Black Stars Rise: New Fiction in FLAPPERHOUSE and True Detective Ramblings

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Firstly, this week marks the release of the first issue of FLAPPERHOUSE, a new magazine from editor Joe O’Brien. Joe is a long time visitor to the site, and I was honored that he asked me to submit. My story, “Axis Mundi”, (sample here!) is a sci-fi/horror story about derelict spaceships and divinity, is one of several new stories and poems to grace the pages of the first issue. It’s a terrific collection of varied voices, and the more I read, the more proud I am to be a part of it.

Secondly, I just finished True Detective last week. I wanted to hold off on the last episode for several years, just to inhabit the liminal space forever, but my wife demanded that we finish it. I’ve been enormously taken by the show, from the deliberate reference to the philosophy of Thomas Ligotti and other antinatalists in the first 15 minutes, to the series-wide use of weird fiction in general and Robert Chambers’ “The King in Yellow”in specific, the show was not only expertly written, shot and acted, it was also directly created to please me. Or, that’s how it felt across most of the 8 episodes. I’m fairly certain that this is, and will remain for some time, my favorite series on television, ever.

Since the show ended, I’ve been chewing on some things. One thing I’m maybe mildly disappointed with is that a lot of the intricacy of symbolism in set and costume design turned out to be coincidental more than intentional, but the show still has the feel of a puzzle box. And I adore puzzle boxes. With the writer mentioning that he’s a fan of some of my weird fiction authors (Ligotti, Barron, and Langan among them), and that he’s drawn direct inspiration from the genre (beyond the overarching King in Yellow references within the story), it had me on high alert for references, metaphors and symbolism. So, this is me pulling on threads and seeing what tumbles out.

Spoilers, obviously.

Right fucking

I’ll try, Rust. Here’s my thoughts on one of the repeating images and concepts from the show: Black Stars…

Continue reading “Black Stars Rise: New Fiction in FLAPPERHOUSE and True Detective Ramblings”

Midnight Media Roundtable I

A few folk have asked me over the last few months for some recommendations of horror fiction, and while I have more than a few suggestions, I’ve always put aside the task of compiling any sort of master list. And I’m still not going to.

Instead, let’s do this together. To start, here’s just a few films and books that have inspired or affected or intrigued me. I’ll try to keep this going with a little regularity. Also, on twitter I frequently do ultrabrief reviews, but this will give me a chance to be a little more detailed.

I’d also love your suggestion, so please comment and tell me your favorite or newly discovered films, books, authors, news stories, podcasts, terrifying Wikipedia articles or other scary ephemera of the web. There’s not a story I’ve written that didn’t have a clear inspiration point, and I always need more.

Some of these recommendations are likely old hat for many of you. I’ll try to get more obscure as I go. No numbers, or ratings. If I like it enough to talk about it, then I recommend it.

Continue reading “Midnight Media Roundtable I”