Tag Archives: lovecraft

My Ongoing Blog Series You Can Read Today

My Ongoing Blog Series You Can Read Today

There’s plenty of writers on the internet who user their blogging platform to dish out advice on writing or focus on the craft. While that is all well and good, I’ve intentionally chosen to do something a little different with my blog. For several years, among the book updates, pleas for reviews, and general news—I’ve been writing several reoccurring series about all manner of things. Fake swearing, my books, plants, riverboats, history, the list is large and full of interesting things.

In this post, I’ve collected all my ongoing series and have provided links so you can peruse the various categories—I even offer starting suggestions. So, if you’re looking for something a bit different than your standard author-blog content, consider starting with one of these…

Wild Territories

Frequency: When they’re ready
Category: Bell Forging Cycle lore
Current Number of posts:
Three
Start with: Faiths and Creeds of Lovat

It’s always fun to explore the backstory of a series. I love extending some of the lore and legend that surrounds my novels. I’m also a fan of PBS and Marty Stouffer’s Wild America. That all came together for Wild Territories, a series about the extended lore of my books. Currently, there’s only a handful of posts, but with Gleam Upon the Waves coming soon, I’ll have many more on the way.


Garden of Horrors

Frequency: Monthly/Bi-monthly
Category: The natural world is gross
Current Number of posts: Nine
Start with: The Clathrus Archeri

Nature is a wild and weird place, in this series, I take a look at the more unusual bits of the earth’s flora. Generally, it’s pretty gross, sometimes it’s disturbing, but it’s always fascinating to see what sort of bizarre adaptations exist. Sometimes that feeling of disgust can come from the most unexpected places.


Raunch Reviews

Frequency: Monthly
Category: Language
Current Number of posts: Sixteen
Start with: Mork & Mindy/Starsiege: Tribes

The English language is a stupid language. It evolves, steals, shifts and absorbs, and it never looks the same across centuries. Slang is often the driver of this drift. Raunch Reviews is a series about slang, particularly, profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not.


Riverboats! Revolution! Magic!

Frequency: Occasional
Category: History
Current Number of posts: Ten
Start with: A Riverboat’s Menu

Researching history for my big ol’ project Coal Belly has given me insight into bits and bobs of history and the details surrounding riverboats—stuff I never learned in school. In these posts, I share my findings, focusing in on the people or technology that made these vessels so unique and sharing a plethora of photos from dusty old archives.


#NoBadMaps

Frequency: Monthly (for 2019, at least)
Category: Cartography/History
Current Number of posts: Nineteen
Start with: #NoBadMaps

This started as a project to help fantasy indie authors develop their own maps for their books and has grown into something much more. Now, eleven brush sets and several tutorials later #NoBadMaps has become something greater, and it’s exciting to see people using these in their work.


Visual Inspiration

Visual Inspiration

Frequency: Occasional
Category: Art
Current Number of posts: Eleven
Start with: Yuri Shwedoff

I’ve been a graphic designer for nearly two decades now; I’m drawn to visual mediums. Often, I come across an artist’s work, be it paintings, concept art, or digital drawings that enliven me creatively. In this series, I share the work of artists who’s work I have found inspiring, perhaps they’ll inspire you as well.


Watching History

Frequency: Occasional
Category: History
Current Number of posts: One
Start with: Watching History 1

When I was a kid, my favorite TV channel was the History Channel. But in recent year, the History Channel has eschewed history in favor of scripted and reality programming. It’s a bummer. Thankfully, the internet has stepped in. There are all sorts of amazing creatives who run YouTube channels with a focus on making history come alive. In here, I share my favorites.


Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

Frequency: Yearly
Category: Cosmic Horror Gifts
Current Number of posts: Five
Start with: The 2019 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

For the last six years, I’ve been assembling a highly-curated list of cosmic horror goodies that are perfect for yourself or the cosmic horror fan in your life. Books, Games, Music, Apparel, Housewares and a whole lot more! Loads of goodies worth checking out around the holidays or… at any time of the year, really.


I’m really proud of the work I’ve been doing. It’s been nice to work on blog posts in between writing sessions. Keeps me on my toes, lets me explore different concepts, and I think it makes my books better. Hopefully, you’ll find something entertaining or eye-opening among this list.

