What I am Reading: Saturday Selections

Well I got up with the sun still low in the horizon, I could see it from my window, and I grabbed a passel of books and my laptop, parked my chair where the sun would hit it, and set out to combine reading with updating this blog.

So what was on my read list?

Imaro
I’m rereading Charles Saunder’s IMARO VOL I. I’m on chapter one, great read.

The Spider Chronicles SC (New Printing)
I’m reading for the first time the 2007 Moonstone Anthology THE SPIDER CHRONICLES edited by Joe Gentile.  It consists of 19 short stories by some great writers. Among them Steve Englehart, Chuck Dixon, Martin Powell, Ron Fortier and others.

Reading the fun introduction by Comic Book legend Denny O’Neil.  And the first story, Martin Powell’s CITY OF THE MELTING DEAD, takes you right into the action, with a very cinematic tale of the Master of Men.

The Spider: City of Doom (Spider (Baen Books))
Continuing the Spider love, a pulp character I was not familiar with (beyond reference to him as a poor man’s Shadow) I also picked up the 2009 Baen publishing paperback THE SPIDER: CITY OF DOOM.  It’s actually a 600 page paperback omnibus, that is comprised of three Spider novels, namely: THE CITY DESTROYER, THE COUNCIL OF EVIL and THE FACELESS ONE, written by Norvell Page. I had some trepidation going into these novels based on some reviews on Norvell Page’s writing, but I’ve decided to see for myself. So wish me luck. 🙂

“If you’ve read any of Norvell Page’s Spider series, you recall he took what was meant to be a simple imitation of the Shadow and immediately swerved left to careen through Crazy Town with it. Those stories are so over the top that I used to put them down sometimes for a “What the hell” moment…. it’s difficult to overstate how whacky and exciting they are. On the other hand, don’t expect a neat tidy resolution at the end. This isn’t Ellery Queen, where every detail fits together perfectly. Page apparently made it up as he went, starting plot threads he completely forgot and taking off in different directions halfway through. You’d have to read the stories to fully understand what I mean, but reading a Norvell Page Spider story is like being in a car hurtling down a mountainside in the wintertime, the brakes out and the driver unconscious and some sort of large animal growling in the seat behind you. That’s THE SPIDER.”— Dr. Hermes Live Journal

Alan Moore’s Neonomicon
I also picked up the graphic novel NEONOMICON by Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows, and Antony Johnston (yet once again, I’ve been hoodwinked by ‘positive’ Amazon reviews, by reviewers with no taste or sense). 

It’s something I’m immediately sorry I bought. Mainly because it starts off with the exceedingly unpleasant, needlessly slur and epitaph laden, and pretty poorly written THE COURTYARD by Antony Johnston off of a Moore story/script. I’m not really interested in listening to a bigoted sob go on endlessly (the protagonist of the book), if that’s my thing I’d just listen to Fox news all the time. :). Also while I appreciate publisher Avatar bringing us esoteric and adult books, their art leaves a bit to be desired. I’m not a fan of their artists, in this case that would be Jacen Burrows.

So yeah, add a story I don’t like with art I don’t like, and this equals me not being a fan of THE COURTYARD at all. The fact that THE COURTYARD takes up half the book, means by the time I get to the NEONOMICON story, I’m so soured on the book I just don’t care. But I drag myself through it and you know what, I’m sorry I wasted the effort. A lot has been made of the sex, and violence and racism, yada yada yada. But really the book is defined by two words I had hoped not to associate with Alan Moore… boring and stupid.

Being a fan of much of Moore’s 80s and 90s work (even into the 2000s, I think his FROM HELL is one of his best works, right up there with WATCHMEN), it gives me no pleasure to say the following. Moore’s NEONOMICON, his love letter to HP Love craft, is just inane, pathetic writing from a writer who had been one of the best. And I’ve lost all respect for The Bram Stoker committee for giving an award to this title. Best Graphic Novel of the year?!! Did they just see the names Moore and Lovecraft, and decide this must be literary? Are you on Crack?! What a load of crap! NEONOMICON comes across as the bland, pedestrian work of a hack. And that’s a shame to have to say. But it’s the gospel. It’s not worth buying people, it is not even worth renting. This book is getting returned.

