An essential gift for anyone who has visited or plans on visiting Bermuda!
An essential gift for anyone who has visited or plans on visiting Bermuda!
We forget exactly how prolific and staggering and broad a writer HG Wells was. He created whole genres and fields of thought and whole colonies of lesser writers formed around a single one of his ideas. Such is the case with Cosmic Horror, arguably every writer you can name doing ‘cosmic horror’, including Lovecraft, is simply playing in the shadow of a single HG Wells story.
A single HG Wells’ paragraph.
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
That is the heart of every short story Lovecraft would do, the dread from beyond, distilled into a single concise paragraph.
Lovecraft and others spent entire careers mining just that one idea of Wells, nothing wrong with it, but let us not get things crooked.
Father of cosmic horror, Lovecraft is not.
And while I appreciate Lovecraft’s writing, the truth is, he is an author who was never in his life… anything more than a niche little known writer, for niche little known magazines. He is more popular in death, than he ever was in life.
Again the same can be said of many very good writers.
However, unknown in his lifetime, that can not be said of HG Wells.
HG Welles was, without argument, one of THE greatest writers of his time, and arguably remains today, over a hundred years later, still the single most influential writer in the English language, since so many writers from both science fiction and horror and fantasy , can trace their lineage to him, and continue to build on his concepts.
Plus HP Lovecraft, being the poster child for racists, makes him a writer I can do without over glorifying. From all documentation he was a pedantic, overblown writer and person, assuming airs beyond him, the racism and class-ism all were affectations of his aspiring to a nobility, when he was not a noble man.
So now that that is cleared up, please feel free to educate anyone you see using the term Lovecraftian Horror, on all cosmic horror (even creators oft just lazily grab a catchphrase that people know). Tell them call it just Cosmic Horror, or call it Wellsian Horror.
How you begin a work week I’ve found is important.
I began this day and this week with a new pocast LEVAR BURTON READS. and what a wonderful way to begin, especially the episode I chose, the lyric and insightful Levar Burton reading a short story from one of my favorite writers, cherished satirist, frontiersman, and Americanist (in the charming Mark Twain definition of such a word) Percival Everett.
Levar Burton reads ‘Graham Greene’ by Percival Everett.
A great podcast and a great read!
KNIFEPOINT HORROR PODCAST– This sporadic Horror audio podcast, KNIFEPOINT AUDIO, is a gem. These no-preamble, largely unadorned narrative tales of unease and the weird and eldritch, deliver some of the strangest and most captivatingly written and performed audio dramas on the net.
Very reminiscent of the best of Old Time Radio, particularly shows like the excellent BEYOND MIDNIGHT and the classic LIGHTS OUT, When it’s great, KNIFEPOINT AUDIO Is very great. Three standout and highly recommended episodes are THE CORPSE and POSSESSION and PRESENCE.
All three will make believers out of you, not in the supernatural but in the PODCAST! Highly Recommended!
There are some places where you can almost hear… time marching backwards.
Places I wouldn’t suggest moving a family to, or supporting by paying taxes, tribute to.
Places, communities where the whiff of yesterday is strong, and unappealing in the air. Where fear and bigotry and unequal policing covers up communities that are no longer ‘officially’ separate but still vastly unequal under the law.
Judge Charles A. Schneider is allegedly the judge that handed down the sentence.
Without doubt the choice of film is questionable, and ill-advised, but to first cost a woman her job, and then to be worthy of the courts time, much less a sentence of prison is patently absurd and outrageous.
First this film is not a porno or a snuff film or even a SAW type movie, it’s a bit less salacious than that. A variety of directors, each taking a letter and illustrating a horror story around it. The film has moments of being well done, and moments of being truly tasteless and boring and inept, but in the 21st century shows very little that a class of high-schoolers had not been exposed to. The film is on most streaming services for free, so arguably most of the kids in that class had already seen the movie.
So while without a doubt the choice of showing a horror film, even an alphabet themed one in a Spanish class is not just ill advised but, let’s say it, crossing the border into stupid; stupidity last time I checked wasn’t a crime. If it was, seemingly many of the staff, administration, and parents involved in making this particular molehill into a mountain, would likewise be facing prison time.
So what can you do? Well it’s seemingly a done deal. But what about next time.
Well if I’m a parent I would like to know what part the school played in the above scenario? And if it had been a straight out of college blond 20something female teacher, who had done likewise… would there even have been a reprimand much less her losing her job, and facing criminal and archaic obscenity charges?
Add to that would this Blonde 20-something teacher up on obscenity charges have been tried by a jury made up of primarily of people of different ethnicities than her? And if all this was the case would she have been found guilty? And if found guilty would the judge have mandated prison time rather than a suspended sentence?
