Soy Sauce Is My New Religion

"We're talking a tentacled flying lamp-fucker, Dave. What are you prepared to call unlikely?"

And that's all you need to know about JOHN DIES AT THE END by David Wong.

Besides the fact that it's insane. Dark. Funny as shit. Horrifying. Dimension-hopping. Monstrous.


(And don't get your P.C. panties all in a bunch, tightwad. Wong threads that word all through the book and it's meant exactly the way you meant it when you were in eighth grade.)

[In fact, now I sorta hate myself for even providing that disclaimer. When did all the wordsies start coming with those, anyway?]

† Digression.

Just buy the damned book. Hate your own face for not writing it first. Then pre-order its THIS BOOK IS FULL OF SPIDERS sequel. Then wait feverishly for the movie (with Paul Giamatti. VOD December, theatrical Jan. 2013).

You'll thank me. I mean, Wong. But also John.

And possibly never look at a bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce the same way again.

Or an Irish setter. 

Gaiman on King: New (ish) UK Sunday Times Interview

Nerfing around on Neil Gaiman's blog, as I am wont to do, I found this lovely little nugget in which Gaiman describes his reading relationship with Stephen King, beginning with Salem's Lot. It's in the intro to an interview he conducted with King in an April edition of the UK Sunday Times.

Dropping said nugget here because it is precisely how I felt -- and continue to feel -- about King, who continues to be my hero (even after I cried all over him in Atlanta that one time). Anyway, what Gaiman said:

"After that I bought everything King wrote as it came out. Some books were great, and some weren't. It was okay. I trusted him."

By god, that nailed it. The reason I love Stephen King is because I trust Stephen King. Because that man writes true. Sure, sometimes it's also meh (Duma Key) and sometimes magnificent (11/22/63), but always true. And that seems pretty damned important in terms of a writer's goals. Sure, story is king but truth is CEO; it's what keeps the whole shebang running. 

Anyway. There were other chunky nugs o love in that post, like Gaiman's descriptions of the various iterations of King as encountered over the decades. Read the whole interview here.

So which King did you read first? I think for me it might have been IT. Hurm...

Got a Definitive List in Your Genre?

As a horror writer, I always feel like I'm STILL not well-read enough in my genre - despite the mountain of tomes I get through. There's always that niggling feeling that there's some old, eldritch gem by some hoary old writer that I've missed - and this from a girl who pays attention to her Machen, her Chambers, her Blackwood, her Bierce.

So I was pleased to stumble upon this very nifty list of 100 must-read works, some of which include said hoariness. Happy to say I've read a lot of them, but also happy to have a list to work through - and keep up with. (Especially as I've just ordered other older awesomeness to keep a sista fresh, like the insanely thorough and awesome Dan Simmons' SONG OF KALI - eep!).

So here, for your edification (and yeah, okay, mainly so I have a central place I can refer back to as I go along) is this awesome list from Dark Echo. (The Best 25 Horror Books of the New Millennium has some good ones, too.)

So take a look and see if you've checked any of these out, or if you'd add something else. Me? Off the top of my head, I'd definitely add Simmons' THE TERROR and Clegg's NEVERLAND. Atmospheric, lyrical spooky bad-assery. Trust.

