I chose/happened across several works this week that fit the prompt of necromancy about as well as the magician Joseffy fit the title. But then again, Joseffy’s most famous trick was Balsamo, the Talking Skull.
“The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter” by Elaine Cuyegkeng
I chose this story because it won this year’s Eugie Award and all the nominees are on my short fiction TRB lists. It’s not exactly a tale of necromancy, but sort of a remix of necromantic ideas with a little bit of far-fetched science thrown in. And at the heart of the story is a mother-daughter relationship that isn’t going too well…
Series: Brand New Cherry Flavor
Runtime: 1 season, 8 episodes
Creators: Nick Antosca, Lenore Zion
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Catherine Keener, Eric Lange
Initial: Decided to try out one of Netflix’s original series, especially since it fit R. I. P. (because I need more reason to watch horror…).
Production Notes: Based on a book by Todd Grimson, which is pretty much out of print. You’d think everyone involved would want an available tie-in, but what do I know?
What Did I Think:
This series is full of the reanimated dead, so it reasonably fits the “necromancy” category. I’m not sure I can say anything else very definite about Brand New Cherry Flavor.
Comparisons have been made to the works of David Lynch and, yeah, I can see that. I don’t really consider that a good thing. Lynch always feels a little too random and chaotic to me. BNCF isn’t quite as annoying as a David Lynch film, but there are definitely a few cases where what I assume to be rules of this world are inexplicably violated. The other comparison is to David Cronenberg’s works; that’s mostly because there is a pretty strong body horror aesthetic going on. I don’t mind body horror.
Story-wise, I don’t mind a morally ambiguous protagonist, but there is a moment of change-up that seemed false to me. Maybe it’s because we’re not given much hint that there’s something bad in Lisa Nova’s past until that’s important or that the parallel between her past and current circumstances is never fleshed out.
“The Necromantic Tale” by Clark Ashton Smith
Not very necromantic at all despite the title. In fact, it’s sort of libromantic, since our protagonist reading a book sets off a chain of events that is side-tracked by reminding himself that he’s reading a book. Nice and creepy though.