As part of a celebration of the release of Dark Doings at Miskatonic U (that I had the extreme honor of editing) here's a quickie interview with the author of one of the new Miskatonic tales in the book - the fabulous Jason Rubis:
Q: What's your favorite part of the Lovecraft mythos
The monsters! No writer ever created such memorably "indescribable" abominations! The nightgaunts, the shoggoths, Great Cthulhu himself ... they all feel as real as sharks or tigers, and twice as menacing!
Q: What do you think is the lasting "allure" of Lovecraft's work?
The man was simply a great storyteller. You can talk about existentialism and the insignificance of man against the unfeeling cosmos and such, but Lovecraft's fiction has that strange note of conviction you see in all great fantasists (and not a few other genres as well). When you start reading a really great HPL story like "Whisperer in Darkness" (one of my personal favorites), there's that oddly comforting feeling, of sitting down to hear a story, told by someone who knows what they're talking about. You imagine this someone--a very tall, gaunt someone from Rhode Island, let's say--sitting down with you, looking you in the eye and saying: "Listen ... there were these terrible floods in Vermont, way in the back country, and they found some bodies in the river afterward ... very *strange* bodies..." That may not be what initially brings people to Lovecraft, but it's the reason they keep reading him and remember him as one of the greats.
Q: What's the scariest thing, for you, in Lovecraft's work?
The way his stories--the later stories, in particular--are told as a series of hints and allusions, through invented bits of lore, newspaper clippings, journal entries, etc. You only see what's happening very obliquely, but there's a sense of some awful truth slowly coming into focus. And then suddenly--WHAM! It all comes together. Even today, after having read and re-read the stories many times, it works for me.
Q: Tell us a bit about how you came to write your story for DARK DOINGS AT MISKATONIC U?
Like the hero of "Signed First Edition," I spent way too many hours of my freshman year digging through the stacks at my university library. I found one very odd book full of very graphic pictures of people being tortured by people in skull masks and like that. Today my guess is that it was about Grand Guignol or European exploitation films, but the text was in French, so I had no idea at the time what the hell this thing was about, which made it even more disturbing. I carried that book around in my head for a long time, and when the opportunity came to submit to DARK DOINGS I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.
Q: What's your area of study at Miskatonic University?
I'm currently "virtually auditing" several classes in cryptoarchaeology at the Misk. I do hold a master's in Unspeakable Blasphemies from the Eldritch Studies department, but it's not on my resume. ;)