mythos’ more popular stories to create a game that weaves a fascinating tale about cults and murder, art and madness, and serves up a few unnerving scenes in the process.


Call of Cthulhu: Starter SetCall of Cthulhu: Tabletop RPG Starter Set
$24.99 + Shipping
It’s the beloved cosmic-horror tabletop role-playing experience in a handy starter set. Using the new 7th Edition rules, you can lead you investigators on their next case as they seek to solve the unthinkable and face the mysteries from beyond. Inside you’ll find everything you need to start playing the granddaddy of tabletop horror.


Lovecraft LetterLovecraft Letter
$29.99 + Shipping

Set in the chaos following World War 1, this 20-minute card game built on the Love Letter system sends 2-6 players on the hunt for a missing family member who has discovered something ominous beneath the sands of Egypt. Will you help solve the mystery or aid in ushering the chaos that looms?


Dogmight Black Walnut Cthulhu Valhalla ScreenBlack Walnut Cthulhu Valhalla Screen
$486.00 + Shipping
These custom Dungeon Master screens are lovingly detailed and perfect for your next Call of Cthulhu session. An easy magnetic design, embedded magnets, plexiglass panels.  Combine it with handy accessories, and you’ll be game masterin’ in style. Feeling over Cthulhu’d—I understand—while sold out, they do take custom The Masks of Nyarlathotep orders.


Not finding a game you’d enjoy? Check out the games on one of the previous guides.
2014’s Games • 2015’s Games • 2016’s Games2017’s Games2018’s Games


❄️ HOUSEWARES


Cthulhu Xmas Gift Wrap PackCthulhu Xmas Gift Wrap Pack
$15.00 + Shipping
Why not deviate from the norm for your gifts this year. Wrap your presents in 18″x 24″ sheets of Lovecraftian wrapping paper designed by Daniel Gelon featuring the fantastic art of Heather Hudson. Want something a little more unusual than the standard Cthulhu flair? Hudson also sells Dreamland-themed Christmas cards, and delightful Krampus-themed holiday goodies.


Cthulhu OrnamentCthulhu Ornament
$20.00 + Shipping
I’m always wary of sharing Etsy products, not because the work isn’t incredible, but because during the Holiday pieces may disappear quickly. But if this wonderful Cthulhu ornament vanishes before you can nab it, there’s plenty of other beautiful works at Dellamorteco & Co.’s shop. It’s all fantastic work and worth checking it all out.


Cedric's Eatery 11oz. MugCedric’s Eatery 11oz. Mug
$16.00 + Shipping (Order by Dec. 10th for Christmas Delivery.)
It’s cold out, and you need a new mug. Why not pick one up from Lovat’s own Cedric’s Eatery located in the entresol between Levels Three and Four. An in-between place for in-between folks. Waldo Bell’s latest hangout. Fill your mug with 11 oz. of bad coffee, your favorite tea, or something stronger. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]


Cthulhu Coin SetCthulhu Coin Set
$28.50 + Shipping
Props are a fun way to enliven any tabletop session or the holidays, so this set of 24 coins (ten copper pieces, eight silver pieces, and six gold pieces) is perfect for your next game or family get together. Bargain for souls or leftover turkey with your Aunt, or buy your nephew’s gift from him with handcrafted coinage. Capitalism doesn’t cease under the reign of the ancient ones.


H.P. Lovecraft - Limited Edition Bobblehead

H. P. Lovecraft Limited Edition Bobblehead
$34.95 + Shipping
It’s a well-known fact that everyone loves bobbleheads, even the deep ones! Limited to only 1500 units, this figuring from Rue Morgue Magazine of the father of cosmic horror in all his New England awkwardness stands at 7″ tall, is ready to wobble and bobble on your bookshelf, as he questions humanity’s place in the cosmos.