Have a question, comment, or want to drop me a line? Leave a comment below, or visit the Contact K. M. Alexander page for a list of handy ways you can reach out.


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.

❄️🦑❄️

Sebastien Ecosse

Visual Inspiration: Sebastien Ecosse

Recently, as I’ve been ramping up my research for Book IV of the Bell Forging Cycle, I came across the work of illustrator Sebastien Ecosse. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of genre and concept art, longtime readers will immediately understand why Ecosse’s work stands out for me.

I was first drawn in by his landscapes, his cityscapes in particular. They’re layered, rich, and beautifully textured. Places of light and shadows. You can almost feel the humid air against your skin, smell the mix of bizarre aromas, and hear the tapestry of sounds echoing throughout. In many ways, they could be cousins to the megalopolis of Lovat from my novels. With his other work, Ecosse manages to capture a sense of foreboding and dread that lends itself well to horror—in particular, his Lovecraftian work. I’ve posted some of my favorites below, as always you can click to view them larger.

Ecosse has prints available for purchase, and you can see much more of his work over on his website: sebastienecosse.com. You can also find him on ArtStation and Deviant Art. Be sure to check him out on Facebook or over follow him over on Twitter. Perhaps, like me, you’ll find yourself inspired.

💀 🎨 💀


If you like Sebastien Ecosse’s work be sure to check out some other illustrators and concept artists I’ve shared in the past:


I’m On Horror Brew

Last week I was lucky enough to join Matt and Cat from Horror Brew, one of my favorite horror-themed podcasts for Episode Thirteen! (Yeah, creepy thirteen! Kismet right?) I had a great time and was happy to be apart of the show. We talked about my books and the world of the Bell Forging Cycle. After that we delve into the weird west and then talked about horror in general; everything from Stephen King’s The Mist to Netflix’s Hemlock Grove. Give it a listen. I’ve embedded it below, so you can listen here or click one of the links and be sure to subscribe!


iTunes • Stitcher • PlayerFM • Libsyn


You can follow Matt and Cat on Facebook, Twitter, Letterboxd, and Instagram. Make sure you subscribe and leave them a review. They put out a great show and are a passionate voice for the horror community. If you’re in the Portland area, check out their weekly horror trivia night at Home, A Bar. It’s a good crowd, and there are usually great prizes. Speaking of…

Horror Brew + K.M. Alexander Giveaway

From now until July 17th you can enter to win a signed copy of my first Lovecraftian urban fantasy novel, The Stars Were Right and a Bell Caravans patch. (I’ll probably throw in some other swag as well.) Entering is super easy, and there are ways you can win bonus entries to better your chances for success. All it takes is a few clicks, enter today and tell your friends!

Enter Today →

The 2016 Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide

The 2016 Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide

It has started snowing on my blog, which means it’s time for my annual Lovecraft-themed gift guide! A big ol’ list of Lovecraftian items I’ve found throughout the year and gathering into one place. Here you can find gifts for the mythos-lover in your life or for yourself. There’s a lot of great stuff, something for all ages. Enjoy! (Thanks to those who sent in submissions!)

As before, I’ve organized the list by category and ordered them by price making it easy to browse. Have a favorite New Weird or mythos-themed item I left off? Leave a comment at the bottom and let everyone know!


❅ Quick Jumps ❅

BooksMusicApparelGamesHousewaresMiskatonic


[About the Art:] This year’s Featured Image was created by the artist Rebecca Kemp. Check out the full-color version on Deviant Art. You can see more of her work and shop her store on her website. (Some great Lovecraftian art there as well.)


❅ BOOKS

Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValleThe Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
$9.99 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $2.99 (eBook)
Jazz Age New York is a dangerous place for a man like Charles Thomas Tester. It gets even more dangerous after he runs a quick delivery job involve sorceresses and occult tomes. Written as a response to Lovecraft’s own, The Horror at Red Hook, LaVelle writes a novel of intrigue that is as engaging as it is subversive.


