May is almost over, and we near the end of that month in which this website first went online. Time for a brief review of what happened during this rainy, cold summer month and a preview of things to come. Welcome to May’s monthly roundup.
This month, issue #101 of VIRUS magazine was released by raptor publishing. This time I contributed two articles: A piece on creepy photo cameras in the “Haunted Technology” section and a short overview of the Disney+/STAR streaming service. I took the latter project as an opportunity to take a deeper look at the chaotic world of streaming. Every day, Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Sky and the like add new and old productions to their offerings, while other films and series quietly disappear from the program. For those who would like to have the occasional update on the horror streaming, recommendations can now be found through VIRUS‘ social media channels under the hashtag #Streamingdschungel (“streaming jungle”).
Meanwhile, I am already hard at work on articles for the next issue. Right now I’m working on a longer feature on queer horror, which I expect to be published in the July issue of VIRUS. Along the way, I am already sketching out ideas for many new articles.
My contribution to Lovecrafter, the club magazine of the German Lovecraft Society, is now also entering a hot phase. I am currently working on a longer article about settings in H. P. Lovecraft’s fictions which cannot be mapped. Tales such as At the Mountains of Madness or “The Temple” suggest that their settings are set in our real world; however, over the course of the story, characters and readers alike are transported to a terra incognita that cannot be accurately located on any world map. I have completed my research for this article. Now it’s time to write!
Two reviews written by me appeared on Zauberwelten-Online in May. The first reviewed the excellent German short story anthology Urban Fantasy: Going Intersectional; the second focused on the issue #42 of the magazine EXODUS, a bedrock of the German science fiction realm. A complete list of all my publications to date can be found here.
In May, the German Lovecraft Society’s working group “Kritische Auseinandersetzung” (“critical discussion”) met for the first time. As the somewhat clunky name of the group suggests, we are concerned with H. P. Lovecraft’s problematic views (xenophobia, anti-Semitism, etc.). The goal of the group is to make the Society’s position on the topic visible to the public and to advance the discourse on Lovecraft in the German-speaking world. So far, this very important topic remains underdiscussed in Germany; hopefully we can change that soon. I am both founder and current leader of the group.
Also, work on the planned edited volume “Lovecraft and Germany” is underway intensively. The CfP has been published and first abstracts are reaching me and my co-editors. The book is slowly taking shape – but many formal issues still need to be organized.
My personal highlight in May was the invitation to join the games podcast Stay Forever as a guest. Together with Gunnar Lott I talked about “The World of Lovecraft.” Among other things, we discussed what the Cthulhu Mythos actually is, how Lovecraft’s cosmic horror works, and how to talk about Lovecraft’s problematic views.
The book club of the German Lovecraft Society will meet for the second time on June 24. After discussing Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto during our first meeting, we will next take on Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers, 1852-1923 (eds. Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger). So far, I am really enjoying the read, and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with others.
In June, SuperVIRUS #24 will be published. This will be the second issue that is entirely written exclusively by me. The topic: 40 Years “Call of Cthulhu” – Pen-and-Paper Roleplaying Under the Star of the Great Old Ones. Subscribers to VIRUS magazine will receive this publication as a supplement along with issue #102 in July; those without a subscription can purchase SuperVIRUS through raptor publishing’s online store for a small price.
So much for the first monthly roundup. There was a lot going on in May and I was able to metaphorically get my hands dirty on numerous creative projects. Let’s see what June brings!