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Author Archive

River Monster Sighted in London’s River Thames

Thames MonsterMarch 27th, YouTube user Penn Plate, posted an unusual video of what appears to be a dark object briefly breaking the surface of the water, before fully submersing itself in the cloudy river.

Though the glimpse of the dark object is brief, we are able to determine that it is of a darker color, and that there are possibly two dorsal fins, or ridges along its back. Speculation of the object ranges from whale, to submarine, to shark, to garbage, to the Loch Ness’s biggest celebrity – Nessie. Whatever it is, it’s nice to have some cryptid news in the mainstream media feed.

As it does, news of this unidentified object has spread like wildfire. Why is that? The unknown nature and knowledge of what populates this planets waters can be a terrifying rabbit hole if you descend down it. Probably, this is a stray whale or shark, that, because of global warming, or shock waves, has gone astray from it’s normal migratory path and found itself in the Thames. No news as of right now what it is, but I am curious to hear thoughts, comments, and your own opinions!

 


The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 1 Wilbur Whateley

Lovecraftian Science

The_Dunwich_Horror_Viant-T_wilburwhateley.tumblr.com

The Dunwich Horror (Lavinia and one of the twins) by Viant-T (www.wilburwhateley.tumblr.com)

Lavinia Whateley may or may not have been the result of inbreeding among the Whateley’s, since albinism is not solely the outcome of inbreeding; more than likely such deviant activities were involved in the birth of the Whateley twins.  More specifically, there is evidence to suggest that Old Wizard Whateley “contributed” toward the conception of the twins.  This evidence is the fact that when the appearance of Wilbur’s brother is revealed, it is noted that it has “a half-shaped man’s face on top of it, an’ it looked like Wizard Whateley’s, only it was yards an’ yards acrost…” (Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”).  Indeed, even before this revelation, it was suggested that Wilbur was the product of inbreeding (Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos by Bobby Derie).

Based on how the twins differed in appearance Wilbur and his brother…

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The 100 Scariest Horror Novels of All Time

Some of these are absolutely on mark. Others not so much, and a few surprised me that they are even considered, yet they are all valid. Either way, this is a great reference list if you are looking for the next piece of fiction to be afraid of.

Horror Novel Reviews

Compiling a Top 100 list isn’t easy. I’m bound to offend some and win over others. That’s the nature of the beast, I suppose. Whether you agree with this list or not, you should be able to track down a few new treasures you’ve been missing out on, and you’ve got time to line up some reading material for Halloween. Anticipate loads of familiar names to fill this one up (a few are featured multiple times), but don’t be shocked if you stumble upon some fresh names as well. Check it out, from vintage classic to modern masterpiece, novella to full-length novel, these are the greatest 100 horror books on the market!

100. A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood

acoldseason

Alison’s Littlewood’s A Cold Season didn’t win over hearts unanimously, but I found it extremely creepy, fully engaging and chilling to the marrow. There’s a slick Wicker Man vibe to this…

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Weird Review: Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, Edited by Terry M. West

23124134Title: Journals of Horror: Found Fiction

Editor: Terry M. West

Publisher: Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc.

Number of Pages: 297

Format: Print (Electronic)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars aligned

Sating that appetite for the weird while supplementing the idea of found footage, Terry M. West and Pleasant Strom Entertainment, Inc. have manifested from dark vaults, Journals of Horror: Found Fiction. 29 uncomforting tales of delusion and terror that will have you locking your doors, checking your phone settings and finding your journal so you can chronicle the onset of madness that may inevitably take hold. 29 authors who were fortunate enough to be released from their own straightjackets to pen some disturbing literature, instead of screaming their tales or spelling them out in missives with their medication. Oh, but enough with the Crypt Keeper treatment, lets open up this dark tome.

Anything from sensationalized pulp, to eloquent horror will be found while traveling through these pages. I myself found many of the stories to be entertaining, yet there were few that made me pause my reading and recollect my thoughts. Those were the best tales. There were stories that read like standard weird fiction, and some that read like submissions to Creepy Pasta. However, though these tales are works of fiction, the tales that teetered on the edge of truth were the ones that dragged me in. Some of these entries, for example; West’s “Bagged, Tagged & Buried,” Rolfe’sKilling Jessica” and Leflar’sLetter to Grandma,” exhibited masochistic tastes with dashes of schizophrenia and paranoia for flavor which, along with some other minor ingredients, developed a fun psychotic recipe for great found fiction. Bellow is a list of the stories and the authors behind them.

Now, not having read much “found fiction,” I began to wonder if this is/would/could be a new genre of fiction. Yet after a second thought, and reading, I believe that found fiction is more likely a subgenre rather than a leading criteria for any fiction. After all, some of the best stories in history are technically “found fiction.” Brom Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, or more notably, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. Though I know Dracula and Frankenstein are more well known than Lovecraft’s work, I can’t help but first think of The Call of Cthulhu first because of it’s opening statement, “(Found Among the Papers of the Late Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston)”

Though TCoC isn’t an epistolary formed story like Dracula or Frankenstein, by simply stating that the documents were found and are reviewed (within the story) simply opens the door for use of the term found fiction. Yet the reason I claim that found fiction would be best suited as a sub genre, is due to the fact that the three classics I mentioned are primarily categorized as horror fiction, or even in the case of H.P.’s story, weird fiction. Any genre can contain the elements of found fiction, though they may not be as potent as a horror setting, they are out there.

It took me longer than I originally expected to get through this book, as I am sure it took longer than Mr. West anticipated for me to complete the reading and an honest review in exchange for some pretty thought provoking and unsettling fiction. In that regard I ranked this collection a 3 out of 5 stars. The book could have been condensed to 20 tales and maintained a stronger consistency of quality, and a more digestible overall length of the book. As you may see above I marked, with a *, certain stories as favorites or plots that when looking back stick out the most in my mind. I have more selections from Terry M. West’s library of publications; such as, The Giving of Things Cold & Cursed: A Baker Johnson Tale, What Price Gory?, and Heroin in the Magic Now, along with a couple others. I am excited to dive into those soon and share my thoughts with everyone.

