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Archive for November, 2011

Lovecraft eZine Issue #8 for November

Cover art by Jethro Lentle

Happy Thanksgiving to me! I was thankful this year for receiving an impressive issue of The Lovecraft eZine #8. One story after the next of compelling Lovecraftian tales that made my day when I got home after a day of glutinous gorging and family togetherness. Had my fill of both but what I needed to cap of the holiday were some creepy tales.

 First I want to say great art work this issue by the likes of  Leslie H., Stjepan Lukac, Mike Dominic, Nickolas Gucker, and our pal Steve Santiago (Who is responsible for how awesome this site is.) Second, don’t forget to help these guys out and throw them some donations to continue bringing great stories, artwork, and other goodies your way.

As much as I would love to critique each of these awesome stories, I think it would take too long and I might go off on a tangent, and those can be disastrous, like this one time I as at work and this guy walked up and asks, “Hey, I was curious about your tail… oops. Anyway like I was saying, this month we are lucky to have five great stories, and they are: “Desert Mystery! Gas & Go!” by Ann K. Schwader, “The Tunnel Inside the Mountain” by A.J. French, “#Dreaming” by William Meikle, “What Dances in Shadow” by Derek Ferreora, “The Time Eaters” by Adam Bolivar.  Each one was a great read!

I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and as I look back, a big part of my enjoyment was born from reading these tales. Mike Davis is doing great things for the Lovecraftian community, and by making the Zine so available to everyone, he is helping to ensure a future of creepiness, and creative fiction.

 Lovecraft eZine issue #8 for November gets a loaded 5 out of 5 stars in alignment. Cheers!


Octopus Leaves Water and Walks on Land

There is something completely creepy about the idea of octopuses walking on land, well at least for me its creepy. Though it’s not uncommon to see an ocotpus outside of water for a little bit, especially for captive ones that have been known to escape and turn up in the least expected places. It is, however, rare to catch the act on film. I’m not sure exactly why this one leaves the water and seems to follow the people, but I did see that it left behind a dead crab. Maybe the octopi was protesting pollution, and decided to throw his garbage on our turf.

Maybe its all the Lovecraft reading but things that live in the ocean should stay there. I’d feel more comfortable thank you.


Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft

Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. LovecraftBlack Seas of Infinity: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars in alignment

A great collection of Lovecraft stories! This was the first anthology I purchased of H.P.L.’s fiction and after reading a few of the stories previously I was very happy at the selection and order in which the stories are laid out. With essentials like “The Call of Cthulhu”, “Dagon” to name a few, anyone just getting into Lovecraft would be lucky to have this in their untrimmed claws.

View all my reviews


The Drabblecast ~ #223 ~ Bearing Fruit, by Nikki Alfar

Art by, Alyssa Suzumura

It has been a couple weeks, but it’s here people, The Drabblecast episode #223 has arrived. I was a little weary last week without my usual dose of audio fiction but I made it through and was really excited for this one. If you have noticed a little lag time in-between episodes lately it’s probably because, Norm Sherman, the conductor of the crazy train, has been busy trying to put together a new album. That’s right, all those little jingles, and bbardles you hear from time to time are usually written and performed by Norm himself. If you don’t have his self titled first album, you should swim on over to www.cdbaby.com and check it out or just click here. Norm’s second album, “The Esoteric Order of Sherman” is currently being put together with the help of Kickstart.com. Hop on over to Norm’s site to make this baby happen.

On to this week’s episode! After the little bumper about Norm’s project we dive into a witty little drabble, by Ben Parker entitled “Déjà vu”. Then it’s right into the main feature, “Bearing Fruit” by Nikki Alfar. As usual I had to give this one a couple listens, but in the end I still am not sure how I feel about this one. From what I got, it was a coming of age tale, relatable to a newly knocked up teenager, and a fresh twist on a virgin birth. I got that from the line:

“One day you’re a wide-eyed virgin, with nary a care in the world; the next, you find yourself most unexpectedly and all but inexplicably burdened in a manner that afflicts virgins only once every two thousand years or so, to the best of your understanding”

Although I may not be able to put my finger on this one, I do like the story. It’s silly, and awkward which I think makes for an excellent tale.

Voicing this baby is the voice-over queen, Kimi Alexander, giving yet another great performance. The twabble this week blew my socks off:

“I thought I could hold it, but when I reached the bathroom it was too late; the baby alligator’d already slipped my hands.” – Travelin Corpse Feet

Hehe, good one folks. Well that’s all I’ve got for this week’s episode. Until then Check out Norm’s music project, and donate to help keep the weirdness coming. Unspeakable Gibberer gives this one 3.5 stars out of 5 in alignment.

