Monday, June 16, 2008

Exploding Lovecraft

In "Gabe's Globster," Lawrence Person takes on the Lovecraftian notion of horrors from the depths. Gabe, a genial loser, is hanging out in the Caribbean to avoid his various responsibilities. He's quietly drinking the time away, whittling trinkets for tourists. So he wasn't really prepared for the 20ft long gelatinous being that washes up on his beach after a storm. He especially isn't prepared for it to start possessing beach critters and making them attack him. What does it want? To assimilate the beings around it, apparently. Why does it want this? Well, that's hardly important, now is it?

In Lovecraft, we humans are usually at the mercy of such things. They control us, manipulate us, or simply drive us insane with their eldritch horrific-ness. But not Gabe! The creature almost gets him while he's dreaming, and he's saved only by cutting his foot on a rusty can (pain overwhelms the creature's mind-control influence). Gabe realizes it's him or the globster. He concocts a plan that involves rope, a goat, and some gasoline.

I'll leave it to you to find out how it ends, but it does raise the question: Would Lovecraft stories have ended differently if the protagonists carried grenades?

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