Saturday, June 16, 2007

Department of Things That Will Never Be

A few years back, I edited a book called Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft for my then employer. It was well received, I think, and, I thought off and on about doing a second volume for the past six years. (Even with a pretty big book like Black Seas, there were plenty of good stories I couldn't include, and even more decent or interesting stories.)

So, sometime in the intervening years -- I don't remember exactly when -- I pulled down my Lovecraft books at home and sketched out a possible Table of Contents for a second volume. Given recent events, this is not a book that will ever have a real existence. But I can share that tentative list here, making it at least a virtual book. I probably would have dropped some stories, and possibly added others, if I'd ever gotten around to working on this seriously. Also, I bet it would have had to be cut for length, but...that's not a consideration now.

The title would have been some Lovecraft quote (as Black Seas of Infinity was from the famous opening paragraph of "The Call of Cthulhu"), but, again, I didn't get that far.

The first book was organized vaguely thematically, with stories in what seemed to me to be the best reading order. A second book would be more of a miscellany, so my initial plan was to organize it into sections -- and I'll present it that way.
Mythos Stories
The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Dunwich Horror
The Shunned House
The Music of Erich Zann
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Horror Stories
Cool Air
In the Vault
The Temple
From Beyond
The Tomb
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Moon-Bog
Herbert West -- Reanimator
The Hound
The Terrible Old Man
The Horror at Red Hook

The Last Test
The Electric Executioner
The Curse of Yig
The Horror in the Museum
Out of the Aeons

Dreamlands Stories
The Doom That Came to Sarnath
The Other Gods
Ex Oblivione
The Silver Key
Through the Gates of the Silver Key
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

Appendix A: Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction
Appendix B: Supernatural Horror in Literature
So there you are -- a book that will never exist. (And, honestly, it's no great loss -- there are at least half-a-dozen decent Lovecraft collections out there, so the world didn't really need another one with my name on it.)

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