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Familiar, Unfamiliar: Uncanny

Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress
An original painting by Carl Jung from his unfinished masterpiece, the “Red Book” (an exploration of his own unconscious).

Fear and curiosity are sometimes so intricately interwoven in my poor rattletrap psyche that it’s hard for me to separate them at all – a trait I think I share with a lot of people.

When faced with uncertainty, the unusual, or the unexpected, who hasn’t experienced an odd combination of repulsion and fascination? All of us live our lives in a flow of sorts. When something happens that jars us, that forces us out of our routine, it resets our perception in interesting ways.

Hereby hangs a tale.

I’m a juvenile-onset diabetic (meaning I have diabetes mellitus type 1). That’s the diabetes you get from having a treacherous autoimmune system and an unlucky combination of genes. (The more common type, which often can be controlled with diet and medication, is diabetes mellitus type 2.)

I was diagnosed when I was a toddler, which is even early for someone with type 1 diabetes – it usually manifests itself like the lamest X-man power imaginable around age 11 or so.

Some of the high points of my youngest days took place at special camps offered for diabetic kids. For the purposes of this story, let’s call my old stomping grounds “Camp Uintah.” Camp Uintah’s summer program was offered in an appropriately woodsy area in the mountains, and we participated in the usual camp activities – hiking being one such activity.

I was probably eight or nine – a prime age for nature hikes and the high tide of my fascination with bugs &c. – when I had an experience that shaped my views on both fear and curiosity quite deeply.

Uintah’s hikes were a great chance to get out into the pine forests that blanket the mountains of my home state. They’re beautiful, and the scent of the air there is unlike anything I’ve experienced anyplace else. In the spirit of encouraging any budding naturalists in the group, the appointed leader of this particularly memorable hike was a biologist from some local college or another. He certainly looked the part, with that weird disdain for normal fashion that becomes a sort of narcissistic fashion in and of itself among some academics.

At first, I had a great time. The trail wound through the fragrant shade of the woods. The sun was out, but the temperature was mild. As we rounded a switchback, a few kids noticed a gargantuan grasshopper lying prone in the dust on the trail. Ordinarily, a dried-out grasshopper husk would be quite a trophy, but unfortunately our appraisal of its condition was initially… off the mark.

The damn thing was obviously dead. Its limbs were frozen in that stately Pharaoh pose that deceased insects favor and its wings were partially extended and dry. But it jumped. Continue reading Familiar, Unfamiliar: Uncanny

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The Best Godzilla

If you haven’t guessed by our plans to run a ‘Summer of Kaiju’ next year, I adore giant monsters. The Jewish Godzilla was my facebook profile picture for years. I grew up watching Godzilla vs Mecha-Godzilla then rewatching and then rewatching it again. I watched it so much that to this day I can remember the stupid prophecy about the sun rising in the west (which meant that it was reflecting off the water) which brought Godzilla back to life so that he could beat up the surprise twist evil Mecha Godzilla. I like giant monsters fighting, I like them breaking cities, I like everything about giant monsters.

I even care about things that are tangentially tied to giant monsters.

I want this album very badly.

I care less about giant robots.

But that brings me to what I consider the best Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen. Shin-Godzilla. Before I get into the movie itself, let me talk about how I witnessed it. I watched Shin-Godzilla on an airplane on my flight to Tokyo. My best friend, Rudie, was getting married to his longtime fiance, and I was flying to stand by his side. What makes it even more magical is that Rudie had gushed about how amazing Shin-Godzilla was for a very long time.

Continue reading The Best Godzilla
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Wishlist Added to Page

Because there are certain styles of stories we want at certain times, that doesn’t really fall into a submission call. We’ve created the ‘wishlist’ page. This page will be updated semi-regularly with the sort of things we are really interested in finding and reading at any given time.

Added today are the wish for Grim Fantasy and Kaiju Stories

Prospective Authors are encouraged to keep an eye on our wishlist page.

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Us’ 2nd Trailer

Like most people, I left “Get Out” using the phrase “I’m shook.” the movie was incredible. But not only was it incredible, it also created a new dynamic in very very visible pop culture.

Like most people I knew Jordan Peele from his masterful comedy stylings with Key & Peele, I was pretty much set to enjoy some light comedic horror with some tongue and cheek hilarity reminiscent of Simon Pegg. Pegg’s movies have a tendency to start off as a mockery and slowly evolve into the perfect love letter to the genre, I was ready. Instead, we were given a movie that only tangentially touched on horror tropes while highlighting real social issues and thought processes that keep real systematic racism around.

I was not ready. Get Out fucked me up. It revealed a side to Peele’s intellect and social commentary that I simply hadn’t prepared myself to deal with. Peele cemented himself as a creative mind in horror to be respected and watched. It was the sort of movie where after watching it, you needed to watch it a few more times just to catch all the nuance.

Now his second offering is upon us. “Us” and already we are seeing a movie that takes us far and beyond the limits of what we are normally comfortable with. From the soundtrack choices to the striking visual of horror during daylight, the trailer alone is a lovely jaunt through adrenaline-laced terror. