What’s on for the 125th Anniversary?

In addition to the core programming at NecronomiCon Providence 2015 – panels, talks, author readings, and the like – we’re also planning an extensive amount of external programming, including a special WaterFire event, radio theater productions, Innsmouth sea shanty sing-a-longs, Lovecraftian trivia, small theatrical productions, as well as the usual walking tours, films, games, art, merchants, etc. Expect full schedules to come out over the coming months. We hope to have the first full list of these plans made public by late May.

Special evening performances and events include:

-Two special Dark Adventure Radio Theater productions by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society
-A special Lovecraft radio theater production by the folks from RadioTheater NYC, for their first performance in Providence
-A reprise of two great one-man renderings of Lovecraft tales, “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Sacrifice of Randolph Carter,” by David Neilsen
-A staged performance of a page from Lovecraft’s personal life, “Monstrous Invisible,” performed by Leeman Kessler (“Ask Lovecraft”), and written by Stephen Near

A sneak preview of our panels

We will post the complete schedule of talks, panels, author readings, and the like, as we draw closer to the convention.
For now, here is a list of the panels we’re planning for NecronomiCon Providence 2015 – though not all may end up making the cut. While NOT the final say, this is the first round of panels including proposed panelists (based on prior surveys). IF you’re a panelist (or think you should be), please be sure to review this and let us know what you think – but, please be kind and patient, and understanding of the myriad balancing acts that go into establishing such a comprehensive list of panels. Note: some of these panels may end up getting cut, as time and space dictate, but we’ll do our best to be sage in our decisions! And note again: This List Is Not Final. …but we’ll do everything we can to make this a reasonable approximation.



‘Magic’ is a large part of Lovecraft’s writings even if it is not meant to be magic in the traditional sense. How did Lovecraft use the concepts of ‘Magic’ in his fiction? How close is it to ritual traditions? Is there a connection?

Panelists: Don Webb, Gavin Baddeley, Richard Gavin, Scott Jones, Richard Stanley

Moderator: Anthony Teth



There are many different collections of Lovecraft’s work that are annotated, some incredibly extensively. What are the rewards of both reading and writing these annotations? What are the challenges? Where are good places to start, for both new fans and Lovecraftian veterans?

Panelists: Leslie Klinger, S.T. Joshi, Rusty Burke

Moderator: Donovan Loucks



How is art presented in Lovecraft’s fiction? How did art effect Lovecraft, and influence his writing? How does it affect his characters?

Panelists: John Coulthart, Richard Sardinha, Robert Knox, Steve Gervais, Bob Eggleton

Moderator: Jason Eckhardt



Thanks to the TV show TRUE DETECTIVE, and the work of Chambers enthusiasts like Joe Pulver, this long forgotten writer is better known than ever before. But what EXACTLY is ‘The King in Yellow’ and why is it important? This panel discusses Chambers trail-blazing book, its effect on Lovecraft and why it is gaining more and more readers today.

Panelists: Joseph Pulver, Daniel Mills, Richard Lai, Dominique Lamssies, Tom Lynch

Moderator: Alex Houstoun



He was one of WEIRD TALES ‘Three Musketeers’ and an inspired writer of poetry and weird fiction. Clark Ashton Smith remains one of the giants in the field and is far more than just one of Lovecraft’s friends. In this panel, we discuss the contribution CAS has made to fantasy and weird fiction, his influence on later writers and why it is important that his work be read and remembered.

Panelists: Scott Connors, S.T. Joshi, Will Murray, Jack Haringa, Dr. William C. Farmer

Moderator: Phil Gelatt



Lovecraft’s mythology has a long history of adapting well into the world of gaming, be it video games or table tops. How did this start? Is there a type of game that works best at bringing Lovecraft’s world to life? Which games are still surviving, and which ones have lost popularity? If you’ve never played a Lovecraftian game, our panelists will also recommend their favorites, and good places to start!

