Tag Archives: something wicked fall

Perilous Update, 9/28/20

Notes of Peril

Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo

Finished reading Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo. I’ll probably post about it tomorrow/later this week. Due to library holds, next up is Ben H. Winters’ Bedbugs which I was reminded of by Cathy @ 746 Books. So far, it’s really hitting the spot, no pun intended.

I’m in the homestretch with the first half of Horror Films A to Z: Part II. (That makes total sequel sense, right?) I think I’ll do a summary of my September movies on the 1st.

Deal Me In, Week 39: 6♠️
I read “The Hammer’s Prayer” by Benjamin C. Kinney. I’m a sucker for golems. This story presented a point of view I hadn’t experienced before in a golem story. Very enjoyable and a quick read.

Notes of Non-Peril

Bookhype – Long ago in internet time, there was a KickStarter for a Goodreads alternative. It wasn’t funded, but work continued on it. Six years later, I received an email from the campaign. Bookhype has been launched! It looks pretty good. I’ll check it out for a while.

Since it’s officially fall now I can officially be annoyed by 100+F temperatures. Thankfully, we’re done with 110+ and the nights have been comfortable. No more 24-7 AC for a while.

Perilous Update, 9/21/20

Mini Reviews

Read “The Bolted Door” by Edith Wharton for Deal Me In, Week 37. I feel there is some ambiguity as to whether failed playwright Hubert Granice actually committed the murder he confesses to, or whether he’s framing himself. I have to say, though, Wharton goes on sometimes. She’s not my favorite author.

For Week 38, I read “The Bone Flute Quartet” by K. J. Kabza. It’s a delightful tale of witchery and storytelling. One of the things I really enjoy about Kabza’s writing is his sentence level choices. I mean, read the following and tell me it isn’t evocative:

The highest spire’s roots spread into the White Palace, the royal quarters of Prince Hallegim, who administered Millstones in the King’s stead. Above, the spire’s tip shone wetly with the blood of the setting sun.

William Gibson's Alien 3

William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas (Illustrator), Tamra Bonvillain (Illustrator)

I ended up rewatching Aliens last week and decided it was a good time to pull this graphic novel from my RIP TBR stack. I will admit, I’m more of an Aliens fan than a fan of the Alien franchise, but the movie does cause a problem. It goes too big. What do you do next when you’ve just (spoilers ahead) blown the bigger, more cunning alien queen out the airlock? I mean, I guess a good solution is to not make sequels, but that doesn’t fly in Hollywood when there’s still money on the table.

Personally, I don’t think David Fincher’s Alien³ is that bad. If anything, it makes some interesting decisions. But before there was the Snyder cut, there was the mythical unproduced William Gibson Aliens 3 script. Gibson is of course known for pioneering the sci-fi genre of cyberpunk. What would he do with a Aliens treatment? Actually, it seems that Gibson was a pretty big fan of the first two movies and wrote a script that continued in very much the same vein instead of a story with more cyberpunk flavor. It wasn’t used for the eventual movie and lingered in fandom consciousness until Dark Horse produced a limited run series based on Gibson’s script.

The result is…okay. It is bureaucracy-heavy and I can see why it might not have been what the movie producers wanted.

Notes of Peril

Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination

Using Cuts as a Visual Effect – Great video from David F. Sandberg about using cuts in movies, with a focus on horror movies.

#SomethingWickedFall Watch-a-longs
Updated ➡️ Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – Friday, October 2 at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT/6:00pm PT
Updated ➡️ Sleepy Hollow – Friday, October 9 at 9:00pm ET/8:00 pm CT/6:00 pm PT
Sweeney Todd – Friday, October 30 at 9:00pm ET/8:00 pm CT/6:00 pm PT

I’m supposed to be reading Gothic stuff for #SomethingWickedFall but it just hasn’t been working for me. My current pick: Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edogawa Rampo, James B. Harris (Translator)

Perilous Update, 9/14/20

Notes of Peril

Read the Eugie Award-Winning “For He Can Creep” by Siobhan Carroll, a humorous tale of cats and deals with the Devil. Not familiar with the Eugie Award? It was named for author Eugie Foster, and if you’re looking for some excellent speculative fiction, please, read some of her work. She was a wonderful writer and a lovely person that this world lost too soon.

Otherwise, last week was kind of a low patch. We had some cooler temperatures, some of which was helped by haze from the California fires, but no rain. I couldn’t quite decide what I wanted to read next, so read very little of anything.

Notes of Non-Peril

We finally got a trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune remake.

At the beginning of the year, I decided that instead of taking some kind of vacation-y trip, I wanted to see more movies in theaters. The year would start with Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen and probably end with Dune. I had not chosen to see Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 in the theater and had been kicking myself since I finally saw it at home. Of course, the year hasn’t turned out as I expected. Since I don’t much trust my fellow human’s abilities to keep me safe (because that’s what wearing a mask is, keeping someone else safe), I’m probably not going to the theater in the near future. But I’m still pretty stoked for Dune.

Someone Created an Updated Trailer for David Lynch’s Dune – Lots of mashing up of David Lynch’s 1984 version with the new trailer.

Book Cover Trends thru Time (via DUNE) – Some good, some bad, some… um…

And, yes, some of my RIP book hangover is being caused by wanting to reread Dune. I’m not entirely giving in, but I will reading some chapters here and there.

Perilous Update, 9/6/20

Review: Wylding Hall

Wylding Hall

Via Reddit, I joined a Discord-based horror discussion group and read Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand with them.

