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Why Submission Guidelines Are Bullshit

Oh. My. God. You already spent all that time carefully crafting your words into the perfect masterpiece. You spent hours hunched over a desk, or a coffee table, or some surface pouring out the darkness and pain inside yourself in order to grace the publishers and editors of the world with your intense and insanely skilled wordsmithery. Why should you, after doing so much, have to kowtow to some stuck up publisher’s meager whimpering for how to submit your work that will make you both rich? Fuck em’ instead send them this list, to explain why their guidelines are stupid and you are amazing!

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Top Ten Unexpectedly Spooky Games of 2020

I sat down to write a best of 2020 list. I did. I was going to talk about the best horror books of 2020, I was going to go on and on about how much I read. But I got into it, and I realized, that most of the books I read, I read to provide blurbs, or I read submissions. Or I read to prepare for an interview. Long story short, I read a lot fewer of 2020’s books than I intended to. I was also going to write a Women of Horror list, and I will do that, there are so many incredible authors that I want to highlight, but as it’s currently the last day of 2020 I wanted to do a best-of list today.

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Splice’ (2009)

Don’t pretend to make horror if you wanna make a porno…

SPOILERS!!!

YUP! We’re starting with the spoilers, and you know what that means… FUCK. THIS. MOVIE…

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2020 and the Horror of Time

When we talk about horror, we sometimes speak in terms of concrete threats: monsters, masked madmen, supernatural evil, or the various hobgoblins of folklore going back to the campfires of our earliest ancestors. Threats, real or imagined. It’s surprising how often, however, these threats reveal deeper fears, societal fears. When horror is at its best, it represents universal human fears. Sometimes these take the form of the concrete, but more often than not, universal human fears concern themes: loss, mortality, impermanence, or the horrible vacuum of the unknown. One fear manages to tie together the concrete and the thematic, while itself being hard to classify: I speak of the horror of time.

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2020 Was the Year that Horror Became Nonfiction

I’ve loved horror as long as I can remember. From Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark onward, I took to the genre like a duck to water, or perhaps more accurately, like a thirsty vampire to a nice, bulging carotid. Even so, and even as a young man with an active and morbid imagination, I have never had a hard time separating truth from fiction (with the notable exception of my youthful dalliance with Catholicism). There was a bright, bloody line separating my world from the ones I read about or watched – and, I have to admit in retrospect, I took that fact for granted.

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Cops, God, and Stephen King (Part Two)

(In Part One of this review, I discussed three out of four novellas in Stephen King’s new collection, If It Bleeds. In Part Two, I specifically address the title novella. Some spoilers follow.)

The architecture that undergirds power in America is sometimes visible. Examples include police, walls and fences, “No Trespassing” signs, or any of the innumerable and minute transactions that make up the beehive hum of 21st-century capitalism. Most of power’s structure is invisible, however, composed of our norms, our collective morality (such as it is), and our conceptualization of and responses to “evil.” The engineers of this invisible support structure are sometimes politicians, but more often come from the realms of money and the arts. Perhaps no author in 2020 can speak to the confluence of these two realms quite like Stephen King, who has earned half a billion dollars and sold hundreds of millions of books, and whose novels – whether in their original form or as adaptations – have shaped American popular culture for over 40 years.

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