The grimoire Necrotelicomnicon is a handy (but in unskilled hands possibly lethal) look-up guide to methods of contacting Gods and related Supernatural Entities. It as also known as Liber Paginarum Fulvarum (Latatian: "Book of yellow pages"). It is not clear if this is an older name than Necrotelicomnicon or a latter nickname. The Necrotelicomnicon was written by Achmed the I Just Get These Headaches whilst knurd.
The book currently rests in the maximum security wing of the Library of Unseen University, where it sits in its own room with a large, carved stone arch reading NECROTELICOMNICON, just in case anybody forgets why they wanted to go in the room in the first place. (Another inmate is Ye Tantric Booke of Sexe Magicke, which is kept in a refrigerated cell at the bottom of a vat of crushed ice.)
Staring at a page can cause a man's brain to dribble out of his ears; it is unknown whether the book has the same effect on women, since none are allowed in the Library. Certainly the Librarian, being an orangutan, is able to read the book without too many ill effects, but he still does so from behind a smoked glass visor.
It is known that the Necrotelicomnicon contains information on Holy Wood, and judging by its name it presumably also allows one to contact the dead.
The page headed "About the Author" spontaneously combusted shortly after Achmed's death, but the "Other Works by the Same Author" page remains, telling us that the Necrotelicomnicon's sister work is Achmed the I Just Get These Headaches's Book of Humorous Cat Stories.
This book seems to have been inspired by the Necronomicon which appears in the works of H. P. Lovecraft an author whose over-blown works of fantasy were precisely of the genre that Pratchett tended to satirise.
It is intimated by the insertion of 'telicom' (i.e.: British Telecom; Telkom) and by its Latatian name that the Necrotelicomnicon is not only a book about communicating with the dead, but also their telephone directory.
For the terminally sad: Greek editions of Lovecraft's works have commented that the word can have several different meanings in Greek when broken at its roots:
- Necro-Nomicon : The Book of the Dead, derived from Nomicon (Book of Law), or the Book of the Laws of the Dead.
- Necro-Nomo-icon : The Book of Dead Laws.
- Necro-Nemo-ikon : A Study or Classification of the Dead.
- Necro-Nomo-eikon : Image of the Law of the Dead.
- Necro-Nemein-Ikon : Book Concerning the Dead.
- Necr(o)-Onom(a)-icon : The Book of Dead Names, derived from όνομα onoma ("name").
Lovecraft was often asked about the veracity of the Necronomicon, and always answered that it was completely his invention. In a letter to Willis Conover, Lovecraft elaborated upon his typical answer:
Now about the “terrible and forbidden books” — I am forced to say that most of them are purely imaginary. There never was any Abdul Alhazred or Necronomicon, for I invented these names myself. Robert Bloch devised the idea of Ludvig Prinn and his De Vermis Mysteriis, while the Book of Eibon is an invention of Clark Ashton Smith's. Robert E. Howard is responsible for Friedrich von Junzt and his Unaussprechlichen Kulten.... As for seriously-written books on dark, occult, and supernatural themes — in all truth they don’t amount to much. That is why it’s more fun to invent mythical works like the Necronomicon and Book of Eibon.
Oh - and Lovecraft's author was the "Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred...
The term Yellow Pages refers to a telephone directory of businesses, categorized according to the product or service provided. As the name suggests, such directories are usually printed on yellow paper, as opposed to white pages for non-commercial listings. The traditional term "Yellow Pages" is now also applied to online directories of businesses.
And the cat books? One of Terry's first books was called The Unadulterated Cat...
Fortean Times no 348 (December 2016) has this interesting snippet of information concerning mediaeval occultist Cornelius Agrippa. An unwary apprentice to this magician is said to have died when opening one of the Master's grimoires without first taking the appropriate precautions. Acounts vary, but either the book ate him alive, leaving no trace, or else the act of opening the pages summoned a legion of demons who tore him limb from limb and ate the living flesh. It is possible many of the legends about Agrippa - poet, philosopher, scientist and university lecturer - have been somewhat exaggerated.