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, or stuff from Terry M. West have also checked out:

If you have checked out Halloween Tales, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


When Thanksgiving Was Weird

I just caught an interesting article about a strange tradition that used to be held in the United States in the early 1900’s. Linton Weeks, over at NPR news, has dug up an old tradition that many have forgotten, or never knew about. Thanksgiving Maskers, Ragamuffin Parades, or Parade of Fantastics, call them what you will, judging by the photos on Mr. Weeks’s post, Thanksgiving used to look a lot like Halloween. thanksgiving-masking2-8b7c2cebbe3492b97c4babd3e2c60965e3e962d8-s1900-c85 So many people took part in this tradition that the mask making industry could hardly keep up. “The busiest time of the year for the manufacturers of and dealers in masks and false faces. The fantastical costume parades and the old custom of making and dressing up for amusement on Thanksgiving day keep up from year to year in many parts of the country, so that the quantity of false faces sold at this season is enormous.” – Los Angeles Times, November 21, 1897. thanksgiving-masking-72779d2c588f365f232d0256ffb8fb92390583a1-s1900-c85 The young masqueraders would slink along the streets pan handling for pennies, apples, or other goodies, when asking “What’s for Thanksgiving?” It would be no surprise if you found yourself handing over a delicious candy to a faux Charlie Chaplin doppelganger or a creepy young lady with a nylon screen over her face for a mask. Ahh memories. Good stuff from Linton Weeks, and I highly suggest you check out his article to discover more of the forgotten truths and traditions of Thanksgiving in America. Click here to check out the strange side of a beloved tradition.


Miskatonic West, The Lovecraftian Web Series is Fully Funded

Another Kickstarter that flew under my weird radar has been fully backed. Miskatonic West is going to be an all new web series created by Harry Kakatsakis. The synopsis of the series is as follows:

In the world of HP Lovecraft; the creaking of a door, a shadow passing in your periphery or a bizarre siting at sea could mean any number of things, natural or supernatural. The massive sea god, Dagon, may have really existed in a primordial age. Whole civilizations of alien beings may have coursed across the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. The ability to reanimate the dead may actually be possible. Lovecraft wrote about these possibilities at the turn of the 20th century. They thought he was a fiction writer. He wasn’t. Everything he wrote about exists, and now Lovecraft’s distinguished Miskatonic University has a Southern California location.

Miskatonic West follows the exploits of Sousaku Kaos, the head of Miskatonic’s biology department, and his band of intrepid students as they pull the curtain back on a world of monsters, magic and mystery inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Helping the LAPD with “cases of interest,” Kaos and his students must uncover a plot to awaken Dagon, the ancient ocean god, by the Esoteric Cult of Dagon, before it and an army of deep ones invade the West Coast.

In making Miskatonic West, the creators hope to bring the same verisimilitude and realism that Lovecraft brought to his writings of close encounters with the monstrous and supernatural. With an eye towards cinematic integrity, we want to bring the world of Lovecraft into an emotionally honest light and capture what it would be like to encounter things that should not be and the toll it might take on one’s sanity.

If you are a Lovecraft fan, a fan of monsters, mystery, suspense and human drama join us in making this web series a reality. Thank you.

I am personally looking forward to viewing this when some episodes are off the ground. Though it was narrowly fully funded, I believe this series could contain some quality Lovecraftian goodness. But i’ll let you be the judge of that. Below is the teaser/trailer for the series. Let me know what you think, or drop by their Facebook page and give them some feedback.

If you have checked out Miskatonic West, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Weird Reveiw: Hearald: Lovecraft & Tesla

cover

Title: Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla #1

Created by: John Reilly

Publisher: Action Lab Comics

Format: Digital

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars aligned

Back in 2012 the popular site io9 had a post with a very appealing picture that was their call to arms to create a Lovecraft/Tesla team-up comic for all of us to love. It looked sort of like this:17n7yni5gsj4hjpgThe image sparked all sorts of wants and protests for someone to establish a decent storyline where these two obscure characters in our history could investigate and dispatch the paranormal/occult. And thank the gods those wants and protests were heard and have been answered with John Reilly’s Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla.

This alternate history series there are a lot of things that didn’t jibe with me. That is until I came to terms that this comic series is an extreme alternate history twist from what I am used to. This was particularly difficult due to the fact that I consider myself a very (very very very) amateur Lovecraftian scholar, so when the years/time didn’t match up, and he was living with his mother still threw me off. However the sheer cleverness of this opening issue has compelled me to become a fan.

In this world Tesla is engaged to the very brave and prideful Amelia Earhart. When the future Mrs. Tesla takes off on her famous flight, Nikola becomes fearful of the equipment his darling is using make history. After seeking advice from his close friend, Einstein, Tesla heads to the home of famous alternate dimension aficionado, H.P. Lovecraft.

Though there isn’t a lot of action in this first issue, the creators of this comic have done an excellent creating this alternate world and its characters that are so familiar that one can’t help but cross the threshold of our current knowing of these two figures and believe in something a little more fascinating than reality. Along the way you will see other historical figures, such as: Harry Houdini, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart and of course H.P. Lovecraft. I can’t wait to see who else we will see…

herald1

From what I understand the second issue is to be released digitally on Comixology today, November 5th, so while your there checking out the first issue, be sure to just add that one to your cart to. You will not be disappointed. For all updates on this project and new issues check the status on their Facebook Page, or on their Twitter account @heraldcomic. Print editions should be out sometime, maybe next year, I am not entirely sure on that. But until then please indulge your minds in the Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla. BUY IT NOW!

