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Remembering Keith Herber, 10 years on

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March 13, 2019 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Keith Herber, “American author, editor, and musician” as someone summarized him on Wikipedia.

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“Herbert Hike”
Instead just eulogizing Keith today (not that it isn’t deserved – here’s Ken Hite on Keith; here’s a memorial thread on Yog-Sothoth.com), I thought I might highlight places where his legacy lives on.  Do yourself a favor  and have a look at his CV in his Wikipedia entry (if you’ve never looked it over) and consider just how wide-ranging body of work was.

 

Perhaps the most impressive memorial to Keith is the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s titanic radio play production of his Fungi from Yuggoth/Day of the Beast campaign for Call of Cthulhu – The Brotherhood of the Beast.  They didn’t just bring it to life in audio form (complete with 4 different endings), but they produced a plethora of HPLHS-quality props that would be just as useful for a table-top game.

boballprops

keith-in-arkham-fx-montage-v2No less impressive in detail is Cthulhu Reborn’s magnificent Herber Arkham-O-Pedia, a tremendous index of all the people and places (and streets, and address…) in Keith Herber’s seminal Arkham Unveiled.  Anyone working in that sandbox ought to give this a look; it is my go-to when I need to find someone… or something… in Arkham.

Likewise, Cthulhu Reborn’s Dateline Lovecraft series – anchored by a 16 (!) page prop copy of the Arkham Advertiser, with, to date has included 3 system-neutral (and pay-what-you-want) Arkham-set scenarios:

The Call of Cthulhu licensee publisher Stygian Fox is still working on a revamped version of Keith’s New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley (originally published by his Miskatonic River Press).  Other works he spear-headed for MRP like More Adventures in Arkham Country and Our Ladies of Darkness are supposed to follow, eventually.

Finally, of course, there is our Arkham Gazette, but I would hope if you are here, you are already familiar with that publication.  I sincerely hope we would have done him proud.



If you want to hear from the man himself, Episode #34 of Yog Radio included an interview with Keith recorded in January of 2009.  There’s even a short post-interview video chat.

If you want to do a deep dive into Herberiana, Yog-Sothoth.com has a vast collection of Keith’s old notes, including:

  • Development notes for “Secrets of the Miskatonic” (what would eventually become Arkham Unveiled).
  • Development notes for “Shadows Out of Dunwich” (which would be published as Return to Dunwich)6ab40daa6c1fa846564ee86b25d166a9-herber-archive-the-condemned-screenshot.jpg.96c9e87fd2543798ed19796ec1faf6aa
  • Notes for scenarios including “The Condemned” includinng “The Evil Stars”
  • Selections from his draft of Trail of Tsathoggua.
  • A lot of other bits and bobs, like his hand-drawn map for “The Condemned”.  Look for anything with the header “Herber Archive”.

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