Aug 062017

Because I’m sure that’s an endless source of obsession for many.

On July 20, I made a post asking for a trio of reviewers for a little story I wrote. The reviews were positive and I dare say enthusiastic; a story I’d scribbled down just for giggles turned out to be something that at least three people on the planet declared was worth fleshing out. And so… I’ve been doing that.

As mentioned repeatedly before that, a little while ago I finished writing a novel. That was a sci-fi yarn that took something like a year and a half to write, and is based on characters and a future world I’ve been tinkering with for a quarter century. I think it’s pretty good, though I also bet it could use a good editor. Still… I wrote a novel. Woo. With luck it will be read Any Day Now by a recognized science fiction author who will then give it a thumbs up or down.

Having finished the novel, I had a few other ideas rattling around, one of which came upon me fairly suddenly and which I wrote down in a matter of just a few days. This was what was positively reviewed, and which I’ve been somewhat feverishly working on expanding. It is… “The War With The Deep Ones.”

Anyone who reads my first novel but who hasn’t read any of the bits I’ve published on my blog will be introduced to an entirely original (as in, I dreamed it up) setting. But “The War With The Deep Ones” is an unabashed sequel to H. P. Lovecrafts “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” from 1931. There, Lovecraft introduced a species known as the “Deep Ones,” an amphibious race of ocean-dwelling humanoid critters. Unlike a lot of the entities Lovecraft wrote about, the Deep Ones are straight-up biological entities, largely conventional in biochemistry. You can kill them if you put a little effort into it. They are also Not At All Nice, they worship Cthulhu and look forward to the day when Mankind is wiped out. Like a lot of Lovecrafts tales, it ends with the looming threat of something big and horrible happening at some undefined time in the future, but doesn’t actually show that.

Because why not, “The War With The Deep Ones” shows what happens when that day in the future comes. Sequelizing another authors work is typically not something I’d do, but in this case I think it’s fine… Lovecraft was *very* open to the concept of shared universes, and welcomed other authors of his day to use his creations and add to the “mythos” he invented. So I’ve carried his story forward a century and expanded upon what he described. I’ve tried to not change the things he invented, but I have added to it where he left blanks. Lovecraft was a fan of science, so the advances in science and technology that he simply could not have foreseen change the ways in which mankind would react to something like a planetwide invasion of “fishmen” and just how vulnerable we’d be to them, their allies and their servitors.

“War” will not be a standard novel, but is instead a collection of short stories. I have already completed a further three stories, with two more in progress; since late July I’ve already written about *100* novel-length pages. My plan is to polish a few of the stories and post them here; depending on how the prior novel goes and how the “Deep One” stories are received I’ll give further thought on what to do with the complete collection. It would of course be great to get that published, but self-publishing is becoming a more interesting way to go.


As an aside: for those of you who are fans of Lovecraft, are there any artists impressions of the Deep Ones you find to be particularly accurate to the description, “realistic” looking *and* downright scary? The sort of creatures you’d lose bladder control is you saw them coming up out of the waves?

 Posted by at 2:24 pm
  • publiusr

    I might suggest a follow on to what we saw in these two stories:

    One story I floated is that Deep Water Horizon clean-up–no so much the oil but the Corexit 9500 did damage.

    A way to kill two birds with one stone might be to use drilling. Drill through a Deep One nest down deeper–not quite to Nyogtha–but to the Cthonians who are vulnerable to water as a volcanic species. They drown, and the heat released steam-cooks the Deep-Ones as well.

    • Scottlowther

      The only author I plan on cribbing anything from here is Lovecraft. A *lot* of other authors have written their on Lovecraftian yarns, and more power to ’em, but I want to tell my own tale. Not least because I don’t wish to be accused of stealing other peoples stuff, and Lovecraft was not only cool with that, he’s also conveniently quite dead.

      • publiusr

        I get not wanting to lift anything. It might be a nice gesture as to not contradict what other writers have done–but you are free to go in your own direction of course.

        In the Chaosium handbook–there already was a police action of a limited sort with a few nose heavy torps lobbed downwards–and the second link talks about Bloop and juilia noises–so a brief blurb about how Y’ha-nthlei rebuilding after earlier attacks–with refined SOSUS reading might be a good gift of continuity–with your story being the true full on war–following earlier pitched battles you can mention in passing as a shout-out..if nothing else.

        • Scottlowther

          There are a *lot* of different and contradictory takes. If I take something from Chaosium, the Stross fans will be miffed. Seems best to just not incorporate anything but what Lovecraft wrote, especially since I’m developing a backstory to the war that involves a whole lot of other stuff which would be contradictory to other peoples works.