The Stars Were Right by K. M. AlexanderThe Stars Were Right by K. M. Alexander
$14.00 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $0.99 (eBook)
In celebration of the holidays, eBook copies of my first book, The Stars Were Right, are on sale everywhere for only 99¢! Join Caravan Master Waldo Bell as he tries to clear his name in the coastal megalopolis of Lovat. Mysteries and monsters, chases and cults, fights and food trucks, and a whole lot more.


bookcisforcthulhuC is for Cthulhu by Jason Ciaramella & Greg Murphy
$15.00 + Shipping (Board Book)
Kids need to learn their letters, so why not have them learn with this absolutely adorable alphabet book featuring the mythos from Lovecraft himself? Make sure you check out the C is for Cthulhu Coloring Book and other goodies as well.


Lovecraft Country by Matt RuffLovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
$15.99 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $7.99 (eBook)
A Lovecraftian horror set during the tumultuous period of Jim Crow America. The story follows Atticus Turner, his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and a childhood friend as they embark on a road trip to New England.


HPL's Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers by R.J. IvankovicHPL’s Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers by R.J. Ivankovic
$19.95 + Shipping (Hardcover)
What if Dr. Seuse told stories of ancient evils slumbering beneath the waves? In this adaptation of Lovecraft’s most famous work, The Call of Cthulhu, R.J. Ivankovic explores that very idea. Charmingly illustrated this is a must for any Lovecraftian fan.


bookscodexseraphinianusCodex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini
$91.99 + Free Shipping (Hardcover)
Not really weird fiction, but certainly weird. Last Christmas, Kari-Lise bought me this gorgeous art book, and I instantly fell in love. Imagining an encyclopedia of a strange and surreal world, Serafini asks questions about literacy (as of yet the book is unreadable) and the sharing of knowledge. It’s weird, hypnagogic, and absolutely beautiful.


Not finding a book you like? Check out one of the previous guides.
2014’s Books2015’s Books


❆ MUSIC

 The Shadow Out Of Tim by The Darkest of the Hillside ThicketsThe Shadow Out Of Tim by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
$10.00 CAD + Shipping
I don’t really know how to describe The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. On the surface, it’s surf-rocky alternative music, but it’s also a love letter to H.P. Lovecraft, cosmic horror, and weird fiction as a whole. This 2007 rock opera follows Dr. Timothy Vess descent into madness. It’s fun and real weird.


Shoggoth on the Roof Cast AlbumShoggoth on the Roof by HPLHS 
$15.00 + Shipping
What do you get when you mix one part H.P. Lovecraft mythos with one part Fiddler on the Roof? You get one of the strangest (and hilarious) cast albums available on the market. It’s funny, familiar, and perfect for musical fans in your life. Wait until you hear If I Were A Deep One.


Nyarlathotep by Cryo Chamber CollaborationNyarlathotep by Cryo Chamber Collaboration
$15.00 + Shipping
Dark ambient is my go-to music for when I work on the Bell Forging Cycle, and at the top of my list is the label Cryo Chamber. Once again, they have released a Lovecraftian themed soundscape album. This time influenced by chaos himself. It’s good stuff, haunting and mysterious.


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


❅ APPAREL

Bell Caravan Patch Now Available

Bell Caravans Patch
$5.00 + Shipping (Order by Dec. 9th 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, just make sure the world knows who you roll with.


Elder Sign Lapel PinElder Sign Lapel Pin
$10.00 + Shipping
This protective and yet incredibly classy lapel pin comes from Dagon Industries and is fancy enough for cocktail parties, investigative archeology, or even on fancy boat trips to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whatever you end up doing, make sure you do it in style.


Cthulhu Cardigan
$79.99 + Shipping
It’s said, that in his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. So why not don a fancy cardigan until he wakes up? Perfect for your holiday parties or for reading ancient and leather bound books while you smoke a pipe. Whatever floats your boat, or… yacht, I suppose.


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


❆ GAMES

CrawlCrawl
$9.99 on Steam
In this delightful (and violent) dungeon crawl, you take on the role of the hero while your friends try to best you playing as a variety of horrific Lovecraftian monsters. A fresh take on a classic game Crawl is intense, hilarious, and loads of fun for groups.