If you have checked out Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Bulgarian Farmer Finds Skull of Banished Werewolf

Happy Halloween Gibberers! This post brought to you in part by Rick Dyer… Just kidding.

skull in hand1While attending to some research on the Balkan War, Bulgarian student Filip Ganov was called upon to photograph something strange, yet fairly familiar in the local culture. After arriving at Macedonian farmer Trayche Draganov’s home, Ganov was eerily surprised to find a straw bedded wood crate with an almost mummified skull of what Draganov claimed to be a Varkolak, or werewolf.

While tending he field, Trayche said he dug up the wooden crate that, at the time, was wrapped and fastened shut with a gold chain. Fascinated, Granov asked to confiscate the skull for further testing and investigation, but Trayche simply refused allowing only pictures to be taken at this time (This by the way is the cause for the Rick Dyer comment at the head of the post.)

skull in boxSome of the best theory from officials after looking at the photos claim that it could have possibly been a wolf or K9 of some sort that suffered from Paget’s disease, a condition that can increase skull size and shape. However, until Mr. Draganov decides to submit something for official DNA testing this will remain mystery. So far I have heard nor seen any report as to what the lettering is on the lid of the box. It is believed to be a form of Cryllic script, which is known in the Bulgaria and Macedonia area.

In local folklore, werewolves, or Varkolak’s, were typically found on a Saturday laying about their graves. Upon capture they were decapitated and the body burned for proper disposal and banishment of the monster. By looking at what Trayche has uncovered, this was a successful capture and kill.

baboon

Baboon skull

Personally, due to the fact that the farmer will not hand over the specimen I have to believe that this is a clever hoax in time for Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love this, however by looking to the right, you can’t tell me that Draganov’s skull doesn’t kind of look like a baboon skull.

On one final note, I had to laugh at a comment that was recorded by Trayche Draganov, it reads; “Many of my neighbors are angry that I disturbed the varkolak (werewolf), they say that I will be reborn as a werewolf. If that is now my fate, so be it. What is done is done.” – Ancient origins.

If you have checked this story out, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Weird Video: Grave Shivers

From Sims Films, comes Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers. This film was successfully backed on Kickstarter, but was originally entitled Deadtime Stories. The final film, as seen below, was a recent winner of the audience award at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles as well as screened and worshiped at other filming events.

Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers from Sims Films on Vimeo.

I have always liked the idea of children’s stuffed animals protecting them at night. My daughter has a “Ducky” and every night she wakes up Ducky so she can go to bed, and in the morning she thanks Ducky and puts her to sleep. She even lets Ducky use her blanky. This all comes from me telling her that Ducky does a very good job of protecting us all at night. As for the last scene in the video, when I am asked to look under the bed I am going to have my wife do it… yesh.

If you have checked out Grave Shivers, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Weird Review: Halloween Tales, Edited by Kate Jones

halloween talesTitle: Halloween Tales

Editor: Kate Jones

Publisher: Omnium Gatherum

Number of Pages: 230

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars aligned

Some of the best pens of the Los Angeles chapter of the Horror Writers Association have been conjured by Omnium Gatherum to summon tales of fear and fancy for this Halloween season. 19 tales from literary horror veterans and newbies to the genre that together make a wonderful coffee table read for the season. As you can see by my rating I wasn’t too impressed with the contents of this book, however there are few pieces of sweet fiction in this candy sack that outshine the other sour suckers and kept me going through the collection in hopes of finding other good pieces at the bottom of the bag.

Unfortunately there weren’t many of these stories that left me chilled or stunned. If not for stories like Terry M. West’s “The Hairy Ones, and bits and pieces of Steven W. Booth’s “The Lurker” I would not have felt those feelings at all. However I must give full credit and appreciation to Lisa Morton’s “The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en” and David Winnick’s “The Cross I Bear. ” Those two tales were two amongst a few that were narrated or seen through the eyes of a child or early teen, and I found those stories to be the most interesting. The innocence in Mr. Winnick’s story really left me in aw, though some have said it was funny, to me it was honest and dark.

Though it’s not a book I would recommend to everyone, I would say it is a nice piece in a collection of stories to have on hand for this time of year. Al 19 tales are easily digestible, and short enough to read in one sitting. True, some are better than others, but that is how a well built anthology is, unfortunately I wish the stories were a little bit more balanced. By that I mean I felt all the greats were in the front of the book and not so much in the middle or tail end. Either way it was good to dive into some suitable fiction for the month and season and am glad to have been introduced to a few of these authors fiction. I will be keeping an eye out for them.

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed Halloween Tales, or stuff from Omnium Gatherum, have also checked out:

If you have checked out Halloween Tales, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Weird Review: Cthulhu Lives! An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft Edited by Solomè Jones

cthulhu livesTitle: Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft

Editor: Salomè Jones

Publisher: Ghostwoods Books

Number of Pages: 272

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars aligned

At the time of his death in 1937, American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was virtually unknown. The power of his stories was too great to contain, however. As the decades slipped by, his dark visions laid down roots in the collective imagination of mankind, and they grew strong. Now Cthulhu is a name known to many and, deep under the seas, Lovecraft’s greatest creation becomes restless…

This volume brings together seventeen masterful tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft’s work. In his fiction, humanity is a tiny, accidental drop of light and life in the endless darkness of an uncaring universe – a darkness populated by vast, utterly alien horrors. Our continued survival relies upon our utter obscurity, something that every fresh scientific wonder threatens to shatter.

The dazzling stories in Cthulhu Lives! show the disastrous folly of our arrogance. We think ourselves the first masters of Earth, and the greatest, and we are very badly mistaken on both counts. Inside these covers, you’ll find a lovingly-curated collection of terrors and nightmares, of catastrophic encounters to wither the body and blight the soul. We humans are inquisitive beings, and there are far worse rewards for curiosity than mere death.

The truth is indeed out there – and it hungers.