Calamityware Plate 7: TentaclesCalamityware: Tentacles
$42.00 + Shipping
Something has awoken. Commemorate its reign with these porcelain plates patterned after the elaborate chinoiserie pattern Willow. But, instead of featuring idyllic scenes these highlight various disasters from invasions of Lovecraftian-esque tentacles (featured) to historical sea monsters, vortexes, or zombie poodles. Not what you’re looking for? There’s more coming.


Adam Wallacavage, Chandelier I, 2017Chandelier I
$3500.00 + Shipping
Philadelphia artist Adam Wallacavage creates stunning tentacle-covered chandeliers and lamps in clay and resin. If you’re looking for a nontraditional piece for your home that’ll keep guests talking for generations, you can’t really find anything better. If this beautiful chandelier is a bit out of your budget, Wallacavage also creates unusual candlestick holders.


Not finding a houseware item you like?
Check out the housewares from one of the previous guides.
2016’s Housewares • 2017’s Housewares2018’s Housewares


❄️ MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY


Miskatonic University Silver Key Society pin

Miskatonic University Silver Key Society pin
$17.99 + Shipping
Formed by Henry Armitage in 1929 after the events in rural Dunwich, this pin marks the membership into Miskatonic’s oldest invite-only society. Will you join and learn the mysteries of the order, including the meaning of “751”? Pin measures 1″ across and is dual-plated in silver and gold.


Miskatonic University PennantMiskatonic University Pennant
$25.00 + Free Shipping
What’s the collegiate experience without some collegiate gear? Here we have a classic 9″ x 27″ university pennant to either hang on your wall displaying your boundless love for your alma mater’s sporting teams or to wave at all the intermural sporting events as you sing the fight song and cheer on varsity. Go Miska!


Miskatonic University CufflinksMiskatonic University Cufflinks
$99.00 + Shipping
2019 marks the ninetieth class reunion for the class of ’29! So you’ll want to be sure to look your best so you can impress your fellow centenarian schoolmates. These cufflinks will be perfect. The cufflinks are sterling silver with an antiqued finish and measure 18.2 mm in diameter and 1.5 mm thick.


The Miskatonic PapersThe Miskatonic Papers
$535.00 + Shipping
This limited-edition experimental art book/prop set from Angel Bomb studios is something to behold. Composed of 50 printed pieces, including letters, telegrams, drawings, newspaper clippings, a broadside, burned tatters of found stationery, and a journal that was written by hand and printed by letterpress. An incredible gift for the mythos fan in your life.


Not finding any Miskatonic stuff you like?
Check out the Miskatonic University items from one of the previous guides.
2014’s Miskatonic U. • 2015’s Miskatonic U. • 2016’s Miskatonic U.
2017’s Miskatonic U.2018’s Miskatonic U.


❄️ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❄️

So that wraps up the Sixth Annual List of Lists. Big thank you to the wonderful folks who read this blog, and the gibbering weirdos over at r/Lovecraftr/Cthulhu, and r/WeirdLit who helped me pad out this list. Y’all rule. If I didn’t get to your submission, fret not, there are many more holidays ahead. I appreciate the help.

Do you have a book, game, album, or other weird fiction-related items I should feature in 2020’s Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide? Leave a comment below with links to your favorite goodies for others to see or send me an email as a submission for next year!


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Gifting My Books for the 2018 Holidays

Gifting My Books for the 2019 Holidays

It’s been a bit of an odd year, and strangely, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. And somehow I’m in Hawaii for the holiday? (I’m not complaining, mind.) Despite the 80º weather outside once again, the holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to answer questions about how you can acquire my books for yourself, friends, or family. Much of this remains the same as last year, but there are a few small differences. As always, I break it down into signed paperbacks, regular paperbacks, and gifting ebooks.


Want Signed or Personalized Books?

🖋 Want Signed/Personalized Books?

