I was always a Carnacki man, staunch and true. An Edwardian adventurer, willing to admit that I was afraid, but determined to stiffen that lip and see the game through. And as a follower of William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghostfinder, I quickly took to games like Call of Cthulhu when it first came out in the eighties. The dedicated investigator pitted against almost indescribable horrors had an obvious appeal. It turned out to be a shock, because unlike our usual, intriguing fantasy RPG campaigns, in CoC we died a lot. A real lot. We were, generally, doomed.
So when we decided that we would launch a new magazine, Occult Detective Quarterly, we knew what we wanted. Someone even suggested that Doomed Meddler Quarterly would be a good alternative name. We wanted tales of psychic detectives, amateur supernatural sleuths, embittered foes of the Dark, and people who ended up having to investigate malevolent forces against their wills. New Lovecraftian terror was welcome, as was old-fashioned pluck. Stories from Carnacki to Constantine, with terrified innocents thrown in along the way.
We held an open call for stories over the Summer, and we even received quite a few tales where the protagonist didn’t die, not yet. He or she survived with a modicum of sanity, which counts as a major victory in this sort of area. Not only did we get stories from people unknown to us, but tales from seasoned fantasy and weird fiction authors.