Nyctalops

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Zine
Title: Nyctalops
Publisher: Silver Scarab Press
Editor(s): Harry O. Morris and (from the 4th issue on) Edward P. Berglund
Date(s): 1970-1983, 1991
Medium: print
Size: 8.5x11
Fandom: H.P. Lovecraft, Cthulhu Mythos, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, weird fiction and horror
Language: English
External Links:
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Nyctalops was a Cthulhu Mythos zine focused on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert Bloch. It was published by Harry O. Morris and Edward P. Berglund in 1970-1983; one final issue was published in 1991. There were nineteen issues. At first it was strictly non-fiction and dedicated to literary criticism, but also started publishing fiction (mostly poetry) later on, after Edward P. Berglund became an editor. It also published letters of comment. With time the zine widened its scope, beginning to explore other themes besides Cthulhu Mythos, and acquired its emblematic slightly surrealist style.

The title possibly was based on the poem by Clark Ashton Smith. "Nyctalops" (plural nyctalopes) means a person who has nyctalopia. Also called "night blindness", nyctalopia is a condition characterized by impaired vision in the dim light or in the darkness.

Nyctalops is one of the most well-known zines in the Lovecraft fandom and has a cult status among the fans.

Contributors included many famous authors such as Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell, Wilum Pugmire, Brian Lumley, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Darrell Schweitzer, T. E. D. Klein, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Thomas Ligotti (whose stories first appeared in this zine before he became a published author). The zine also reprinted some works by famous authors such as Clark Ashton Smith, Jean Cocteau and Lafcadio Hearn.

Nyctalops featured art by Harry O. Morris, Herb Arnold, Thomas G.L. Cockroft, Mike Garcia, Mark Gelotte, Brad Foster, Tim Kirk, Jim Pitts, Steve Riley, Denis Tiani, Helmet Wenske, and Walt Simonson.

The zine was published in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

Editor's Comments

In May of 1970 when the first issue of Nyctalops was published, I had been reading and collecting Lovecraft for about six years; and had been involved slightly or at least knew about the existence of fandom for about five years. So, combining the two intersts I came up with a fanzine about Lovecraft. The first issue of Nyctalops is pretty terrible, being written completely by myself and only containing 12 pages of a print run of 100. The reaction to the first issue was not so great, though the letters I did get were enthusiastic about the idea if not the issue. Eddy Bertin from Belgium sent me a lot of his HPL material which had appeared in England to reprint, which gave me the inspiration and material to keep the magazine going for the next two issues. He also put me in contact with E. P. Berglund, whose interest and enthusiasm helped keep the magazine alive. Things really begin to pick up after the third issue was published. [1]

Reactions and Reviews

There were many major Lovecraft fanzines published in the ’70s and ’80s, before the Internet took over all that action. The two longest-running and most influential were probably Robert Price’s “Crypt of Cthulhu” and S.T. Joshi’s (well, it felt like it was Joshi’s) “Lovecraft Studies.” Possibly the most beautiful and far-reaching of them all was “Nyctalops”, published by Harry O. Morris, which started as a pretty straightforward Lovecraft zine (or so I guess; the early issues are really hard to find) and mutated into a zine about surrealist and other forms of dark non-splatter horror, which published, as far as I’m aware, the first work of Thomas Ligotti. [2]
Nyctalops was an excellent magazine. I didn't start reading TL until the early 90s, so I missed out on this publication while it was in print. I only acquired these magazines much later because of my weakness for illustrated fiction, and I wanted to see how TL's stories were illustrated. The art for this story is especially striking. The letters were just an added bonus. [3]

Nyctalops was more experimental and artistic.

This where I first read Ligotti and saw Potter's images.

Editor Harry O Morris was no slouch, either.

Both Whispers and Nyctalops (earlier issues) had excellent "Letters" sections with comments from old timers. [4]
Hanging around with Leslie Hall, soon resulted in meeting Harry O. Morris, who had been working on similar art projects. That is when I first found out about his Lovecraftian zine, Nyctalops, which is now considered a classic. <...> What really amazed me was the quality of the art and writing that these “unknowns” were creating for Nyctalops, which Harry was publishing himself (as the Silver Scarab Press). [5]
NYCTALOPS was the most progressive, important, and avant-garde publication of all the Lovecraft- influenced fan-magazines of its time. Harry O. Morris Jr. himself was a talented artist, writer and publisher. NYCTALOPS was the launching pad for some important authors and poets. Morris was a kind and supportive voice to many, including me. I believe he is still active as an artist. He deserves the thanks of anyone who values the works of H.P. LOVECRAFT. [6]

Issue 1

Cover of the issue #1 by Harry O. Morris
Lovecraft's portrait on the back cover of the issue #1
Art from the issue #1

Nyctalops #1 was published in May 1970. It contained the essay The Strange Lands of Clark Ashton Smith by Harry Morris. The issue had 12 pages. There were 100 copies printed.

Issue 2

Cover of the issue #2 by Harry O. Morris
Portrait of Clark Ashton Smith on the back cover of the issue #2

Nyctalops #2 was published in October 1970. The issue had 24 pages.

Contents

  • Eddy C. Bertin. H.P. Lovecraft Did Not Write SF... By His Own Standards (article) p. 3
  • Robert Weinberg. Robert E. Howard and the Cthulhu Mythos (essay) p. 6
  • Harry Morris. H.P. Lovecraft: A Story Listing (Part 1 of 3) p. 7

Issue 3

Cover of the issue #3 by Harry O. Morris, illustration for the Lovecraft's story The Dreams in the Witch House
Back cover of the issue #3, an illustration for the Lovecraft's story The Whisperer in Darkness by Eddy Dertin

Nyctalops #3 was published in February 1971. The issue had 30 pages.

