The RPG Gothic Earth> has been set in a world of literary creations roughly contemporary to its 1899 setting, with characters like Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula driving much of the storyline. After a decade of play, the game is now in its final weeks. Here's sending it off with a two-week retrospective of authors of that era whose works captured the popular imagination, in the order in which they shaped the world of Gothic Earth.



Guy Boothby

publication date: Saturday, December 15, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This Australian author invented a diabolical doctor villain (no relation to Tesla) and a long-lived magical mummy.

explanation: Boothby's characters included Dr. Nikola, the villain of several novels, and Ptahmes, a mummy in Pharos the Egyptian. more…

difficulty: medium

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, and Erik Bates


Edgar Rice Burroughs

publication date: Friday, December 14, 2018

category: Literature

clue: Tarzan of the jungle and John Carter of Mars are the most famous creations of this popular author of Chicago.

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, and Erik Bates


Jules Verne

publication date: Thursday, December 13, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This Frenchman's heroes made fantastical journeys to the Earth's center, many leagues beneath the sea, around Earth in less than three months, and from here to the Moon.

explanation: Verne's best-known works include Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, and From the Earth to the Moon. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, Erik Bates, and Stan Iwanchuk


Robert Wiene

publication date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

category: Movies

clue: Long before his career died on the vine when he fled his homeland to escape from Nazis, this expressionist director inflicted his own horror upon the world in films about mad hypnotists and unpunished murderers.

explanation: Wiene ("vine") was a German expressionist director best known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Raskolnikow, the latter an adaptation of Crime and Punishment. more…

difficulty: hard

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, LaVonne Lemler, and Erik Bates


Sax Rohmer

publication date: Tuesday, December 11, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This author roamed between genres like pastoral fantasy, Islamic terrorism, and mummy-based horror, but his most enduring creation was a racist caricature of a crime lord with distinctive facial hair.

explanation: Among the works of Rohmer ("roamer"), his best known creation is Fu Manchu, the villain of several Yellow Peril novels. He also wrote works like The Orchard of Tears, The Quest of the Sacred Slipper, and "The Mysterious Mummy." more…

difficulty: hard

solved by: Russ Wilhelm and Samir Mehta


L. Frank Baum

publication date: Monday, December 10, 2018

category: Literature

clue: Dorothy was disappointed by the "wizard" that she and the scarecrow, tin man, and lion had followed the Yellow Brick Road to meet, but frankly, the real man behind the curtain was this imaginative American icon.

explanation: Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and many subsequent works in the same setting. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Erik Bates

player landmarks: This was the last goo solved by Denise Sawicki.


Bram Stoker

publication date: Sunday, December 9, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This Irish novelist and theater manager gave bloodthirsty readers one of the greatest undying villains in all of literature.

explanation: Stoker's most famous work is Dracula. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, Erik Bates, and Stan Iwanchuk


Arthur Conan Doyle

publication date: Saturday, December 8, 2018

category: Literature

clue: Holmes, Watson, Moriarty, Lestrade, Adler, Moran -- and even Mycroft -- will live on forever, thanks to the imagination of this British doctor.

explanation: Doyle was a physician before turning to writing the many mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Erik Bates


H.G. Wells

publication date: Friday, December 7, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This author, who wrote classic novels about time travel, genetic horrors, an invisible person, and alien attacks, created a deep well of science-fiction concepts to inspire later authors.

explanation: Wells's most influential works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Erik Bates


Mary Shelley

publication date: Thursday, December 6, 2018

category: Literature

clue: Daughter of philosophers, wife of a novelist, she had plenty of Promethean figures in her life before she created one of her own.

explanation: Shelley wrote Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. She was the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, and the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley. more…

difficulty: hard

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Erik Bates


H.P. Lovecraft

publication date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

category: Literature

clue: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

explanation: Lovecraft's most enduring creation is the Eldritch god Cthulhu. The clue is a cultist's prayer in The Call of Cthulhu, translated as, "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming." more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, Erik Bates, and Stan Iwanchuk


Nathaniel Hawthorne

publication date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This early American master gave us Hester Prynne, Hepzibah Pyncheon, Dr. Heidegger, and Giacomo Rappaccini.

explanation: Hawthorne's best-known works include The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," and "Rappaccini's Daughter." more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Erik Bates


W. Somerset Maugham

publication date: Monday, December 3, 2018

category: Literature

clue: This mostly gay would-be doctor wrote about human bondage, a razor's edge, and a magician not unlike Aleister Crowley.

explanation: Maugham was a physician before becoming a full-time writer. He described himself as three-fourths queer. His best-known novels include Of Human Bondage, The Razor's Edge, and The Magician. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, Erik Bates, and Stan Iwanchuk


Edgar Allan Poe

publication date: Sunday, December 2, 2018

category: Literature

clue: A raven, a cask of Amontillado, a black cat, a tale-telling heart, a purloined letter, and a fallen house of Usher are the legacy of this master of the macabre, whose obscurity is nevermore.

explanation: Poe's best-known stories include "The Raven," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Black Cat," "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Purloined Letter," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." more…

difficulty: very easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Matthew Preston, Richard Slominsky, Erik Bates, and Stan Iwanchuk


Other Themes in Winter 2019

Cruise Control

You need a vacation. I need a vacation. We should go on a cruise. A cruise would be nice right now, wouldn't it? Cruise, cruise, cruise. Go »

Oscars Week 2019

These seven goos were inspired by this year's batch of Oscar-nominated films and filmmakers. While you play, don't forget to enter Funeratic's Predict the Oscars contest for your chance to win a prize. Go »