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The 2017 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

The 2017 Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide

December is just around the corner. That means it’s time for my annual Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide! Huzzah! As with previous years, here you can find the perfect curated gifts for the weird-fiction aficionado, cosmic horror fan, or mythos-lover in your life. (Perhaps something special for yourself. You need gifts too.) There’s a lot of great stuff on the list this year, and you’ll find something for all ages and budgets.

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 LINKS ❄️

Books • Music • Apparel • Games • Housewares • Miskatonic


❄️ BOOKS

Hammers on the BoneHammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw
$6.98 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $3.99 (eBook)
More a novella than a novel, Hammers on Bone introduces the reader to John Persons, a hardboiled private investigator hired by a ten-year-old to kill his abusive stepdad. But things aren’t what they seem, and Persons discovers the truth is much dark then he realized.


The Fisherman by John LanganThe Fisherman by John Langan
$11.08 (Paperback) $6.99 (Kindle)
Winner of the 2016 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. The Fisherman focuses on a pair of widowers, Abe and Dan, who have found solace in each others company and in fishing. Masterfully written, with an overhanging sense of dread laced with cosmic horror. The result is a sober and somber look at folklore and loss that is dripping with atmosphere.


Winter Tide by Ruthanna EmrysWinter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys
$14.29 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $15.99 (Paperback) $12.99 (eBook)
A twist on historical fiction, Emrys envisions a world where the once aquatic residents of Lovecraft’s Innsmouth were placed in internment camps far from their seaside homes. Emerging from the camps, Aphra Marsh finds herself critical to the government who imprisoned her as they struggle to keep mankind safe from total destruction.


Borne: A Novel by Jeff VanderMeerBorne: A Novel by Jeff VanderMeer
$14.30 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $10.40 (Paperback) $12.99 (eBook)
Not specifically Lovecraftian, but certainly weird. VanderMeer is back with a tale of biotech gone awry. In a broken future ruled by a giant bear, a strange creature discovered during a scavenging mission might just tip the balance of power and put people in jeopardy.


Red Litten WorldRed Litten World by K. M. Alexander
$15.00 + Free Shipping (Paperback) $4.61 (eBook)
In the third installment of my Bell Forging Cycle, Caravan Master and now Guardian Waldo Bell returns to the multileveled megalopolis of Lovat. Hired by a wealthy patron to investigate a ritual murder he finds himself once again thrust into a conflict that will lead him up into the cities blood-soaked spires.


Engines of the Broken World by Jason VanheeEngines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee
$16.99 + Free Shipping (Hardcover) $9.99 (Paperback) $7.09 (eBook)
This is a hard book to pin down. It’s not Lovecraftian, but the themes are there: ministers speak through animal avatars, mothers sing from beyond the graves, and the world is shrinking. There is a palpable sense of dread that carries the story, amplified by Merciful Truth’s wide-eyed innocence and her outlook on a world that is crumbling at its edges.


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


❄️ MUSIC & AUDIO

Allicorn's Into The Cold WasteInto The Cold Waste
£5.00 ($6.67 USD) (Digital Download)
Inspired by the Dream Cycle/Dreamlands from Lovecraft’s often ignored Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath, this album from Allicorn feels like the soundtrack for a movie that should exist. It’s haunting and vast, taking you on a journey that reaches from the deck of the White Ship to the spires of Ngranek itself.


The Dukes Of Alhazred by The Darkest of the Hillside ThicketsThe Dukes Of Alhazred by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
$10.00 CAD + Shipping (CD) $10.00 CAD (Digital Download)
After a decade the latest album from The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets has arrived and fans of the Lovecraftian themed stone rock band won’t be disappointed. It’s catchy, it’s weird, it’s cosmic horror rock. (Make sure to check out the instrumental track Erich Zahn, it’s quite good.)


The Picture in the House LP - PIGAFETTA'S JOURNAL VARIANTThe Picture in the House LP – PIGAFETTA’S JOURNAL VARIANT
$35.00 + Shipping
Cadabra Records specialize in limited presses of weird fiction audiobook records. Quality and details matter and they make sure the art and presentation are perfect for the collector. This latest release features Lovecraft’s The Picture in the House, read by the indomitable Andrew Leman and scored by the amazingly talented Fabio Frizzi.