Panelists: Scott Glancy, Sandy Petersen, Badger McInnes, Shane Ivey, Ken Hite

Moderator: Donovan Loucks



We all know the scene: investigator finds ancient book of forbidden knowledge that unleashes evil and terror upon the world. Lovecraft created the most sinister of them all with the NECRONOMICON but there are many more as well. Enough to equip a library of ‘forbidden knowledge’. Do you know who created “Nameless Cults”? Or ‘The Book of Eibon’? Join us for a bibliophile’s delight, or NIGHTMARE, as we chart the best and worst of these forbidden tomes.

Panelists: Robert M. Price, Will Murray, Donald Burleson, Sean Hoade

Moderator: Pete Rawlik



Small Press publishers are continuing to make more and more impact in the weird fiction market and are now some of the most interesting publishers to watch! What does it take to run a small press? What are some of the joys and terrors in being a Small Press publisher? Our illustrious panelist talk about why they do it and what they have planned for the future.

Panelists: Derrick Hussey, Jason Brock, Mike Davis, Jerad Walters, Charles Danny Lovecraft

Moderator: Tom Lynch



Description:    What is the future of weird fiction? Is it chained too strongly to the ghost of Lovecraft or can it still explore new vistas of horror?  The panel discusses the current state of weird fiction today and where it might go in the future. Or, is there NO future?

Panelists: Simon Strantzas, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Joe Pulver, Laird Barron, Mike Griffin

Moderator: S.J. Bagley



Insanity, or the seemingly inevitable path toward it, seems to be a common pattern in Lovecraft’s stories. How (and why) did Lovecraft employ this common theme, and what might this say about his own psychology? And, why does his writing appeal so much to society’s ‘outsiders’?This panel talks about the aspects of Lovecraft and his writings that set it, and us, apart.

Panelists: Joseph Zannella, Kenneth Heard, Shane Ivey

Moderator: Jack Haringa



Once upon a time, back in the mists of forgotten ages, there were these things called ‘pulps’ and ‘fanzines’. While quite different in their origins, these low-budget publications provided the market for the first sales by writers like Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and others. Through the years, these became more professional and slick. But they, and the burgeoning field of small press, were the backbone of ‘fandom’ and kept weird fiction alive and well. The panelists discuss the wide history of these publications, their importance then and now, and the recent resurgence in ‘pulp’ writing.

Panelists: Will Murray, Darrell Schweitzer, Richard Lai, Leslie Klinger, Jeff Shanks, William F. Nolan

Moderator: Scott Connors



Lovecraft described Lord Dunsany as one of the three major influences on his writing. Despite being a major literary force in the early 20th century, few know about Dunsany’s life today. This panel gathers together the leading figures in Dunsany scholarship to discuss this historic writer and his work.

Panelists: S.T. Joshi, Darrell Schweitzer, Martin Andersson, Faye Ringel

Moderator: Jason Thompson



Although many know about Cthulhu, not everyone knows a lot about the man behind the Mythos: H.P. Lovecraft. Join us for an overview of the life and work of the gentleman from Providence where many of the myths and misconceptions will be dispelled. Learn about his boyhood exploits as a member of a youthful ‘detective agency’, his life-long devotion to cats and many of his accomplishments that we are here to honor this weekend.

Panelists:    Steve Mariconda, Don Burleson, Robert Price, Leslie Klinger

Moderator:    Peter Cannon



Today Lovecraft is recognized as one of America’s most powerful literary voices but this has not always been the case. For decades, Lovecraft was maligned and debased by critics like Edmund Wilson. This panel discusses the history of the critical appreciation of Lovecraft and the challenges facing it today.

Panelists: S.T. Joshi, Don Burleson, Peter Cannon, Steve Mariconda

Moderator: Robert Price



Lovecraft was an American writer whose stories are very flavored by the native New England he loved. Posthumously, his stories have spread in popularity all over the world. What in his fiction is so universal, so resonating? What is added to Lovecraft’s legacy and mythology by it being adapted and translated? Is anything lost? What mythos films, artwork, anime and stories from other countries should American fans be looking for?

Panelists: Leeman Kessler, Stephen Jones, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ramsey Campbell, Martin Andersson, Jesús Navarro Stefanón

Moderator: Paul Maclean


LOVECRAFT AND RACISM: Moving past the Howies

Lovecraft was a racist. Regardless of if you feel that racism was only privately expressed in letters (and somehow ignore the racist aspects of his stories) and he was “improving” later in life, he was a racist and it is now an undeniable aspect of his known personality. So how can we respond to this in a productive manner, and create a weird fiction community that is welcoming of diverse voices? Within this discussion, panelists and attendees will explore how Lovecraft’s racism shaped his work and how contemporary fans can still love the craft without necessarily loving the views.