Order from my store where I sell and ship signed and personalized books. The 2019 deadline to order is December 11th, which is a Wednesday. Any orders beyond December 11th might not get to you in time. (I ship via media mail, and the estimate for that is anywhere from two to ten days.) Remember, this is for US residents only. Shipping internationally is much more complex, and I cannot guarantee Christmas arrival. (Want to work out a different shipping method? Contact me and we can talk.)

I sign everything from my shop, but if you want your books personalized, make sure to leave me a note in the “Notes or Instructions” field during checkout. That’s it! Just click the button below and start shopping.

Order from My Store →

[Note: Due to my personal travel schedule. Order placed between November 27th and December 4th will ship December 6th.]


Ordering Paperbacks From an Online Retailer

📦 Ordering Unsigned Paperbacks from an Online Retailer

Don’t care about signed books? The quickest way to get paperback copies delivered would be by ordering through any of the online retailers. The majority of them offer guaranteed delivery by Christmas. Often they ship for free. (Check their details.) Links to purchase are below.

AmazonBarnes & Noble


Giving eBooks as Gifts

📱Giving eBooks as Gifts

Did you know you can give eBooks as gifts? It’s true! There are options available on every platform except Kobo. So, if there is an eBook reader in your life, you can still send them into the Territories and save yourself a little money in the process. Details for each store below.

Order for Kindle →K. M. Alexander's Books on Amazon Kindle

Instructions:
1. Select the book.
2. Click the “Give as Gift” button.

Order for Nook →K. M. Alexander's Books on Barnes & Noble's Nook

Instructions:
1. Select the book.
2. Click the “Buy as Gift” button.

Order for iBooks →K. M. Alexander's Books on Apple's iBooks

Instructions:
1. Select the book
2. Click “Gift this Book” in the drop-down.

K. M. Alexander's Books on Google PlayOrder for Google Play →

Instructions:
1. Select the book
2. Click “Buy as Gift”


I hope that clarifies the gifting and ordering options for 2019. If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment, or you are welcome to reach out to me via email: hello@kmalexander.com. Thanks for your excitement in the Bell Forging Cycle and your interest in sharing Wal’s adventures with your friends and family. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!

Open Call for Tenebrous Cosmic Horror Goodies

Open Call for Tenebrous Cosmic Horror Goodies

For the past five years, I’ve put together a highly-curated list of cosmic horror-related paraphernalia for the holiday season. It’s a collection of some of my favorite weird/new weird goodies that’d make perfect gifts for yourself or the cosmic horror fan in your life. I’m pleased to say this year will be the sixth! (I’ll link to past lists at the end of this post.)

I’m traveling over Thanksgiving, so I’m getting an early jump on assembling the guide. Like last year, I figured it’d be worthwhile to do an open call and see what else is lurking in the shadowed corners of the internet. Not everything submitted will get selected. But there’s always something cool out there that I completely missed. So, what have you found, dear reader? I want to know about it.

As before the categories are:

  • Books (I generally have this covered)
  • Music
  • Apparel (no teeshirts—there’s a bajillion of them, most are awful)
  • Games
  • Housewares
  • Miskatonic University

You can leave a comment below (I approve all non-bot comments) or just drop me an email and let me know what you’d like to see on this year’s Gift Guide!


Previous Cosmic Horror Gift Guides

As promised, below are links to the guides from the last five years. Just click on any of the links and start shopping!

❄️ 20182017 – 2016 – 2015 – 2014 ❄️


For those waiting, don’t fret too much longer, the 2019 Cosmic Horror Gift Guide launches on Black Friday! Be sure to check back to see this year’s selection. It’ll be a good one.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas

Season’s greetings from the Pacific Northwest! I’m spending the day with family, but I wanted to leave a quick note here wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family. Thanks for making 2018 the best year here at my blog. Thanks for buying and reading my books. Thanks for telling your friends and thank you for leaving reviews. It means a lot to me.

