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Kingsport: Sources and Ideas for Writers

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July 20, 2015 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

Since we’ve put out a call for submissions for an issue about Kingsport, I thought I might offer some links to materials useful to someone writing articles or other material related to that fog-shrouded city.

Fiction:

Kingsport is mentioned in, by my count, 11 of Lovecraft’s stories, three of which tell us the most of the city:

In the remainder of the stories, the inclusion of Kingsport is more incidental, sometimes adding some minor element but more often just a mention of the name:

Marblehead’s Abbot Hall, c. 1895

Nonfiction:

Lovecraft’s primary inspiration for Kingsport, after his 1922 visit to it, was the Massachusetts port of Marblehead.  The best summary of Lovecraft’s relationship with Marblehead is Donovan K. Loucks’ “Antique Dreams: Marblehead and Lovecraft’s Kingsport“, originally published in Lovecraft Studies #42/42.  (Kevin A. Ross, author of Kingsport: City in the Mists used Marblehead as the model for his interpretation of Kingsport, increasing the linkage between the two.)

Some material about Marblehead that might offer inspiration:

Role-playing Games

The best RPG source is the aforementioned Kevin Ross-penned guide which appeared in two editions, a 1991 original and a 2003 reprint.  The reprint included minor changes to the text, copies of “The Terrible Old Man” and “The Festival” as well as d20 statistics; sadly also added were some dubious layout choices that made certain parts of the book unreadable. Some material originally cut from the book was released in The Unspeakable Oath #4; we reposted it to the SHP blog during our October-ganza last year.

There have been about a dozen scenarios set wholly or mainly in Kingsport, some harder to find that others, I confess.  Kingsport was touched on a bit in my Graveyards of Lovecraft Country preview “The Sand Hill Burying Ground“, also from last year’s October-ganza.  I also put together an xml document listing all the named Kingsport NPCs for our G+ group.

If you have suggestions for inspirational sources for Kingsport, post them in the comments!

Next time, we’ll cover Dunwich!

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