Sunday, October 25, 2015

Carpe Noctem

October again. Time to creep up the reading/watching. Spookify the crime and or noir - or just cross right over into horror.

Here's what I'm about right now. N@B badass Laura Benedict has followed up last year's gothic Bliss House with a sequel, Charlotte's Story (and I'm gonna be at Left Bank Books this Wednesday night to see her - you should swing by if you can). Laura's body of work is full of spooky goodness that you should check out (my personal favorite is Devil's Oven - it's got one of the creepiest opening chapters I've ever been snared by).

Seize the Night is an anthology of vampire tales edited by Christopher Golden and features crime writers like Scott Smith, Michael Koryta and Dana Cameron, horror names to watch Laird Barron, Brian Keene and Sherilyn Kenyon - plus bigtime bloodsucker names like Charlaine Harris whose name is synonymous with southern lilting vampires from her Sookie Stackhouse novels (or True Blood, the HBO series based upon them) and John Ajvide Lindqvist whose book Let the Right One In has become two critically-acclaimed films I can recommend. My biggest attraction to this collection is Dan Chaon whose previous short story collections Among the Missing and Stay Awake are filled with the kind of un-ease inspiring tales that have cost me sleep many times. In this collection he shares story credit with graphic novelist and playwright Lynda Barry on Mrs. Popkin. Sink your teeth into this collection with caution, it'll bite back.

Penny Dreadful - I ran through the first season hiding my eyes occasionally and found myself carried through by the high concept, beautiful look and strong cast, plus a resonant and noteworthy depth of darkness particularly in the Timothy Dalton story line. Season 2 is now available on DVD, and I'm looking forward to checking it out - I particularly want to see what story lines open up with Billie Piper's Bride of Frankenstein and Josh Hartnett's hairy predicament. But c'mon you'd watch it just for Eva Green, like I would.

And I'm looking forward to the completion of the film based on Jeremy Robert Johnson's short story When Susurrus Stirs (from the collection We Live Inside You). The film just reached its funding goal and I'm eager for the finished product, but I'm enjoying watching this teaser - looks promising. More body horror favorites: David Cronenberg, Glenn Gray and Caleb J. Ross - go.

Gabino Iglesias's Zero Saints is available now through the Broken River Books subscription option, but will be available widely super soon. I've heard nothing about the story and content, but the combination of author, publisher and some seriously itchy-skin-making skinny-lady cover art by Matthew Revert have got me primed for Noirvember.

If I were to guess at the flavor of Zero Saints it's giving me vibes similar to Fabrice Du Welz's Alleluia - crime as horror has rarely been this potent . It's a rocker, a shocker a bone-suit boot-knocker chock-full of blood, sugar and sex-magik. Next I'm diving into Du Welz's Calvaire and Vinyan. If they're half as potent as Alleluia they're twice as strong as what you're watching.

Jon Bassoff's wheelhouse was built on an old bone yard, next door to a nuthouse by slave labour subjugated by fire water to house a mind sick with incestuous lust and driven by a fever to out-psycho noir Jim Thompson and out-damnation and brimstone Flannery O'Connor. So, yeah, I'm inclined to get at his brand new one The Incurables when it's released.

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