In the Walls of Eryx by H.P. Lovecraft and Kenneth Sterling (1939)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror July 14, 2015
Ready for a mysterious and glowing adventure on the planet Venus?
Photo Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA/SDO, solar dynamics.
Kenton Stanfield is a prospector on the planet Venus in the region of Eryx (Erycinian Highland), a jungle of heavy plant growth and carnivorous blossoms. Our narrator is in search of crystal orbs to be brought back to Terra Nova and used as a power source for Earth. The crystals are guarded by skulking ‘man lizards,’ some of them eight feet tall—and of course they are primitive and prepared to attack any human with their glow torches.
“When they drew nearer they seemed less truly reptilian — only the flat head and the green, slimy, frog-like skin carrying out the idea. They walked erect on their odd, thick stumps, and their suction-discs made curious noises in the mud. These were average specimens, about seven feet in height, and with four long, ropy pectoral tentacles.”
As if that isn’t enough, Stanfield comes across a human corpse, and in the man’s hand is a crystal.
“I recognized him as Dwight, a veteran whom I had never known, but who was pointed out to me at the post last year. The crystal he clutched was certainly a prize — the largest single specimen I had ever seen.”
The cause of death? The man lizards? Or suffocation?
“The corpse was a rather bad sight — wriggling with sificlighs, and with a cloud of farnoth-flies around it. Something had pushed the helmet away from the face, and it was better not to look at it.”
Stanfield now realizes he is trapped inside an invisible, yet solid, maze. Blocks of glassy walls, corridors, parallel doorways, and circular rooms gives way to a maddening search out of the crystal maze before the dark vapors set in, and the man lizards discover his location.
This story was published after Lovecraft’s death. It is Lovecraft’s sole interplanetary frontier story set in the future.
/Read Lovecraft’s In the Walls of Eryx at HPLovecraft.com
Listen to the audio version of In the Walls of Eryx at You Tube.
I’ve always found crystals to be mysterious with their scientific values of piezoelectric qualities (spiral growth patterns) and their spiritual values as an aide in physical, emotional and psychological healing. I became interested in the power of quartz crystals when writing my novel The Dazzling Darkness, which features a quartz crystal skull. Here is a very short video on the power of quartz crystals, a demonstration on how quartz melts ice compared to other substances. “Demonstration of Quartz Crystals Healing Energies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2onEsj7MtPc
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