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.


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


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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