Panelists: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Morgan Grefe, Faye Ringel, David Nickle

Moderator: Niels Hobbs



“You got horror in my science-fiction!”  “Well, you got science-fiction in my horror!”

Often, Lovecraft is described as being the innovator of ‘weird science-fiction’ because of his use of science in his stories. How does Lovecraft compare to other science-fiction writers? What impact, if any, has Lovecraft had on the science-fiction genre?

Panelists: Jason Brock, Les Klinger, Robert Price, Ann K Schwader, William F. Nolan, Lois Gresh

Moderator: Brian Callahan



Given Lovecraft’s own tumultuous childhood and family dynamics, what hope is there ever for a nuclear family in a Lovecraft story. Join us for a detailed look at Lovecraft’s own family relationships and the family dynamics that appear within his stories.

Panelists: Peter Cannon, Leslie Klinger, Steve Mariconda

Moderator: Scott Connors



Lovecraft is often described as one of the most prolific letter writers in the history of language. His letters number into the thousands and touch on virtually every subject known to man from literature to politics to science to economics and more. What can we learn about Lovecraft from his letters and should we?

Panelists: S.T. Joshi, Steve Mariconda, Donald Burleson, Leslie Klinger

Moderator: Rusty Burke



Much of Lovecraft’s fiction is written in the first person but how reliable are these narrators? What kind of world do they reflect? This panel examines Lovecraft’s use of this literary aspect and whether it helps or hurts the themes of his stories.

Panelists: Donald Burleson, Steve Mariconda, Robert Waugh, Ramsey Campbell

Moderator: Alex Houstoun



Lovecraft’s influence extends to all corners of art and fiction, even music. Many bands , both past and present, utilize Lovecraft’s fiction in their lyrics, but does the music itself count as Lovecraftian? How do you create music with a Lovecraftian feel? Are there types of music that work well at conveying a Lovecraftian sense of dread, or types that do not?

Panelists: Reber Clark, Troy Sterling Nies, Chad Fifer, Jason Wallach, Nathan Carson

Moderator: Jason Brock



Description: Technology has changed so drastically in the last ten years that it is almost possible for anyone to make their own movie. Do you want to make a Lovecraftian movie? Come to this panel and find out how! We’ll discuss such concepts of funding, producing, social media, and distribution even for those with virtually no budget!

Panelist: Stuart Gordon, Sean Branney, Andrew Migliore, Mallory O’Meara, Mars Homeworld

Moderator: Phil Gelatt



Lovecraft based games continue to increase in popularity. Chasoium’s seminal RPG, CALL OF CTHULHU, remains one of the most popular RPG games ever even decades after it was first created. Learn the tricks and how to make a RPG game that will rival even Lovecraft’s stories and have your players begging for more even as their sanity melts away!

Panelists: Sandy Petersen, Badger McInnes, Mike Mason, Shane Ivey, Jason Thompson

Moderator: Donovan Loucks



CALL OF CTHULHU is one of the world’s most popular role playing games ever published. But with so many expansions and additions, it can get confusing knowing where to start. At this panel, learn about the TOP 10 CoC BEGINNER SCENARIOS and how they can help you learn the game and, most importantly, keep your sanity!

Panelists: Shane Ivey, Adam Scott Glancy, Mike Mason, Jeffrey Moeller

Moderator: Oscar Rios



Lovecraft wrote all sorts of terrifying tales. But how do you scare someone? What is horror, as opposed to terror, in a piece of fiction? What are different types of scary stories? Are there elements of a horror story that are guaranteed to make the reader sleep with the lights on?

Panelists: Lois Gresh, Stephen Jones, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Caitlin Kiernan

Moderator: Don D’Ammassa



Lovecraftian fiction is a very specific type of story, with a fairly solidified set of elements. How well can you mix these in with other solidified types of stories? Both mysteries and detective/noir tales have been popularly swirled with Lovecraftian elements. But what about westerns, romances, superheroes, or fantasy? Is there a type of story that clashes with Lovecraftian fiction? Recommend an author or a story that combines Lovecraft with another genre, or a name a mix you’d love to see!

