Tag Archives: The Stars Were Right

Post related to The Stars Were Right, the first book in the Bell Forging Cycle, K. M. Alexander’s Lovecraftian urban fantasy series.

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! ❅
It's a Festivus Miracle! Buy The Stars Were Right Only 99¢

It’s a Festivus Miracle! Buy The Stars Were Right Only 99¢

No sense delaying the announcement so let’s get right to it. From today until January 7th (Auseil Day in Lovat) you can purchase eBook copies of The Stars Were Right for only 99¢. Yup, less than a buck. So telegram your friends, shout it from the rooftops, add it to your wish-lists, and tattoo it onto your pets. (Also, go leave a review.) Links to purchase below.

Kindle • Kobo • Nook • iBooks • GooglePlay • DRM-Free ePub

If you’re interested in gifting a copy (which is a brilliant idea, I must say, you’re very smart), there are a few stores that make it really easy. I’d recommend consulting my post from earlier this week: Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays. It has details on how one can buy eBooks as gifts.

Not bad, eh? Happy Holidays, roaders. Remember, Look West.

Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays

Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays

Thanksgiving is now behind us here in the States, which means we’re in full-on shopping mode. Every year I have people reach out to me asking how they can get my book for their friends and family. There are loads of ways, and hopefully, this post will serve as a helpful aggregate of all the gifting options.


Want Signed or Personalized Books?Want Signed or Personalized Books?

I have my own store where I sell and ship signed and personalized books. The deadline to order is December 9th, which is a Friday. Any orders past that won’t get to you in time. 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.


Ordering Paperbacks From an Online RetailerOrdering Paperbacks From an Online Retailer

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. (This also gives you a good reason to visit me at a con, where I am always happy to sign your books.)


Giving eBooks as GiftsGiving eBooks as Gifts

Did you know you can give eBooks as gifts? It’s true, there are options available at Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble. 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:

Sadly, Kobo and GoogleBooks do not have a gifting option. You’ll have to use a gift card and give your Kobo or GoogleBooks the streets of Lovat the old fashioned way. (Check out how Jen Chan gifted The Stars Were Right to a friend.)


I hope that clarifies the gifting options. 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 holidays!

Religion and Belief of Lovat

Faiths and Creeds of Lovat

Welcome to Wild Territories, the series where I delve into the expanded lore and explore the inspiration behind small little details scattered throughout my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle. These posts will be spoiler-free, but you’ll probably appreciate them more if you have read any of books in the series. You can buy them here.

In the last entry, we explored The Mysterious Shamblers of the Scablands, and I asked everyone to vote on what topic they would like me to explore in this entry. The votes are in, and in this piece ,we’re going to examine something a bit different. Please join me as we explore part three of Wild Territories: Faiths and Creeds of Lovat.



There is a lot of ground to cover and this is going to be a long article, so if there is a particular religion you’re interested in, use one of the links below to jump to that specific entry. At the end of each feature there will be a link to bring you back to this menu.

ReunifiedHasturianDeeperismDulodi
CurwenismMysticismEibonianism


The Reunified ChurchThe Reunified Church

Mentioned In: The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, Red Litten World
Known Members: Priestess Samantha Dubois, Hagen Dubois, Bishop Dubois
Places of Worship: Saint Mark’s (The Stars Were Right) (Pictured)

“The Reunified Church is as old as anything in our ancient world.”

—Waldo Bell, The Stars Were Right

Shortly after the Aligning, most of the fragmented denominations of earth’s former faiths were destroyed or significantly reduce in number. Under the caring and watchful leadership of Ebenezer Alvord, the dispersed congregations were eventually reunited under a single banner, The Reunified Church, eventually establishing a hierarchy of bishops, priests, monks, and nuns. Over the years, their influence widened as congregations began to crop up across the Territories. Missionaries, called Road Priests/Priestesses, crisscross the trails and highways riding small chapelwains pulled by teams of oxen. From these mobile churches, missionaries lead simple services, serve out rust wine, and hear confessions for small communities scattered throughout the Territories.