 


Russian Woman Keeps Alien in Refrigerator for Two Years

Marta Yegorovnam, a Russian woman living in the city of Petrozavodsk, has been keeping a secret for the last two years. For the last couple of years, Mrs. Yegorovnam has been keeping the body of a small “alien” in her fridge. This is the third alien body sighting in Russia in the past few months.

Marta reportedly retrieved the small ichthyic  shaped body from a UFO crash near her summer-house in ’09. She heard the crash happen and then approached the flaming wreckage. The found the dead body of the creature and decided to pick it up and package it up in plastic and preserve it in her Refrigerator.

The “alien” is two feet long and has large head. Its appearance is something that reminds me of a baby Jaba the Hut, but it mostly looks vegetable.

Of course this looks like a hoax, and it sounds like one as well, but what if it was true? I’m only passing along information that I have collected from a few of the sites I found this story on. There isn’t much news on this which feeds both speculations that its true and being covered up, or widely accepted as a hoax and already old news. Your choice.


N., by Stephen King


 

Stephen King has always openly stated that H.P. Lovecraft was/is one of his biggest influences on his writing, and through a few stories that is easy to point out. Recently I read a post that Mike over at the Lovecraft eZine had put up about one of King’s more recent Lovecraftian stories, N. Appearing in Just After Sunset: Stories in 2008, N., is a story that pays homage to both Lovecraft and Arthur Machen.

In Mikes post about N., he shares a string of 25 videos that tell the story of N. in comic book form. Thanks to some of the artists at Marvel.com, we have been blessed with visual take on the horror of patient N. I have the trailer posted here, but for an entire list of all 25 episodes check out the Lovecraft eZine’s post here.


H.P.Podcraft.com – Episode #96 – Winged Death, with Hazel Heald

Hey Kids are you ready for your weekly H.P. Lovecraft fix? Well This week we get what might possibly be the last episode for a few weeks, as Chris Lackey will be off for a few weeks with his newborn son (When he gets here). Until then we will have time to enjoy and talk about this weeks story, Winged Death, by Mr. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald.

Not one of H.P.L’s most well known stories, Winged Death, takes readers to place that Lovecraft has yet to visit, Africa. With a mix of the usual occult ramblings about the Cthulhu Mythos, Lovecraft brings in his smallest adversary, a fly with ancient soul swapping magic. You’ll have to read this one to get it folks, but I have to say its worth it. I liked this one, and I believe that Lovecraft has hit a stage where almost every story he puts out, collaboration or no, is amazingly different and gets one thinking.

Reader this for this weeks episode is J.P. Moore. J.P. is the author of the hit podcast novel “Toothless“, and the highly anticipated “The Old God“. Check out him and his work at jpmooreonline.com. Unspeakable Gibberer is giving this one 3 1/2 stars in alignment out of 5. Cheers!


Lovecraftian Letter Magnets

All the Lovecraftian fun you need for the family. Keep a running spirit of dread going in your house with sanity blasting phrases for all to chant and revel to.

Check them and more Cthulhu approved products at Innsmouth House.

 


Art Restorers Find Detail of Devil in Giotto Fresco

Giotto Fresco in Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi

Restorers have discovered a little detail while working on some clouds in a fresco by Giotto. It appears like a horned man (who must be the devil right?) has been floating in the clouds of fresco number 20 in a cycle of scenes depicting the life and death of St. Francis painted in the 13th century by Giotto di Bondone.

It has been suggested by Sergio Fusetti, the Chief restorer of the basilica, that Giotto probably didn’t want the image of the devil to be the main part of the fresco, and may have painted in “to have a bit of fun.” The detail was discovered by Italian historian Chiara Frugone.

 

Although it is difficult to make it out from the ground, in a zoomed in picture you can make out a figure with dark horns fixed into the clouds attached to a face with a sly smile, and a hooked nose. The scene is that of St. Francis’s death. Ironic.

 


HPPodcraft.com – Episode #95 – Through the Gates of the Silver Key, with E. Hoffman Price

It’s been a while since my last post about these guys. I skipped over posting about “The Call of Cthulhu” reading with Andrew Leman, and decided that on the next episode post I would breeze over it. Great production value, as to be expected, and a great treat to have over Halloween. All of the full readings are now exclusively available on the H.P.L Literary Podcast homepage.