Silent Hill: Past Life
Now a graphic novel I’m reading that I do like quite a bit is SILENT HILL PAST LIFE from a company called IDW that is just exploding onto the comics/graphic novel scene. Written by Tom Waltz the story is capable but the selling point is the sublime art by Menton 3. It’s very reminiscent of the multi-media effects that David Mack is known for. Few pages in and very happy with the book so far.

Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes
And finally one I’m several chapters into is Andrew E.C. Gaska’s CONSPIRACY OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Initially when I ordered this book I thought I was getting a graphic novel, and was a bit put off to discover this was a prose novel, with spot and occasional full page illustrations.

But that reluctance was short lived once I started reading it. Gaska’s CONSPIRACY OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is GREAT!! I’m not even a Planet of the Apes fan, but was just enthralled by Gaska’s engrossing re-imagining of this well known story. I should finish it today, as it will probably take precedence over everything else.

One more thing on this book from publisher Archaia Press, it comes with a beautiful slipcover by living legend Jim Steranko, but once you take off that slipcover, underneath is this sumptuous faux leather book, with gorgeous patining and typography. Call me a twisted bibliophile but the feel of this book is grand. It feels like… luxury. Try and get that aesthetic from your digital book. :). This is definitely a writer to watch.

So that’s what I’ve been reading this bright Saturday. What about you gals and guys? Feel free to leave comments about your recommended reads today. Thanks!!

p.s. If you like the books I mention and are interested in purchasing, definitely use the handy-dandy links provided. Come’on guys I know how many of you view these posts, and it’s a good number, however people clicking on the links has dropped a bit, even as the number of viewers has increased. So gals and guys support the blog, by buying stuff you were intending to buy anyhow. Using the links makes a huge difference, and is a win-win situation for everyone. So Thanks in advance! 🙂

DVD Review & Contest: THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS by H.P. Lovecraft

I do find it amazing how much and how quickly you can write, when on an Absinthe/Peyote high.

Hmmm.

Interesting.

Anyhow, onto the blog post, speaking of mind altering experiences…

I put a lot of work into these blog posts, and whether you agree or disagree with what is said, you can come here day in and day out, and know this is a man who will chew his veins open, in an attempt to say it well.

I strive for that type of ethic in myself, and I appreciate that kind of dedication in others. And this post is about a whole group of such people.

The good folks at the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society were kind enough to send me a screening copy of their film THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS, the second in their feature length HP Lovecraft films (The first being a 72 minute film, done in the style of the Silents, called The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft).

The Whisperer in Darkness DVD

The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft DVD

Going into the story, while familiar with quite a few Lovecraft stories (some I like, some I don’t), I was unfamiliar with THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. So beyond knowing the standard Lovecraft constants of Miskatonic University, a creeping darkness from beyond, and a penchant for New England and florid language, I was a blank slate.

A dynamic opening shot, very much crafted in the style of the period, manages to set the tone of the film. Something that is not a homage, but rather a wonderful invocation of early 20th century film language.

As a fan of German Expressionism and Film Noir, the deep focus, and lush B&W photography, and consuming shadows and sharp angles they utilize to tell this period tale, very much play to my personal preferences, and I would think the the preferences of any who bring an appreciation of Universal Films or even Hammer Films (they made some very compelling B&W films) to the table.

But the look of a film will only take you so far, if you don’t have a strong protagonist and a strong actor to helm your film.

In Matt Foyer’s Albert Wilmarth, this film has both.

Matt Foyer’s performance is excellent. All the more so because he takes a character type that we are all familiar with from legions of horror films and books, namely the disbelieving and infuriating skeptic (who blithely saunters into a danger that the audience of course sees coming), and makes of a caricature something with character.

So the strength of Foyer’s performance, complemented by the writing, is that his Albert Wilmarth doesn’t come across as a fool, or an obtuse, to the point of stupidity, skeptic. His Wilmarth comes across as a sympathetic character, who believes in an orderly world, a rational world.

And we journey with him, as slowly those worthy beliefs… begin to crumble.

There’s something quite likable and endearing about Matt Foyer throughout. It’s a performance you’d be hard pressed to find in a film with ten times the budget. and the whole cast gives such compelling performances.

Among them Stephen Blackehart as the ever smiling Charlie Tower and Daniel Kaemon as the sardonic P.F. Noyes.

This is Kaemon’s first feature film, it will definitely not be his last.

