Monday, June 11, 2012

The Work is the Writer and the Writer is the Work: "Today I Write Lovecraftian" by Peter Rawlik

By next year, it will be nigh impossible to pick up an anthology of new Lovecraftian fiction without finding a Peter Rawlik story inside.  The phrase "successfully prolific" was invented to describe his blistering output, which seems to have no end in sight.  Some arrive on the scene.  Rawlik kicked in the door, shot up the joint, then sat down to a nice steak dinner.

I mean, feast ye febrile eyes on this bibliography, which isn't even complete, as a few as-yet-unannounced credits have been redacted to spare lives:

Published Fiction
“Urban Shaman” (poem) in SFSFS Shuttle #119, May/June 1995
“Take Me Home” in SFSFS Shuttle #121, September/October 1995
“Requiem for Leibowitz” (poem) in SFSFS Shuttle #124, March/April 1996
“On the Far Side of the Apocalypse” in Talebones #7, 1997
“Fashion Thing” in SFSFS Shuttle #136, September/October 1998
and in Ibid #105, Winter 1998/99
“The Tale of the Horn Gate” in Tropicon XVII Program Book, 1998
“A History of Miskatonic Valley Part One” in Crypt of Cthulhu #104 (19/2), 2001
“The Masquerade in Exile” in Tales of the Shadowmen 7 Femme Fatales, Black Coat Press, 2010; also as “La Mascarade Oubliee” in Los Compagnons de L’Ombre 8, Black Coat Press, 2011
“Here be Monsters” in Dead but Dreaming 2, Miskatonic River Press, 2011
“All the Other Reindeer” in Morpheus Tales Christmas Horror Special, December 2011
“In the Hall of the Yellow King” in Future Lovecraft, Innsmouth Free Press, November 2011, also reprinted in Future Lovecraft, Prime Books August 2012
“Before the War, Five Dragons Roar” in Tales of the Shadowmen 8 Agents Provocateur, Black Coat Press, 2011
“The Last Communion of Allyn Hall” in Horror for the Holidays, Miskatonic River Press, 2011
“A Man of Letters” in Innsmouth Magazine, February 2012
“The Statement of Frank Elwood” in Urban Cthulhu, Nightmare Cities, H. Harksen Productions, 2012

Fiction Accepted for Publication
“The Thing in the Depths” in Lovecraft Ezine 2012
 “The Statement of Frank Elwood” in Worlds of Cthulhu, Fedogan & Bremer, 2012
“Journal of Thomas Gedney” in Worlds of Cthulhu, Fedogan & Bremer, 2012
“North of the Arctic Circle” in Undead and Unbound, Chaosium, 2012
“The Battle of Arkham” in Eldritch Chrome, Chaosium 2012
“Looking for Joey Shoggoth” in Techno-Goth Cthulhu, Red Skies Press, 2012
“Pickman’s Marble” with Mandy Rawlik in Lovecraft Ezine 2012
“Under the Mountains of Madness” in Over the Mountains of Madness, Dark Quest Press 2012
“Amongst the Stars I Dream” poem in Anno Klarkash-Ton edited by Glynn Barrass, P’Rea Press 2013
“Facts in the Case of Dr. Rafael Munoz” in Tales of the Weird and Uncanny # 3 edited by Steve Lines, 2012

I'm winded just reading that list, and feel my fingers and wrist throb as the combined word count stretches to the stratosphere (and nearly wore out my mouse linking all those suckers).

Anyway, I don't post this to make the rest of you feel bad for your - and our - sluggish scribbling pace, but I just wanted to give some context on this talented writer who has burst from the shadows to shake down the dead stars and look for clues, and to post something he whipped up last week that I thought was creative and pretty cool:

So, I wrote this piece a few weeks ago. It is completely unmarketable, but so frigging fun, feel free to share it, but please give me credit.