Panelists: Don D’Ammassa, Stephen Jones, Darrell Schweitzer

Moderator: Peter Rawlik



Description: Poetry was an important part of Lovecraft’s life and Weird Poetry is a growing trend today. There are many writers who dabble in the poems of the weird and still more who make it their singular creative focus. What is the history of Weird Poetry and what makes a poem ‘weird’?? Our panelists debate this issue and what it means to write Weird Poetry in the 21st century.

Panelists: Ann Schwader, Brett Rutherford, Fred Phillips, Derrick Hussey, Charles Danny Lovecraft, Adam Bolivar

Moderator: Jason Brock



New England has a long tradition in Gothic literature. From Hawthorne to Poe to Lovecraft, the haunted streets of New England have been home to many a spook and specter. Influenced strongly by Poe, Lovecraft nurtured a love for the Gothic and New England. In this panel, we discuss the Gothic influence on Lovecraft and his place in that literary tradition.

Panelists: Rory Raven, Barton St. Levi Armand, Kenneth Hite, Faye Ringel

Moderator: Donovan Loucks



The “New Weird” is a literary genre that began in the 90s known for breaking down the barriers between fantasy, science fiction and horror. Lovecraft has a big influence on this genre, including many authors writing New Weird fiction like China Mieville and Jeff VanderMeer. What are the challenges and rewards of subverting genre cliches? What are the challenges and rewards of mixing different elements of speculative fiction? What are some of the best New Weird fiction writers today? How can more diverse voices be encouraged and diverse fans be included?

Panelists: Vincent O’Neil, Caitlin Kiernan, Lois Gresh, Joe Pulver, Jeffrey Thomas

Moderator: Anya Martin



Lovecraft was passionately interested in science. This transported over to his writing as many of his stories are strongly based on scientific principles and methodology. This panels discusses Lovecraft’s many uses of science throughout his work as well as how strongly that use holds up to examination.

Panelists: Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Fred Lubnow, Pete Rawlik, Dan Look, Jeff Shanks

Moderator: Niels Hobbs



Description: Murder! Mystery! Cthulhu? For decades writers have created that most unlikely of characters: the occult detective. These intrepid souls investigate cases of hauntings and curses and murders to expose the frauds and be amazed at the supernatural. Two great genres that taste great together! From Algernon Blackwood’s ‘John Silence’ to William Hope Hodgson’s ‘Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder’ to Brian Lumley’s ‘Titus Crow’, these characters have stunned and amazed us for over a hundred years. Join our talented panel as they talk about some of the best examples of this odd genre mash-up and why some work but others don’t.

Panelists: Sam Gafford, Darrell Schweitzer, Robert Waugh

Moderator: Robert M. Price



“At the Mountains of Madness” is widely considered one of Lovecraft’s greatest, if not most ambitious, stories and for good reason. Our panelists will attempt to tackle everything going on in this novella that makes it such a success: the incredible detail to scientific accuracy, the Antarctic setting, the philosophical connotations, etc.

Panelists: Peter Cannon, Jason Eckhardt, Robert Waugh, Jack Haringa

Moderator: Alex Houstoun



The ubiquitous Lovecraft tentacle! Tentacles have become the go-to element of “Lovecraftian” art. As much as we love them, there is so much more to showing Lovecraft! What are other Lovecraftian artistic elements? How do you convey Lovecraftian dread and terror in a piece of artwork? What would you like to see more of in Lovecraft-inspired pieces?

Panelists: Lauren Panepinto, Joel Harlow, Jason Eckhart, Allen Koszowski, Steve Gervais

Moderator: Robert Knox



Just what is “Cosmicism” and where does it fit into the realm the philosophical realm? For all of his professed loathing of modernists, Lovecraft used his fiction to push some radically modern (if not post-modern) ideas. Panelists will attempt to tackle the “pessimistic”–this is hardly an appropriate word–of Lovecraft’s “cosmic horror” as well as place it within the greater context of the evolution of 20th century thought.