And you can just go up and down the credits and everywhere you stop you’re going to find an actor who gave a great performance in this film, from Barry Lynch as the chuckling Henry Akeley, Matt Lagan as Nathaniel Ward (a friend, the voice of caution, who has been to the abyss… and endured) and impressive young newcomer Autumn Wendel as Hannah Masterson, It’s the kind of film actors are proud to have on their cv, one rich in performances and chances… to act.

And the crew is every bit as talented as the cast.

Beautifully shot film, smartly written (and I’ll come back to that in a minute), impressively scored by Troy Sterling Nies (I like how the percussion at times rolls up on you), for the most part well paced (it does begin to feel a bit long in the 2nd act, but stick with it, as the film kicks in the burners with the third act), and excellently directed by Sean Branney.

The special effects are used sparsely and effectively, particularly given the budgetary constraints. Most of the effects are designed not to call attention to themselves, and work very well. There’s some CGI that rears its head pretty massively in the third act, that can’t help but call attention to itself… but by that point I didn’t mind it.

By that time you are either with the story or you are not, and I was with it and quite enjoying myself.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I was on the fence with the film, during the 2nd act (almost completely set in the house). during that juncture the film began to feel… long.

But the third act kicks in, and it’s all quite engrossing till the end. The final act making the film for me, all in all… creating a film that not only am I happy to have seen, but very happy to recommend.

And if, like me, you enjoy making of featurettes and behind the scenes segments then splurge and get the Deluxe Two-DVD Set. I am a huge special features fan, for me a movie worth owning is a movie worth watching again, and one you want to listen to commentary about.

THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS is that kind of film.

The second disk in the deluxe set also sports a couple easter eggs, appropriate considering when I’m posting this. One easter egg involves a rabbit, or maybe it’s a guinea pig, some kind of furry creature. 🙂 Then there’s one ‘after wrap’ easter egg scene, and of course numerous extras. As a package, it’s informative and fun.

Also, I’ve never seen a film with this many subtitle options. If you want to learn 23 different languages get this DVD. 🙂 (but No Amharic? No Swahili?)

And one comment regarding THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS film versus HP Lovecraft’s THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS short story: There are MAJOR differences.

I picked up an audio reading of the story after watching the film, and at the risk of annoying Lovecraft fanatics everywhere, while Lovecraft’s original is a richly detailed story, I don’t think it is a good story.

The Whisperer in Darkness: Collected Short Stories Vol I (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) (v. 1)

Yep, I said it.

Bring it.

BRING IT!

Fools will have me uppercutting you around here! 🙂

But seriously, I was underwhelmed by the original story. and I think the filmmakers’ changes (addition of characters, creations of scenes, adding a third act) turned an aloof stream of consciousness vignette into a dramatic full featured story. The film took four years to complete, three of those years being the two writers working on the script. My humble opinion, that time and effort paid off.

Lovecraftian purists may disagree. However considering this film was made by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society I don’t really see anyone being more of a purist than these guys.

So Final Verdict, on a scale of: ‘avoid’, ‘catch it on tv maybe’, ‘rent or stream it’, or ‘Buy the DVD’. My vote is Buy It. It’s one you’ll revisit. Grade: B+.

And putting my money where my mouth is, the 15th person to leave a comment saying “This sounds great! Thank you HT and The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society! I want a copy!” wins a copy of the DVD.

Yep, I said it.

Leave a comment, be the 15th person, win a DVD.

I won’t post any of those comments, I approve all comments so nothing gets posted automatically, they come direct to me. The 15th post (only one post per person is counted so no multi posting) wins the DVD. Include your email address when you leave your comment so I can notify you if you win.

Cool?

Cool!

Now get out of here and hug somebody! Did I tell you your Momma dresses you funny?!!

Well now you know. 🙂 .

Oh, I’m kidding! I love you gals and guys!!

—-HT

Oh, and one more thing before you leave. Just, uhh… turn off those lights.

Yes, yes like that.

Now follow my voice,

yes…

yes…

come closer. closer….

closer. I want you here,

that’s it

beside me,

in the darkness…

so that I may…

Whisper to you.

(Man, I just creeped my own self out. :))

PODCAST OF THE DAY: Neil Gaiman’s THE TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS

“It is the curse of age, that all things are reflections of other things.”
–THE TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS

You want to listen to something that is as beautiful as it is stunning, then listen to Neil Gaiman’s award winning THE TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS as read by Richard Smith here, and be moved as you listen to a lyric tale of loss begun and loss ended.

