Saturday, 19 April 2014

Codex Yuggoth

What connects Doctor John Dee the Elizabethan alchemist with the Selenites of H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon? Can you recall the hideous experiment of Andre Delambre? (Clue: 'Heeeelp meeeee!' in a tiny voice.) And why is St John of Patmos in the mix? Answers to these and other impertinent questions may be found in the latest pamphlet from Peterborough's power-packed poet Pete 'Cardinal' Cox.

Regular readers will know that, down the years, the Cardinal of the Arcane has striven personfully to tie together all the disparate strands of weird fiction, plus a bit of folklore, Forteana and even your actual history. It's an exercise that would be laborious and unconvincing in prose, but works brilliantly in what seems like light verse. I say seems, because while the mood is usually playful, there is a dark thread that runs through a tapestry that is often bright with an old-school sci-fi 'sensawunda'.

Anyway, his latest mini-opus deals with the Outer Ones created (or first accurately observed?) by Lovecraft in such stories as 'The Whisperer in Darkness'. But the first poem deals with earlier occurrences - specifically, the Jewel of Seven Stars famously acquired by the Pharaonic witch-queen Tera. Does the constellation Ursa Major provide a hint as to one origin of the Outer Ones? I've no idea, but the point is that the footnotes are fascinating, as usual.

And if you're still wondering about Andre Delambre - he was the scientist in the original version of The Fly. Apparently it was not a botched experiment caused by a wayward insect, but an attempt by the Outer Ones to fuse themselves to our species at a molecular level, the sneaky chitinous bastards.

A cool glowing machine crackles and hums
An instant - flesh of two becomes as one
What science weds can never undone
Emerging - what should never be becomes

A copy of this spiffing pamphlet can be had by sending a C5 SAE to:

58 Pennington
Orton Goldhay
Peterborough
PE2 5RB

Read it before they come and get you...



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