Part of the Fungi From Yuggoth sequence of sonnets, this poem, The Port, is one of two featuring the mouldering town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts (as depicted in H.P. Lovecraft’s novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth). It also places the seaport town in relation to another of his famous fictional places, Arkham.
By H.P. Lovecraft
Ten miles from Arkham I had struck the trail
That rides the cliff-edge over Boynton Beach,
And hoped that just at sunset I could reach
The crest that looks on Innsmouth in the vale.
Far out at sea was a retreating sail,
White as hard years of ancient winds could bleach,
But evil with some portent beyond speech,
So that I did not wave my hand or hail.
Sails out of lnnsmouth! echoing old renown
Of long-dead times. But now a too-swift night
Is closing in, and I have reached the height
Whence I so often scan the distant town.
The spires and roofs are there – but look! The gloom
Sinks on dark lanes, as lightless as the tomb!
The SFFaudio Podcast #214 – The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft; read by the fabulous Mike Bennett. This is a complete and unabridged reading of the novella (3 hours 2 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Julie Hoverson, and Mr. Jim Moon.
Talked about on today’s show:
My only holy book, Deities & Demigods, Deep Ones, Dagon, serving the will of Cthulhu, “they can only be killed by violent death”, why are they evil, seafood, miscegenation, the war on alcohol, they like to drink and wear jewelry, are there Deep Ones in Guantanamo Bay?, only crackers and soup, Innsmouth, Massachusetts, Captain Obed Marsh, persuaded to breed with a deep one, immortality, 19th century, “festering quietly”, “a nice family reunion”, why is The Shadow Over Innsmouth so cherished?, Call Of Cthulhu The Dark Places Of The Earth, a Skyrim mission, Dagon and Mother Hydra, Dagon, New England Tahitians, Walter Gilman in The Dreams In The Witch House, The Thing On The Doorstep, Doctor Who’s The Sea Devil is The Shadow Over Innsmouth with less schtupping, The Silurians, can’t go wrong with a good sea monster, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Julie’s adaptation will have more sex!, Alan Moore’s Neonomicon, g-men, an Esoteric Order Of Dagon style-cult, a traumatic read, the end, the film of Dagon (set in Spain), Stuart Gordon, Castle Freak is one of the best dramatic Full Moon films, the Masters Of Horror adaptation of The Dreams In The Witch House, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society adaptation (Dark Adventure Radio Theatre), the framing story, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, who is our protagonist confessing to?, Double Indemnity, heredity and atavism, 1920s, 1930s, Zadok Allen, Julie’s adaptation of The Rats In The Walls, The Picture In The House, female characters in Lovecraft, Cool Air, Lovecraft cares about words, House Of The Dead, the San Juan Islands, the naming of islands, Lovecraft crafts with love, August Derleth!, “the full gibbous moon”?, racism, the “Gilman Inn” is a pun, The Whisperer In Darkness, he’s there for the architecture, “reluctant fascination”, that old uncle who smells weird, The Shuttered Room by August Derleth, the worst fanfic writer ever, posthumous collaboration, Fishhead by Irvin S. Cobb, The Harbor-Master by Robert W. Chambers, an inbred wild-man, local rednecks, “a bit too close to the sea”, an economic depression, isn’t it a good deal?, arranged marriages, what’s with the Innsmouth Chamber Of Commerce?, in the Octopus’ garden, Brown Monkey, Dick Dynamo: The Fifth Dimensional Man, meta, 118 Migration, Afterlives (a Bangsian fantasy), the golden era of internet audio drama, a new idea, Hypnobobs, classics vs. moderns, old books have vocabulary, Jack London, MTV saturated audiences?, Goodreads reviews of Dracula, Fifty Shades Of Grey, atheist vicars?, the stress on the importance of reading may breed bad books, teachers pick books with big social value, Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, turning kids off literature, Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, using Robinson Crusoe as a guide to life, police procedural, obstreperous, The Murders At The Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, the audiobook of The Moonstone.
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Adapted from the novella by H.P. Lovecraft; Performed by a full cast
1 CD – Approx. 77 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Published: October 27, 2009
Themes: / Horror / Cultists / Deep Ones / Cthulhu Mythos /
The final installment of a great series of faux Old Time Radio dramatisations of Lovecraft stories by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s very own Dark Adventure Radio Theatre is probably the easiest to convert in their point of view. By no means do I want to belittle their skill and effort but of all of Lovecrafts stories “Innsmouth”‘s dramaturgy comes easier to audio than, say, The Shadow out of Time [Review]. Bear in mind that Lovecraft was not exactly known for his use of action or suspense in the traditional sense, but this novella about a degenerated community on New England’s seaside features his attempt of a chase and narrow escape plus a final plot twist.
I assume that most readers will at least be vaguely familiar with the plot but for those who are not here’s a very brief overview.
A young man tours New England, more precisly the fictional area that became known as “Lovecraft Country”, in a search for antiques and his family’s history. He learns of the town of Innsmouth which used to be a prosperous fishing and trading port but which has long ago fallen into gloom and decay, shunned by outsiders and inhabited by secretive people on whom generations of inbreeding have not been kind.
Of course, he disregards all warning not to go there and buys a ticket for the bus to Innsmouth. Ahh, the carelessnes of youth!
Sure, he only wants to get a quick peek and then leave again with the evening bus. What he learns from his own observations and the only two people willing to talk to him – an outside shopkeeper and the town drunkard – is bad enough. All the churches of Innsmouth have either been abandoned or have been converted for use by the town’s sinister cult the Esoteric Order of Dagon. The cult that was brought to Innsmouth from the Pacific by one of its most prominent captains at a time when Innsmouth’s economy was failing. The new gods helped but at what terrible price our young protagonist is abuot to find out. Too bad that the bus that was supposed to bring him out of town in the evening has most inconveniently broken down leaves him stranded and cut-off in a town filled with people who are not entirely human anymore and even less keen on snooping outsiders than your usual run-of-the-mill hillbillies. Fortunately, there is a room available in the best (and only) hotel in town… and this is where the fun begins – our protagonist has to escape from Innsmouth.
But remember… you may take a man out of Innsmouth but can you take Innsmouth out of the man?
Find out more and watch <a title=” Shadow over Innsmouth Trailer” href=””>the trailer on Youtube.
There is not really much more to say about the last and thus far final installment of DART that is different from the previous ones. Although the crew does not produce audio dramas for a living they take this serious enough to be on par with most professional publishers, and indeed even better than some. Luckily they don’t take it so serious as to avoid the tongue-in-cheek humour which stands ol’ Lovecraft better than you might think.
The story has been dramatised well, music and sound design are great, the acting convincing and the feeling of an Old Time Radio show has been well preserved. The fact that DART have invented a visit from a government official to the protagonist (a fact actually mentioned in the original story) not only provides a convincing reason why the narrator keeps going on in the typical Lovecraftian monologues but also made it possible to tell the story’s ending a bit more dramatic than its literary predecessor.
Every DART show comes as both MP3 download and “enhanced” physical CD. The Shadow over Innsmouth is no different and the CD contains such props as a “real” match book (with one final match left) of the Gilman hotel, a handdrawn map of Insmouth, a fake newspaper clipping, and a postcard. A nice extra (and free for all) service is the downloadable script to read along.
To round off this the final audio drama the HPLHS offers a nicely designed box in the shape of a classic tube radio that holds all four currently available CDs.
The only thing that this leaves me wanting is more. I want more Dark Adventure Radio shows! Alas, the HPLHS has been awfully quiet on the audio front recently. One can only assume that their resources have been eaten up mainly by their film endeavours.