Friday, April 04, 2014

True Confessions: Day One


It’s a summer Saturday, and I’m with my dad at Tower Records & Books. I must have been 11 or 12, not quite yet too cool to hang out with my dad in public. We are in the book section, as we Wards are wont to be, and I have been promised a paperback of my choice. I had recently discovered epic fantasy; Narnia and Middle Earth, Arrakis and Earthsea, they were all digested and well-loved by then. (Excepting the dismay and betrayal I felt upon realizing the magnificent Aslan was a Christ analogue, but that’s another memory). I was looking for a new world to live in for a while.

Then my brain was ambushed by the most skin-crawlingly disgusting book cover I’d ever seen. I was almost afraid to look at it, like I thought what I saw would ooze into my brain and infect me somehow. But I also could not stop looking at it, just stood, fascinated, as my dad sauntered over to see if I had made my selection. When he saw the book, he plucked it off the shelf and said with relish, ”Well! ‘The Rats in the Walls,’ that’s a good one.” I let my dad buy me “The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre,” with gruesome cover art by Michael Whelan.

My brain would never be the same.

That guy in the window in particular freaked me out. 

The dude in the web was also pretty upsetting.

P.S.: "Pickman's Model" was my immediate favorite.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weird Stuff: Swedish Ratzilla Attacks Finally Come to an End

Kidding. There were no attacks, just a SIXTEEN INCH rat! Part of me thinks they could have trapped it humanely, but another part of me says "HOLY SHIT keep that thing away from me!"

Ratzilla, the 16-Inch "Rat From Hell," Finally Captured in Sweden

Read the whole story, and see more unsavory pics at Gawker.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book Review: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, by Laird Barron

I waited for The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All to be released for what seemed like years, and began devouring it immediately. Because Laird Barron is about the best thing going in the horror branch of the weird, it's no surprise that it gets my five glowing stars. Barron's prose just gets richer and his cthonic mythology more resonant with each publication.

I did find some surprises in this collection, but I want to do this book justice, so I'm starting my second read through now. Stay tuned. But if you can't wait . . . no fan of Barron, cosmic horror or the new weird will be disappointed by The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All.

Okay . . . one surprise? The gracefully and ominously and oh-so-Laird-Barron-y titled title story doesn't exist in its own collection, except as a throw-away reference to another, much maligned, quasi-fictional author's work in the book's satirical closer "More Dark." Yep. Barron's gone more than a bit gleefully postmodern here. I am officially weak in the knees.

Random Thoughts: Am I supposed to feel bad about this?

That evil, hateful old bastard Fred Phelps died last night. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly slow or painful.

In a statement Thursday, the Westboro Baptist Church chided the "world-wide media" for "gleefully anticipating the death." 

In a statement today, I said: "Phelps prayed unceasingly for the death and damnation of myself and many others who don't adhere to his barbaric, ass-backwards way of thinking. It was the least I could do to gleefully anticipate his demise."

I know some people will call me un-Christian. To that, I say, "Duh." But Old Dead Fred was a worse one, no matter what authority he claimed.