It’s slow and languid and lovely. Starts at 12 minutes 40 seconds.

Artwork by Richard Wagner

Presented by SFF Audio and Star Ship Sofa.


“I take no joy in killing. No man should, and no woman. Sometimes death is necessary, but it is always an evil thing.”
— THE TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS

WEDNESDAY WORDS! TOP 11 BOOKS OF THE WEEK!

HEROIC TIMES Top 20 Books list (top 11 this week :)) is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.


Dream: The Dark Erotic Photographic Visions of John Santerineross [Hardcover] John Santerineross
Dream: The Dark Erotic Photographic Visions of John Santerineross

After forcing fans to wait for five years, John Santerineross again proves his genius of dark erotic art as he releases his eagerly anticipated second book of disturbing yet titillating images, entitled “Dream”. This sequel to “Fruit of the Secret God” is an exploration of John’s dream imagery and iconography through the use of the photographic medium. Hailed as “The leading dark erotic artist of our time” by media, fans and fellow artists, John again demonstrates his intelligence and talent in producing work that is provocative, disturbing and erotic.

“Dream” is a 9″ x 12″ hardcover photography book with dust jacket. 120 full color pages, it includes 50 new and never-before-seen images. Accompanying John’s disquieting, sensual images is an introduction offered by underground erotic writer, Nina Hugo and a short story written by artist and writer Bethalynne Bajema.

Guillermo Del Toro: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies
Guillermo Del Toro: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies [Hardcover]

An illustrated novel that dives into the world of the 2010 Miramax film “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark.” The movie is a PG-13 thriller written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, about a young girl sent to live with her father and his girlfriend. They move into a historic New England house, which is secretly inhabited by a brood of small creatures. These creatures seem at first to be playful figments of his daughter’s imagination, but quickly turn into a deadly threat.

The book, co-written by Guillermo Del Toro and Christopher Golden, takes place a hundred years before the movie begins. It chronicles the travels and adventures of a young nature scientist who begins to understand there’s more to the world than science understands.

Monsters in the Movies
Monsters in the Movies by legendary filmmaker John Landis showcases the greatest monsters ever to creep, fly, slither, stalk, or rampage across the Silver Screen!

Landis provides his own fascinating and entertaining insights into the world of moviemaking, while conducting in-depth “conversations” with leading monster makers, including David Cronenberg, Christopher Lee, John Carpenter, and Sam Raimi— to discuss some of the most petrifying monsters ever seen. He also surveys the historical origins of the archetypal monsters, such as vampires, zombies, and werewolves, and takes you behind the scenes to discover the secrets of those special-effects wizards who created such legendary frighteners as King Kong, Dracula, and Halloween’s Michael Myers. With more than 1000 stunning movie stills and posters, this book is sure to keep even the most intense fright-seekers at the edge of their seats for hours!

The Maze of the Enchanter (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 4) (v. 4)
The Maze of the Enchanter (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 4) (v. 4)
This series presents Clark Ashton Smith’s fiction chronologically, based on composition rather than publication. Editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger have compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith’s notes and letters, in order to prepare a definitive set of texts. The Maze of the Enchanter includes, in chronological order, all of his stories from “The Mandrakes” (February, 1933) to “The Flower-Women” (May, 1935). This volume also features an introduction, and extensive notes on each story.

The Last Hieroglyph (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 5) (v. 5)
The Last Hieroglyph (The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Vol. 5) (v. 5) [Hardcover] – The Last Hieroglyph is the fifth of the five volume Collected Fantasies series. Editors Scott Connors and Ron Hilger have compared original manuscripts, various typescripts, published editions, and Smith’s notes and letters, in order to prepare a definitive set of texts. The Last Hieroglyph includes, in chronological order, all of Clark Ashton Smith’s stories from “The Dark Age” to “The Dart of Rasasfa.”

Bodies: His Photographic Art Bodies: His Photographic Art [Hardcover] – Boris Vallejo is renowned for his distinctive style of fantasy illustration. He depicts a world populated by powerful, athletic women and dynamic, well-muscled men, engaged in challenging, physical encounters where their strength and power is subjected to the most demanding tests. He is often asked if the people in his paintings really exist and in Bodies he gives his answer. This collection of sensuous photographs confirms that his inspiration does indeed come from life.

