Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Beyond Lovecraft: Where My Money Meets My Mouth

There are 17 days left to contribute to the Beyond Lovecraft Indiegogo campaign.

I've never met Beyond Lovecraft's writer Jasper Bark except in cyberspace. He contacted me after I wrote a glowing (and deserved) review of his short story collection Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts to thank me. (As an important aside, Beyond Lovecraft's artist Rob Moran did the extraordinary chapter illustrations for Stuck on You.) 

Later, I reviewed Jasper's graphic novel Bloodfellas, which was an awesome piece of work. You'll note that Rob Moran also did the covers for Bloodfellas

Months later, Jasper asked me to help with the marketing and sales efforts on Beyond Lovecraft, and I was of course enthusiastic about the project: a great writer and a great artist working together on my favorite horror subgenre is definitely a match made in R'lyeh (so to speak). As a terrible cynic and rugged individualist I'm nobody's fanboy, but I knew I had to get in on the ground floor of a project like this. 

In addition to volunteering my time, I contributed to the campaign: I went for the Pickman's Model perk, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Rob transforms me into a Lovecraftian nightmare.

Finally, I have also donated a never-before-published short story to the project titled Beneath the Ziggurat, where Lovecraftian horrors, Spanish conquistadors, and Aztec natives collide. A short excerpt is included at the bottom of this post.

At the time of this writing there are 17 days left to donate to Beyond Lovecraft. If there was ever a time to contribute, it's now. What are you waiting for? The perks alone are worth the investment. Be part of something great, something made especially for you. 

Even if you're still on the fence, please share the link to the campaign: to get the word out. Thanks!

Beneath the Ziggurat
(an excerpt)

My hands shake, but that is due to age.  As my life creeps toward its end, the fear that has gripped me for decades has loosed its fingers.  See you the splashes of ink, the words that meander upon the page?  As I said, it is age.  I will die soon.  I should have no more to fear.

Matlaltemoc was the name given me on the fourth day after I emerged from my mother’s womb, shrieking as all newborns do in confusion, terror, and loss.  The date was 6 Acatl 1 Ehecatl 11 Malinalli, or, as Friar Rodrigo would have it, April 15, in the Year of Our Lord 1511.  The latter is the “correct” date, just as my name was “corrected” from Matlaltemoc to Mateo Alvarez, also thanks to Fr. Rodrigo.  I bear him no ill will.  What good would it do?  He is long dead, or worse.

For the most part the Spaniards have been good to us, we free people of Tlaxcala.  So they should: with our help, Hernán Cortés annihilated our hated enemies the Aztecs.  My father, Jaguar Warrior Itztli, died in the last siege of Tenochtitlan alongside hundreds of Tlaxcalans and at least a dozen Spaniards.  I remember little of him. 

Not long after the fall of the Aztec empire, the Franciscan friars came to save our souls.  Mictlantecuhtli , Xochiquetzal, Centeotl and all the rest of our gods were replaced with the gentle Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for our sins.  Fr. Rodrigo stayed in my village of Panotla to build a church and teach us Spanish.  At his end, he thought that Jesus, son of a greater God, would be stronger than what we found beneath the ziggurat.  

The palsy that causes my hands to tremble has increased.  Perhaps it is fear.  Shall I tell my tale, then?  No more dissembling?

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