Neil Gaiman understands. In fact, he has delved into some cursed and nightmarish arcana, and has presented the public with I Cthulhu, the dead god's dictated memoirs.
We are going out, said Hastur to me. Would you like to accompany us?Yep, that about sums it up.
We? I asked him. Who's we?
Myself, he said, Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Tsathogghua , Ia ! Shub Niggurath, young Yuggoth and a few others. You know, he said, the boys. (I am freely translating for you here, Whateley, you understand. Most of them were a-, bi-, or trisexual, and old Ia! Shub Niggurath has at least a thousand young, or so it says. That branch of the family was always given to exaggeration). We are going out, he concluded, and we were wondering if you fancied some fun.
I did not answer him at once. To tell the truth I wasn't all that fond of my cousins, and due to some particularly eldritch distortion of the planes I've always had a great deal of trouble seeing them clearly. They tend to get fuzzy around the edges, and some of them -- Sabaoth is a case in point -- have a great many edges.
But I was young, I craved excitement. "There has to be more to life than this!", I would cry, as the delightfully foetid charnel smells of the swamp miasmatised around me, and overhead the ngau-ngau and zitadors whooped and skrarked. I said yes, as you have probably guessed, and I oozed after Hastur until we reached the meeting place.
As I remember we spent the next moon discussing where we were going. Azathoth had his hearts set on distant Shaggai, and Nyarlathotep had a thing about the Unspeakable Place (I can't for the life of me think why. The last time I was there everything was shut). It was all the same to me, Whateley. Anywhere wet and somehow, subtly wrong and I feel at home. But Yog-Sothoth had the last word, as he always does, and we came to this plane.
Gaiman also reveals a fascinating bit of lost history:
Now that's a volume of collected works that I could sink my tentacles into.
Nice to see "I Cthulhu" in print at last: the only other Lovecraftian article I plan on doing at some point is annotating some correspondence that has come into my hands relatively mysteriously. Which is to say, it is not generally known that the H.P. Lovecraft letters we know and love are incomplete in one important respect.
In the late twenties and early thirties a young English writer -- who, like Lovecraft, thought little of writing twenty thousand word letters -- was in New York , working on his own books and writing the librettos to musicals.
That Lovecraft, a devoted anglophile, was a fan of the man's work is unsurprising. That P.G. Wodehouse was a fan of Weird Tales is perhaps more so. How their lengthy correspondence got into my grubby little hands I do not wish to go into at this point. Suffice it to say that I possess not only their only collaborative novel (alternatively titled The What Ho! On The Threshold and It's the Call of Cthulhu, Jeeves ) but also fragments of their musical, Necronomicon Summer , in which the heroine is called upon to sing those immortal lines:
I may be just a bird in a gilded cage
A captive like a parakeet or dove,
But when a maiden meets a giant lipophage
Her heart gets chewed and broken, like that old adage
-I'm just a fool who
Thought that Cthulhu
Could fall in love!
The similarities between the two authors -- not only in names, but also biography, both of them having been brought up by aunts for example (one of a legion of similarities) leads one to ponder why the collaborations were a failure and covered up by both men, and why they conducted their work together in such secrecy. Certainly the novel throws a fascinating light on both their obsessions (the sequence in which Aunt Agatha is revealed to be Nyarlathotep, and the Wooster-Psmith expedition to the thrice accursed plains of Leng, enlivened by their running battle over Bertie Wooster's bow-tie, spring to mind immediately).
When it is fit for publication; when copyright is cleared; and when the significant question of whether these are the Wodehouse-Lovecraft Letters, or the Lovecraft-Wodehouse Letters (or whether, as been suggested, one should compromise into, for example, the Lovehouse-Wodecraft Letters) has been fully sorted out: then I can assure you that your publication shall be the first to know about it.