And if the first answer that strikes you to all the above hypothetical questions is no, than perhaps what is happening in Columbus, Ohio is far less to do with obscenity laws, and movie quality, and questionable teaching skills, and more to do with ethnicity, prejudice, mob mentality, and a lynching 21st style. With the media and the courts as the rope.
To learn more go here:
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 1 – Collects issues 1 to 5, written by Mark Waid. The first three issues do a nice job of introducing Waid’s status quo of a Banner utilizing SHIELD to help him achieve the scientific greatness that being the Hulk has denied. The cost? Making the Hulk into an agent of SHIELD. So lots of interesting ideas in the first three issues, unfortunately the last two issues stumble. The art by Leinil Francis Yu is exotic, intriguing, chaotic and all this combines to be sometimes impressive, sometimes muddy and confusing. Grade : The hardcover at a retail of $24.99 for 5 issues, translates to $5 per issue. So grossly overpriced even if the book was great, and great it isn’t. So worth renting or reading it from your local library, but not worth buying. C+.
THE INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK Vol 2 – Collects issues 6 to 10, and suffers from the opposite issue of Vol 1, here the first three issues, drawn by Walter Simonson I found uninteresting, and the artwork a far cry from Simonson at his best. Completely forgettable. The final 2 part story stars Daredevil and sports far better art by Matteo Scalera and a far more intriguing story. GRADE : C-. Worth reading for the last two issues, if you can borrow it for free, otherwise just pass.
If you disagree with my assessment and want to try or buy it yourself, especially to find options to buy it well below retail go here:
SModcast 259_ The Walrus and The Carpenter
I’m not a Kevin Smith fan, which is to say I don’t dislike his work, I’m just not particularly interested in it.
I probably like him more as a Comic Book Writer than a filmmaker, so that said his various podcasts, imbued with his Clerks/film sensibilities humor, generally isn’t my cup of tea.
But there are two recent episodes in his podcast stream that I need to give kudos to, and one of them is episode 259 of SMODCAST titled… THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER.
Stick with it past the frat boy opening, and once he gets into the titular story you will think either one of two things, either this is stupid and turn it off, or (the surprising reaction I had) that this is achingly laugh out loud funny.
Listen for yourself and decide, and I’d be curious what your reaction turns out to be. 🙂
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OUT OF THE STORM by William Hope Hodgson
Courtesy of SFF Audio. Listen to it here! It is absolutely brilliant. This is the writer who inspired Lovecraft, and what Lovecraft learned from him (a man plagued by his own demons)… is clear…. and horrible.
As any casual visitor to this blog knows I’m a huge pulp fiction fan, so I’m always on the lookout for vintage or new age pulp covers that grab me. Under the heading risque Vintage Pulp Fiction covers comes the following selection of classic, caustic, and even calamitous covers from the defunct but rightly named SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES.
Take a gander and enjoy!
And if you’d actually like to read one of these stories (A Norvell Page!!) go here.
It took everything he had to open the front door in the morning and go to work, because the morning sunlight would lie on the walls of that red house and make it look like a four-alarm fire. And in the evening, the setting sunset lit it aflame from another direction. People started driving along Accardo Street–tourists, yet!–just to take a look at the gaudy thing!
Dad double-locked the doors and pulled the shades as if he thought the red house might rip itself off its foundations at night and come rattling across the street after him. Dad said he couldn’t breathe when he looked at that house, the awful red color stole the breath right out of his lungs, and he started going to bed early at night with the radio tuned to a baseball game and blaring right beside his head.
But in the dark, when there was no more noise from the room where my mom and dad slept in their separate beds, I sometimes unlocked the front door and went out on the porch to stand in the steamy night. I wouldn’t dare tell my mom or dad, but… I liked the red house. I mean, it looked like an island of life in a gray sea.
For a hundred years there had been only gray houses on Accardo Street, all of them exactly the same, not a nail or a joint different. And now this.
I didn’t know why, but I was about to find out in a big way.
… I heard my mom and dad talking out there. His voice was loud, but I couldn’t make out what he was
saying; then, gradually, his voice settled down. I lay on my bed and stared at a crack in the ceiling that I’d
seen a million times. And I wondered why I’d never tried to patch it up in all those years. I wasn’t a kid
anymore; I was right on the edge of being a man. No, I hadn’t patched that crack because I was waiting for
somebody else to do it, and it was never going to get done that way.”
—The Red House by Robert McCammon-from his excellent collection BLUE WORLD. I highly recommend the audio book:Something Passed by: Stories from Blue World
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