After the historical side of the town, we can turn to the Cthulhu Mythos in Aylesbury. Or rather, we can turn to that outside Aylesbury, as I’ve yet to find a story that actually includes a native Mythos threat within the town’s limits. This was actually nice as an author, as it allowed me to make Aylesbury my own while still referring back to other sources when we got to the outskirts.
It’s on the edge of Aylesbury that we come into contact with two potential sources. The first is the fiction of August Derleth.
I’m not going to get too far into the omnipresent Derleth debate. I think it’s fair to say, however, that he put more care and effort into some of his works than others, and that in many cases his Mythos fiction was shorted as a result. He was also less interested in world-building than Lovecraft, so his version of Aylesbury sometimes seems to move about between stories in a curious manner. There’s also some unusual or inexplicable elements, which might at times lead my editor to call me up to ask, among other questions, why I’d created a shopkeeper called Obed Marsh. Sorry, but that’s not mine. The best way to handle it, then, was to adopt what could be used, to cut what clearly couldn’t, and to put an interesting spin on the rest.
The second influence was Lovecraft himself, particularly his Fungi from Yuggoth sonnets, in which he would use Aylesbury as a sort of jumping-off point to horrors in the countryside. It’s always nice, when working with the Mythos, to find some corner of HPL’s work that has remained untouched with which you can work, and these definitely provided some memorable images from which to work forward. Zaman’s Hill, for example, was particularly fun to write.
Between the two, we’ve got quite the interesting potential for adventure in the environs of Aylesbury. And that’s on top of the secrets that can be uncovered in the town itself…