The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft - Special EditionThe Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft – Special Edition
$75.00 + Shipping
New this year from the HPL Historical Society, this collection of all—yes, every single one—of Lovecraft’s audiobooks comes in its own neat USB stick featuring a silhouette portrait of the father of cosmic horror himself. Over 50 hours of Lovecraftian terror, perfect for your holiday.


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


❄️ APPAREL

NecronomiCon Providence Sigil PatchNecronomiCon’s Providence Sigil Patch
$3.00 + Shipping
Love patches and haven’t been able to attend NecronomiCon in Rhode Island? Well, Lovecraft Arts & Sciences’ still sell the con’s sigil as a patch. The patch combines the Eye of Providence with the Elder Sign and is embroidered with a gold metallic thread on a black 2″ patch.


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, just make sure the world knows who you roll with. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]


H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu Hard Enamel PinH.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu Hard Enamel Pin
$10.00 + Shipping
This Lovecraft Cthulhu hard enamel pin measures 1.5″ tall and comes in a deep green that makes the tentacles glisten!  Each pin comes on the backing card with a rubber clutch. (I recommend upgrading to a locking pin back.) Enamel pins aren’t your thing? The same design is available as teeshirts, stickers, and more.


Cthulhu's ChurchCthulhu’s Church Teeshirt
$30.00 + Shipping
I don’t feature many graphic tees. But this design from Gianni Corniola mimicking the style of stained glass you might find in a gothic church was stunning enough I felt it deserved a bit of attention. It’s a step above most cosmic horror tee shirts.


Cthulhu Idol Necklace (Brass)Cthulhu Idol Necklace
$31.95 + Shipping
Since the publishing of Call of Cthulhu, there has been a lot of Cthulhu idol designs. Everyone has their own vision of Uncle Angell’s horror in clay. This little pendant was a unique take. It’s subtle and effective, it feels ancient but it’s not overdesigned. The sort of thing you’d imagine someone driven to madness would create.


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.]


Cthulhu Silicone MaskCthulhu Silicone Mask
$750.00 + Shipping
Elevate your cosplay game with this terrifying realistic silicon mask sculpted by Andrew Freeman. Created with quality in mind this mask moves and jiggles with a stomach-churning reality. Comes in a variety of colors from “flesh” (pictured) to even stranger patterns. It’s the perfect mask to help you fully realize your character.


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


❄️ GAMES

Manimal SanctuaryManimal Sanctuary – iOS
Free! (Digital Download)
Hard to pin down, Manimal Sanctuary is not a game so much as it’s an experience. You play the role of a benevolent creature watching and devouring the emotion as you following the lives of several characters struggling in a world devoured by gibbering monstrosities. Worth the play. Available on Android. (Low-end VR platform like Google Cardboard required.)


Cultist SimulatorCultist Simulator
$14.00 (Digital Download)
Beginnings have to start somewhere, Alexis Kennedy (creator of Sunless Sea) explores the rise of a Lovecraft-esque cult in a strange little card game. I backed it on Kickstarter, played the Alpha, and fell in love. It’s engaging, its story and its world are rich and fresh, and I can’t wait for its release.


Sunless SkiesSunless Skies
$24.99 (Early Access Digital Download)
Failbetter Games takes the sequel to Sunless Sea from the endless night of Fallen London to the very stars themselves. For Queen and Country, you must explore the Victorian steam-punk skies of the High Wilderness as captain of your own spacefaring locomotive.


Resin Cthulhu Mini175mm Resin Cthulhu Miniture
€46.11 ($55.00 USD) + Shipping
Spice up your next tabletop gaming session with the greatest of great old ones. Spice up your players next encounter with The Revenant of R’lyeh, The Motivator of Madness, The Despair from the Deep, The One, The Only, Cthuuuuuullllhuuuuuu. [Crowd goes insane.]


Arkham Horror Premium FiguresArkham Horror Premium Figures
$62.91—$191.52 + Shipping
If you’re like me, you’re obsessed with the Arkham Horror line of boardgames from Fantasy Flight. (I’m a big fan of Mansions of Madness.) Like me, you might not have the time to paint their lovely little figures. Well, lucky for us, they offer a selection of premium painted figures.