      • se jones

        My copy of “At the Mountains of Madness” arrived Friday afternoon. I plowed through it Saturday evening, non-stop.
        Amazing how influential this work was on some of my favorite films, I had no idea.

        The story felt deeply personal to me, believe or not. All my life I’ve been one of those outdoor adventure idiots, regularly expending blood & treasure in order to experience exotic, dangerous places, always in search of that special feeling of fear and wonder.

        I look forward to reading your novel.

        • Scottlowther

          I was wondering if I’d ever hear about whether my recommendation panned out. Glad you liked it. AtMoM is certainly Lovecraft’s most conventional science fiction story, and as you’ve recognized, very influential.

          And as it happens, the past couple days I’ve been writing a sort of history of the government department tasked with dealing with extraordinary threats like the Deep Ones. The last day or so I’ve spent a lot of time touching on their doin’s down at the south pole and in the alien city.

          Here’s the thing to remember about AtMoM: the “Elder Things” are not only utterly alien – rather than a funny lookin’ human – they aren’t the bad guys. The ones people encounter are just lost and confused and pretty badly freaked out. Which was a remarkable thing for 1930’s SF.

          PS: If’n yer looking for that thrill, that risk, that feeling of fear and wonder, take a page from the Book Of Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker:

  • robunos20
    • Scottlowther

      Ayup. Recommended.

      • robunos20

        Ayup? Where’d tha’ learn to talk like that? Is thee from Yorkshire?
        Seriously, I thought you would have been familiar with that book, but just making sure . . .
        >the government department tasked with dealing with extraordinary threats like the Deep Ones.
        Sort of like a Lovecraftian SHADO?
        I’d never read Lovecraft till I read about him here, then I went and found his complete works online, and read them, in order, from start to finish . . .
        Have to agree, ATMoM is his best work, though ‘The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward’ is a close second, would make a great movie, and I still say ‘The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath’ would make a great mini-series. I’m just annoyed I missed out on a chance to read your Lovecraftian fiction, I’m really liking where the Zaneverse is going . . .

        • Scottlowther

          > Is thee from Yorkshire?

          Nope. Just a feller from the midwest.

          > Sort of like a Lovecraftian SHADO?

          Same idea, I suppose. Their job is to not only stop the threats, but to learn about them… and to keep the publicly blissfully ignernt as long as possible.

          > ‘The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath’ would make a great mini-series

          Maybe, but that’d be a level of Weird that I suspect just wouldn’t sell.

          > I missed out on a chance to read your Lovecraftian fiction

          Assuming no sudden heart attacks, the chance will arise again.

          • robunos20

            >Maybe, but that’d be a level of Weird that I suspect just wouldn’t sell.

            What? Weirder than GoT? Medieval politics, intrigue, and warfare. With Dragons.
            Or LOTR? European pre-war history seen through the eyes of . . . Hobbits. With Magic.

            >Assuming no sudden heart attacks, the chance will arise again.

            When the stars are right . . .

          • Scottlowther

            LOTR and GoT both take place in something recognizable as “the world.” not *this* one, perhaps, but still a place that’s fairly recognizable. But “Dream Quest” takes place in a guys dreams and involves a whole lot of stuff coming out of the blue.

  • Thucydides_of_Athens

    Two words: Castilla House (

    If that doesn’t work out, two other words: Self Publishing

    Best of luck to you!

    • Oh, Ghu no. Kindle Direct Publishing lets you dodge all the posturing involved in getting into print. “Vox Dei” vs. not just the far Left but anyone moderate is a damfool battle for a new author to jump into: pick one side and you’re dead to the other. is another option, though they have some drawbacks.

      • Scottlowther

        Yeah. Even though my political leanings are a reasonably open book, signing on to a “side,” especially with one as polarizing as Vox Day would be extremely career-limiting.

        • Thucydides_of_Athens

          Castellia House seems to leave a lot of the political posturing at the door, and looking at their author list, you would be in the company of a pretty diverse group of authors. As a new publisher, they would certainly be looking to build their stable of authors and customers. However, who you publish with is up to you.

  • Joe Ryan
  • Until you are done — or at least well enough along that your fictional universe is entirely comfortable territory — do *not* read Charles Stross’s “The Jennifer Morgue,” or indeed any of his books in The Laundy Files series, which cross the Cthulhu Mythos with British spy fiction: Deep Ones are a recurring race there.

    Stross was given similar advice regarding Tim Powers’ “Declare,” which crossbreeds SOE and the supernatural in a smilar wise.

    • Scottlowther

      I recently got the first four Laundry books. I’ve started reading the first and, honestly, I’m not really getting into it.

  • Jon Risque