Miskatonic University Packet: What Weird Fictional College Would You Like to Attend?

One of my favorite weird possessions is this Miskatonic University Graduate Kit, which I found at either ReaderCon or the Florida-based ICFA convention. I do remember Kelly Link looking rather mournfully at my find, hopeful there might be another copy.…This is the real deal, illustrated by Gahan Wilson, with all sorts of forms and bumper stickers and a full list of classes offered. It’s the kind of playful artifact that shows a loving regard for Lovecraft’s work but also an equally healthy tendency to send up the source material.

Below the cut you’ll find a few more teasers from this kit.

While you peruse the images, perhaps you’d also care to share with us what fictional college you’d most like to attend? The writer of our favorite answer will receive a signed copy of our Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, featuring the weird fiction of Michael Moorcock, China Mieville, Amal El-Mohtar, Alan Moore,  Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Michael Cisco, with art by Mike Mignola among others. We’ll also fill the box chockful of weird and cool  extra stuff. Deadline: Sunday, Nov.13, midnight Eastern Standard Time









29 replies to “Miskatonic University Packet: What Weird Fictional College Would You Like to Attend?

  1. The College of Varied States of Unconsciousness. I should be able to pass out easily enough.
    The College of Enormous Holes. I reckon I would fit in.
    The College of Deja Vu. I already went there.

  2. The University of Archangel and St. John The Divine… in the mid to late 70s.

  3. There was a fake diploma generator a while back, and I remember that one of the fake schools you could choose was the University of the Wind. Something about that name is just so evocative. Not so much of Patrick Swayze, for example, but of Laputa or Bespin.

  4. Just a note that in the case of liking a duplicate answer the most, we’ll give bonus points for the way the answer is phrased or the logic behind it, and if that don’t work, we’ll flip a quadruple-faced coin…

  5. I sometimes feel my actual college/university is fictional. I am assigned to the graduate college, but because it is really nothing more than a series of closed halls of residence, which in turn consist of shared flats, and there are no central social facilities, I belong to a college I can’t access. Which I find odd. 

    More interesting by far would be to attend Jordan College, Oxford (Philip Pullman, His Dark Material). I actually come from Oxford but thanks to the town planners and tourists it’s now a shadow of its former self, and even its former self is a shadow of its fictional self. Jordan is an exaggerated fictional counterpart of Exeter College, which is of course Tolkien’s undergraduate college, and Pullman’s own college, not to mention William Morris’s college, so the place is steeped in the fantastic. It actually looks pretty fantastic too, but transformed into Jordan College, it’s everything an Oxford college should be, and then some. 

    What was above ground was only a small fraction of the whole. Like some enormous fungus whose root-system extended over acres, Jordan (finding itself jostling for space above ground with St Michael’s College on one side, Gabriel College on the other, and Bodley’s Library behind) had begun, sometime in the Middle Age, to spread below the surface. Tunnels, shafts, vaults, cellars, staircases had so hollowed out the earth below Jordan and for some yards around it that there was almost as much air below ground as above; Jordan College stood on a sort of froth of stone.”

    I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to go there?

  6. Omniscience University. Despite that we know that we will regularly (and eternally) be beaten at all sports by our infinitely-old rival Omnipotence University, we also know that we have far better post-graduation job placement. This is in part because no one actually graduates from Omnipotence University, since their annual Senior Game Day includes a Tug-of-War game that lasts until the end of creation.

  7. Well when you’re 11 no fantasy beats Hogwarts of course, but that’s not really a college? I’d say Connie Willis’ Oxford (for time-travelers, naturally), the Jedi Academy (again the 11 year old!), Earthsea’s Roke Island (spoiler) before it became all sexist, and maybe the big xeno-anthropology school in the Hainish universe.

  8. That would have to be The School young Titus attends in Gormenghast. Though admittedly most of the faculty is rather useless, Titus was, unless I misremember, the only student, and you can’t beat a student-faculty ratio like that. Plus everyone was so bizarre, you’d have great stories to tell – though if you had no fellow students, telling them might be a bit lonely. Also, I hear it is quite the party school.

