tdaxp storms New England

Before this week, I had visited only one state in New England — the ancient land of my paternal ancestors. But now, 3 of 6 states have fallen to the tdaxp March of Remembrance

tdaxp ri ma

First, I visited the grave of my cousin, H.P. Lovecraft, in Providence. The cemetery that contains many generations of my family is about 25 miles from the town that inspired Innsmouth — and my great-great grandfather sailed to the East Indies, much like old man Marsh….

hpl grave

Of course, Lovecraft wrote of giant indifferent gods and human sacrifice… hopefully nothing like that ever bothered tdaxp’s lineage…

cthulhu sacrifice

To get my mind off that, I next went to Pawtucket, real-life suburb of Providence and fictional home to the Pawtucket Brewery, from Family Guy. But the town is nearly dry, with beer not sold in gas stations!

Certainly Massachusettes did little to calm my nerves — but — those crazy elusive angles

mit_stat_center

But all too soon the trip ended, and we left by water taxi from Boston to the airport. Bye bye New England!

boston ma from water taxi

Impressions of “The Spectral Link” by Thomas Ligotti

The Spectral Link is a short collection of two stories, “Metaphysica Morum” and “The Small People.” They are of wildly different quality, and represent two possible directions for Mr. Ligotti’s future work.

The Spectral Link

Let’s hope his future output is more like “The Small People,” because “Metaphysica Morum” is garbage. Thomas Ligotti, besides being a first rate fiction writer, is a fourt rate philosopher. And a fifth rate writer of suicide notes. Whether “Metaphysica” is supposed to be philosophy, or farewell to an uncaring world, there’s one thing it certainly is not: entertaining. Save yourself some trouble, and stare intently into space instead.

That will prepare you for the Smalls, whoever they are.

“The Small People,” by contrast, is Ligotti in top form. The narrator presents a world almost identical to ours: except for the presence of Smalls. Doll-sized mannequin-like creatures who mimic human society, but seem to have no history of their own, most of the “Real People” simply ignore the smalls or avoid them in the way that a man may avoid an annoying bird. “The Small People” works on three levels: the world that’s presented by the narrator, the world the narrator may actually be in, and the metaphors that Ligotti uses to connect the first two layers with the “real” world.

If you are already a Ligotti fan, get the Kindle edition to read “The Small People” in about an hour.