NecronomicardsNecronomicards
$25.00 + Tax and Shipping
In this competitive card game for 2-4 players, you work to summon Lovecraftian monsters and other creatures from myth and legend and pitch them against your opponent. The art is incredible, and the gameplay is fun and fast-paced.


A Study in Emerald BoardgameA Study in Emerald
$65.00 + Free Shipping (Price can vary)
Based on the Neil Gaiman short story of the same name. There’s a secret war brewing. In this game, players build decks and either work with the Restorationist towards freeing humanity from the Old One’s reign or siding with the Loyalists and fighting to preserve the kingdom.


Mansions of Madness 2nd EditionMansions of Madness 2nd Edition
$150.00 + Free Shipping (Prices can vary.)
The newest version of my favorite boardgame of all time removed the work of the Keeper and replaces their role with an app. The benefits are immense, games can be saved, set up time is significantly lessened, and the app handles a lot of the rules. A must for fans of the original.


Not finding a game you like? Check out one of the previous guides.
2014’s Games • 2015’s Games


❅ HOUSEWARES (New!)

Funko Cthulhu FigureFunko Cthulhu Figure
$10.00 + Free Shipping
The most adorable little horror you’ve ever seen. Funko’s stylistic take on the Great Old One is available for locations other than the sunken city of R’lyah. Also comes in an exclusive glow-in-the-dark version as well. Terror has never been so cute.


Cthulhu Tree TopperCthulhu Tree Topper
$19.99 + Shipping
I mean, this is a Christmas gift list after all, so we have to include something festive, right? I think it’s a rule. Why not adorn your Christmas tree with this scary Cthulhu tree topper! It’s a nice way to add a little more terror to your holidays. Angels are so passé.


Squishable CthulhuSquishable Cthulhu
$42.00 + Shipping
It’s winter in the northern hemisphere, and during the cooler months it’s always nice to cozy up to a pal. Especially if that pal happens to be a plushie version of everyone’s favorite Great Old One. Adorable and enormous (15″) he’s perfect for both companionship and cuddles.


Cthulhu SteinCthulhu Stein
$70.00 + Shipping
Steins are the cool way to store beverages. Cthulhu steins are even cooler. Enjoy not only your delicious drink of choice (a nice oatmeal stout is fitting for this time of year) but the gorgeous relief work on the side of this stein. Madness-inducing and yet so delicious.


Housewares is a new section this year, so I don’t have any links to previous years. However, I am planning on making this a regular category going forward.


❅ MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY

Miskatonic University Parking PermitMiskatonic University Parking Permit
$3.00 + Shipping
It has been said that campus security is notorious for cracking down on illegal parking. So why spend all your time worrying? Get yourself a student parking permit! Besides, you have more important things to fret about, non-Euclidean geometry isn’t going to study itself.


Miskatonic Pin CollectionMiskatonic University Pin Collection
$6.49 + $2.25 Shipping
This fun little set of four 1″ pins commemorates all manner of Miskatonic-centric events that never happened, from the ill-fated Antarctic expedition to class and alumni reunions. Great little stocking stuffer for those Miskatonic fans in your life.


Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition KitMiskatonic University Antarctic Expedition Kit
$30.00 + Shipping
This wonderful little prop set comes with all manner of goodies recovered from the doomed Antarctic expedition, a field journal, a star stone, a photo taken by Professor Dyer, a page from Professor Lake’s notes, and more! It’s a great little collection.


Not finding any Miskatonic stuff you like? Check out one of the previous guides.
2014’s Miskatonic Goodies • 2015’s Miskatonic Goodies


❅ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❅
100 Years of Cosmic Horror

It’s Cosmic Horror’s 100th Birthday

In November of 1916, Howard Phillips Lovecraft published his first short story, The Alchemist, in the United Amateur Press Association. While his commercial work would come later, there is an argument to be made that November should be considered the birth month of cosmic horror as a genre.

Lovecraft wasn’t the first to write weird fiction; even Lovecraft had his influences. Writers like Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, Robert Chambers, and Edgar Allen Poe were all writing of the strange and macabre before ol’ Howie. Most cosmic horror fans will acknowledge their impact, but I think we’d all agree that it was Lovecraft’s writing that became the definitive work of the genre. Lovecraft’s mythos has gone on to influence a myriad of people; it was his stories that encouraged others to delve into writing and working within the genre. His writing helped forge the genre into the beast it is today.