An image taken from Heather Hudson's Dreamlands Christmas Cards (Set 2)
An image from Heather Hudson’s Dreamlands Christmas Cards (Set 2)

This year’s art comes from the Heather Hudson’s Dreamlands Card pack, Set 2. I featured her King in Yellow cards in this year’s Lovecraftian Gift Guide, and I’ve bought several sets of her cards and used them in the past. I can attest to their greatness. They’re wonderfully weird—I decided that more people need to send weird cards.

There’s a lot more of Heather’s work available at her website and prints, books, cards, and more can be purchased from her store. She’s an incredibly talented artist, and I think you’ll find a bunch of great things there. Be sure to check out her blog, follow her on Twitter, and give her a follow on Instagram as well.

❄️🦑❄️

My Top Five Posts of 2018

My Top Five Posts of 2018

The year is coming to an end in a few weeks, and in these twilight days of 2018, I’m one to reflect on the things I’ve accomplished. Last year, I revisited my top five posts of 2017, and I thought it’d be interesting to do that again this year.

This has been a banner year for my blog—I’ve seen a lot more traffic than I ever have before, which is always exciting. After all, I’ve wanted to make this site my primary focus rather than spreading bits and pieces of myself all over social media. My hope is that this becomes a place where readers can find more than just generic author-bloggy stuff but also interesting content. Based on my top posts, I think I’m finding that balance. So, let’s see what resonated, we’ll start at number five and work our way to number one.


Eight Writing Tips from Eight Different Writers5. Eight Writing Tips from Eight Different Writers

Writers are often asked to offer up their personal “rules” for writing, and unless you’re Jonathan Franzen, other authors (or aspiring authors) love to share and discuss their thoughts. I noticed a correlation between the number eight and decided to riff off that—and then things went out of control. There is good advice to be had here from masters in the field, glean from it what you can.


Mapping Resources for Authors4. Mapping Resources for Authors (and GMs)

My background is in graphic design, and as a reader, a good map has always drawn me in—many fantasy authors (and game masters) need maps for their various projects, and they don’t have the skill set to render them in a useful way. My hope with this post was to deliver a handy guide for the more artistically challenged authors (or GMs) by exploring the map creation software and sites currently available.


Your Fav is Problematic—That's Okay3. Your Fave is Problematic—That’s Okay

If there is one post I am most proud of this year, it’s this one—for a long time I thought it’d be number one. Consider this my manifesto. An appeal for the wicked, as it were. I want you to write fiction that makes people uncomfortable. Give us perspectives outside our echo chambers. Make us care. Let our hearts be in conflict.


The 2018 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide2. The 2018 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

As always the internet loves a good gift guide. For the fifth straight year, my Lovecraftian gift guide has attracted all manner of visitors who are eager to see what strange and unusual items I’ve discovered over the year. This year’s list is no different. There’s a ton of great gifts, and there is still time to get your orders in on many of these products.


That brings us to number one… the most prominent post of 2018 was…


H.P. Lovecraft Really Liked Sending Christmas Poetry1. H.P. Lovecraft Really Liked Sending Christmas Poetry

I’ll be honest, this one took me by surprise. For a while now, during the holiday season, I’ve often shared Lovecraft’s weird Christmas poems, but this rarity quickly took off, in a single day it surpassed all other posts for the year. That’s the weird internet for you. Go figure.


So, there are the top five posts decided by you, the reader! I’m disappointed that none of my Raunch Review series made the top five, but I still have high hopes for those posts. I firmly believe they’ll eventually find their audience and I’ll get some crazy email from someone adamantly disagreeing with my judgments.

Thank you to all my readers who read, comment, and share the stuff I post on I Make Stories. Sharing my posts on your blogs and social media accounts makes a difference. It means a lot to see your excitement and that excitement makes it all worthwhile. With your help, you made 2018 the best year ever, and I’m excited to see what 2019 holds.

