There are some artworks, pieces of literature and forms of entertainment that lend themselves to being enjoyed in particular seasons, weather conditions, or times of day. For example, the book The King in Yellow that I posted about the other day is, in my opinion, best read on a sunny, pleasant, late summer day. This is sort of unusual for a work of weird fiction, but the horror of the book is primarily psychological, and is sometimes offset by a a peaceful, pleasant setting.

Sometimes the natural environment most complementary to a story is obvious; Lovecraft’s The Haunter of the Dark must be read in a lightning storm because a lightning storm is central to the story. Others are less obvious; the movie Lawrence of Arabia is more fun to watch at night than on a hot summer day–though perhaps overheating is the reason.

As I’ve already pointed out on this blog, I find the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Sorcerer lends itself to being listened to on warm, gray days. (And Ruddigore, obviously, is a natural for Halloween.)

Then there are some things that lend themselves to various seasons. In my opinion, you haven’t read Harry Potter till you’ve read it while sitting outside on a cool October evening. And I’ve found that some video games–like both Mass Effects–are most fun to play on dark winter nights. (Though, of course, that could be because they require a big time investment, and there few distractions in winter.)

One of things that was great about the sport of football was how it used to be played on either a beautiful fall afternoon, a dreary November evening, or a cold, snowy day (or night). These are all memorable, dramatic settings; and much more enjoyable to watch, I think, than the sterile setting of a dome which we see more and more of.

On the other hand, of course, these are just my personal preferences and may not be shared by anyone else. I have no particular point in this post other than to set you thinking if there’s any particular work of art, piece of entertainment or sport that is best under certain natural conditions. It’s quite a fun thing to experiment with, in my opinion. But I’m weird that way.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers.

I was re-reading this book the other day, and I had forgotten just how good it is; particularly the first story “The Repairer of Reputations.” I first came across it about a year ago while reading about H.P. Lovecraft, and I must admit that, while Lovecraft’s ideas are more carefully thought out, Chambers’ writing is actually superior to Lovecraft’s, and his overall technique makes for some of the best weird fiction I have ever read, period.

If you happen to like that sort of thing, check it out.

“We are dealing with people who think they should rebel until they get their little kingdom like Satan did. You know what? Thanks, Mr. President, but I think we’re going to keep the Internet the way it is right now. You know — or at least until people who are worshipping Satan, you know, aren’t in office.” 

So said Glenn Beck last week, in a discussion of “net neutrality”. Charles Johnson writes “Once you’ve exhausted the Hitler analogies, this is all that remains.”

I’ve wondered in the past if all the Nazi comparisons are just the secular equivalent of yelling “This is the work of Satan!” (Or “She’s a Witch!”) I guess since Beck realized he’s not secular, he could go ahead and use it.

BTW, if the Devil thing doesn’t stick, I have three words for you, Beck: Great Old Ones.

There’s nothing quite like reading H.P. Lovecraft’s The Haunter of the Dark.


At night.

In a thunderstorm.

I was reminded of Lovecraft yesterday by a post on The Knight Shift, and so I thought I’d re-read one of his stories. Haunter of the Dark is one of my favorites, so I chose it. Happy coincidence that there are thunderstorms here for the next few days.