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 Games


❄️ HOUSEWARES

Cthulelf!Cthulelf!
Free! (Digital Download)
Writer, cartoonist, and all-around rad person Kate Leth created this adorable little monstrosity for your home! As she says: “The old one rises from R’lyeh to wish you a merry and festive holiday season!” Print yours out and make your home a bit more festive. Check out Kate’s other work as well.


Innsmouth Olde AleInnsmouth Olde Ale
$13.00 (Per Six-Pack)
This holiday season, when you crack open a cold one, have yourself a ‘Gansett. The latest from Narragansett Brewing Company’s Lovecraft series is names after Innsmouth and is a toasty and malted English-style Olde Ale. Something you might find served in Gilman House perhaps?


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.]


Nightgaunt StatuetteNightgaunt Statuette
$25.00 + Shipping
Your bookshelf deserves this little guardian of Ngranek. If he protected the infamous mountain on the isle of Oriab deep within the Dreamlands then he can protect your hardcover collection. Let this little fella carry you away, the way his cousins carried away a young H.P. Lovecraft.


Handmade Cthulhu MugHandmade Cthulhu Mug
$40.00 + Shipping
Whether your drink is coffee, tea, beer, wine, or something a bit stronger don’t you believe your beverage of choice deserves a mug as unique as your interests? Why not pick up this (very) limited handmade Cthulhu mug featuring the great old one gripping a human skull in his mouth tentacles, then smugly challenge all beverages.


Eldritch PipesEldritch Pipes
Prices & Availability Varies
These gorgeous pipes come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. They are almost too beautiful to use with each shape being as unique as those who wield them. The pipe pictured is “The Cultist” and is sadly no longer available but there is always a rotating stock so keep your eyes peeled.


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


❄️ MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY

Miskatonic Challenge CoinAntarctic Expedition Challenge Coin
$25.00 + Shipping
Challenge Coins have been growing in popularity in fandom (I “blame,” 99% Invisible). So it only makes sense that the Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition be immortalized in a coin of its own. Make sure you have it on you, you never know who might call for a coin check.


Miskatonic University 1928 Lapel PinSterling Silver Miskatonic University 1928 Lapel Pin
$29.00 + Shipping
If you’re looking for something a bit on the fancy side, consider this 3/4″ sterling silver lapel pin from Badali Jewelry featuring the 1928 Miskatonic University seal. Also available as a tie-tack if you’re one of those people who is forced to wear ties unironically.


Miskatonic Varsity HoodieMiskatonic Varsity Zip Hoodie
$75.00 + Shipping
As a student of Miskatonic University, you’re proud of your alma mater. We all know it. So, why not wear your pride on your shoulders? This high-quality hoodie is the perfect way to show school spirit and comes with a varsity pin of your choice to celebrate your accomplishments.


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


❄️ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❄️

Do you have a book, game, or other Lovecraftian product I should feature in next years Lovecraft-Inspired Holiday Gift Guide? Leave a comment below or send me an email!


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Right in the Feelies

Right in the Feelies

Last weekend, I finished reading Aldous Huxley famous dystopian novel, Brave New World. It was as good as I remembered and was a pleasure to re-read it during in my “Year of Classics.” But, this isn’t a post about classic dystopian novels; this is a post about storytelling and swag. Say whhhaaaat?

Allow me to explain how I got here. Within the novel, Huxley references “feelies” a sort-of hybrid source of entertainment where all senses are stimulated. While musing over this, I decided to do a little research. So I quickly googled the term and was surprised to learn that “feelie” was not only a Huxley invention (or a college-rock band from the eighties) it was also a slang term used in video games, particularly for a type of swag.

