♫ “Vampires” by Radiorama
Spooky Italo-disco. The video will surely haunt your mind.
♫ “Spider” by Bad Company
All the Halloween monsters hop and bop and slide around to that bass riff!
The New Gothic anthology leads with its best story, “Dive In Me” by Jesse Bullington and S. J. Chambers. In it, 3 delinquent teens visit the fabled Suicide Sinks for a swim after one of them confirms the place’s existence. It wrings a surprising sense of doom from a sunny Florida locale using a great local legend and setting, common fears (of drowning, enclosed spaces, being far from help), and character. Though the end raised a few too many questions, this story made me glad I bought the book. Other highlights included “The Debt Collector” by Fi Mitchell, in which the titular character tries to collect from a vampire, and “Reading The Signs” by Ramsey Campbell, in which a lost motorist feels growing unease with the man and boy he gave a lift to after midnight. Some stories didn’t work for me, but most still had some merit.
Anything that makes you feel alive can’t be all that bad. This was the mantra that Gina used to justify all sorts of dubious adventures with Moira and Spring, the other two being decidedly less cautious than she when it came to, well, everything. … This plot, however, didn’t give her the same queasy-awesome thrill as smashing streetlights or boosting shitty jewelry from Claire’s, … This plan filled her with dread. For the first hour, she smoked cig after cig, trying to come up with a plan on how to either talk them out of it or get herself out of it. She was just waiting for an opening, but Moira’s enthusiasm kept common sense out of the conversation as they followed Spring until the cracked sidewalks gave way to the long grass that bordered the old highway leading out of town.
You can get The New Gothic at DriveThruFiction DRM-free in multiple formats (and 25% off through Halloween!), directly from the publisher’s badly-arranged website, or locked-down at the usual online giants. Samples are linked from the comments on the publisher’s page for the book.
♫ “Wind And Rain” by Crooked Still
In honor of the recent storm, with creepiness for the upcoming holiday.
- CHILDREN OF THE CANE
- A couple on vacation encounters a sugarcane-growing town where the children have formed a cult and murdered all the adults.
- CHILDREN OF THE CO-EARN
- The children in an isolated town become maniacally obsessed with a profit-sharing scheme, killing anyone who won’t join.
- CHILLING OF THE CORN
- A documentary about frozen vegetables.
- CHILDREN OF THE CONE
- A couple encounters an isolated town where the children have killed the adults to eliminate restrictions on ice-cream consumption. Having learned how to operate the ice cream stand, the kids rob and murder passerby to pay for supplies.
- CHILDREN OF THE COW URN
- A society of children venerate a cartoonish cow-shaped pitcher into which they pour the blood of human sacrifices.
- CHILTON OF THE CORN
- In this historical comedy, improbable circumstances lead a British aristocrat to become a farmer in the United States. Will he ever accept the American usage of the word “corn” to mean “maize”?
- CHILDREN OF THE COMB
- A cult of children obsessed with perfect hair murder anyone who doesn’t have it…and grown-ups generally don’t.
- CHILDREN OF THE BOURNE
- The umpteenth Bourne Conspiracy sequel, introducing a new generation.
- CHITLINS AND SOME CORN
- A short video demonstrating a recipe.
- CHILDREN OF THE PORN
- A malevolent pornographic movie rapidly circulates among residents of a small town, causing them to conceive demonic children.
- CHILDREN OF THE CORN MAZE aka CHILDREN OF THE MAIZE
- A traveling couple encounters a town that seems to have no children. They discover that all the children live in a corn maze, where they’ve formed a terrifying, feral society. They live there because one year the local farmer who made the annual corn maze got over-ambitious, and the maze proved too difficult to escape — the children couldn’t find their way out. When the adults realized how quiet and peaceful the town was without them, they left them there.
- CHILBLAINS AND A CORN
- A senior citizen details their ailments.
- CHIPMUNKS OF THE CORN
- In an isolated farming town, unusually intelligent chipmunks have formed a cult and murdered all the children in town. The chipmunks got the idea from observing the children, who had formed a cult and murdered all the adults in town. Will the chipmunks learn to farm in time to replace all the corn they’re gorging on?
♫ “Scientific Love” by Midnight Star
“If Einstein were around today / He would teach us how to love a scientific way”
♫ “Investigation” by Carl Sherlock Holmes Investigation
“Everything I do shall be funky / from now on”
♫ “Poolside Polka” by Rotondi
“Love is in your eyes, and the streets are / awash with new chlorine”
I drew a Before Sleep strip of the chorus:
♫ “Moon Child” by Scott Cunningham Band (on a compilation released today: TRIP TO THE MOON — 13 supergroovy R&B, Soul, Garage Rock & Funk songs about the Moon by Various Artists)
Having stomach trouble today. It’s not major like the one I had 3 years ago, but suddenly it’s just bumming me out. Actually, what’s probably dragging my mood down is not having eaten enough because of it. Anyway: :(