Hello Ghouls and Boils,
Today we have a special treat – a republished interview with Robert M. Price. If you stumbled onto this and would like to know why we republished it here, refer to The Not-So-Savvy Reader. Thanks again to Bob for giving us his time. I hope you all find this interview as informative and fun as I did. Enjoy, my fiends!
Sarah L. Covert
About the Author: Robert M. Price (born July 7, 1954 in Mississippi) is Professor of Theology and Scriptural. Price edited the Journal of Higher Criticism (now defunct), and wrote many books and articles on religion. He has also written extensively about H. P. Lovecraft‘s Cthulhu Mythos. As creator, editor and contributor to the long running Crypt of Cthulhu, he long ago made his solid mark as a master of the mythos.
Sarah L. Covert: Welcome to Savvy Readers, it is a little different here than SNS – but I am beginning to like it around here. Please make yourself at home and thanks for joining us today.
Robert M. Price: Thanks for having me
Sarah L. Covert: AS SNS readers know, my love for sci-fi, strange tales and horror was born at Drive-In Double Features when I was just a kid. What was it that first drew you to the darker/stranger genres?
Robert M. Price: Hard to remember that far back! I think maybe I awoke to the fascination of the Dark Side during the “monster boom” of the early 60s when you could see things like Lorne Green dressed as Dracula in a song and dance number – when Isodets lozenges had as their commercial spokesman Count Sore Throat Pain – when the Hammer Films were appearing and Famous Monsters of Filmland made us think we had seen loads of classics we hadn’t. I got all the monster toys and models. I loved it all! Still do! My dad took me to the drive-in to see “The Curse of Frankenstein,” “Godzilla versus the Thing,” and such. The first books I bought in the elementary school book fair were Alfred Hitchcock’s Monster Museum and Edgar Allen Poe Tales. Nothing has changed for me, nor would I ever want it to.
Sarah L. Covert: You are a bit of an expert on the writings of Lovecraft and editor of the lovely Crypt of Cthulhu. There are small portion of mythos writers who lean a little toward the erotic side of things. (Cthulhu Sex is a magazine dedicated to just that) Do you think there is a place for love and romance in mythos writing?
Robert M. Price: If it has been done, then it can be done. Sex is implicit in the Mythos even if we look no further than the ever-present theme of miscegenation with monstrous aliens. Romance would fit if one can manage to make someone’s getting lost in the depths and terrors of the Old Ones into something to be taken seriously as tragedy. Otherwise it becomes burlesque. Once I wrote a fake Lovecraft tale, as if he had written it for the confession magazines, “I Wore the Brassiere of Doom,” as by Sally Theobald. Without meaning to, I tricked a French Lovecraft scholar into listing it in his Lovecraft bibliography!
Sarah L. Covert: Crypt of Cthulhu is an anthology editorials, articles, short stories, poems, columns, reviews, and letters on the subject of Lovecraft or based in his universe. We are big fans of the short story at SNS. What is it about the short story that appeals to you as a writer and editor?
Robert M. Price: Short stories make their point directly, more or less quickly. Novels can be overstuffed, filled with soap opera just to keep the reader strung along till the next horror. It is analogous to pornography where you are itching to get to the next action scene! The writing had better be pretty darn good to make you just as absorbed in the “filler”! And, as for writing short stories, it’s the only thing I have ever tried!
Sarah L. Covert: If you had all the money and all the time in the world and you could write or do research on any subject of your fancy – what would it be?
Robert M. Price: I have been wanting to read some books by my favorite theologians, like Paul Tillich and Friedrich Schleiermacher. I need to catch up on some Gnosticism books, and several on Mahayana Buddhism. If I had the money, I would like to start my own Arkham House clone, collecting the long out-of-print stories of numerous pulp writers like Wyatt Blassingame and Ray Cummings. There are a number of classics of New Testament criticism I would love to have translated from German and Dutch, then published. But I am really looking forward to spending my days reading and rereading my favorite horror and fantasy authors, and of course loads of comics. And watching monster movies.
Sarah L. Covert: Do you have any upcoming projects, news or sarcastic comments to share with our readers?
Robert M. Price: My five-volume set of Lovecraft is finally on the horizon. In it I have a long intro to each book, and then a shorter essay to introduce each story and poem. I have three new Chaosium anthologies coming out pretty soon, plus a couple from Mythos Books and one from Hippocampus Press. In the field of religious criticism, watch out for my soon-upcoming The Case Against “The Case for Christ”: A New Testament Scholar Refutes Lee Strobel and, in April, 2011, my Paul book, The Amazing Colossal Apostle. I am also planning to release a bunch of shorter books through Amazon, including Biblical Buddhism, Paul: the Lost Epistles, Jesus Aquarius: A Commentary on The Aquarian Gospel and The Politically Correct Bible. I got a million of ‘em!