Feelies included with Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Feelies included with Infocom’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

A feelie was the name given to the bonus content included with the boxed versions of video games in the late eighties and early nineties. Props, booklets, coins, runes, histories, cloth maps, and much more. These started with Infocom titles such as ZorkPlanetfall, and the game version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Now, I realize that tchotchkes or swag is common across a lot of industries, and it’s something that crops up in the book industry as well. Go to any convention and you’ll come away with a haul, bookmarks, pens, bottle openers, tote bags, stickers, rubber bracelets, flyers. It’s popular and plentiful. I always have loads of swag at my table; I know many other authors do as well. Swag in its most rudimentary form is effectively an advertisement; feelies go a step further. They add a little something extra.

For example, Brandon Sanderson sells vials of allomantic metals similar to the ones allomancers imbibe in his Mistborn series. Hugh Howey once gave away Fallout Shelter passes (that doubled as USB drives) from his Wool series. In my own work, you can picture the dust-covered roaders of Bell Caravans wearing patches while on the trail. You get extra information from Wal’s notes scrawled on the Map of the Known Territories. There are hints at the history of the city in the illustrations on the Syringa postcard. These details are what separates a feelie from typical swag, a good feelie helps to expand its world as well as enhance it, they assist in making a fictional world feel real, they establish it as a place you can touch.

Feelies included with Origin's Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Feelies included with Origin’s Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

I’ve been a big fan of this approach for a long time. To me, it’s another aspect of worldbuilding. Only instead of with writing you’re doing it with objects. The feelie reminds me of an alternate reality game, going beyond the page to establish a real-world presence for our fictional creations and increasing immersiveness. My books have always been seeded with a little something extra so why not carry that over to other outlets as well? I’ve scattered extra stuff throughout websites, in bookmarks, in posts on this blog, and on Tumblr. The Bell Caravan patches come with Caravan Employee Registration documentation, stamped by the Lovaine Caravan Authority, of course, and signed by Wal. (It’s also full of subtle little references.) I find this attention to details adds little extra for the reader who is willing to put in the time. There’s something very engaging when you introduce someone something tangible to connect them to a piece of fiction. To me, that is much more interesting than a tote bag or tee shirt with a book cover on it.

Bell Caravans Patch with Included Employee Registration Form
Bell Caravans Patch with Included Caravan Employee Registration Form

I’m cooking up a few new ideas as well, so there’s always more to come. I’ve been dreaming up feelies for my secret fantasy project, and I have some great ideas for the Coal Belly series, and The Bell Forging Cycle (as I mentioned, some of the latter is already out there, providing one is willing to put in the legwork to discover it.) I love making stuff associated with my world, and I love sharing those creations with readers. (I even give away swag packs for free.)

Now, how about you? What do you think of feelies? Do you prefer them to regular swag or do you find them silly? What has been your favorite feelie you’ve purchased or received? Are you a creator who has made something extra for your world? I’d love to see your creations, and I’m sure others would as well. Feel free to post a link in the comments and share them with all of us.

Old Broken Road Coming Soon!

Old Broken Road, 1 Week Old

Well, Old Broken Road has been out for one whole week! I’ve seen a few reviews crop up and that is always exciting. I hope everyone is enjoying the book. If you’ve finished, help me out by leaving an honest review either where you purchased the book or on Goodreads. (Or both!) Reviews help. A lot.

Those of you waiting for the Nook edition, fret not, the Nook version is out now. Yay! Eventually you’ll be able to buy the paperback from Barnes & Noble. It takes time though.

If you missed it yesterday, I now have Bell Caravan patches in my store. They’re  so incredibly awesome, you should get one for your jean jacket or bag or whatever. Check ’em out.

If you need a refresher on the places and people of the Territories universe you might want to consider hitting up the Fan Art board on Pinterest. A lot of amazing artists have taken the time to illustrate their vision of the world. (If you have your own art, send it to me!) Likewise check out the inspiration board I put together for Old Broken Road, it’ll give you a glimpse into the imagery I was inspired by as I wrote the book.

Finally, if you haven’t picked up your copy there’s a bunch of ways to do so! See the list at oldbrokenroad.com. Just click the button for your favorite eBook platform, or order a paperback. Paperbacks ordered through Amazon and on my store also include the eBook version for FREE, that way you don’t have to wait for the book to arrive to start reading.

I really appreciate you showing me so much support and I hope you are enjoying the book! Thanks for taking the time to take a trip down the Old Broken Road. There’s a whole lot more to come.