Apologies for any sleights in advance to AKS, Joe Pulver, Thomas Ligotti, Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, T. E. Grau, Robert M. Price, Caitlín Rebekah Kiernan, Peter Straub, Michael Cisco, Simon Strantzas, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Colin Wilson, Karl Edward Wagner, Stan Sargent, Lin Carter, Franklyn Searight, Peter Worthy, Gary Myers, Scott David Aniolowski, Don Webb, Michael Shea, Dan Harms, Glynn Owen Barrass, Brian M. Sammons, David Conyers, John Sunseri, Charles Stross, John Tynes, David Drake, Peter Cannon, Pierre Comtois, TED Klein, David Langford, Robert Weinberg, Laird Barron, Donald Wandrei, William Jones, James Ambuehl and ST Joshi.

Today I Write Lovecraftian 
By Pete Rawlik

I Schwader through the morning (w)rite; short, vivid lines that merge and grow into sharp paragraphs that cut with mythic iconography and unsettling imagery. My eyes are cloudy and my hands unsure as they try to caress something out of the page. Things get better after java and nicotine, and the page Pulverizes into stream of consciousness, odd punctuations and words with far too many consonants. It’s a frenetic pace, unsustainable, chaotic, and filled with alien memes and literary allusions, uncomfortable metaphors and unwelcoming truths! When I finally find my Ligotti it’s a welcome relief. The page fills with language, forgotten vocabulary and loquacious delights. The text is rich, dark and liquid, a molasses of verbal virality that infects and festers in the mind. The intertextual prions highjack my precious literary coding and force it to spawn, replicate, a miscegenetic mutation and transformation. I shudder free of my metatextual cocoon and spend the late morning as Pugmire. The words become self-reflexive, the page a corrupting mirror, aged yellow with decadence, and (in all senses of the word) queer.

Lunch, and I Grau through a post-food coma until I am able to Joshi through a rather difficult paragraph. As the drowse wears away I Price back and forth until I can Kiernan into something prevalent with ghouls, but is neither the horrific nor the literary meta-fiction others so hungrily desire. It is instead meta-fantastic, and I dip into Straub before sashaying into a bit of late afternoon Cisco, with all its flash and lilting beats. I try to slow things down, make myself a Bailey’s, and that slides me into a slow introspective Strantzas that gives way to Campbell before sputtering into a Lumley. I linger there, filled with the cool comfort of alien vampires and psychic nemeses. At some point I play with Wilson, but I fall into psycho-babble and pseudo-sociology that leaves the pages dry and sterile. There is meaning here, I just can’t find it. Self-doubt creeps in; I pause and find a bottle to crawl into. I spend twenty minutes pulling a Wagner before I come back to the desk feeling my Sargent rise. 

Dusk, and I Carter through an homage that could easily be parody before I Searight a steak. Post-partum I search for my inner Myers but instead find myself Worthy. It doesn’t last long and soon I’m Aniolowskied on the couch, caught in a Webb of Shea and Harms. I Jones my way back, and find myself Barrass and Sammons with a dash of Conyers. I Sunseri a few pages, but they end up all Stross and Tynes and I have to Drake through the last chapter. Suddenly I catch my stride and Cannon off five thousand words before I Comtois in front of the television. The evening news is a Weinberg, and I end the day drifting into a blissful Klein. As I Langford myself to sleep, an Ambuehl of Scotch in my hand, my mind Wandreis, and I find comfort in the blissful Barrony of sleep.

The Writing Rawlik, when not squinting into a computer screen and melting down a keyboard


  1. That was quite amusing, thanks for sharing this with the uninitiated. I was a bit taken back with the story and not sure whether I ought to Rawlik it or love it?

  2. I think you're supposed to lather yourself up with it and take off into the woods.

  3. It was just something that seeped in in the wee hours and wouldn't let itself go. Seemed a shame not to share it. I never expected it to be making the rounds

    1. Well Pete, the rounds it is making, from sea to shining sea. Thanks again for letting me share.

  4. Hey, why isn't Fedogan and Bremer listed as an approved publisher?
    Dennis Weiler

    1. Because I'm notoriously slow at updating. :)

      Rectified, and thanks for the heads up. I should probably do a complete update of all links this weekend.

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  6. Thanks, anonymous raspberry ketoner!

  7. Any hopes of ever seeing part two of your splendid "History of the Miskatonic Valley"?

  8. Thank you for putting together all of Rawlik's works. I was now searching for "Journal of Thomas Gedney".