In celebration, I figured it’d be fun to explore the current universe of cosmic horror and look at some of my primary sources for Lovecraftian fiction on the market today. This will be just a tiny sample of the ever expanding universe of weird fiction. If you have recommendations of your own, leave a comment!

The Bell Forging CycleThe Bell Forging Cycle

Why not start with my books? (Buy ’em here.) Don your keff, lace up your boots, and enter my dystopian genre-bending vision of the Territories. A world where humanity is no longer alone and strange creatures inhabit vast multi-leveled megalopolises built upon the backs of drowned cities. A place of violence, where killers stalk narrow streets, and shadowy cults work ancient rituals to awaken forgotten elder gods. Standing in their way is one soul, a road-weary caravan master armed with an antique revolver, a droll wit, and a hardened resolve. Read an excerpt at any of the links below.

The Stars Were Right • Old Broken Road • Red Litten World

Cosmic Horror Small PressCosmic Horror Small Presses

Weird fiction is still alive and well, recently Penguin re-released a limited edition paperback, and a quick search for “Lovecraft” will usher forth all sorts of collections. However, some of the most exciting work in cosmic horror can be found among the small presses.

  • Word Horde

    Publisher of original novels, substantial collections, and some great anthologies, Word Horde, is one of my favorite small presses. The quality of their end product is great, Ross Lockhart and the team there does an excellent job in seeking out new talent and releasing it into the world.

  • Lovecraft eZine Press

    Born from one of the titans of the weird fiction community, the Lovecraft eZine, this cosmic horror press publishes modern mythos and releases some solid anthologies.  Very much worth checking out.

  • Dark Regions Press

    Specializing in horror and dark fiction since 1985, this indie publishing house serves up all manners of terrors from some fairly big names. If you want something collectible, make sure to check out their special hardcover editions.

  • Hippocampus Press

    This small press focuses on collected works from cosmic horrors greats, men like Ramsey Campbell, Lovecraft himself and Clark Ashton Smith. They also delve into nonfiction as well, featuring work from scholars like S. T. Joshi.

Cosmic Horror PodcastsCosmic Horror Podcasts

Some of my favorite podcasts focusing on Lovecraft and cosmic horror.

  • Miskatonic Musings

    While Lovecraftian fiction is often at the center of discussion, this podcast covers a wide variety of horror in general as well as other strange and often weird tangents.

  • People’s Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos

    This podcasts focuses on deeper dives into specific categories within the Cthulhu Mythos and cosmic horror.

  • Northwest Horror

    While not specific to Lovecraftian literature, the crew at NWH does excellent work exploring the ever expanding world of horror. (They also occasionally host a trivia night in Portland, OR. So if you’re ever in the area, check ’em out.)

  • The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast

    Chris and Chad take on a new story each week and get into the nitty gritty details. They also have some excellent readings available on their site.

  • The Black Tapes

    This serialized docu-drama follows Alex Reagan and Dr. Strand as they investigate a series of strange recordings, the titular Black Tapes.

  • Limetown

    Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women, and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. What happened to Limetown?

Other Cosmic Horror NovelistsCosmic Horror Novelists

This list could get long, so I will keep it to novelists of whom I have read and who’s books I’ve enjoyed. If there’s someone I missed (highly likely) or a writer that you’d like to recommend (also highly likely,) leave a comment! Links attached to the author’s name will go to their website or blog; book links will go to Amazon. (But you should buy from your local indie shop.) Also, don’t forget to leave a review!


This has been just a tiny sampling of the world of cosmic horror as it exists today. The genre hasn’t gone away. If anything, we see its influence grow more and more in all forms of popular culture. It has reached beyond books and into movies, table-top games, toys, comic books, television shows, and video games. The fundamental terror brought by the fear of the unknown and the creatures that lurk in spaces beyond is something that draws readers even today. So join me in wishing Cosmic Horror a lovely one-hundredth birthday! It’s been a great one hundred years, and here’s to a hundred more!

Cheers!


Did I miss something? Have a favorite writer, podcast, or small press house that I missed?Leave a comment and let us know!