Contents

  • Harry Morris. Lovecraft on Tape (article) p. 3
  • Eddy C. Bertin. H.P. Lovecraft: The Critics (article) p. 4
  • Edward P. Berglund. Further Addenda to H.P.L. Story Listing p. 8
  • Harry Morris. H.P. Lovecraft: A Story Listing (Part 2 of 3) p. 9
  • A Listing of Some Lovecraft Manuscripts p. 13
  • Eddy C. Bertin. The Walkers (poem) p. 14

Issue 4

Cover of the issue #4, an impression of Nyarlathotep by Harry O. Morris
Back cover of the issue #4, portrait of Lovecraft by Eddy C. Bertin
Table of contents of the issue #4, the art by Harry O. Morris

Nyctalops #4 was published in June 1971. The issue had 44 pages.

Contents

  • Eddy C. Bertin. The Cthulhu Mythos: A Review and Analysis p. 3
  • Walter C. DeBill, Jr.. R'lyeh (poem) p. 7
  • Kenneth Scher. You Can't Tell the Players Without a Program (essay) p. 8
  • Edward P. Berglund. Addenda to H.P.L. Story Listing p. 21
  • Harry Morris. H.P. Lovecraft: A Story Listing (Part 3 of 3) p. 25
  • James H. Lawson, IV. Perhaps the Elder Gods (story) p. 28

Issue 5

Nyctalops #5 was published in October 1971. It had 62 pages.

Back cover of the issue #5, portrait of August Derleth

Contents

  • Robert Weinberg. H.P. Lovecraft and Psuedomathematics (essay) p. 3
  • Eddy C. Bertin. The Followers of Cthulhu (article) p. 5
  • Edward P. Berglund. Addenda to H.P.L. Story Listing III p. 13
Cover of the issue #5 by Harry O. Morris
  • Eddy C. Bertin. Something's Eating My Brain (poem) p. 17
  • George Laking. The Well (poem) p. 18
  • Dave Szurek. The Frog at Midnight (poem) p. 19
  • Steve Eng. The Elder Fear (poem) p. 19
  • Richard L. Tierney. The Garret-Room (poem) p. 19
  • Daniel K. Shenandoah. What Scared Professor Peaslee? (article) p. 20
  • John Jacob. And When Blood Touches Blood... (story) p. 22
  • Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.. The Lovecraft Fiction Manuscripts: A Listing (Part 1 of 2) p. 28
  • Edward P. Berglund. Foreign Publication of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (article) p. 42

Issue 6

Cover of the issue #6 by Denis Tiani
A page from the issue #6

Nyctalops #6 was published in February 1972. It had 48 pages.

Contents

  • Marion Zimmer Bradley. The (Bastard) Children of Hastur (article) p. 3
  • Dave Szurek. Night Oath (poem) p. 6
  • George Laking. Fomalhaut Is Rising (poem) p. 7
  • Alan Gullette. The Colour Out of Cygnus (essay) p. 8
  • Glenn Lord. The Sign of the Dragon-Fly (essay) p. 10
  • Gary Harrison. Summons from R'Lyeh (poem) p. 11
  • Darrell Schweitzer. Lovecraft on Television (article) p. 12
  • Richard L. Tierney. Evil Dreams: Sonnets of the Outer Dark (poem) p. 23
  • Walter C. DeBill, Jr.. Homecoming (story) p. 30
  • Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.. The Lovecraft Fiction Manuscripts: A Listing (Part 2 of 2) p. 35

Issue 7

Cover of the issue #7, portrait of Clark Ashton Smith by Tim Kirk
Inner side of the cover by Steve Riley
Back cover of the issue #7, self-portrait by Clark Ashton Smith
Inner side of the back cover

Nyctalops #7 was published in August 1972. This issue was focused on Clark Ashton Smith and featured, besides the works written for the zine, some reprints of his stories and art. It had 100 pages.

Contents

  • Clark Ashton Smith. Nyctalops (poem) p. 4
  • Marvin R. Hiemstra. Five Approaches to the Achievement of Clark Ashton Smith, Cosmic Master Artist (essay) p. 6
  • Mike Glyer. Through Space and Time with CAS (essay) p. 13
  • Roger Bryant. The Return of the Sorcerer (article) p. 18
  • Charles S. Wolfe. CAS: A Note on the Aesthetics of Fantasy (essay) p. 20
  • Sam Sackett. The Last Romantic (essay) p. 23
  • Roger Bryant. The Fading Red Sun of Zothique (article) p. 26
  • Alan Gullette. The Artist: An Adulation (poem) p. 27
  • E. Hoffmann Price. Clark Ashton Smith Natal Horoscope p. 28
  • Dennis Rickard. Drugs and Clark Ashton Smith (article) p. 31
  • Richard L. Tierney. «The True Protest Is Beauty» (essay) p. 33
  • Charles Richard Grose. Eroes and the Ghoul: Necrophilia in the Prose and Poetry of Clark * Ashton Smith (essay) p. 34
  • Richard L. Tierney. Fulfillment (poem) p. 36
  • Darrell Schweitzer. In Zstharan (poem) p. 37
  • Gary Drake. Exordium (poem) p. 38
  • Gary Drake. Sunset in Atlantis (poem) p. 38
  • Gary Drake. Skulls of Purple (poem) p. 40
  • Gary Drake. The Caravan of Seven Camels (poem) p. 42
  • Gary Drake. The Elephant of Onyx (poem) p. 42
  • Gary Drake. The Throne of Cthulhu (poem) p. 44
  • Walter C. DeBill, Jr.. The Oldest Dreamer (poem) p. 47
  • Charles Richard Grose. Tsathoggua (poem) p. 51
  • Tom G. L. Cockcroft. Some Bibliographic Notes on CAS (article) p. 60
  • Stuart David Schiff. In Search of a Smith Library (essay) p. 68
  • George F. Haas. Memories of Klarkash-Ton (essay) p. 70
  • Robert Bloch. A Visitor from Averoigne (essay) p. 75
  • Frank Belknap Long. The Poetry of Clark Ashton Smith (article) p. 76
  • Rah Hoffman. The Arcana of Arkham-Auburn (article) p. 77
  • Clark Ashton Smith. Excerpts from The Black Book p. 82
  • Clark Ashton Smith. The Mime of Sleep (poem) p. 83
  • Clark Ashton Smith. Amor (poem) p. 84
  • Clark Ashton Smith. To the Daemon (prose poem) p. 85
  • Clark Ashton Smith. The Forbidden Forest (prose poem) p. 85
  • Clark Ashton Smith. The Mithridate (prose poem) p. 85
  • Richard L. Tierney. Richard L. Tierney: His Book (article) p. 86
  • Charles Richard Grose. The Seventh Wine of Xalamundo (story) p. 89
  • Alan Gullette. The City of Outcasts (story) p. 91
  • Stanley Wiater. Three Prose Poems (for K.A.M.H.)
  • Stanley Wiater. Harunonn's Madness (prose poem) p. 93
  • Stanley Wiater. The Ill-Fated Lovers (prose poem) p. 93
  • Stanley Wiater. Confession to Ccathaii (prose poem) p. 93
  • Robert Weinberg. The Conquest of Yondo (story) p. 94
  • Letter to Clark Ashton Smith postmarked July 22, 1933 by Robert E. Howard p. 96
  • Notes on Our Contributors p. 97
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. To Clark Ashton Smith (poem) p. 99