Cthulhu Lives! Or so I have been told, And I believe that is true…to some extent. In fact, in the minds of many of H.P. Lovecraft’s contemporaries, devotees, or worshipers, all his creations are real. Whether taken literally and practicing such worship or devotion with a cult, or simply creating a space in your mind whilst reading Lovecraftian fiction, creations such as Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep or Yog-Sothoth have made their place in our world for better or worse. Yet it is the high priest to The Old Ones himself, Cthulhu, who is most recognizable both in form and in unpronounceable name. Whether it be a symbol of a tentacle faced god, or the megalithic shadow beneath the waves that speaks to you in your dreams, this star spawn has solidified its place amongst most of todays weird/cosmic horror fiction. Cthulhu’s presence within these tales is what connects, not only the stories that lay within the Cthulhu Mythos, but also the authors and readers of said stories under the ever growing membranous Lovecraftian banner. These and more were the thoughts I bore as I dipped my mind into Ghostwoods Books newest anthology of Lovecraftian fiction.

17 very unique tales are what make up this collection. Some better than others, and others way better than some, the satisfying content this book has to offer is evenly distributed throughout. None of the tales are too long, the longest being 18 or so pages, allowing for easy digestible reads.

There are a few authors in this collection, one of them G.K. Lomax, who are emerging authors into both the writing scene and the Lovecraftian scene. Upon my initial inspection of the cast of writers I was expected to read, I was a little weary of the unfamiliar names. However, I was incorrect in my judgment of quality these stories possessed. Not being able to choose only three favorites, I settled on four that I believe were the most memorable and entertaining. Hobstone by G.K. Lomax, On the Banks of the River Jordan by John Reppion, Scritch, Scratch by Lynne Hardy and Icke by Greg Stolze. All four of these tales possessed an essence that I believe to be truly Lovecraftian. It was the vague suggestion at a grander menace, or entity with out necessarily giving it a name or advertently connecting it to the Cthulhu Mythos. It was stories like these that convinced me that this book should have been titled Lovecraft Lives! Simply because of the true theme of cosmic horror and fear of the unknown that Mr. Lovecraft is so aptly known for expanding if not creating.

Unfortunately though, there were just one to many stories that left me with nothing. Either ending so abruptly that it borderline made the story incomplete, or just the shear lack of engaging writing to keep me hooked through out the story. These stories made reading feel like work. All in all it was a pleasant and enjoyable book, wrapping up with a sincere afterword from resident H.P.L. scholar, S.T. Joshi. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for some new ideas and easy reads revolving around the Cthulhu Mythos. I hope to see some of these authors again, and also hope to see more publications from Ghostwoods Books that resemble this style and format.

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, or Salomè Jones’s stuff, have also checked out:

If you have checked out Cthulhu Lives!: An Eldritch Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


Cthulhu in Hollywood

Wish I lived in Hollywood, so I could see this!

TENTACLII : H.P. Lovecraft blog

Call-of-Cthulhu-Visceral-Company

“Preview performances are $10. Regular performances are $20; use the code ALHAZRED when you order online and get $5-off (not good for preview performances).”

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Weird Review: The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom, by Robin Spriggs

ozmandroomTitle: The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom

Author: Robin Spriggs

Publisher: Anomalous Books

Number of Pages: 208

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars aligned

Metafiction or monograph, biography or balderdash, demonic revelation or divine obfuscation, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom is at times deeply disturbing, at others weirdly sublime, yet ever enigmatic and profoundly haunting throughout-an ouroboric shadow play of strange wonder, mad prophecy, and inescapable dread.


 

It’s not often I am asked to review a book that I actually end up liking, yet throughout Spriggs’s latest anthology, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom, I became entranced by the way that each sentence is carefully crafted to carry the reader along these incredibly dark journeys that have been laid bare for all to attempt to understand. Each passage in this book is capable of standing alone as a piece of solitary fiction, yet when confined between covers and anthologized as it is, The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom becomes an eldritch tome of prose and sinister plots that none can easily forget. Like horrible things you can’t unsee, these tales are fashioned to implant themselves in your mind until insanity takes hold and you lose yourself in a world, eternally searching for a man with the last name of Droom.

The only refuge from such a fate can be salvaged from the first passage in the book in which the author describes that the stories that lay ahead are told to be absolutely true, but can at times smell of absolute bull-shit. As it should.

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Spriggs? or Ozman Droom himself?

All fun aside, because it’s all there is to be had while reading this book, you are meant as a reader to buy into this world that has been created by Spriggs. By not doing so, one would simply jeer at these tales as things of nonsense and loose the rhythm that is so elegantly constructed to impact the reader from story to story. And although I do find the annotations to be a little distracting, they are fun tidbits to read after finishing each tale while taking on the entertaining task of deciphering truth from fiction. I often found myself needing to reread each story, not out of misunderstanding, but because each ending left me with many questions. Yet after a second reading, and possibly answering said questions, I would be cursed with more perplexity than the first go around. But that is a great tool in weird fiction, to deliver more questions than answers. It is what engages the reader’s imagination and hooks them into the story while they hope that something will be explained.

Usually with an anthology the reader isn’t obligated, or at least shouldn’t feel so, to read the book cover to cover. It is the beauty and curse of the anthology. The reader has freedom to pick it up and put it down, story by story instead of chapter to chapter until it’s done and over. However, in this case, the reader would be missing out on the bigger picture that is painted when most of these pages are read in succession. This is apparent when understanding the themes and motifs amid the book. For instance, it would seem that Mr. Spriggs has a fetish for the number 9. This begins with one of the first stories, The Sigil, in which the character (either created by Droom, or Droom himself) is in attempt to summon a nonagonal sigil, nonagonal being a nine sided shape. There’s the story of The House of Nine, and mentions of nine rooms, and a pantheon of nine in other tales as well.

I also found myself wondering if there was a sentimental value behind the authors use or fascination with the letter I and the word “eye.” Like the ongoing theme of nine, in many stories the reader will notice close attention characters eyes, or the significance to the letter I. I was lost on this motif at times, but enjoyed the incorporation of it in a few of the stories.

