Phospheindz by Rick Carufel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A truly Lovecraftian tale, this novella is even set in H. P.’s home locale-Providence, Rhode Island, site of Brown University, where much of the action takes place. A dedicated scholar, graduate student Brian Metcalf, determines to write his Master’s thesis in psychology on the mechanisms of vision behind closed eyelids. A worthy goal, but in the process, Brian delves into both Eastern mysticism (including Kundalini energy and Tantra), as well as Western occultism. He might have made it through, if he had not become the target of a covert cult determined to open a portal for one of the Eldritch-the Old Ones-those alien gods existing in time immemorial prior to the dawn of man.
Metcalf’s only hope lies in his mentor, Professor Beauchamp, and in Beauchamp’s colleague, nicknamed “Professor Mo,” who are elected as the guardians of the light in this instance, and will do battle to the death to prevent the infestation of this other-dimensional eldritch evil into this world.
I came out of this reading feeling I had actually lived the events; that’s how powerful an impact this novella had on me. I give it 5 stars for its adherence to Lovecraftian precepts, and for upending my psyche.
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