Issue 8

Photo of Lovecraft on the cover of the issue #8

Nyctalops #8 was published in April 1973. It had 68 pages.

Contents

Back cover of the issue #8, Azathoth and Nyarlathotep by Randall Spurgin
  • Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Early Years (Part 1 of 3) (article) p. 3
  • Graham Pryor. H.P. Lovecraft and the Science of Poe (essay) p. 16
  • Brian Lumley. Pesh-Tlen (poem) p. 17
  • Lewis Sanders. Night Dancers (poem) p. 17
  • George T. Wetzel. A Lovecraft Profile (essay) p. 18
  • Tom G. L. Cockcroft. Random Notes (article) p. 20
  • Tom G. L. Cockcroft. Articles About H.P. Lovecraft in Amateur Journals (article) p. 20
  • Darrell Schweitzer. 'Hastur Is a Place'!! (article) p. 22
  • R. Alain Everts, Phillips Gamwell. The Death of a Gentleman: The Last Days of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (article) p. 24
  • Eddy C. Bertin. Waiting in the Dark (poem) p. 25
  • Richard L. Tierney. The Evil House (poem) p. 33
  • Helmut Wenske: A Portfolio of Recent Works with Notes p. 34
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. A Report from Clark Ashton Smith Country (article) p. 38
  • L. Sprague de Camp. The Ghost of H.P.L. (poem) p. 39
  • James Taylor. Arthur Machen: Forgotten Master of Fantasy (essay) p. 40
  • Bruce Walker. The Witchery of Robert Bloch (essay) p. 43
  • R. Alain Everts. Mrs. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (article) p. 45
  • David J. Brown. The Search for Lovecraft's «Outsider» (essay) p. 46
  • T. E. D. Klein. The Paintings of Hieronymous Bosch (poem) p. 48
  • T. E. D. Klein. The Father of the Witch (poem) p. 48
  • Alan Gullette. The Horror from Yith, Part I: The Shadow from Yith (story) p. 49
  • R. Alain Everts. Le Voyageur (poem)

Issue 9

Cover of the issue #9 by Denis Tiani
Table of contents of the issue #9
From the issue #9

Nyctalops #9 was published in July 1974. It had 52 pages.

Contents

  • Dirk W. Mosig. The Four Faces of the Outsider (article) p. 4
  • John J. Koblas. In Search of Yig (essay) p. 11
  • Walter C. DeBill, Jr.. The Horror from Yith (story) p. 13
  • R. Alain Everts. Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Sex (essay) p. 19
  • Portfolio II by Helmut Wenske p. 20
  • Artfolio by Mike Garcia p. 28
  • R. Alain Everts. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Photographs (essay) p. 32
  • Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Early Years (Part 2 of 3) (article) p. 34
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. Rain Magic (poem) p. 49
  • G. Sutton Breiding. The White Peacocks (poem) p. 49
  • Darrell Schweitzer. Changeling (poem) p. 49
  • Richard L. Tierney. Homesickness (poem) p. 49

Issue 10

Cover of the issue #10 by Randall Spurgin
Back cover of the issue #10 by Helmut Wenske
Table of contents of the issue #10

Nyctalops #10 was published in February 1975. It had 54 pages.

Contents

  • Robert Weinberg. Lovecraft in Astounding Stories (article) p. 3
  • Mike Garcia Portfolio p. 6
  • Rob Hollis Miller. Lovecraft and Satanism (essay) p. 9
  • Richard Mills. Caverns of the Soul (essay) p. 12
  • Steve Eng. Machen and Me (essay) p. 15
  • Scott Connors. The Riddle of The Black Seal (article) p. 16
  • Darrell Schweitzer. Character Gullibility in Weird Fiction, or Isn't Yuggoth Somewhere in Upstate New York (essay) p. 19
  • George T. Wetzel. Genesis of the Cthulhu Mythos (essay) p. 21
  • Roger Bryant. The Alchemist and the Scientist (essay) p. 26
  • John J. Koblas. A Search for Rick's Lake (essay) p. 30
  • Ted Pons. Beneath the Dunes (story) p. 32
  • G. Sutton Breiding. (untitled poem) (poem) p. 36
  • Richard L. Tierney. A Vision on a Mid-Summer Night (poem) p. 37
  • G. Sutton Breiding. Love Song (poem) p. 37
  • David E. Schultz. Cthulhu (poem) p. 37
  • Joseph Payne Brennan. Epitaph for Earth (poem) p. 37
  • L. Sprague de Camp. Fiction (poem) p. 37
  • Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.. Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Early Years (Part 3 of 3) (article) p. 46
  • Tom G. L. Cockcroft. Index to the Not at Night Series p. 54
  • Neal Wilgus. Incantation (стихотворение) p. 54

Reactions and Reviews

[Cover art] Isn't that a great illustration? Just staring at it makes me want to take up my pen (or, as in these days, my keyboard) and write Lovecraftian horror. [7]

Issue 11/12

Cover of the issue #11/12 by Jim Pitts
Back cover of the issue #11/12 by Danis Tiani
Art from the issue #11/12, The Idol of Chaugnar-Faugn by A.B. Cox

Nyctalops #11/12 was published in April 1976. It had 126 pages.