I had fun reading this book. Whereas usually these types of review are more work than leisure, I rather enjoyed having to pick this one up and digesting all the little goodies that lay within. The only momentary dislike I felt was in the use or reuse of some of these stories from his previous work, including Diary of a Gentleman Diabolist. I first became aware of Robin Spriggs, while reading issue#22 of the Lovecraft eZine. The prose poem, The Dance, had something in it that I had forgotten existed until reading The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom. I am hoping that the next publication from Robin Spriggs has some fresh material that will further enlighten and grow the hordes of acolytes he has surely developed through his craft.

Well done, sir.

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom, or Robin Sprigg’s stuff, have also checked out:

If you have checked out The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


The Devil in Disguise: Modern Monsters and their Metaphors

A very appealing article on monsters and their influence on humanity and their reflections of our world.

The Geek Anthropologist

Throughout the past decade or so, we’ve had a resurgence of monsters. Werewolves, vampires and zombies have all experienced their zeitgeist moment, capturing the public’s attention and circulating through television spin-offs until the next monstrous trend took over. The latest incarnation of our fears, Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain, will premiere on FX on July 13, featuring a new breed of vampire. Other shows, like Hemlock Grove, Salem, and In the Flesh feature a horrifying panoply of nightmarish creatures. But it might be useful to think about why pop culture is raising the dead, and what it says about our contemporary fears.

Monsters have for centuries been manifestations of society’s fears and anxieties. As Stephen T. Asma explains in On Monsters, Monster derives from the Latin word monstrum, which in turns derives from the root monere (to warn). To be a monster is to be an omen […]…

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Controversy Over Gollum Creature Siting In China

After photos surfaced Tuesday of an apparent “Gollum” creature spotted near the Great Wall of China, the story went viral. Within a day tens of thousands of comments and speculations collected as to what the thing could be. Anything from a hybrid pig man, to an actual “Gollum” (A character from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit books) or an ancient lineage of mountain folk being discovered. All the talk got people pretty excited, as will happen when these possible hoax photos pop up.

But new controversy has sprung up after a young man has come forward with not only his testimony, but with photos of him in makeup and being photographed for a local advertisement. However, though it seems very likely that that is the case, some folks have began to point out marked differences in the photos taken by a wayward hiker, and those provided by the young man in the costume, such as; why are the ears slightly shaped different? Or why do the eyes look smaller or closed, when in the costume they are gaping holes. The initial photos by the hiker have been proven authentic and not modified, yet I still see what maybe shoes on the creatures feet, which made me curious before I found that this may all be a hoax.

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Along with these differences come a string of questions in regards to why a hiker would spot this “guy in a costume” and no photographers or crew shooting the young man. The hiker explains that while he was on his journey, near the Great Wall, that he was struck with fear as he spotted a bronze skin toned creature drinking water from a small pond (Below.)

drinkingdrinking2In comparison to the photo of the man in the costume, I am curious as to how he is able to drink with his hands through the mask. Not only that but I feel as though the eyes and ears look slightly different in the photos supplied by the hiker.

Either way, its always fun to have a new hoax to speculate about. I feel people gasp tightly to these kinds of false discoveries because we need something new and different in this world. Hence the reason people are so keen on finding bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster or aliens. It gets our imagination running at full speed. It scares us and exhilarates us. It makes us feel alive when we find something strange or unlike us living and reminds us that maybe, just maybe we humans aren’t so special in a world, or universe full of possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lovecraft eZine Issue #31, June 2014

Art by Lee Copeland – http://www.leecopeland.com

Art by Lee Copeland – http://www.leecopeland.com

That’s right, the June issue of the Lovecraft eZine is up and out there folks. This months enjoyment includes, of course, the free online edition, the nook/kindle format, a special print edition, and soon the podcast/recorded edition of this issue. Currently at #31, it is hard to believe that this online fiction eZine has made it so long. I have seen many similar sites/mags come and go, yet there is something special that keeps this Lovecraftian train rolling; The people. The community that Mike Davis has gathered is special. They are kind, supportive, and generally interested in each other when given the chance. This is a good place people, and a good environment to breed creativity and generosity to our fellow man in this insignificant universe we live in.

Though video chats, games, contests, and general awesomeness on Mike’s behalf, the Lovecraft eZine has trudged through the primordial soup of the internet that commonly drags down and devours many a man and fiction mags alike. But with a thriving cult… uh I mean community supporting and enjoying what Mike does, there is no end in sight for this… uh… site… yeah.

This months issue includes stories from a few commonly known entities in the Lovecraftian writing milieu; Joseph S. Pulver, Ross E. Lockhart, and Scott Nicolay. And features a few regular columns that everyone thirsts for; Robert M. Price’s Echoes from Cthulhu’s Crypt, and Ronnie Tucker & Maxwell Patterson’s hilarious comic strip, Cthulhu Does Stuff.

Get over to The Lovecraft eZine and share in the weirdness. Enjoy a little horror and maybe gain some perspective through the tales you read or the information you siphon from these texts. While there, do Mike, and presumably every reader and partaker of the site, a plus one and buy the print edition, or simply click on one of the sponsors that endorse the eZine, or click on one of the Amazon portals to access all sorts of Lovecraftian goodness while supporting the site.

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The Drabblecast: The Parasite Parade

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My friends, if you haven’t been listening to the podcast, The Drabblecast, then you might be no friends of mine. I take that back I need all the friends I can get. But if you haven’t checked out the fabulous work done by the team at The Drabblecast, then you are missing out. Hosted by Norm Sherman, The Drabblecast is a weekly podcast that brings you full audio productions of some of the brightest and weirdest fiction out there. Anything from the diabolical floaters in your eyes becoming sentient organisms, to otherworldly entities possessing a teddy bear and saving an abused girl from her mother.