The Metabarons Ultimate Collection
The Metabarons Ultimate Collection [Hardcover]- Jodorowsky & Gimenez’s epic saga collected for the very first time. A multi-generational tale of family, sacrifice, and survival told within an immense universe, both in scope and originality. A true classic in the pantheon of graphic storytelling and science fiction as a whole. Omnibus content includes The Metabarons #1-4 trades + 30 pages of bonus material (including two Metabaron short stories), presented in its original size and color and in a limited and numbered print run of 999 copies only.

Critical Millennium Volume 1: The Dark Frontier
Critical Millennium Volume 1: The Dark Frontier [Hardcover] – Mankind’s rise and fall in space begins here! Two thousand years from now, the Earth is nearly dead. A bold group of explorers led by philanthropist Thomm Coney pushes forward to take the first tentative steps out of Earth’s solar system. Their quest: new worlds to colonize, so that humanity may yet have a chance at survival. Facing impossible odds, political agendas, and a fanatical terrorist regime bent on their destruction, Coney and his crew brave the dangers of a potentially volatile star drive in order to preserve a civilization intent not only on killing itself, but also on taking down every other living thing around it. Will mankind set aside its greed long enough to see a future amongst the stars? Collects Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier #1-4 and contains new pages and a frontispiece and afterword by comic creator Chandra Free.

The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth-Century New York
The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth-Century New York [Hardcover] – In 1741, New York City was thrown into an uproar when a sixteen-year-old white woman, an indentured servant named Mary Burton, testified that she was privy to a monstrous conspiracy against the white people of Manhattan. Promised her freedom by authorities if she would only uncover the plot, Mary reported that the black men of the city were planning to burn New York City to the ground. As the courts ensnared more and more suspects and violence swept the city, 154 black New Yorkers were jailed, 14 were burned alive, 18 were hanged, and more than 100 simply “disappeared”; four whites wound up being executed and 24 imprisoned. Even as the madness escalated, however, officials started to realize that Mary Burton might not be telling the truth.

Expertly written by the acclaimed author of Drop and Hunting in Harlem, The Great Negro Plot is a brilliant reconstruction of a little-known moment in American history whose echoes still reverberate today.

Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness
Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness [Paperback] – Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Black Cool explores the ineffable state and aesthetic of Black Cool. From the effortless reserve of Miles Davis in khakis on an early album cover, to the shock of resistance in black women’s fashion from Angela Davis to Rihanna, to the cadence of poets as diverse as Staceyann Chin and Audre Lorde, Black Cool looks at the roots of Black Cool and attempts to name elements of the phenomena that have emerged to shape the global expectation of cool itself.

Buoyed by some of America’s most innovative thinkers on the subject—graphic novelist Mat Johnson, Brown University Professor of African Studies Tricia Rose, critical thinking and cultural icon bell hooks, Macarthur winner Kara Walker, and many more—the book is at once a handbook, a map, a journey into the matrix of another cosmology. It’s a literal periodic table of cool, wherein each writer names and defines their element of choice. Dream Hampton writes about Audacity. Helena Andrews about Reserve, Margo Jefferson on Eccentricity, Veronica Chambers on Genius, and so on. With a foreword by Henry Louis Gates that bridges historical African elements of cool with the path laid out for the future, Black Cool offers a provocative perspective on this powerful cultural legacy.

Dark Awakenings
Dark Awakenings [Hardcover]- From its earliest origins, the human religious impulse has been fundamentally bound up with an experience of primordial horror. The German theologian Rudolf Otto located the origin of human religiosity in an ancient experience of ‘daemonic dread.’ American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft asserted that weird supernatural horror fiction arose from a fundamental human psychological pattern that is ‘coeval with the religious feeling and closely related to many aspects of it.’ The American psychologist William James wrote in his classic study The Varieties of Religious Experience that the ‘real core of the religious problem’ lies in an overwhelming experience of cosmic horror born out of abject despair at life’s incontrovertible hideousness. In Dark Awakenings, author and scholar Matt Cardin explores this ancient intersection between religion and horror in seven stories and three academic papers that pose a series of disturbing questions: What if the spiritual awakening coveted by so many religious seekers is in fact the ultimate doom? What if the object of religious longing might prove to be the very heart of horror? Could salvation, liberation, enlightenment then be achieved only by identifying with that apotheosis of metaphysical loathing?