Contents

  • Frank Belknap Long, Darrell Schweitzer. An Interview with Frank Belknap Long (interview) p. 5
  • E. Hoffmann Price. A Letter in Regards Lovecraft p. 9
  • J. Vernon Shea. The Circle Manqué (poem) p. 14
  • George T. Wetzel. The Dream-Gate and Other Matters (essay) p. 15
  • Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Suzanne (poem) p. 16
  • Clay Shawb. non-life (poem) p. 16
  • Joe Moudray. Three Approaches to «The Fall of the House of Usher» (essay) p. 19
  • Gary Warne. Five Faces of Fear (essay) p. 21
  • R. Boerem. A Lovecraftian Nightmare (essay) p. 22
  • William A. Conder. This Man from Providence (poem) p. 24
  • Jim Pianfetti. A Spinner of Tales (poem) p. 24
  • James Wade. Revisionist Sonnet (poem) p. 28
  • Dale Nelson. In Carcosa (poem) p. 32
  • Leon W. Malinofsky. Lyric (poem) p. 32
  • Meade H. Frierson, III. Submission of the Worms (poem) p. 32
  • William Scott Home. Eine Kleine Machen-Musik (article) p. 33
  • Clark Ashton Smith. O Golden-Tongued Romance (poem) p. 49
  • Allene Phy. Master Donald Sidney-Fryer and Baudelaire (essay) p. 50
  • John C. Moran. Observations Upon... (article) p. 56
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. Biography of Donald Sidney-Fryer (article) p. 57
  • Frederick J. Mayer. An Interview with D.S.F. (interview) p. 58
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. The Minor Chronicles of Atlantis (story) p. 60
  • Don Herron. A Key to «The Little Booke» (essay) p. 64
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. The Atlantis Fragments: Some Textual Corrections p. 66
  • Charles S. Wolfe. Romantic Synergy (essay) p. 67
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. Cosmic Troubadours (article) p. 70
  • Dennis Rickard. The Matter of Atlantis (article) p. 73
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. The Spenser Experiment (статья) p. 74
  • Michael J. Fantina. Upon Reading Songs & Sonnets Atlantean (poem) p. 80
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. A Defense and Illustration of One Poetic Method (essay) p. 81
  • G. Sutton Breiding. San Francisco (poem) p. 88
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. Arthur Machen and King Arthur: Sovereigns of Dream (article) p. 89
  • G. Sutton Breiding. The Dancer from Atlantis (poem) p. 122

Issue 13

Cover of the issue #13 by Leslie Hall
Back cover of the issue #13 by John Steward

Nyctalops #13 was published in May 1977. It contained interviews, fiction, poetry and articles by, among others, Brian Lumley, T.E.D. Kline, John Taylor Gatto, Patti Smith, William Scott Home and art by Bukku Be Zaro, Leslie Hall, Bill McCabe, Johann Peterka. It had 50 pages.

Contents

  • John Taylor Gatto. Lovecraft and the Grotesque Tradition (essay) p. 6
  • Michael A. Aquino. Lovecraftian Ritual (essay) p. 13
  • Barton Levi St. Armand. The Source for Lovecraft's Knowledge of Borellus (essay) p. 16
  • Keith Allen Daniels. The Edifice (poem) p. 17
  • T. E. D. Klein. Ramsey Campbell: An Appreciation (article) p. 19
  • G. Sutton Breiding. Halloween Arcane (poem) p. 26
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. Overtaken (poem) p. 26
  • Patti Smith. Who Am I (poem) p. 26
  • ASFS. An Exquisite Corpse SF Story (short story) p. 27
  • Brian Lumley. Nyctalops (poem) p. 28
  • Neal Wilgus. Synchronicity (poem) p. 28
  • Alan Gullette, Bil McCabe, Harry Morris, Jill Morris. Exquisite Corpse Poem (poem) p. 28
  • William Scott Home. What's in the Nom? (article) p. 34
  • Michael Barrett, David Sutton. Latter Day Lovecraftian (essay) p. 38
  • Bil McCabe. My Stomach Writes... (poem) p. 45
  • Bil McCabe Portfolio p. 46

Issue 14

Cover of the issue #14 by Stephen Fabian
Back cover of the issue #14 by Stephen Fabian
Table of contents from the issue #14
Pages from the issue #14
Pages from the issue #14

Nyctalops #14 was published in March 1978. It had 54 pages.