Panelists: Michael Cisco, Andrew Migliore, Ramsey Campbell, Mike Davis, Sean Hoade

Moderator: Alex Houstoun



An examination of HPL’s Dreamlands, and the characters, creations and places therein.

Panelists: Jason Thompson, Richard Gavin, Dan Mills

Moderator: Simon Strantzas



Lovecraft was a devout atheist all his adult life. As a result, religion rarely plays a significant part in his writing or life. However, he had certain definitive feelings about the subject which he expressed in letters and occasionally seeped into his fiction. This panel will examine this aspect of Lovecraft’s life and work and its place in developing his ‘cosmic’ philosophy.

Panelists: S.T. Joshi, Steve Mariconda, Donald Burleson, Scott Jones

Moderator: Robert. Price



Poe was not the only writer who influenced Lovecraft. There were many others who cast their shadows upon the gentleman from Providence and a few who were even his contemporaries. Join us as we talk about Ambrose Bierce, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Robert Chambers and many others.

Panelists: Joe Pulver, Robert M. Price, Scott Conners, Leslie Klinger

Moderator: Darrell Schweitzer



Many of Lovecraft’s beastie creations are called “unnamable, indescribable, maddening”. How do you bring that to three dimensions, be it in a make-up or a sculpture? What is the creative process like to sculpt something not of this world, or this dimension? How much is Lovecraft’s description, and how much is something pulled from the mind of the artist?

Panelists: Lee Joyner, Bryan Moore, Joel Harlow, Jason McKittrick, Dave Snyder, Joe Broers

Moderator: Gage Prentiss



Derleth! Bloch! Long! Lumley! Campbell! Ligotti! Carter! These writers, and many more, were the early standard bearers for Lovecraft’s Mythos. That considered, did they get it right? Who were some of the writers that captured Lovecraft’s myth-cycle well and, perhaps more importantly, who did not? Join us as we discuss these authors and their contributions to Lovecraft’s mythos.

Panelists: Robert M. Price, Darrell Schweitzer, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Jones

Moderator: Don Burleson



Many of the most unique and powerful voices in Weird Fiction belong to women! Although once looked upon incorrectly as a ‘white man’s genre’, Weird Fiction has a long tradition of women writers and that tradition continues today. Join us in celebrating these talented writers and find out why they write Lovecraftian fiction.

Panelists: Caitlin Kiernan, Ann Schwader, Lois Gresh, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Anya Martin

Moderator: Faye Ringel



Robert E. Howard was one of the most popular writers in WEIRD TALES with his pulse-pounding stories of Conan, Solomon Kane, Kull and many more. But REH was also close friends with Lovecraft despite the wide difference in their upbringings and philosophies. Join us at this epic panel and learn more about REH, his contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos, correspondence with HPL and how Howard’s work remains so vibrant and powerful all these decades later!

Panelists: Jeff Shanks, Rusty Burke, Mark Finn

Moderator: Scott Connors



Lovecraft at the movies! What are the challenges and rewards of bringing Lovecraftian mythos to a film? What are the challenges and rewards of creating a film with a Lovecraftian “feel” and elements? Is it possible to create an appealing and satisfying film that is also an accurate Lovecraft adaptation?

Panelists:  Frank Woodward, Mark Finn, Lee Joyner, Richard Stanley, Kevin McTurk

Moderator: Mallory O’Meara



Climb on into NecronomiCon’s own Tardis and travel back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the NecronomiCon conventions were new! See dazzling footage of the early conventions with guests like Robert Bloch, Gahan Wilson and more! Stare in amazement at embarrassing antics and foolish folly!

Panelists: Pierre Comtois, Darrell Schweitzer, Ron Zimmerman, Robert Knox, Robert Price

Moderator: The joey Zone



Mythos and Lovecraftian fiction is bigger and more popular than ever before! What makes a story ‘Lovecraftian’ and how can a writer make a unique and powerful contribution to this ever-growing genre? Our panel of legendary writers show how they did it and what steps new writers should avoid.

Panelists: Joe Pulver, Darrell Schweitzer, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Rawlik, Lois Gresh Laird Barron

Moderator: Mike Davis