Friday, March 26, 2021

The Running Man (1976) by Jon Ruddy

With the cover declaring "demonic cultists torture and murder in their ruthless hunt for The Running Man" I expected, well, demonic cultists, torture, and murder. But this debut novel from renowned Maclean's journalist Jon Ruddy is less about those things, and more about the protagonist's interest in booze, sleeping around, and getting high. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Online Gothic Fairies Conference, April 2021

The Open Graves, Open Minds Project announce their online conference, ‘Ill met by moonlight’: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture. This conference is uniquely situated at the intersection between folklore, fairy tale, and the Gothic. It celebrates the darker aspects of fairies and their kin and marks the centenary of the publication by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of the infamous Cottingley Fairies photographs in the Strand Magazine (Dec 1920). 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Robert Eighteen-Bisang: A Tribute

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life more insular, and in my case I had to focus so much more on work and family that I lost touch with great people whose friendship I cherish immensely. One of those friends is Robert Eighteen-Bisang, noted vampire literature aficionado and Dracula scholar, whom I had the great fortune to have met in 1998--and who was responsible for not only getting me my first professional writing gig, but also encouraged me over the years to continue researching and writing about our shared areas of interest. Rob passed away in September, 2020, and sadly I only found out about it today. This is devastating news, especially considering I've been telling myself for months now that I should call him to see how he's been faring during the pandemic. Regretfully, that opportunity is now lost. But I'd like to tell you more about my friend Rob.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

CFP: Monsters and the Monstrous, April 2021

"I'm hated, execrated, those I meet are repelled by me. They want me crucified, and maybe their feelings are all too justified," sang the American band The Bastard Fairies in their 2010 title track "Man-Made Monster." The lyrics of the song oscillate between cackling threats of murder and cannibalism, and the lament, "It didn't have to be this way, I'm a man-made monster led astray." Such is the paradox of the monster and its appeal: simultaneously a true threat, and the object of sympathy.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

CFP: Supernatural Connections, March 2021

Due to the postponement of this event in light of the Covid pandemic, we are delighted to be able to unexpectedly reopen the Call for Submissions for the newly rescheduled dates. As a constant and chilling presence in individual lives and the popular imagination, the supernatural, as a cultural phenomenon, is prone to repeated revivals and resurrections. Like some uncanny revenant, the supernatural re-emerges at crucial historical moments, often transforming to reflect the concerns of its epoch.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

CFP: Global Horror: Local Perspectives, March 2021

Due to the postponement of this event in relation to Covid, we are delighted to be able to unexpectedly reopen the Call for Submission for the newly rescheduled dates. Horror pervades human experience. It affects us both as individuals and as members of social communities, it is recurrent in pop culture and arguably present in all fields of human knowledge and realms of storytelling, from Cronus eating his own children, to Freddy Krueger's sadistic murders in A Nightmare on Elm Street to media coverage of war. As a fundamentally paradoxical concept, horror simultaneously repels and fascinates us: we naturally dread it, yet we are drawn to it.