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"Whence the Deep Ones?" Topic


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349 hits since 31 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 4:59 a.m. PST

(Apparently, I may be wrong! I understand the anthology has two sequels, so somebody likes it more than I do…)

Not necessarily so – to hold a different opinion on a book is not to be wrong. There is a huge appetite for C'thulhu mythos material, I have most of the Chaosium antholgies, such as the "complete" Lin Carter Mythos collection which almost on page 1 states that not all the Lin Carter Mythos material is in the book evil grin

Within this avalanche of material there are several authors whom I just detest – not personally, I don't know them, but their writing (to me) is just awful.

I feel the same about other expanded literary worlds – for example new Sherlock Holmes or Dracula stories. Some are good, some are mildly entertaining, some are garbage.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

and then makes contact with a conveniently located Deep One city in the depths beyond the Innsmouth reefs

I always felt that the Deep Ones (or some of them at least) had migrated to Innsmouth, rather than already being there. Otherwise why do they only make contact with the Innsmouth sea captains in the Pacific?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Nov 2017 7:16 p.m. PST

Otherwise why do they only make contact with the Innsmouth sea captains in the Pacific?

I thought it was that the Innsmouth sea captain happened to make contact with the Deep Ones-infested island.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

Innsmouth Sea captain sets up South Seas trade, discovers an island that is shunned by surrounding islanders, finds they worship C'thulhu, gets introduced to Deep Ones. Makes a deal to (effectively) sell out Innsmouth in exchange for gold in the form of strange unearthly tiaras. Sets up a refinery. Deep Ones mention they wouldn't mind if he married one of hem and took his bride back to Innsmouth. Wouldn't mind in the sense of he should do this or find that his head has been pulled off and eaten (or similar threat).

Surrounding South Sea Islanders eventually wipe out C'thulhu worshippers Deep Ones up sticks and move to Devils Reef.


That's the background to The Shadow over Innsmouth as far as I recall.

Jozis Tin Man Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2017 11:40 a.m. PST

For a nice synopsis, listen to this episode of the HP Lovecraft Podcast:
link

Personal logo HUBCommish Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2017 2:58 p.m. PST

The Delta Green role playing game and novels have covered the US government's reaction to what was discovered during the raid, and subsequent operations involving the Deep Ones and other mythos entities into the modern era:

link

link

Personal logo Sir Walter Rlyeh Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2017 11:55 a.m. PST

I have and have read the three anthologies. I rather enjoyed them but they are just short story anthologies. Some stories are good, some mediocre, and a few I would never have put in the book had I been the editor. (Basically what I expect from an anthology) Being a short story in an anthology does not make it cannon. H.P. open sourced his material in his lifetime so folks could make of it what they will. You get the good with the bad.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Nov 2017 6:19 p.m. PST

The Delta Green role playing game and novels…

I'll check out their fiction anthology.

Dave Crowell06 Nov 2017 6:38 p.m. PST

I read the first anthology. It is of a piece with other "Cthulhu" fiction. Some good, some horrible. This applies even to HPL himself.

jamemurp07 Nov 2017 7:41 a.m. PST

Remember that the primary theme of SOI is degeneration. It is fairly unusual for an HPL story in that it contains continuing action scenes. A full on military offensive seems inappropriate to the style of HPL's works. (Any direct confrontations would result in annihilation- even a small isolated group of Deep Ones took a concentrated covert military push to relocate. The theme is generally that the only option is flight.) Rather, the threats are generally much more veiled and insidious. The narrator in SOI, for example, ends up being sympathetic and conspiring to free the captured Marsh, presumably so that they can continue the infiltration.

While I think it is common for wargamers to look at the the scenario as one for direct conflict and use the Deep Ones as targets (when all you have is a hammer and all that), HPL's Deep Ones are much more about questions of identity. Going back to Dagon, we have a soldier who is horrified at little more than seeing an alien creature observing religious rites. SOI continues a vein of HPL hinting at degeneration via the dilution of human purity by monstrous outsiders with strange customs (not to mention the ticket agent who speaks, disgusted, of sailors breeding with Chinese and Fiji women, and the horror of people who *don't speak English*). But from the Deep Ones point of view, what they are doing is completely reasonable. And what if they are right- who is the monster after all is said and done? Indeed, it is interesting that, in contrast to the Horror at Red Hook, happiness comes to the character who embraces his otherness and rejects his human heritage. He not only lives, but seems to flourish (see also The Outsider). So perhaps, that could be another source of conflict. Humanity displacing/attempting to eradicate an ancient species who is far more knowledgeable in cosmic truth and much better prepared for the eventual coming catastrophe. Perhaps humans in their blind expansion are the true danger. What does something that expands without limit, consuming all before it and possessing terrible powers of annihilation that it employs blindly sound like? Whereas the Deep Ones have spent untold aeons planning around cosmic events, man stumbles blindly into them, fleeing only from that which it cannot destroy.

Which put the protagonists in an awkward position. Do they fight for doomed humanity (and maybe thereby accelerate its demise)? Do they flip and aid inhuman forces and pay terrible costs knowing it stops, or at least delays, an even worse threat? Do they try to persuade, or force, their leaders to try a new path? (And what if their leaders are already infiltrated by other forces with their own agenda? Perhaps that's exactly why they wanted to eradicate those who conspired against the Old Ones….). Or maybe everybody will just go mad and become gibbering lunatics (perhaps we are all just little bits of crawling chaos after all…)?

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