THE 100
1. Robert Aickman: Sub Rosa (1968)
2. J.G. Ballard: Crash (1973)
3. Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory (1984)
4. Clive Barker: The Books of Blood (1984-1986)
5. Charles Beaumont: Selected Stories (1988. reprinted as The Howling Man and Other Stories, 1992)
6. Ambrose Bierce: Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce (1909) [However, The Collected Writings of Ambrose Bierce (1999) may be more complete and probably is the preferred -- and obtainable --of the two.]
7. Algernon Blackwood: Best Ghost Stories Of Algernon Blackwood (1973 edition, earliest story first published in 1906)
8. William Peter Blatty: The Exorcist (1971)
9. Robert Bloch: Selected Short Stories (1988)
10. Anthony Boucher: The Compleat Werewolf (1968)
11. Marjorie Bowen: The Last Bouquet: Some Twilight Tales (1933)
12. Ray Bradbury: The October Country (1955) (Something Wicked This Way Comes is a very close second pick for Bradbury
13. Poppy Z. Brite: Swamp Foetus (Also published as Wormwood) (1993) 14. Ramsey Campbell: Alone With the Horrors: The Great Short Fiction of Ramsey Campbell 1961-1991 (1993)
15. Jonathan Carroll: Land of Laughs (1980)
16. Angela Carter: Burning Your Boats: Collected Stories (1995) (stories from 1962-1993)
17. Hugh B. Cave: Death Stalks the Night (1995) (stories mostly from the 30s and 40s)
18. Suzy McKee Charnas: Vampire Tapestry (1980)
19. John Collier: Fancies & Goodnights (1951) (stories from 1931-1951)
20. Nancy A. Collins: Nameless Sins (1994)
21. Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness (1902)
22. Dennis Cooper: Frisk (1992)
23. Harry Crews: A Feast of Snakes (1976)
24. Roald Dahl: Tales of the Unexpected (1979)
25. Bradley Denton: Blackburn (1993)
26. Philip K. Dick: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1964)
27. Elizabeth Engstrom: Lizard Wine (1996)
28. Daphne DuMaurier: Rebecca (1931)
29. Katherine Dunn: Geek Love (1983)
30. Harlan Ellison: Deathbird Stories (1975) [Deathbird Stories is the more significant dark collection, but The Essential Ellison (1987) is more complete.]
31. The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore (1933)
32. Dennis Etchison: The Dark Country (1982)
33. John Farris: All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By (1977)
34. Neil Gaiman: Sandman (1988 to 1996)
35. William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)
36. Ed Gorman: Moonchasers (1996)
37. Charles L. Grant: Tales from the Nightside (1981)
38. Thomas Harris: Red Dragon (1981)
39. James Herbert: Portent (1996)
40. William Hjortsberg: Falling Angel (1978)
41. Brian Hodge: Falling Idols (1998)
42. William Hope Hodgson: The House on the Borderland (1908)
43. Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
44. Henry James: Stories of the Supernatural (1970) (Stories pre-1915)
45. M.R. James: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904)
46. Graham Joyce: Requiem (1995)
47. Franz Kafka: The Trial (1925)
48. Jack Ketchum: The Girl Next Door (1989)
49. Stephen King: The Shining (1977)
50. T.E.D. Klein: The Ceremonies (1984)
51. Kathe Koja: Skin (1993)
52. Dean Koontz: Strange Highways (1995)
53. Jerzy Kosinski: The Painted Bird (1965)
54. Joe R. Lansdale: The Nightrunners (1987)
56. Richard Laymon: The Cellar (1980)
57. Tanith Lee: Dreams of Dark and Light (1986)
55. Fritz Leiber: Our Lady of Darkness (1977)
58. Ira Levin: Rosemary's Baby (1967)
59. Thomas Ligotti: The Nightmare Factory (1996)
60. Bentley Little: The Ignored (1997)
61. H. P. Lovecraft: Best of H.P. Lovecraft : Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror And The Macabre (1997; earliest story first published 1924) (Lovecraft recommendations were usually of two or more collections --The Dunwich Horror & Others, The Outsider & Others, At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, The Shadow Out of Time -- or simply "his complete works." I chose this particular volume because it includes "The Rats in the Walls," "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Dunwich Horror," "The Shadow Out of Time," and "The Colour Out of Space" along with an introduction by Robert Bloch. No plots are given away in introductions and it isn't annotated.)
62. Brian Lumley: Fruiting Bodies and Other Fungi (1993)
63. Arthur Machen: The House of Souls (1906)
64. Robert Marasco. Burnt Offerings (1973)
65. Martin, George R. R.: Fevre Dream (1982)
66. Richard Matheson: I Am Legend (1954)
67. Robert R. McCammon: Swan Song (1987)
68. Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian (1985)
69. Ian McEwan: The Cement Garden (1978)
70. Patrick McGrath: Spider (1991)
71 Toni Morrison: Beloved (1988) 72. Kim Newman: Anno-Dracula (1992)
73. Flannery O'Connor: Flannery O'Connor Collected Works (1988)
74. Joyce Carol Oates: Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque (1994)
75. Tim Powers: Anubis Gates (1983)
76. Anne Rice: Interview with the Vampire (1976)
77. David J. Schow: Seeing Red (1989)
78. Anne Rivers Siddons: The House Next Door (1978)
79. John Shirley: Black Butterflies: A Flock on the Dark Side (1998)
80. Lucius Shepard: The Jaguar Hunter (1987)
81. Dan Simmons: Lovedeath (1993)
82. John Skipp & Craig Spector: Dead Lines (1989)
83. Clark Ashton Smith: Out of Space and Time (1942)
84. Peter Straub: Ghost Story (1979)
85. William Browning Spencer: Resume With Monsters (1996)
86. Whitley Strieber: The Wolfen (1978)
87. Theodore Sturgeon: Some of Your Blood (1961)
88. Patrick Susskind: Perfume (1984)
89. Bernard Taylor: Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977)
90. Melanie Tem: Prodigal (1991)
91. Thomas Tessier: The Nightwalker (1979)
92. Thomas Tyron: The Other (1971)
93. Dalton Trumbo: Johnny Got His Gun (1939)
94. E. H. Visiak: Medusa (1929)
95. Karl Edward Wagner: In A Lonely Place (1983)
96. Manly Wade Wellman: Worse Things Waiting (1973)
97. F. Paul Wilson: The Keep (1981)
98. Cornell Woolrich: Night Has A Thousnd Eyes (1945)
99. T.M. Wright: Strange Seed (1977)
100. Chelsea Quinn Yarbo: Hotel Transylvania (1978)

