Neopaganism and Lovecraft

Type: 
Panel Discussion
Date and time: 
Saturday, April 25, 2015 -
10:00am to 11:00am
Scheduled Location: 
Bellmont B

The way that fears of cultists and dark magics, such as those portrayed by Lovecraft, have affected the direction and reception of the "neopagan" movement. Has Lovecraft influenced the formation of modern occultism and Paganism? To what extent, if at all, are Lovecraft's writings responsible for the widespread Satanic Panic of the 70s and the perception of alternative religion as devil worship? Also, why are so many modern Pagans Lovecraft fans?

Kenneth Hite has designed, written, or co-authored over 80 roleplaying games and supplements, including GURPS Horror, The Day After Ragnarok, Trail of Cthulhu, Bookhounds of London, Qelong, The Dracula Dossier, The Delta Green RPG and Night’s Black Agents. Outside gaming, his works include Tour de Lovecraft: the TalesCthulhu 101, The Nazi Occult and The Cthulhu Wars for Osprey Publishing, and a series of Lovecraftian children’s books. He has several published Cthulhu Mythos short stories, writes the “Lost in Lovecraft” column for Weird Tales, and covered the High Strangeness for ten years in his “Suppressed Transmission” column in Pyramid. Half the podcasting team behind Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff and an Artistic Associate at Chicago’s WildClaw Theatre, he lives in Chicago with two Lovecraftian cats and his non-Lovecraftian wife, Sheila.

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Liv Rainey-Smith was introduced to the art of printmaking at Oregon College of Art and Craft where she received her BFA in 2008. Since graduation, she has worked full time as a xylographic printmaker in Portland, Oregon. In 2013 she took the business name Xylographilia, which translates as “Love of Woodcut,” to reflect her passion for the art form. She is inspired by early European prints, folklore, fiction, and the natural world. In addition to her self-directed work, Rainey-Smith enjoys collaborating with writers and publishers.

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Rhiannon Louve is a freelance writer. Professionally, she writes short stories, video game dialogue, table-top role-playing books, and privately commissioned fiction. She hopes to soon add novels to the list. With her MA in Applied Theology, Rhiannon has taught World Religions at the college level, and published Pagan thea/ology essays. Rhiannon's published short fiction is mostly steampunk so far, while her current video game gig is with State of Decay 2, about surviving post zombie apocalypse. Most of Rhiannon's table-top RPG work is in traditional fantasy, though not without horror and Lovecraftian elements, such as her contribution to the award-winning Elder Evils D&D 3.5 sourcebook. Rhiannon has a strong interest in Lovecraftian fiction, but comes at it from a weird fantasy or dark fantasy perspective, fascinated most by the mythos itself and the psychology of such a world. Outside work, Rhiannon mostly games (table top, analog), including a Bleach-inspired shinigami game, using her own homebrew version of Exalted. Her other hobbies include scholarly study of primate behavior (including humans), and learning languages (she speaks French, some Spanish, and minute amounts of Japanese and Irish). Rhiannon rarely watches television in English, and has written scholarly papers on manga and anime. Do ask her about anime and Lovecraft!

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Dr. Alex Scully is a historian of Irish Identity and the Victorian Era. Her research into the dusty tomes often intersects with the Gothic literature of the 1800s. She is Senior Editor at Firbolg Publishing.

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