Thus I am coming to be convinced that the erotic instinct is in the majority of mankind far stronger than I could ever imagine without wide reading & observation; that it relentlessly clutches the average person—even of the thinking classes—to a degree which makes its overthrow by higher interests impossible.H. P. Lovecraft to Rheinhart Kleiner, 23 Apr 1921, Letters to Rheinhart Kleiner & Others 177
Shoggoth Butt Invasion (2016) by Jason Wayne Allen is a farcical sequel to At the Mountains of Madness by way of Debbie Does Dallas. The tone is very tentacle-in-cheek: sexually explicit, outrageously unrealistic, over-the-top, and surprisingly dedicated to wringing out jokes from Lovecraft’s Mythos with all the aplomb of an X-rated version of National Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings or Doon. It is gleefully and unapologetically taking the piss in a way that is rather rare even for most Mythos parodies such as “The Fluff at the Threshold” (1996) by Simon Leo Barber or “Kanye West—Reanimator” (2015) by Joshua Chaplinsky.
This is not unfamiliar territory for Jason Wayne Allen, whose other Mythos works include the Deep One erotic novella Ichthyic in the Afterglow (2015) and “The Horror at the Garrsmouth Orgy” in Strange Versus Lovecraft (2013). Drawing on both the surrealistic atmosphere of bizarro fiction and the rhetoric of gonzo pornography, Allen has crafted a nymphomaniac heroine who is utterly unfazed as one eldritch horror after another crawls out of—and into—her orifices.
Readers might be shocked and appalled at a character who embodies the sex-crazed vapid bimbo or nymphette, may be affronted by Allen’s mockery of the Mythos, even disgusted by crude language and scenes like this:
My legs in the stirrups, I watch the doctor’s head move between my knees. I wonder if the doctor likes the hair I keep down there, that orange patch matching the carpet to my fiery drapes. My hips slowly rise as I feel his latex fingers part my pussy lips. I come hard in the doctor’s chiseled face, and out with my juices comes the shoggoth.
Dr. Wadsworth is a skid mark on the floor of his examination room.Jason Wayne Allen, Shoggoth Butt Invasion 7-8
Shocked, appalled, disgusted—and, hopefully, still turning the pages—is the point. A shoggoth emerging during a nonstandard vaginal exam and squishing the attending physician is played for erotic slapstick, not horror. The whole point of the exercise is to push the limits a little, to pile silly on silly, affront on affront, to say to hell with conventions and expectations and keep transgressing further and further…because it’s a fun ride. Disturbing in parts, borderline obscene in others, but that’s rather the point. If you’re not going push the limits of what the audience finds acceptable, the ne plus ultra, then why write a transgressive erotic Lovecraftian novella anyway?
There is one scene that tip-toes on the very borders of obscenity, if it doesn’t cross directly over it. It involves the mortal remains of Dr. Wadsworth, the gynecologist who was splattered by the shoggoth, reassembled with an aborted fetus and reanimated so that the Frankenstein’s Monster can give Beatrixxx one more going-over before the serum wears off. I’m not sure that one would pass the Miller Test.
In a sense, Shoggoth Butt Invasion is Mythos-as-exploitation. The erotic possibilities of Lovecraft’s Mythos may be theoretically infinite, but in practice most “Lovecraftian” erotica follows familiar beats. It’s a rare work that seeks to be as transgressive, weird, and offensive as most readers and critics imagine Lovecraftian erotica should be. Allen is more dedicated to explicitly Mythos erotica than Cthulhu Scat Hangover & The Innsmouth Porno VHS (2014) by Adolf Lovecraft, but doesn’t have the dedication to characterization, setting, and plot that are the hallmarks of Edward Lee’s “Hardcore Lovecraft” novels such as Trolley No. 1852 and The Dunwich Romance.
Cthulhu lets go another shriek. THis one warbles into almost a human moan.
“Fuck yeah! Iä! Iä Fhtagn that pussy, baby!Jason Wayne Allen, Shoggoth Butt Invasion 42
Future generations will probably never read Shoggoth Butt Invasion. Released as an ebook via AmazonKindle and a slim print-on-demand paperback from CreateSpace, the book is no longer available for sale in either format. New Kink Books, the publisher, appears to be defunct. For all that POD publishing and digital publishing have opened up the marketplace to thousands of new titles for readers, it is a very fast-paced and fragile reading ecosystem. Books that don’t sell fall off the backlist as publishers crash or content managers find offense with them, and there are vanishingly few to filter down into the secondary market of used books. Libraries ignore them.
Sometime in the future, perhaps, if a cult following develops the few surviving copies might become collector’s items—or the files might crop up on some sharing site, helping to circulate those networks and hard drives too eventually crap out. Now, more than ever, books that are not read and appreciated in their time are likely destined to be forgotten utterly.
Does it matter? Is Shoggoth Butt Invasion worth preserving?
You’ll never know unless it is.
Bobby Derie is the author of Weird Talers: Essays on Robert E. Howard and Others and Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos.
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3 thoughts on “Shoggoth Butt Invasion (2016) by Jason Wayne Allen”
Readers who might be shocked and appalled at a character who embodies the sex-crazed vapid bimbo or nymphette, who are affronted by Allen’s mockery of the Mythos, who are disgusted by crude language and scenes like this:”
And,possibly, readers who are shocked and appalled at a lengthy but incomplete sentence lacking a main verb.
Fixed. It is damnably hard to proofread your own work.
Yes, I’m sure it is.