I did a cover reveal on Tuesday for Fearless: a dark tale from Innsmouth. This story is a novella based in the fictional seaport of Innsmouth. Those familiar with horror writing will recognise the name from HP Lovecraft’s Shadow over Innsmouth, a horror novella that contributes to the Cthulhu mythos. I’ve used the name Innsmouth because I do like the mythology that Lovecraft created and inspired and I wanted to experiment with some of the ideas his stories suggest.
As a writer I think it’s fair to say Lovecraft is more than problematic. His blatant racism makes some of his work an unpleasant read. Few people would argue against the claim that he was a xenophobic bigot and these reprehensible aspects of his personality almost made me step away from this project. However, just as we focus on the text of Alice in Wonderland rather than Lewis Carroll’s inappropriate relationship with young girls; or we read the text of Naked Lunch, rather than discuss William S Burroughs’ questionable choice in parlour games, I believe we read Lovecraft to appreciate the fantasy he created rather than condone his bigotry. Essentially this is separating the author from the text, just as so many fans of the Harry Potter stories have distanced themselves from JK Rowling following her contentious tweets about members of the trans community.
So, Fearless: a dark tale from Innsmouth is set in my own interpretation of Lovecraft’s seaport. It’s going to be the first in a series of novellas that explore different aspects of Innsmouth. The first story takes place in the halls of Innsmouth University and deals with a medical development where a very able student has made a remarkable discovery. I’ll be talking more about this novella over the next few days but, for now, I simply wanted to say: welcome to Innsmouth. We can look forward to some scary times here.