This week’s episode was one I have been waiting for a long time. I am a big Randolph Carter fan, and I was excited to get to this one. In some reviews of the tale, I gathered it was another crappy team-up, as Chris calls them, but after hearing both Chris and Chad talk about it, I immediately rushed to my complete collection of H.P. Lovecraft and read it. Good stuff folks. We are blessed again to have the dreamy voice of Lance Holt, from The Dream Quest of Unkown Kadath, and The Silver Key fame. As Lovecraft has progressed, I have noticed a more Science-fiction feel to his work. His descriptions of sounds, lights, and color really grabbed me and at times I felt myself falling through space in sort of a kaleidoscopic worm-hole.

Like I said I am a big Carter fan, and I really liked how this story panned out. Yes it was obvious from the start, and from reading reviews, I knew how it would end. Even with those spoilers I never read a perspective that gathered that Carter is an archetype of Yog-Sothoth. Still filling in the plot with all the description and feeling helps prove that Lovecraft is a master of his realm. I would have to agree with the guys that this one doesn’t get enough credit, and hope that someday they produce full readings of all of Carters journeys.

Next week, that is if Mr. Lackey isn’t fathering a gibbering spawn of himself, we get another Hazel Heald collaboration, The Winged Death. Read before they discuss and enjoy the madness. I give this story 5 out of 5 stars in alignment.

 


The Drabblecast ~ #222 ~ Rules For Living In A Simulation

Art by Mike Dominic

Hello again kids, here is your weekly review, of your favorite weird fiction podcast. The Drabblecast episode #222 – Rules for Living in a Simulation, by Aubrey Hirsch. A great one this week folks, and it was once again brought to you by J.R. Hamantaschen’s anthology of dark fiction called “You Shall Never Know Security “, check this one out people. The drabble this week was “Duck Hunt”, by John Murphy, a clever little 8bit tale to surface old memories of wanting to kill that damn giggling dog.

Finally we got a grand tour/introduction to the newly improved, for about a month now, official Drabblecast site. Norm named off a list of generous people who were responsible for how incredible the site looks now. Everything from switching servers, new site design, new episode art, and new information for each episode, has been updated for your pleasure. A lot went into updating everything, and like any good transformation, The Drabblecast came out looking like a mutated moth hatching from a greying cocoon hidden behind the eyes of an old man. See what I did there? If not, check out Trifecta XII.

Rules for Living in a Simulation, our feature story, is exactly what it sounds like. The world is as you assumed, a massive simulation designed to fit our needs. Really enjoyed this one. As a rattling list of what not to do’s and other guidelines, I felt as if I was being told how to live my life, which is exactly how some people feel about our government. An entity that if figured out, recognized, takes notice of those who are aware, and deals with those who have too many questions. If only Neo listened to this before swallowing that damn pill. Yep I just made a crappy Matrix reference… come on! You had to see it coming.

Great art work this week by, Mike Dominic, as well as an amazing reading done by, George Hrab. This one came together nicely, I wasn’t a big fan of the past couple episodes, not disappointed, I just didn’t think they were up to the snuff that DC usually produces. This one gets 3 out of 5 stars in alignment


21 Year Old Woman Kills, and Guts Horse… Then Strips and Crawls Inside for photos

A 21-year-old woman in Portland, Oregon, has been catching a lot of grief over an incident concerning her boyfriend and a newly bought 32-year-old-horse.  Jasha Lottin, (the girl in the photographs below) and her boyfriend, reportedly told investigators that they wanted to humanely kill the horse, which was declining in health, and eat it. She continued to explain how she wanted to feel what it would be like inside the corpse of the horse.

After the animal was fully gutted, Lottin striped down and crawled inside and posed for photographs inside and out holding organs while covered in blood. She can’t seem to understand all the attention she’s been getting and “No idea why people care,” Jasha Lottin, told Seattle Weekly, which published the photos of the carnage that she posted on the Internet.

Personally, I have seen weirder things, but still, it gives me the creeps. To me it seems like a really misunderstood revisioning of “The Empire Strikes Back”.

21-year-old Jasha Lottin, naked, and twisted, inside the corpse of a horse.

 

hmm


Skrillex – First of the Year (Equinox)

Best video I’ve seen all year. A must see!