Now if THIS sucka ain't scary....

Remember yesterday, when I was all, I hope PROMETHEUS doesn't disappoint? (Well, in the caption 'neath the CABIN IN THE WOODS image of yesterday's post, anyway.)

Judging by the new audio clip? I don't think it will :)

God, I love a good space horror. They're my favorite kind of movie. Ellen Ripley, in my eyes, is still the most bad-ass hero out there.

It's comin' out June 8! (And June? She's gonna be a good one. Cuz my boyfriend Louis CK's [what, you don't find pudgy pale Mexican-Hungarian razor-smart comic gingers sexy? Shoot. You don't know what's GOOD!] third season of LOUIE also be comin out - ON MY BERFDAY.)

Can't wait can't wait can't wait!

So, you? What can't you wait to see this summer?

Tony Can Avenge Me Any Day

First off, Joss Whedon is UNSTOPPABLE. Second, it's just not fair. I mean, I'm still a-swirl from the omg-no-he-didn't-ness that was CABIN IN THE WOODS. (FTW, btw.)
You know Whedon n Goddard have already ruined horror movies, for the most part. Because now the bar's just too damned high. But there's still sci-fi. *crosses fingers for PROMETHEUS*

So I'm not even fully over CABIN yet, and now, dammit, there's AVENGERS. Freakin' juggernaut of a movie. (Damn you, Whedon!!) Loved every bit of it. Because...

Eye-patch bad-assery.
 Has my heart.
(Oh my ODIN, that's a beautiful man.)
But Stark?

He gets to tap that ASS.

That is all.

The Green Lantern to Your Sinestro

Uh-huh. I don't know about you, but even though Hal's all emerald-ey in the picture on the left, my eye keeps being drawn to Sinestro there on the right, on account of all that yellow (okay, and maybe the whole fuchsia face n hands thing). But, see now, that's the (warped) power of the Yellow Lantern.

 In other words, fear.

All characters & images©DC Comics
Fear is the power of the evil Yellow Lantern, against which Green Lanterns were powerless for a long while (which is particularly telling, since the Green Lanterns' power is will.) In the canon, (well, one of the canons) the yellow/fear rendered the green rings inactive.

Anyway, musing on shit that's not EVEN related (like Lanterns & writing), cuz that's how I do, I find that the correlation between fear and inaction sticks out like a sore thumb in writing. Like a sore yellow thumb. So too, apparently, did the writer of this brilliantly effective Writer's Digest article that talks about all the insidious ways fear can disguise itself and derail a writing plan.

But just like Hal Jordan wouldn't leave a girl powerless in the face of that ugly yellow dude, the author gives great information about identifying fear, and then not working against it, but with it. For me, that lit up like two bright, shiny green things: 

The Green Lantern Ring
Green Lantern rings are fueled by willpower, which their bearers use to create anything they want -- and verily it is called the mightiest weapon in the universe because of it.

So, your ring is how you focus the advice from the article, such as using fear in a positive way. (I particularly dug the tip about ceasing the hunt for "perfection" [which is just another way to avoid submitting a project. You know, out of fear. Damn you, Sinestro!!] Instead of trying to perfect the writing, the author says, hone your voice,working to become more proficient at expressing it every time you approach the page.)

The Green Lantern...uh... Lantern. 
The Lanterns are the batteries that power the rings. The battery that overpowers fear? Your will. To create no matter what, to manifest what you manifest, fear be damned and damned right to hell in a flaming yellow torpedo.

So it's fitting that Hal (will) is the nemesis of Sinestro (fear). And reminding ourselves of that is pretty powerful stuff. Even if it takes a rather clumsy and radioactively green metaphor to do it :D

It should go without saying that we are not discussing the Ryan Reynolds...uh...*version* of Green Lantern, especially after the collective snort that twas heard 'round the world upon its release.