Great stuff here folks, and you shouldn’t be missing it. Below is a video that Norm and the family have posted on YouTube, entitled: The Parasite Parade: A children’s book. This is a proper example of how creepy/weird the imagination of Mr. Sherman really is and the production value that goes into every episode. Though the episodes are mostly heard, rather than seen, you won’t be disappointed while you listen to some of the most fantastical or horrifying literature read to you along with scores of music to accompany the tale while creating an ambiance that you just can’t get out of reading these stories.

The latest episode, Local Delicacies is out now and awaiting your ears. You can download The Dabblecast where ever you listen to podcasts (i.e. iTunes,) or you can just go to Drabblecast.org and browse their archives including over 300 episodes of weirdness and hilarity.

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If you have checked out The Drabblecast, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer


Book Bound in Actual Human Skin

bookboundinskinThe book you see to your left has officially been identified as being bound in human skin. June 4th a tweet from the Harvard Library confirming that a copy of French writer Arsene Houssaye’s “Des destiness de l’ame” was given to friend Dr. Ludovic Bouland. The book in question, when translated, is a text entitled “a meditation on the soul and life after death.”

It was upon his receiving of the book that Buffalo Bill… oh I’m sorry Dr. Bouland bound the book in human skin (believed to belong to the back of an unclaimed female mental patient, who died of natural causes,) because, and I quote:

“I had kept this piece of human skin taken from the back of a woman, … A book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering,”

Though it is not uncommon to see a skin bound book in the Harvard Library, they are typically bound in sheep skin. And after many tests, including a check to make sure its not ape skin… cause that’s lest creepy… they concluded with 99.9% confidence that the cover is indeed human and not some makeshift paper bag book cover we all did in junior high and high school to protect our texts.

Although I’m sure a plethora of tests weren’t really necessary since Boulden was kind enough to leave a note within the book declaring that the book was lined with human flesh. Because why would someone lie about that, especially back in 1880.

In all seriousness though, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of these popped up in the future. Though the texts may be archaic, back in the 16th century it was common and even a manner of remembrance to bind a book in human flesh, or for criminal confessions to be bound in the perpetrators skin.

It is also known that numerous 19th Century accounts exist of the bodies of executed criminals being donated to science, their skins later given to bookbinders.

Turns out human skin


Weird Review: When The Stars Are Right, By Scott R. Jones

when the stars Title: When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality

Author: Scott R. Jones

Publisher: Martian Migraine Press

Number of Pages: 130

Format: Print(Paperback)

Rating: 3.75 Out of 5 Stars Aligned

 ANSWER THE CALL

ENTER THE BLACK GNOSIS

The Great Old Ones: hideous monster-gods that populate the pantheon of weird-fiction writer Howard Pillips Lovecraft’s increasingly popular milieu, his so-called Cthulhu Mythos. Protean, nebulous, unimaginable, and impressively persistent in their psychological and spiritual presence.

In When The Stars Are Right, author Scott R. Jones deftly breaks down the barriers between the bright logic of our daytime intellect and the fearful non-Eucliean symmetries of our darkest dreams, revealing the Black Gnosis: a radical mode of being that anticipates a new appreciation of humanity’s place in an increasingly dire and indifferent cosmos. When The Stars Are Right asks the reader a simple question: “Are you keeping it R’lyeh?” The answers may surprise you.


“When all is madness, there is no madness”

 A few months ago I was contacted by publishing company, Martian Migraine Press, and asked to review a fairly new book that explores a new spirituality based potentially off of the works of the late H.P. Lovecraft. Being primarily reviewer of weird fiction, I was a little reticent at first to consent to analyze anything non-fiction, let alone something set in a religious context. However also being a fan of Mr. Lovecraft, I had to see what this was all about.

For years I have been familiar with the H.P.L’s work, and for those years I have been submerged in minor research dealing with Lovecraft’s nihilistic world views, and how they influenced his writing. His outlook on human life as being meaningless paved the way for giant aliens, monsters, and deities that break our sanity only to put to scale how insignificant we humans really are in this vast universe. Though we might be able to stop these creatures from taking over our realm, there is always that underlying theme that beyond the veil of reality, there are always hellish entities scratching at the membrane of our dimension to break a passage through and reign supreme. But something that may be forgotten is that most of the time there are people behind these nightmarish creatures whose life’s purpose is to open the gates to let these things in. Cthulhu cults, worshipers of Yog-Sothoth, Witches of Azathoth all are bent on assisting their deities on ruling the universe, whether it be through some occult magic, or sacrifice. But that is not what Scott R. Jones preaches in his new book, When the Stars are Right: Toward an Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality.

What Mr. Jones has accomplished is beyond any Cult of Cthulhu, or Esoteric Order of Dagon. It is not so much a practice of occultism, but rather a philosophical approach to what Lovecraft may have been hinting at in his writings. Taking a more poignant stance behind Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, and Dagon and unveiling a study in character of each of the gods, taking into account what they stand for and what teachings they have in store for those who are enlightened by what Jones identifies as, The Black Gnosis.

“The Black Gnosis is madness, yes, and that madness is infinite and all engulfing and will consume a mind in order to free it, but the R’lyehian recognizes that there is nothing there to be consumed in the first place.”

This is technically the Zen of the R’lyehian. The knowledge and understanding, of what it means to truly believe the dreams that Cthulhu is broadcasting, and the acknowledgment that Nyarlathotep lies behind every message, both heard and unheard. But this is a level of clarity that is not reached through meditation, but rather through Divinely inspired Madness. It’s that moment, Jones explains, when the protagonist catches the merest glimpse of Dagon’s form as it embraces the white monolith and is plunged into a madness. The moment when Danforth peaks out side of the escaping plane in Mountains of Madness and sees the Plateau of Leng. That is the Black Gnosis.

Amid the teachings and direction induced by Jones, are personal events that endeavored the author to write such a tome. It is through these shared experiences that we begin to see a partial biography that guides the reader down the path Jones took toward finding his own R’lyehian spirituality.