Wylding Hall, a Shirley Jackson Award winner, is told in the style of a “Behind the Music” documentary or oral history of the acid folk band Windhollow Faire. The members of the band spend a summer in an ancient English country house, which results in a legendary album but also the disappearance of their lead guitarist. Ghosts? Fae? Whatever the case, something is not right at Wylding Hall.

Wylding Hall has some genuinely creepy moments. Hand perfectly walks the line between providing unsettling details and being ambiguous enough to let the reader’s imagination do some of the work. All in all, though, I didn’t feel like it held together. It could be that I am missing some underlying theme or structure, but if I am, I am missing all the clues that would lead to a through line.

Review: Victor LaValle’s Destroyer

Victor LaValle's Destroyer

I’m beginning to worry. I’ve really liked every thing I’ve read by Victor LaValle. At some point, I’m going to be disappointed when I read something of his that isn’t absolutely great…

Destroyer is not so much a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but an extension and a reframing. In one thread of the story, you have the Monster, full of rage and destruction due the fearful violent reaction of those around him. In another thread is Dr. Jo Baker, a brilliant scientist and the grief-stricken mother of a twelve year-old killed by the police. LaValle shows how monstrous the diligent parent might be and wonders how empathy can be situational.

And great art by Dietrich Smith on top of that!

Notes of Peril

Sherlockathon – The last piece of my autumn reading plans is now in place! I’m not usually a “prompt” readathon reader, but this one feels do-able to me. I’ve updated my Fall Blogging Post where appropriate.

The first couple post for my Horror Movie A to Z are up!

Notes of Non-Peril

The tenor of this year has become not expecting anything that I usually look forward to. So, I had kind of written off tennis and the US Open. But it’s happening! I watched tennis this week!

In the realm of weather, it’s still stupid hot. But to the credit of SRP and APS, it’s stupid hot but our power suppliers are still supplying power. I feel bad for all the Californians who are having a very bad weekend.


Fall Blogging Events 2020

Fall Blogging Events
Read more – If you dare!

{Book + Short Stories} What Went Back to the Library Today

Took a couple of #RIPXIV / #somethingWickedFall books back to the library today:

Cover via Goodreads

The Small Hand and Dolly by Susan Hill

Two chilling ghost stories from the author of The Woman in Black, both set in crumbling English houses that are haunted by the spirits of thwarted children.

In The Small Hand, antiquarian bookseller Adam Snow is returning from a client visit when he takes a wrong turn and stumbles across a derelict Edwardian house with a lush, overgrown garden. Approaching the door, he is startled to feel the unmistakable sensation of a small cold hand creeping into his own, almost as though a child had taken hold of it. Plagued by nightmares, he returns with the intention of figuring out its mysteries, only to be troubled by further, increasingly sinister visits. In Dolly, orphan Edward Cayley is sent to spend the summer with his forbidding Aunt Kestrel at Iyot House, her decaying home in the damp, lonely fens. With him is his spoiled, spiteful cousin, Leonora. And when Leonora’s birthday wish for a beautiful doll is denied, she unleashes a furious rage which will haunt Edward for years afterward. (via Goodreads)

Read both The Small Hand and Dolly. I enjoyed them well enough, but really don’t have too much to say about them. Neither was as good as the other Susan Hill book I’ve read, The Woman in Black, but that *is* considered a ghost story classic. I probably liked Dolly better because The Small Hand felt a little padded out. Still, some nice reading for autumn nights.

Cover via Goodreads

Poe’s Children: The New Horror edited by Peter Straub

From the incomparable master of horror and suspense comes an electrifying collection of contemporary literary horror, with stories from twenty-five writers representing today’s most talented voices in the genre.

Horror writing is usually associated with formulaic gore, but New Wave horror writers have more in common with the wildly inventive, evocative spookiness of Edgar Allan Poe than with the sometimes-predictable hallmarks of their peers. Showcasing this cutting-edge talent, Poe’s Children now brings the best of the genre’s stories to a wider audience. (via Goodreads)

I find it funny that a this anthology of “new” fiction is over 10 years old at this point… It’s my habit when I go to the library to pluck a couple books from shelves, give some a 10-page test, and maybe read a short story from a random anthology. A few weeks back I picked up Poe’s Children and started reading “Notes on the Writing of a Horror Story” by Thomas Ligotti, since I hadn’t read any Ligotti before. Unfortunately, it was a too long to finish at the library. So, I took it home. I meant to read a few more of the stories, but I only fit in one more. “Notes on the Writing of a Horror Story” was clever with an excellently twisted ending. The other story I read was “The Bees” by Dan Chaon. The setting was great but I thought the ending was a little flat.

📽 30-Day Horror Movie Challenge, Days 3 & 4 🎃

What’s this all about? See the first post.

Day 03 – Your favorite slasher

I know, I know… But Halloween (1978) is another horror film that is so iconic that it spawned an entire sub-genre and a franchise that is still going strong 40 years later. Like Night of the Living Dead, John Carpenter did a lot with a little. I’ve also always been impressed by Carpenter’s movie scores. While not sweeping or melodic, they are the perfect accompaniment to his films.

Day 04 – Your favorite werewolf film

American Werewolf in London (1981) is a great film. Rick Baker’s practical special effects are still a marvel. But my pick for favorite werewolf flick is a sentimental one. The action sequences in Wolf (1994) are…not good, but there are things I find endearing. The cast is great: Jack Nicholson only becomes more Jack Nicholson as the wolf takes over, James Spader is at his skeevy best, I’ll watch Michelle Pfeiffer in anything, and the supporting cast is full of familiar faces. But mostly I think I like Wolf because of its horrific setting…the publishing industry. 😉 (Wolf is available on Sony Crackle.)