Contents

  • Harry O. Morris. Arcanum p. 2
  • Dirk W. Mosig. Innsmouth and the Lovecraft Oeuvre: A Holistic Approach (article) p. 3
  • Eddy C. Bertin. Through Europe's Hall of Literary Terror (article) p. 6
  • Richard G. Huber, Jr. Nodens and the Elder Gods (essay) p. 11
  • Neal Wilgus. The Pharmaceutical Alchemist (article) p. 12
  • Edgar Allan Poe and Richard L. Tierney. The Light House (story) p. 14
  • Brian Lumley. Tindalos (poem) p. 17
  • Leon W. Malinofsky. Moonlight (poem) p. 17
  • Rob Hollis Miller. «I recognized in the curved slope...» (poem) p. 17
  • G. Sutton Breiding. «Through the glass doors into the smokey yellow...» (poem) p. 17
  • Neal Wilgus. Serality (poem) p. 17
  • Frederick J. Mayer. Cat's Eye Marbles (poem) p. 17
  • Kim L. Neidigh. Graveyard Abomination (poem) p. 17
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. Lines for Lovecraft (poem) p. 18
  • Jim Pianfetti. On the Tumbling Sea (poem) p. 21
  • Glenn Rahman. The Sun of God (story) p. 22
  • Philip M. Rubens. The Gothic Foundations of Ambrose Bierce's Fiction (essay) p. 28
  • Harry Morris. Review of the movie «Suspiria» (review) p. 32
  • Darrell Schweitzer. Review of the LP record «The King of Elfland's Daughter» (review) p. 32
  • Don Herron. Rime Isle by Fritz Leiber (review) p. 34
  • Don Herron. Darkness Weaves by Karl Edward Wagner (review) p. 34
  • Marc Laidlaw. The Shining by Stephen King (review) p. 34
  • Marc Laidlaw. And Afterward, the Dark by Basil Copper (review) p. 34
  • Marc Laidlaw. Kecksies and Other Twilight Tales by Marjorie Bowen (review) p. 35
  • Harry Morris. A Winter Wish and Other Poems by H. P. Lovecraft (review) p. 35
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. Echoes from the Vaults of Yoh-Vombis: A Compendium of the Life of George * F. Haas (рецензия)
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers by L. Sprague de Camp (review) p. 36
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. In Mayan Splendor by Frank Belknap Long (review) p. 38
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. Review of the poem collection «Seasoned Timber» by Celeste Turner Wright (review) p. 38
  • Donald Sidney-Fryer. The Dream of X by William Hope Hodgson (review) p. 39
  • Bill Breiding. The Golden Key (poem) p. 39
  • L. Sprague de Camp. Sesquithoughts on Lovecraft (article) p. 40
  • S. T. Joshi. Who Wrote «The Mound»? (essay) p. 41
  • George T. Wetzel. Glamis Castle and Sandoz’ “The Maze” (essay) p. 43
  • Peter Cannon. «You have been in Providence, I perceive.» (article) p. 45
  • Letter by Barton Levi St. Armand p. 47
  • Letter by Frank Belknap Long p. 47
  • Letter by E. Hoffmann Price p. 47
  • Letter by Bill Wallace p. 48
  • Letter by Ramsey Campbell p. 48
  • Letter by John Rieber p. 48
  • Letter by Ben P. Indick p. 49
  • Letter by Scott Connors p. 49
  • Letter by Robert Bloch p. 50
  • Letter by John Rieber p. 50
  • Letter by Harry Warner, Jr. p. 50
  • Letter by Frank Belknap Long p. 50
  • Letter by L. Sprague de Camp p. 51
  • Letter by Scott Connors p. 51

Reactions and Reviews

In 1978, S. T. Joshi launched a more serious criticism at Bishop’s narrative in his essay “Who Wrote ‘The Mound?'” in Nyctalops #14. Joshi’s careful picking through the available evidence (Lovecraft’s published and unpublished letters, and manuscript material in the Lovecraft collection at John Hay Library at Brown University) reconstructed the convoluted textual history, and dismissed Bishop’s claims of authorship. [8]

Issue 15

Cover of the issue #15, "The Tomb of HPL" by J. K. Potter
Table of contents from the issue #15, art by Daniele
Back cover of the issue #15, "The Tenant" by Wm. Breiding

Nyctalops #15 was published in January 1980. It had 44 pages.

Contents

  • G. Sutton Breiding. Babylonian Suite (poem) p. 7
  • Denise D. Dumars. Paragraph Poem No.2 (poem) p. 7
  • April Selley. Terror and Horror in the Case of Charles Dexter Ward (essay) p. 8
  • G. Sutton Breiding, Harry Morris. December Childhood (poem) p. 14
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. The White Faces (poem) p. 14
  • Andrew Darlington. Mythology (poem) p. 15
  • Andrew Darlington. Mythology 2 (poem) p. 15
  • Lee Weinstein. The First Literary Copernicus (essay) p. 17
  • Tani Jantsang. Visit to Innsmouth (story) p. 26
  • Mark McLaughlin. Witch-House (poem) p. 31
  • Donald R. Broyles. «I remember the hills...» (poem) p. 31
  • C. J. Henning. Ticking Watches (poem) p. 31
  • Jean Cocteau. Blood of a Poet (screenplay) p. 32
  • Lafcadio Hearn. The Ghostly Kiss (story) p. 35
  • Jim Pianfetti. In the Woods (poem) p. 37
  • Thomas M. Egan. The Lake of Dreams (poem) p. 37
  • Steve Eng. Kingsport Christmas (poem) p. 37
  • Brian Lumley. Maggot (poem) p. 37
  • Neal Wilgus. Balloon to the Center of the Earth (poem) p. 38
  • Bernadette Lynn Bosky. Eyewitness Accounts, Dunwich 1928 (poem) p. 41

Issue 16

Cover of the issue #16 by Bil McCabe and Harry O. Morris. Jr.
Table of contents from the issue #16, the insidefront art by Oscar Crand
Table of contents from the issue #16
Back cover of the issue #16, art by John Stewart

Nyctalops #16 was published in March 1981. It had 52 pages.

This issue was dedicated to the Surrealist artist and writer Leonora Carrington.