I say his own, because this book does not possess a formatted practice for each follower. Rather asserts each reader to discover their own path, create their own altar, and write their own tome/Necronomicon to follow. There are no gods to worship, yet through the teachings that are presented through Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Shub-Niggurath, and Dagon, one can find the advice and guidance needed to creating their own path. This outlook on religion being about philosophies and not consistent worship is a method of spirituality that allows the practitioners of it’s faith to find inner strength and peace of mind – or lack of it through the Black Gnosis – *wink wink.*

I myself am not very religious and don’t find much significance in the daily worship, but rather in the ideas that religions have to teach and be used toward humanity. Though Jones may have a darker outlook, it is a structure that is more appealing in today’s environment. I admit I did not agree with every theory he has to share, yet I felt a connection to this book that alone says good things.

In the beginning of the book, Jones immediately attempts, though respectfully, to dismiss Lovecraft’s doing in this spirituality. But what I think readers might not understand right away is that the dismissal is toward what the public has done with Lovecraft’s creations, and not what the man himself created. By which I mean, when reading this book, for the love of Cthulhu, don’t think of tentacle face slippers, Nyarlathotep plushies, or cutesy anime cartoon adaptations of any of Lovecraftian creations. Those things aren’t in the nature of Keeping it R’lyeh.

While reading this book I experienced some issues with my heart, which inevitably scared the hell out of me and my family. With doctors unable to explain what was happening, I was left with a mind full of anxious fear. Temporarily forgetting about the book in the midst of all the excitement, I found myself in a very negative frame of mind, and one day decided to pick it back up. Full of fear, and anger I found a new hope and acceptance in Jones’s words. Though, as I said, the book may have some darker spots than I needed at that time, it was all about the message that can be found within. No, I am not a R’lyehian, at least not yet, but I did take something away from my reading. And I believe there is something in there for anyone who may be looking for a sense of identity, or searching for a purpose in their life. You don’t have to pray to Cthulhu (though it might help,) nor do you have to partake in any occult worship. Just listen to your dreams and don’t be afraid of what they have to show you, and what messeges they might convey.

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed When the Stars are Right have also checked out:

 

If you have checked out When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


Weird Review: NOS4A2 by, Joe Hill

NOS4A2_coverTitle: NOS4A2

Author: Joe Hill

Publisher: William Morrow (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) 2013

Number of Pages: 704

Format: Print (Hardcover)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars aligned

 

COME TO CHRISTMASLAND

What would you do for a lifetime pass to a place where every morning is Christmas and unhappiness is against the law?

Don’t give up on wonder! Don’t give up on dreams!

We’re looking for go-getters who love children and aren’t afraid of adventure!

 


“NOS4A2 is a fast-paced, wind through your hair, stomach-flipping roller-coaster ride that will make you white-knuckle the binding and refuse to let go. We follow Victoria McQueen, a Brat (as her father lovingly calls her) with enough snotty attitude to earn the name. However, Vic has a quality that will make you fall in love with her: imagination. Through the power of her mind and her Raleigh Tuff Burner bicycle, she is able to dream up ‘bridges’ that allow her to find things. Whether it be a family heirloom, a photograph, or just looking for trouble, Vic is able to find it with the help of her Shorter Way Bridge – a long-destroyed covered bridge that fell into the water. Unfortunately it is this same bridge, and Vic’s adolescent rebellion, that inevitably send her to Charles Talent Manx.”

That is an excerpt from my review of NOS4A2, for Haunt of Horrors Press. As you can probably tell by reading the above passage I am absolutely in love with this book. Hill has accomplished something special with this novel which officially places him in the running with the rest of the worlds best horror writers. Though most already know that he is an offspring of the King himself, he has done a damn good job of writing under his pseudonym, earning his way with the absence of his family name.

Hill utilizes an excellent tool within this horror/fantasy and that is the use of a portal. Both Manx, and Vic find there way through Hill’s “inscape’s” that he has mentioned in his other great novel, Horns. Through these inscapes, Vic, with the help of her Shorter Way Bridge, finds Maggie, a junkie who loves scrabble. She helps explain to Vic how her bike and bridge are part of these inscapes; “Big old hole in reality… I am reaching into my inscape to get the tiles I need. Not into a bag. when I say your bike or my tiles are a knife to open a s-s-slit in reality, I’m not being like, metaphorical.”

These inscapes are an excellent adaptation to the use of the portal tool. Hill has begun to create and expand a new universe that I wish I could join. Whether it be ‘The Treehouse of the Mind,” the Crooked Alley, a sack of scrabble tiles, or a bike, these “knives,” as Maggie calls them, are used to poke a hole in reality allowing the user to manipulate or alter it to there choosing. This opens up so many opportunities for Hill’s characters, and increases anticipation and cravings to see him continue to play around in this realm of thought.

This is a novel that every reader, casual or avid, horror fan or not, should have on their book shelf!

Check out the whole review HERE!

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed NOS4A2 have also checked out:

 

If you have checked out NOS4A2, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


Weird Review: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward By H.P. Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard

Charles Dextar WardTitle: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Author: H.P. Lovecraft

Adapted By: I.N.J. Culbard

Publisher: SelfMadeHero

Number of Pages: 128

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars aligned

 “I say to you again…”

Providenc Rhode Island, 1928. A dangerous inmate disappears from a privat hospital for the insane, his method of escape baffling the authorities. Only the patient’s final visitor, family phusician D. Marinus Bicknell Willet – himself a piece of the puzzle – holds the key to unlocking The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. A macabre mixture of historical investigation grave-robbing and bone-chilling revelation, this adaptaion artfully lays bare on of H.P. Lovecraft’s most horrifying creations.

“…do not call up any that you can not put down.”