  9. I wouldn’t go to someone else’s fictional college. I have my own.

    I went to Hunter College in NYC and due to its Gilded Age history and my obsession with old NYC architecture it was easy to imagine things. My favorite book of that period was Finney’s Time and Again and I just started collecting old postcards [collect enough, and it will change your view of the past], so I had a major kick out of this worldbuilding.

    First of all, the founder of the college, Thomas Hunter was indeed an immigrant, but not from Ireland as the official history says, but from the 28th century. The reasons why he landed in the 19th century are unknown. Rumors said that after a freak accident he couldn’t go back to his own time, other rumors insisted he was in a voluntary exile, but in 1870 he was the one to establish a college for the young people who could become time travelers. The legend says that if such a gifted individual sets his(or her) feet on the premises, they might access the Other Building, where all the studies took place. [Originally, the college was taking the whole block between Lexington and Park ave, but in the 30s most of buildings were demolished (along with the half of the Gilded Age NYC) to give way to sheer ugliness. Only one remains.] So if you’re lucky, you could get to the floor that connects to the Other Building. The Other Building exists Out of Time and using the alternative subway system [There’s a subway station under HC, so you can get in right from the underground] you can navigate between other Out of Time locations in New York City and visit times and locations now lost or not so lost. For example, Dacota building was quite a popular place to live among the professors. [Yes, Jack Finney lived there as well in 1887.] The course of studies involved theory and practice, and I think a graduate project had to involve a thorough research of a target time/place and a practical trip with a mission. 


  10. The Medival Metaphysics Department. If nothing else, then to prove Mr. lovecraft right.

  11. I have my application in to Dorothy Sayer’s Oxford, cuz you get to wear cool gowns there, even during working hours, and you can whup Virginia Woolf’s Cambridge at croquet.

  12. I really wish I had attended the College of Electrical Switches, Old Radio Sets and Soggy Paper Bags.
    It’s the only college where it’s a very good thing to turn on, tune in and drop out…

  13. I suppose it’s a toss-up: either UC-Sunnydale or Transylvania Polygnostic University in Beetleburg. Given the…*varied* nature of the students there, it’s highly doubtful I would survive long enough to graduate from either alma mater. (Sparks or monsters…not much of a choice, is it?)

    Then again, there’s always the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning. Nice campus, great living quarters, intelligent and articulate teachers, lots of student body diversity…LOTS of student body diversity…and you can always figure out where previous graduates have been. Just follow the trail of wreckage.

  14. Another vote for Unseen University! I hear that there’s office space (and rooms with views, and vacations, and desert islands) as well as plentiful eating.

    That said, I think anyone who opts for Borges’ library (or, properly, universe) might have a few problems finding the books they need for their reading lists. I can just imagine the sadistic lecturer: “Go on, the books are all out there. What are you waiting for?”

  15. Corny, I know but I’d love to attend Greendale Comunity College with Jeff Winger and crew- they’re weird and smart like me but nicer than anyone I ever went to school with for real.

  16. I think that I’d rather go through the apprenticeship process that Jasper Fforde has set up in the BookWorld might be a very effective system… especially if I ever want to fulfill my life’s goal to hunt a Minotaur with Miss Havisham.

  17. I just finished Lev Ac Rosen’s All Men of Science, and his Illyria is dreamy — a Victorian steampunk university of (mad!) science including automata, singing animals and an underground train. All this, and Ada Byron as the school’s patron, an exhibition at the Crystal Palace at the end of each year, and a wild proclivity of the students to enact love affairs from Twelfth Night and/or the Importance of being Earnest. Bliss!

    Of course, girls have to disguise themselves as young men to enter, but you can’t have everything…

  18. Brakebills. Much like Hogwarts, but without the treacly innocence, and with much more fraternization. Magical powers and sex; if there is a better possible combination of elements that could potentially blow your mind through the back wall of the sexual theatre, I’d like to hear it/get directions to it.

  19. Since I tend to chafe under the yoke of formal study, I’d still be content to conduct my own independent studies in the environs of a fantastic and learned library like Compleat, the library who fathered a trio of wyverns (A Through L, M Through S, & T Through Z) in Catherynne Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

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