Contents

  • Robert E. Pierson. High House, Shunned House, and a Silver Key (article) p. 5
  • Rob Hollis Miller. Magic (poem) p. 9
  • W. Paul Cook, R. Alain Everts. The Man Who Was (essay) p. 10
  • Peter H. Cannon. Lovecraft's Old Men (essay) p. 13
  • Darrell Schweitzer. Lord Dunsany: The Plays (article) p. 21
  • J. J. Miller. Rare Words (poem) p. 29
  • Ben P. Indick. Sardonic Fantasistes: Saki (essay) p. 30
  • Thomas Ligotti. The Chymist (story) p. 34
  • Neal Wilgus. Screams in the Witch-House (poem) p. 39
  • Anthony F. Smith. The Ritual (poem) p. 39
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. Horror Kaiku (poem) p. 39
  • Denise D. Dumars. The Ark Ham (poem) p. 39
  • Thomas M. Egan. Lemuria (poem) p. 39
  • Stephen Verba. Night Surgeon (poem) p. 40
  • G. Sutton Breiding, Harry Morris. Soft Darling (poem) p. 42
  • G. Sutton Breiding, Harry Morris. Lampshade Wounds (poem) p. 42
  • G. Sutton Breiding, Harry Morris. Dejected Prayer (poem) p. 42
  • Christine Pasanen Morris. (4 collage poems) (poem) p. 44
  • Abe Surd. Dinner in Red (story) p. 45
  • Ramsey Campbell. Among the Pictures Are These (story) p. 46

Letters of Comment

Pages from the issue #16 with Ligotti's story "Chymist", art by Harry Morris
Thomas Ligotti's letter to the issue #16

I thoroughly agree with the writer in the letter column of Nyctalops 15 who remarked that "Somehow, you convey an atmosphere of menace in the 'zine." It is truly the Twilight'Zine. I'm unable to comment on the first seven issues of your horror-zine (paradoxically rhymes with thorazine), but those in my possession-especially the later numbers-positively radiate all the searing hues along the spectrum of psychic onslaught (rendered endurable only by the refracting perspectives of art). The magazine has a personality. I would go so far as to say there is such a thing as a Nyctalopian world view (Welt-something or other in philosophical parlance) and another "thing" that could be termed Nyctalopian Knowledge. These twin phenomena have a great deal in common, of course, with myriad forces elsewhere generated in art and philosophy, from Decadence to Surrealism to the Gothic nihilism of E.M. Cioran, not to forget the nucleus of supernatural art and fiction around which these separate forces so nicely revolve in your magazine.

All of these discreet schools of thought and creativity-along with the world views they imply-are brought into a new relationship in Nyctalops, one based upon certain affinities among them. These affinities often escape those who know only isolated sectors of the Nyctalopian universe, I'm thinking of the book Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, in which the Argentine master asks his interviewer at one point if he is familiar with Lovecraft. The interviewer, who has already expressed his deep sympathies with all things Borgesian doesn't know Lovecraft. You wonder how a student of one could avoid the cosmic classroom of the other; how could he have missed the connection? It is precisely this sort of connection that Nyctalops makes all the time: The Exquisite Corpse of Brian Eno, Jean Cocteau (who, I believe, was illogically scorned by the surrealists for his aestheticism) and the Morris and Hall collages of a higher surrealism, Lovecraft and all related insanities of this divine sort, those illustrations by "Unknown" that your appropriate and so appropriately place in their rightful context, articles by fans and professors, scholars and eccentrics, the intellectual resources of academia and the intensity of fandom.

And all this in one handy, easy-to-use fanzine extraordinaire. Here the connections are made, the Central Office, the composing room where the Nyctalopian Weltanschauung (that's the word) is born from a variety of decomposing artistic and philosophical bodies which yet have life in them. Nyctalopian Knowledge thus derives from observing these connections being made by a deft plugging into the sockets of transdimensional switchboards. [9]
Brian Lumley's letter to the issue #16

Your latest is in - fantastic! All is good, though I have to be honest and say that Phyro's piece had me fooled. I don't think she could make up her mind whether to do a travelog or a straight Mythos tale. Either one could have been good, but what we got was a mixture. For all that, interesting...

What really makes the issue stand out, however, (and without any shadow of a doubt) is JK Potter's HPheLlish artwork. All of the artwork is good, but Potter...! He gets all of the essence of HPL into his drawings. Excellent. [10]

Issue 17

Cover of the issue #17, illustration by J. K. Potter for the story Valsin by Clarence John Laughlin
Table of contents from the issue #17, art by Brad W. Foster
Back cover of the issue #17 by Brad W. Foster
Pages from the issue #17, art by J.K. Potter

Nyctalops #17 was published in June 1982. It had 64 pages.

Contents

  • Robert M. Price. The Old Ones' Promise of Eternal Life (article) p. 4
  • Thomas M. Egan. The Midnight Land (poem) p. 11
  • Kenneth Scher. A Neo-Writer's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos: Part 1 p. 12
  • Steve Eng. Heard! Heard! Heard! (poem) p. 24
  • Darrell Schweitzer. H.P. Lovecraft and Tibetan Corpse Wrestling (article) p. 25
  • Ben P. Indick. Sardonic Fantasistes: John Collier (essay) p. 28
  • Clarence John Laughlin. The Garden of Time (story) p. 32
  • Clarence John Laughlin. Valsin (story) p. 35
  • G. Sutton Breiding. Post Card I (poem) p. 39
  • Denise D. Dumars, Marshall Watts. Pirating Each Glance (poem) p. 39
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. Even Now (poem) p. 39
  • Anthony F. Smith. The Problem in Three Parts or, Bobby W___ Age 15, Death by Drowning (poem) p. 40
  • Brian Lumley. Survivors (poem) p. 41
  • Neal Wilgus. A Chain Gang on Yuggoth (poem) p. 41
  • Keith Allen Daniels. Futility (poem) p. 41
  • Andrew Darlington. Homage to Catatonia (poem) p. 41
  • William Wallace. A Book of Verse (story) p. 42
  • Thomas Ligotti. Drink to Me Only with Labyrinthine Eyes (story) p. 52

Letters of Comment

... All the art was excellent; it's long been my opinion that fantasy artists outshine fantasy writers in any given issue of any given fanzine. And Nyctalops is especially satisfying in this department, from the tasteful portraits of Kirk and McCormick, to the grotesques of Tiani, Schroeder, and Stewart, to the madnesses of the various collagemasters.

[Your editorial!] seemed to be a definite statement of the Morrisian sensibility: the mirrors, Victoriana, dreams, peripatetic spirits questing only half-voluntarily for insights on inner and outer universes, Carrollian children pushed into unchildlike zones of Freudian tensions, brilliance shining through a masking membrane of blackness, disease, trauma, and—perhaps most of all-deep sadness.

