Bringing Cosmic Horror Down to Earth

Cosmic horror looks beyond humanity to the outermost reaches of the cosmos to explore dark ideas and themes that dwarf earthly existence. It often focuses on inhuman entities or forces that dwarf the whole of humankind and cast it into utter insignificance. Often nihilistic, fatalistic, and bleak, cosmic horror offers unique opportunities for exploring the human condition and what makes human life valuable. This course will examine tropes in cosmic horror and techniques for establishing the grounded settings, well-developed characters, and troubling themes that make for effective cosmic horror stories.

About the Instructor

Bram Stoker Award®-winning author, ​James Chambers has written two critically-acclaimed collections of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, The Engines of Sacrifice and A Bright and Beautiful Eternal World, edited two anthologies of weird cosmic horror, Under the Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign, and the forthcoming Where the Silent Ones Watch, and written numerous stories that blend science fiction, steampunk, urban fantasy, and other genres with cosmic horror. He received the Bram Stoker Award® for the graphic novel, Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe and is a three-time Bram Stoker Award nominee. He is the author of the collections On the Night Border, described by Booklist as “a haunting exploration of the space where the real world and nightmares collide,” On the Hierophant Road, and Resurrection House as well as the dark urban fantasy novella, Three Chords of Chaos. His website is: www.jameschambersonline.