Oberon, Bellhouse, Cyprian, and Cthulhu Update

In case you’re wondering why you haven’t heard much from me lately, it’s not because I haven’t been busy.  Far from it, in fact.  Let me give you a quick update.

Bellhouse’s Complete Book of Magic Science:  For those who don’t recall my notice from April, this is the manual of a mid-19th century cunning man living in Liverpool.  I’m working with Caduceus Books on this work.  The initial transcription and my introduction to Bellhouse’s history and life are all but done.  Ben has asked me for a couple of short articles covering topics in the book, including witch bottles.

As an example of the significance of this, you might be surprised to know that only one set of instructions for making a witch bottle (as opposed to a description of someone doing it) has appeared anywhere, with .  Bellhouse gives us two such charms, and the Folger manuscript has a third.  Which brings us to…

The Book of Oberon:  Joe’s working on the Latin, Phil’s working on the art, and I’m working on the modernization of the language.  I’m about halfway through the manuscript, working at a rate of two MS. pages a day to clean up the spelling, clarify curious words, and investigate whatever mysteries emerge from the text.  For example, I’ve already found two words not in the Oxford English Dictionary – that is to say, not misspellings, but what are clear words with clear meanings that simply aren’t recorded elsewhere.   I’m not sure who to tell, so I’m telling you.

After some point, I need to write up a conference paper on the manuscript as well.  All of this will likely take about two months to complete, at which point I hope to have my Latin in shape enough to help out, and to work on…

The Cyprian Project:  Yep, no details, save that I need to know Latin for it, and that it’ll make ceremonial magicians quite interested.  I don’t want to say anything more right now on it, so I’ll just use that vagueness as an excuse to segue into…

The Ghouls book for Call of Cthulhu:  I saw the last scenario for the book – it was great, and we talked about it and made it even greater.   I’ve also been sent art, and maps, and promotional materials, so this looks to be good to go.  I don’t need to do much on this, which means I can move onto…

Tales of the Sleepless City:  This book of NYC adventures for Call of Cthulhu is almost done.  Tom and I just talked today about me coming down to help with signing and packing when it’s done.  That, in itself, might be instructive for…

The Secret Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook Project:  I’m working with a few people on this.  It’s requiring quite a bit of historical research, but I think it’s going to come together nicely and be something w0rth writing.  No publisher as of yet.  It does mean I’ll have to go to [UNDISCLOSED PLACE] and wander around for a bit, which is another incentive for…

Getting Fit:  I really, really need to start working out after the holidays, so I’m starting up with the elliptical and the weights again.

I’ve also given up on fiction for the time being.  It’s been tough and educational, but right now I just want to move some of these projects off my plate, and see what happens next.  I’ve got a few other tentative projects after these, plus a few items (e.g. my Necronomicon paper, the Fairy Queens article, and Fury of Yig) that are still in the hopper.  So even if I slacked off right now, you’d be seeing publications from me for years to come.

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Published in: on January 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Best of luck with your work. I await your latest Cthulhu offerings with bated wallet. I’ve started running CoC again for the first time in nearly ten years and I’ve found the Encyclopaedia invaluable already. Keep it up!

  2. [...] Dan Harms media empire also had similar news about his Ghouls sourcebook, Tales of the Sleepless City, some secret project (oooooh!), and a [...]

  3. The Secret Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook? This may be the best announcement ever. Seriously hoping for a 2013 release for this one.

    • 2013-14, I think.

  4. That, in itself, might be instructive for…

    Tales of the Hudson Valley?

    • Cooler.

      • Tales Of New Jersey?

  5. All this sounds really exciting. CoC needs some new quality output. I’m hoping for an American Folklore book.

  6. So what are the two hitherto unknown words? The OED is considered the Bible of English Etymology, but it is far from a closed book (and as you probably know, the bulk of the entries came from a Lunatic locked up in an asylum).
    I grew up speaking Sicilian (and later learned Classical Latin, Church Latin and Ancient Greek in school) but also learned the Romish language from Gypsy friends. Both my Gypsy friends, Circus people (I apprenticed to the last of the Old time Professional Strongmen The Mighty Atom and also worked at the storied Royal Hanneford Circus here in Ft. Lauderdale alongside their professional “Geek” Clown, Johnny O, late of Jackass and Dancing With the Stars), Yiddish speakers (including the late great writer Isaac B. Singer who mentored me when I was just a precocious kid haunting his favorite library in Miami Beach), Irish Tinkers and older gay men also spoke a strange argot known as Polari that seemingly was once the Lingua Franca of subcultures like show people, criminals, tramps and homosexuals . It was largely Italianate (it’s virtually forgotten now), with a mixture of Old Irish, Gypsy Rom and Back-language. And there are dozens of other sources (Bog Latin, Thieve’s Cant, etc.) besides standard English for rare, obsolete words that never made it into the august pages of the OED or it’s supplements.


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