❄️ 💀 ❄️


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

H.P. Lovecraft Really Liked Sending Christmas Poetry

H.P. Lovecraft Really Liked Sending Christmas Poetry

Hey, it’s December 2nd, how’d that happen? For a while now, I’ve taken the holiday season as an opportunity to share some of Lovecraft’s more seasonal, often strange, and always festive poetry. I even put a handy guide together last year. Many of these poems are filled with inside jokes and were written for specific individuals (and sometimes cats.)

But there was one poem that, until recently, I hadn’t been able to track down. Lovecraft’s 1918 verse: To the A.H.S.P.C., on Receipt of the Christmas Pippinhplovecraft.com, my go-to respiratory didn’t have it, and it wasn’t in any of the books in my collections. After some searching, I finally found a copy on the Hungarian site hplovecraft.hu and I present it here as written.


 To the A.H.S.P.C., on Receipt
of the Christmas Pippin

Like some astronomer, whose dazzled gaze
Looks for a star, but finds the moon’s bright rays,
The carping critick trembles with surprise
As the new Pippin greets his awestruck eyes!
Precocious train, whose infant genius glows
In faultless verse and Addisonian prose;
Whose countless talents scintillate and shine
Thro’ polish’d paragraph and lustrous line;
What ag’d assemblage can compare with you?—
Your gifts so many, yet your years so few!
High o’er the band euphonious HARPER tow’rs,
Blest with a poet’s and a cynic’s pow’rs;
Who can with equal skill and vigour shew
A press club’s virtues, and November’s snow,
And hold with majesty the office of a MOE.
Not less in altitude, nor less in wit,
See mighty GALPIN on his dais sit;
Swiftest of bards, whose hasting pen can trace
Impromptu numbers—foremost in the race!
From him we turn to THAYER—refulgent star—
(Tho’ inter nos methinks we turn not far:)
Experience gleams thro’ each pathetic verse—
O leer ye not—some day you’ll suffer worse!
But see!—above the present’s tawdry theme
Soars a fleet WING, with high auspicious dream;
Prophetic singer! ere thy lines are done,
Rejoicing Freedom views the vanquish’d Hun!
All hail, FRANCISCO, who canst rhyme so well
Of the once-potent autocrat of h***:
Proud Lucifer a rival King must own,
Who keeps his evil, tho’ he lose his throne!
Now comes the prose, but sure, the change is slight
When we behold YEED’S ethereal flight:
With airy grace she sails celestial deeps,
And finds the wealth that pleasing Fancy keeps.
More fancy shines as we admiring look
At Santa’s tale—Pieria’s undamm’d brook;
With tranquil tide the stream melodious flows,
And poesy beams thro’ the faultless prose.
The page now blazes with collegiate fire,
As M. PATRICIA smites the sounding lyre;
In classic halls a virtuous phantom see,
To mould the lives of heroes soon to be!
Christmas again! This time a RYAN’S quill
Describes the w. k. season of good will;
Each reader praises, as his eyes behold
A noble theme, and classic style, unroll’d.
Such are the parts—what language can we find
To sing the merits of the whole combin’d?
Superlatives in vain the critick tries
In praise of aught so witty and so wise
Old age, with friendly grandpaternal glance,
Surveys each prodigy in swift advance:
If in the youthful mind such art appears,
What heights of glory wait your riper years?


As far as Lovecraftian holiday verse goes, it’s not my favorite (that honor goes to Yule Horror.) I have no idea why “hell” is censored when he uses it freely in other work. (Call of Cthulhu comes to mind, among others.) Maybe the AHSPC was more prudish?

For those wondering: a “pippin” is a type of apple, not a 90s NBA star. I’m guessing the capitalized words are names calling out members of the AHSPC. Galpin shows up in other works as well (and was reportedly the inspiration for Old Bugs.) Lovecraft didn’t stop with this poem, he also wrote a similar one thanking the AHSPC for the May Pippin. Because of course.

All this and much much more is collected in S. T. Joshi’s The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft so if you’re hankering for more of Lovecraft’s weird verse, it’s a solid collection and a good place to start (and end actually, it has everything.)


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