St. Mark's — Broadway Hill, Broadway Isle, Lovat
St. Mark’s — Broadway Hill, Broadway Isle, Lovat

Historically the Church had existed in Lovat since its rebirth. During the city’s tumultuous early years the Reunifieds were more militaristic and fought an extended religious war against the Hasturian Faith. These ‘Doctrine Wars’ lasted half a century, and as a result, many of the Reunified churches and cathedrals developed a fortress-like appearance. Walls and battlements ring the buildings and armed guards have been seen walking the walls, ever vigilant. While the church has become more peaceful in recent years, it still retains a small but powerful standing army, and Priest and Priestess alike are required to take self-defense classes.

Much of the Reunified faith is a continuation of its ancient Abrahamic religious heritage with a belief centered on a single divine deity. Since the Doctrine Wars, several splinter denominations have eventually spun away from the faith, notably the Reformed Movement, Salamshalla, Reunified Orthodoxy, and the Brethren. While core beliefs in each sect remain similar, overall, the church is considerably different from its pre-Aligning roots. Many of its post-Aligning practices, holidays, traditions, and saints would be unrecognizable to early pre-Aligning practitioners.

Today, many Lovatines respect the church, but Reunified history is not without controversy. While all sects of The Reunified Church openly welcome all species, that has not always been the case. Early in its formation, the church held to a strict human-only policy and banned non-human species from its services. The Purity Movement, a splinter sect of Reunified Brethren led by the charismatic Conrad O’Conner, claim to trace their roots back to the early Reunified Church and continues to preach human superiority and exclusion. Something the church and its sub-sects have vehemently disavowed.

An estimated 28.7% of Lovatines claim some connection with the Reunified Church making it the largest religious organization in the Territories.

↑ Back to Menu

The Hasturian FaithThe Hasturian Faith

Mentioned In: The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, Red Litten World
Known Members:
 Peter Black, August Nickel
Know Places of Worship: Carcosa Grove (The Stars Were Right)

“It’s all deplorable. Folks worshiping monsters, fish gods, squid, and then there’s those Hasturians.”

—Jeremiah Norry, Old Broken Road

Arriving with the emergence of the dauger sometime after the Aligning, The Followers of the Cold Shepherd, more commonly known as the Hasturian Faith, is structured similarity to the early Reunified Church. However, it is ‘Ministers’ not Priests or Priestesses who lead congregations and church members refer to one another as ‘sister,’ ‘brother,’ or the gender neutral ‘sibling.’

The faith centers on the worship of Hastur, a deity of some mystery. Hastur’s origins are strange, and the church’s religious text—The Pallidon—isn’t clear on the subject. Congregations are divided into two wings that teach two separate origins for their god; Monarchists preach that Hastur was once a king of a great golden city while the more Continue reading Faiths and Creeds of Lovat

A 2016 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

Last Saturday was the tenth anniversary of Lilac City Comicon, and I was lucky enough to be there along side my buddy Josh Montreuil. This was my second time at Lilac City and since last year they had expanded into a larger space and quite a few more fans showed up.

Lilac City Comicon - Photos #1As before it was a whirlwind of great people and an overall success for me. I had plenty of books left over from Norwescon [Read the Norwescon 39 Debriefing Here] and I sold a ton at Lilac City. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement. I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right. Which is AMAZING. Thank you to everyone who picked up a book, I left Spokane with a lighter trunk which is always a good thing.

Lilac City Comicon - Photos #2I could ramble on a bit, but let’s get to the highlights. That’s the fun stuff:

  • The cosplay. Carl, a friend of both Josh and myself, made an astute observation: at most cons you see like one person cosplaying for every ten people. But something about Lilac City really brings out the cosplayers. They were everywhere. There was probably one person cosplaying in every three, and the quality was incredible. (As you can see from the pictures.) Like last year, it was really difficult to choose which to feature. I took a ton of photos.
  • Obviously selling out of every copy of The Stars Were Right was a huge highlight. Spokane really loves my books, and I am both touched and grateful. There were a few people who came back later in the day wanting to buy a copy and unfortunately they had to go without. I’m in the process of replenishing my stock from my store, but there are plenty of places you can still pick it up. Hit the official site for The Stars Were Right where I link to a bunch of locations where it and other books in the Cycle are available.
  • Seeing my mom, dad, and little sister. Since this is a business trip, I don’t have much time to hang out with family. But it was good to see them even for a brief moment.
  • Spending time at the table with Josh Montreuil and watching him work. Josh is a fantastic comic book artist, and you should be following him on Tumblr. Seriously. Do it now; I’ll wait.
  • My adorable selfie with the Lich. What a guy.
  • Seeing some old friends. It’s been eight years since I moved westward, so it’s nice to catch up with folks and see how things are going.
  • Watching Josh work on his various sketch commissions. I saw the Grinch and his dog, Ben Grimm, and the always abriffic Doc Savage. (Who is due for his own reboot, let’s be honest.)
  • Ain’t going to lie, my table looked great.
  • I had several people who sought me out specifically after picking up and reading The Stars Were Right last year. Everyone was excited to experience more of ol’ Waldo Bell’s adventures, and I was happy to learn how much they loved the first book.
  • Big thanks to the guy who not only picked up Red Litten World but also bought the current set of The Bell Forging Cycle for his friend as well. As I said on Twitter, that means the world to us authors. Telling your friends about a writer’s work helps keep us writing.
  • My table was right next to fellow Seattle author Matt Youngmark, and it was great chatting with him throughout the day. Not only is Matt is good people, he’s also the creator of Chooseomatic Books, which is are choose-your-own-adventure novels for adults. They’re great fun and worth checking out.
  • The Steven Universe cosplayers (see above right) who sang a stirring rendition of the Steven Universe theme song at Matt’s request.
  • The Sprocket the Cat cosplay! (See below left.) If you don’t know Sprocket, he’s the mascot for Lilac City Comicon. It’s cool to see he’s got some fans.
  • The Post-Con Decompression Dinner—It’s nice to relax and have a few beers with fellow creatives after a convention. Thanks as always to Matt, Kevin, Peter, Jen, Lars, and Josh for letting me hang with them and eat Irish food, wax poetic about running a table, and crack stupid jokes.

Lilac City Comicon - Photos #3

I was really happy with my experience at Lilac City Comicon, and I am already planning and looking forward to attending next year. It’s a really welcoming crowd and it’s nice to see something like that in Spokane. Right now I don’t have any future appearances scheduled, but that could always change. You can keep track of where I’ll be and check out my previous conventions over on my Upcoming Appearances page.

Thanks for a great convention, Spokane!


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Come See Me at Lilac City Comicon

Come See Me at Lilac City Comicon

On May 14th, I’ll be attending one of my favorite conventions: Lilac City Comic Con in the distant hamlet of Spokane, Washington! It’s a fantastic event with a great crowd. And, just like last year, I’m happy to say I’ll once again be sharing a table alongside the incredibly talented artist: Josh Montreuil. Josh will be bringing a bunch of prints and will be taking sketch requests. You should come by and say hello!

My side of the table will be pretty full. I’ll be bringing copies of The Stars Were Right, Old Broken Road, and the latest book in the Bell Forging Cycle: Red Litten World. I’ll also have Bell Caravans patches as well as a ton of free swag (including those new stickers I posted about a few weeks ago.) Lilac City Comic Con isn’t really a ribbon convention, but I’ll have the Caravan Master, Roader, and Shambler ribbons that I brought with me to Norwescon. If you want to draw a ribbon from THE BOX OF CHOOSING™ just ask and I’ll be happy to let you try your luck. (Full details on the badge ribbons can be read here.)

Josh and I will be lording over our small empire at table D10, which is clearly the best table and there is none better. It is known. Use the map below to see where we’re at or look for the big Bell Forging Cycle banner. You can’t miss it.

Lilac City Comicon 2016 Map - Small

We had a great time last year, and I’m looking forward to LLC once again. There’s a ton of great and talented people participating; you can check out the full guest list and complete exhibitor list over at the official Lilac City Comicon site. So mark your calendars Spokane, I’ll see you there!