A place to escape between here and there

Archive for November, 2011

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.