 

“I.N.J Culbard’s illustrations of Lovecraft’s emotions are amazing and enrapture the reader into a world of questionable identities and the insecurities we all encounter. They are emotions that Lovecraft reserved for himself and, I believe, is the reason he initially withheld the tale in fear of disclosing his own sense of not-belonging during the time of his life.

That is an excerpt from my review of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, for Haunt of Horrors Press. Culbard is at it again, with his beautifully illustrated vision of one of the late Lovecraft’s best works. Any fan of Lovecraftian literature is in need of having this adaptation on their shelves, next to the rest of their moldering tomes. Happy reading!

Check out the whole review HERE!

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, or I.N.J. Culbard’s stuff, have also checked out:

If you have checked out The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


Weird Review: John Dies at the End by David Wong

JohnDiesAtTheEnd-001Title: John Dies at the End

Author: David Wong

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Number of Pages: 469

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars aligned

 

 

STOP.

  • You should not have touched this book with your bare hands.
  • No, don’t put it down. It’s too late.
  • They’re watching you.

THE IMPORTANT THING IS THIS:

  • The drug is called soy sauce,  and it gives users a window into another dimension.
  • John and I never had the chance to say no.
  • YOU STILL DO.

If H.P. Lovecraft and Hunter S. Thompson sat down, tolerated each other, got drunk and composed a novel, this book would be the result. David Wong’s John Dies at the End is a witty, comedic horror novel that uncovers the world behind the curtain we call reality, and shines light unto an otherwise known darkness that encapsulates our world, possibly the universe, as we know it.”

That is an excerpt from my review of John Dies at the End, for Haunt of Horrors Press. This is a great book with lots of fun crazy stuff going on inside. If you are a fiend for the weird, then this is a novel you should have in your happy little hands.

Check out the whole review HERE!

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed John Dies at the End have also checked out:

 

If you have checked out John Dies at the End, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


North Dakota Pharmacy Prescribes Monster Spray to Keep Away the Boogie Man

A pharmacy located in Watford City, North Dakota has found a cure to the bedtime blues. Prescribed before Christmas to a 6 year-old local resident, ‘Monster Spray,’ as it’s been dubbed, has gained popularity in its ability to scare away  boogiemen and other scary nasties that live in our closets and under our beds.

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“Spray around the room at night before bed, repeat if necessary,” reads the label. Allowing up to 120 sprays, this stuff is to be used sparingly since there is only one refill, and the prescription expires a year from its prescribed date, 12/20/2013. Hopefully after a year of preventative measures, the monsters will get the hint and leave this girl alone.

I believe this is doctoring at its best. Going beyond the physical needs of an individual and meeting the metaphysical needs of everyone. It does make me wonder though, if maybe the pharmacist who created this concoction needed to rid themselves of the heebie jeebies in the dark hours of night when all is to be quite yet something is scratching at the bed post.

Sleep well!

 

 


Weird Review: Transreality by Chris Lackey

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Title: Transreality

Author: Chris Lackey

Publisher: Witch House Media UK

Number of Pages: 128

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars Aligned

WHAT MAKES YOU HUMAN? YOUR BODY? YOUR MIND? YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?

IMAGINE A UNIVERSE WHERE ALL OF THESE ARE PROGRAMMABLE. THE LIMITS OF YOUR CURRENT BODY NO LONGER APPLY. YOU ARE DIGITAL AND IMMORTAL.

James Watson is suffering from a delusional disorder known as capgras, or so he’s been told. Nothing seems to feel entirely real since the accident. His wife, his kids, his friends, all feel disconnected from what he once remembers, like no one is who they seem. Feeling misunderstood, James finds help with a local psychiatrist who specializes in capgras delusions. Hoping to find his place again in the ‘real’ world, he agrees to meet with other sufferers to talk, and learn from one another. However not all of the capgras sufferers believe what they’ve been told. After hearing them out James encounters a strange man with a strange purpose. Suddenly a door has been opened to James possibly revealing the answers he is looking for. Will he be able to cope with the truth? Or more importantly, will he be able to live in a Transreality?

Chris Lackey has come out of the gate in full force in this, his first solely written and illustrated graphic novel. Captivating illustrations, varnished with vibrant colors and detailed cel-shading, bring each panel together along with dynamic writing to tie together both the emotion and expression of each fantastic character. Though the story is, at times, derivative of other plot lines like The Matrix, Inception, or even Total Recall, there was one part of the book that made me think of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. When Septimus arrives, initially saving James, I immediately thought Lackey had used George Carlin as a model for the character and creating his own ‘excellent’ Rufus – Morpheus cross over. It was little remembrances like this that amused me and kept me going. But something more interesting were the themes Lackey induces unto the reader.

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I am a complete stranger when it comes to the concept of trans-humanism, which is the belief or theory that humans will evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations by means of technology. I have heard small talk about the singularity and mind-melds with computers, and frankly it kind of freaks me out. Though immortality and information at the request of a thought sound pretty cool, to me, there seems to be nothing human about being downloaded and coded into a digital world. I think that is one of the themes of this story. How does one maintain a sense of humanity in a world were humans aren’t the only ones in charge. There are many levels to Transreality ‘branching’ off too; what defines humanity? How does one maintain that sense while being practically detached from a physical body? Who’s behind RainBird Industries? Who is behind the control panel, so to speak, that keeps all the simulations and digital consciences in check? All are great things to think about and to hope Lackey someday expands on in either a series of comics, or more Transreality world based graphic novels.

This is a story that anyone can enjoy whether or not science fiction is your genre of choice. I myself am more attracted to horror/fantasies but this has switched on a new found interest in trans-humanism Sci-Fi. I was able to read it in one sitting, which isn’t always easy due to time or general interest in the story, and was able to follow the storyline easily. Stay up to date at the official Transreality site to find out when and where you will be able to pick up your copy. As of right now, publication in the U.S. is due out in March. Keep your scanners on and ready to locate and digest this fabulous work.

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