You Shall Never Know Security, By J.R. Hamantaschen

Upon receiving my copy of J.R. Hamantaschen’s anthology, “You Shall Never Know Security” (Published by West Pigeon Press) I did as I do with most new books, and that is examine the cover. No book should be judged by its cover, or so they say, but I believe that a good glance at not only the cover art, but the words surrounding the literature, are important to take in before you begin. After all, that’s why they are there.  I was pleased to see what I was getting myself into. Like the back of the book states, “in the finest tradition of H.P. LovecraftThomas Ligotti, Dennis Etchison, and T.E.D. Klein,” all of which are authors who have time after time been able to portray the feeling, that life is a losing proposition. And after reading through this masterpiece of unnerving literature, I must also agree that these stories are truly what 21st century dark fiction is all about.

 This collection of thought-provoking literature is part of a new turning point in modern fiction. The world is no longer yearning for horrific old pens to cover the same feeling of dread paragraph after paragraph. No, even though one must not forget the classics, we must also understand this is not a new ballpark ready for the same players; this is a different game altogether.

A young writer from Queens, NY, Mr. Hamantaschen has successfully been able to filter the best themes of modern Sci-fi, horror, and speculative fiction, and has efficiently modernized a genre filled with dread, and uncertainty. As a young writer myself, I appreciated the characters established in each story. All containing relatable problems, and sharing the same thought process that I have seen people my age share as we try to discover our place in this world.

A spectrum of emotions are covered throughout this book and span from social awkwardness, jealousy, ignorance, determination, desire, hate, pain, embarrassment, and love. These are emotions that as new adults fuel our needs and motivate us to grow up confused and hurt, because it never turns out as we wish.

When I sat down to write this review, I opened the book and looked at the table of contents trying to decide which story was my favorite. To be honest, I can’t even properly decide. Each story has a specific feeling that overtakes me as I read them. As a
must I would suggest the last three stories of the anthology. These tales are some of the best thought out dark fiction that I have read, and all share a tangential theme. For those on a quick track to see if you like this work, any of the first five stories will lube your brain and get you thinking.

I review a weekly fictional podcast called, The Drabblecast, in which the host, Norm Sherman, has been featuring work from J.R. That is what truly turned me on to this stuff. If you have been checking those out, you’ll see that I have also been mentioning J.R.’s work as well with little quips like: “A seriously creepy book that everyone should buy, borrow, and beg to read
it.” and “I must say this book is a must to have tucked under the pillow, you know, to have something to clench when you wake with unease in the middle of the night. Yeah, it will do that to yah.” And it will folks, it will.

The anthology is available through Amazon.com, and is a book that will be immortalized on my book shelf, and should likewise be on everyone else’s. Whenever I have that moment to sit down and read a story, well let’s just say that I will be grabbing my hand-worn copy of “You Shall Never Know Security”. The stars are in alignment for this baby, 5 out of 5.

Furthermore, if you are extremely satisfied with this anthology, and wish to contact the author, you can reach him at, JRtaschen@gmail.com.  He answers every email.


The Drabblecast ~ #221 ~ The Year of the Rabbit

Art by Richard K. Green

Happy late Halloween. It’s not quite “yesterday” anymore, but this gibberer is here to bring you some words about The Drabblecast’s newest “spooktacular” episode, #221 The Year of the Rabbit, by An Owomoyela.

This is the fourth year that we have been fortunate to have DC bring us another great tale to put us in the mood for proper worship and sacrificing… um yeah. It took me a few times to make sure I got what I needed out of the story to make out what I thought of it. So, here it goes. I couldn’t help but notice, that this feature story, along with the past few others have still been sharing that sort of end times feel. This one breaks away in a sense, as it goes, I believe, in the direction of possible alien take over, or a conquering from dark spirits/demons.

The fancy voice work between Norm Sherman and Kimi Alexander, is nothing short of what is expected from the two professionals. With the interview/interrogation style of the reading, I couldn’t help but be reminded of DC episode ~ #155 The Second Conquest of Earth. The description of the darkness being felt, tasted, and smelt was something that caught my attention upon my first listen. 

Though it may not be as scary or poked more fun at something, like most DC episodes, it got its point across. Norm’s great rant about nonsensical word play when it comes to this time of year is great. Just want to remind you Norm, it’s only going to get worse until the New Year.

All in all I liked this one, though I feel that the last couple of episodes haven’t really lived up to that standard that most DC listeners might expect. That is solely my opinion, so don’t get your panties in a twist if you don’t agree, just leave a comment so we can discuss it. This one gets 3 out of 5 stars in alignment from me.