The Everts piece was interesting to see, if only because the very existence of such an article (devoted exclusively to W. Paul Cook) indicates an advanced stage of refinement in Lovecraftian scholarship. Both Lovecraft critical essays offered worthy insights on the master. I'm only sorry I can no longer include them in the annotated bibliography section of the Lovecraft section of Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 4 (due out in April 1981). The surveys of Dunsanian drama and H.H. Munro are a public service, inspiring such poorly read fans as myself to explore more deeply and widely the works of seminal fantasy artists.

Extremely welcomed by this reader are those little collage-pommes. This kind of thing is what we look to Nyctalops to bring us. These patchwork aphorisms are deeply amusing, expressing a delightful sardonic savvy and even wisdom of a curious sort. Likewise the Absurdist "Dinner in Red" is a witty eidetic flash demonstrating that the surrealist's automatic writing may be stylized and used with conscious symbolic intent. And the poetry is all in the best Lovecraftian-Ashtonian tradition, whether straight-forwardly (Miller, Smith, Wolfenbarger, Egan) or ironically (Wilgus and Dumars). An exceptionally fortunate innovation is Wolfenbarger's "Horror Kaiku" (Haiku?), >yes, an unfortunate typo - ed.< its pithy frisson proving that brevity can be the soul of horrific wonder as well as wit.

It's very nice to see the Hichcock review and exquisite corpse poems from the pages of Nocturne getting wider circulation. The latter really make one want to lock the doors of the mind. After reading Breiding's poetry and gaining a dangerous familiarity with your collages, Harry, it's no comfort imaging the two of you together decomposing these poems on the Day of the Dead (especially after seeing the Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Doubly unsettling is the presence of these poems two pages after the clinical atrocities of Verba's "Night Surgeon." Ramsey Campbell also belongs to this pychopathic sub-category of Nyct. 16, his prose hallucination seemingly like a commonplace book of his subconscious, a close-out sale of grotesque imagery, remnants of rancid visions.

As for the letters department, the bitchiness mentioned by Bosky was well evidenced by Joshi's incomprehensible remark about the descending quality of Nyctalops. Nevertheless, the man deserves the respect and gratitude of all Lovecraft afficianados for obvious reasons, and I personally would like to have seen his review of A Winter Wish. [11]

Issue 18

Cover of the issue #18 by Clarence John Laughlin
Back cover of the issue #18 by Tim Kirk

Nyctalops #18 was published in April 1983. It had 68 pages.

Contents

  • Harry Morris. Editorial (Horrorglyphs) (article) p. 2
  • Laurence C. Bush. Surrealism and Modern Horror Literature (essay) p. 5
  • S. T. Joshi. On «The Book» (article) p. 9
  • Richard L. Tierney. The Man in the Evil Garret (poem) p. 14
  • John Buettner. Dagon Calls (poem) p. 16
  • Brian Lumley. Kadath (poem) p. 16
  • Neal Wilgus. That's Life (poem) p. 16
  • Herbert Jerry Baker. Curse of Ler-Ku Nasthur (poem) p. 16
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. Fresh Approach (poem) p. 17
  • G. Sutton Breiding. untitled («I am the favored prince...») (poem) p. 17
  • Deborah Valentine. untitled («A dirge playing with my tendrils kept me suspended...») (poem) p. 17
  • Brian S. Wilson. To Patti Smith (poem) p. 17
  • Clarence John Laughlin. Cathedral of Evil (story) p. 19
  • Steve Eng. Collected Poems by Richard L. Tierney (review) p. 37
  • Thomas Ligotti. Eye of the Lynx (story) p. 43
  • William Scott Home. Succuba (poem) p. 48
  • Tom G. L. Cockcroft. The Weird Tales Club p. 49
  • Gary William Crawford. Love and Death in the Tales of Robert Aickman (essay) p. 51
  • Gary William Crawford. Robert Aickman: A Preliminary Checklist p. 53
  • Christine Pasanen Morris. The Female «Outsider» in the Shorter Fiction of Robert Aickman (essay) p. 55
  • Ben P. Indick. Sardonic Fantasistes: Roald Dahl (essay) p. 59
  • The Readers. Pnakotic Manuscripts p. 65

Letters of Comment

You've really got a kindred Nyctalopian spirit in J. K. Potter. His work harmonizes amazingly well with the kind of new wave horror your mag has pioneered. It's Potter's virtue to have such an incredible technical genius and at the same time such surreal spasms of imagination. My favorite: the portrait of C. J. Laughlin, whose face conveys the exact mixture of wry menace and strange psychological depth that HPL's did on the cover of NYCT. 15. Nonfictionwise, Robert M. Price's essay I found a playful and insightful scholarly exercise in a form (self-serious Mythos exegesis) that is often silly. Schweitzer's essay too was a worthwhile diversion, and it was all new to me. I'm looking forward now to future installments of Indick's "Sardonic Fantaisistes" series. He seems to be doing the gentlemanly branch of the horrormonger family, a very savage group. I've read all of Saki's short stories (in the Mod. Lib. edition) since Indick's last piece in NYCT. 16, and think a good subtitle for it would have been — "Dandies from Hell!" As for Kenneth Scher's lexicon, the only interest it holds for me is in the annotations of Lovecraft's entities.The Cthulhu Mythos itself is a rather paltry imaginative concept when it is unfleshed by the intensity, artistic genius, and personal obsessions of HPL himself. The Mythos can be used as an inspirational springboard (just as may any supernatural concept: vampires, werewolves, etc.) to launch a writer's own fictional ideas, though these need not resemble Lovecraft's any more than Andy Warhol's FRANKENSTEIN resembles Mary Shelley's. [12]

Issue 19

Cover of the issue #19 by Helmut Wenske
Table of contents from the issue #19, art by Jeffrey K. Potter
Back cover of the issue #19, art by Hans Flato Studios
Pages from the issue #19
Pages from the issue #19, art by Jeffrey K. Potter

Nyctalops #19 was published in April 1991. It had 96 pages.