In Dark Awakenings, author and scholar Matt Cardin explores the ancient intersection between religion and horror in seven stories and three academic papers that pose a series of disturbing questions: What if the spiritual awakening coveted by so many religious seekers is in fact the ultimate doom? What if the object of religious longing might prove to be the very heart of horror? Could salvation, liberation, enlightenment then be achieved only by identifying with that apotheosis of metaphysical loathing?

This volume collects nearly all of Cardin’s uncollected fiction, including his 2004 novella ‘The God of Foulness.’ It contains extensive revisions and expansions of his popular stories ‘Teeth’ and ‘The Devil and One Lump’ and features one previously unpublished story and two unpublished papers, the first exploring a possible spiritual use of George Romero’s Living Dead films and the second offering a horrific reading of the biblical Book of Isaiah. At over 300 pages and nearly 120,000 words, it offers a substantial exploration of the religious implications of horror and the horrific implications of religion.

Well gals and guys hope you enjoyed that.

The WEDNESDAY WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list! And if you see items you’re considering purchasing then, if you are able and would like to support this blog, please utilize the attached links. Your helpful purchases through the links generates much appreciated pennies to keep this blog running. Your feedback and support… just way cool, and way appreciated. Thanks!

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Book Face Off: Massey’s DARK DREAMS vs King’s JUST AFTER SUNSET

This week’s Book Face Off is Stephen King’s JUST AFTER SUNSET vs Brandon Massey’s DARK DREAMS.

There really is no competition here between the two collections of short stories. Stephen King when on, can write like a force of nature.

But in JUST AFTER SUNSET, Stephen King is not on.

Story after story fizzles against each other to create a collection that underwhelms. There’s a sense in these King stories, as in some of King’s novels, the sense of padding. Of words poured on just to have words, and the gist of the story stalled, till the mandatory word count is reached.

It makes for something of a chore to get through. The best way to describe the effect of JUST AFTER SUNSET is tedium. It’s a tedious, tedious read. One belabored story followed by another.

Thankfully Brandon Massey’s DARK DREAMS Anthology, while having its shares of misses (Kalamu ya Salaam’s story being one of the most egregious), on the whole is as fresh as JUST AFTER SUNSET is routine. DARK DREAMS’ pages are filled with enough strange, evocative and varied stories of the sinister and the savage; to make it a far more satisfying read throughout.

And I strongly recommend the almost sold out DARK DREAMS unabridged audio book read by a variety of great performers. A nice compliment to the paperback. Check it out here: Dark Dreams : A Collection of Horror and Suspense Unabridged Audio Book CD

AUDIO OF THE DAY! HOW LOVE CAME TO PROFESSOR GILDEA from ESCAPE

“Can’t you feel how hideous it is for me! I can’t stop it! The thing makes love to me, caresses me. Whatever it is … it has no mind. That thing is a slobbering idiot!

But I didn’t tell you what it really did this evening, what came close to driving me insane.

The thing kissed me… but not from the outside! I could feel it, warm and wet, kissing my lips… FROM THE INSIDE!!”

— HOW LOVE CAME TO PROFESSOR GILDEA the February 28th 1948 Episode of ESCAPE

It’s as fantastic as that quote indicates. Just brilliant! Listen to it here!

PHOTO OF THE DAY: MY STAY AT A HAUNTED HOTEL


“After that, nothing was real. It was fantasy, ecstasy, dread and apprehension. It was glory. They went to live in her apartment, and did not need a thing. Neither people nor food nor sleep. Nor the world. Because there was too much of each other within the hours that they would never have.”
— SO SOFTLY SMILING by Chester Himes from
The Collected Stories of Chester Himes (Himes, Chester)

I see her often.

When I have given up seeing everything.

In the darkness and in the light, when it’s softly raining and when it’s hardly night… I see her often.

She’s in the places where corridors end, and doors that are shut… speak of being opened.

In the middle of the night I find myself in endless hallways, in strange cities, in tortured lands, waiting for the one corner that I will turn, the one door I will open, the one promise I will break…

And she will be there.

And hell will have no dominion.

It’s a dream… I have.

—NO DOMINION copyright 2012 HT