Dusty Trails to Haunted Homes – Gothic Ficiton, Gaslamp Fantasy and more.


After some suggestions from friends, I’ve decided on a theme!  Granted, one of the big deciding factors a ways back was the Curse of Strahd D&D Module that came out in mid-March.  As such, I think it’s fair to do a number of gothic-themed posts.  Now Gothic doesn’t have to be horror all the time.  There’s often an aspect of the horrific, but much of fantasy fiction has this too.  Stories like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes (save for a few), Lord Byron’s tales of dashing and daring (but flawed) people and some others contain many aspects of the Gothic.  But, they typically aren’t driven by plots about supernatural evil or the horrific (except for the whole examining of murders and other macabre elements.)  You could argue I have covered the image of a grim and cynical knight, the mad occultist or a byronic hero with various posts like the Oath of Cynicism, the Piper College, the Scarred Mind Path, the Diabolist or the Grognard.  You could argue that quite a bit of the Faerie Tale stuff I crafted before could fit within line of this theme too.  But, why not cover more, given the chance?

Now, I’m doing more than just Gothic Horror, Ravenloft, all that good stuff.  You could argue that Romantic style fiction (a la Dragonlance), Arthuriana and Politically heavy Dramatic settings (like Birthright and A Song of Ice and Fire) have a place within the Gothic in one way or another.  And sure, I make snarky and cynical quips at the expense of steampunk in the past (as I prefer serial-era and later sci-fi), but a part of me likes it all the same!  Similarly, Gaslamp Fantasy and Weird Western are very much at home here and rightfully so!  So, it’s a part of the theme by all means.  So, I have a lot to ponder over.  I can’t promise I’ll cover all of what I said, but I’m sure I can squeeze a few extra ideas here and there.

Image Source: John Henry Fuseli – The Nightmare


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