Contents

  • Harry Morris. Editorial (article) p. 2
  • The Readers. Pnakotic Manuscripts p. 5
  • Reviews. p. 18
  • Don Herron. Two Films by Wojciech J. Has (essay) p. 26
  • Jessica Amanda Salmonson. The Imperialist Mythos (article) p. 28
  • Tom G. L. Cockcroft. The Weird Tales Club p. 31
  • Timothy M. Caldwell. Sexistential Addiction (poem) p. 40
  • Gulliver Onan Crusoe. Bottled Fury (poem) p. 41
  • Timothy M. Caldwell. Delirium (poem) p. 42
  • Timothy M. Caldwell. Blue Plate Special (poem) p. 43
  • Timothy M. Caldwell. Mean-Time (poem) p. 43
  • Timothy M. Caldwell. Mythical Sex Crimes (poem) p. 44
  • Anthony F. Smith. From Hell Mr. Lusk (poem) p. 44
  • G. Sutton Breiding. Necklace of Blood (X) (poem) p. 45
  • Gary Warne. After Cocteau (poem) p. 45
  • Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Small Repulsive Man (poem) p. 46
  • Joel Ward. Bureaucracies of Pain (poem) p. 46
  • Douglas Sutherland. Lunacy (poem) p. 46
  • Bernadette Lynn Bosky. After Midnight (poem) p. 47
  • Janet Fox. (____) (poem) p. 47
  • Pauline Kerwath. Nightworld Spawn (poem) p. 48
  • Kevin Knapp. egypt/egypt (poem) p. 48
  • Tina Said. (____) (poem) p. 49
  • Darwin Chismar. Dissection of a Nightmare (poem) p. 49
  • Charles Lovecraft. Hecate II (poem) p. 49
  • Darwin Chismar. Waiting (poem) p. 50
  • Jacqueline C. Schafer. H.P. Lovecraft: Aspiring Materialist (article) p. 52
  • Richard L. Huber. H.P. Lovecraft and Easter Island (article) p. 60
  • Joel Lane. The Master of Masks (essay) p. 62
  • S. T. Joshi. «The Tree» and Ancient History (essay) p. 68
  • Will Murray. The Call of Khalk'Ru and Other Speculations (article) p. 72
  • Robert M. Price. The Strange Fate of Alonzo Typer (story) p. 79
  • Billy Wolfenbarger. The Empty Lot (story) p. 84
  • Thomas Ligotti. Flowers of the Abyss (story) p. 86

Letters of Comment

THOMAS LIGOTTI, St. Clair Shores, MI :::: Nyct. 18 arrived about a week (three weeks! May your fellow printer, Henry, forgive my procrastination in posting this letter. Talk about eraserheads!) [Ahh, what's a couple of weeks compared to the seven year delay in getting this issue out? -hom] ago and I've since been assimilating its gorgeosity. Each new issue of your publication revives in me a kind of sardonic pride to be part of the Nyctalops Network... The literary highpoint of Nyctalops 18 was, to my biased brain, Tierney's "The Man in the Evil Garret." It is a classic, not cliched, Gothic dream. This character & all his crusty effects --his books, his town, his kaleidoscopic sunset -- have been described before, but never in so concentrated and suggestive a manner. To quote Laurence Bush's well-stated observation: "The essence of horror literature is the compression of images into a powerful light. No longer can a reader afford to wander around in an epic allegory tn encounter the dragons and sirens along the tedious highways. The aim of the modern horror writer is to present a demitasse of distilled poison, not a diluted bucketfull." Pace Laughlin; praise to Tierney. His prose poem helped me kill many hours imagining that impossibly marvelous tale The Man in the Evil Garret began to compose when he faded into the shadows of Lovecraftian legend, dissolving into those discreet ellipses...

I'll have to leave it to admirers of Robert Aickman, which I am not one, to comment on the essays treating his work. C.P.M.'s piece seemed to display the greater critical deftness; but the subject, whom Russell Kirk called "the greatest living writer of ghost stories" when he lived, is not one I warm up to, living or dead. Too many unrewarding hours spent pondering his ineffectual subtleties, too many frustrating revelations when I finally discovered the thematic key to a tale, only to find a crude closet of cliches behind the door. It's probably my innate vulgarity which prevents me from appreciating Aickman's "obscurity" but it is not for lack of effort that I cannot.

Thanks for perpetuating the myth of L. Miguel Riaz in your editorial, which struck me as a prose counterpart to your "Eye of the Lynx" illustration. Both share the same razory beauty. [13]

See Also

References

  1. ^ From the interview with Harry Morris in Midnight Fantasies #2
  2. ^ HPL: The Best Lovecraft Fanzine Ever Published in a Dark Universe Yawning Where the Black Planets Roll Without Aim by Jason Thompson, November 9, 2012
  3. ^ bendk in the thread about the zine on Thomas Ligotti forum, 06-05-2005
  4. ^ comment by Zaharoff on the Ligotti forum, 09-12-2017
  5. ^ From the article The Surrealist Path of Harry O. Morris, dated 2015-06-28
  6. ^ Comment by Richard Gilman Huber in HPLHS Facebook group
  7. ^ Wilum Pugmire at his blog, February 19, 2011
  8. ^ From Bobby Derie's review of “H. P. Lovecraft: A Pupil’s View” (1953) by Zealia Bishop, December 24, 2020
  9. ^ Letter by Thomas Ligotti to Nyctalops #16, quoted from the thread on the writer's forum
  10. ^ From Brian Lumley's letter to the issue #16
  11. ^ Letter by Thomas Ligotti to Nyctalops #17, quoted from the thread on the writer's forum
  12. ^ Letter by Thomas Ligotti to Nyctalops #18, quoted from the thread on the writer's forum
  13. ^ Letter by Thomas Ligotti to Nyctalops #19, quoted from the thread on the writer's forum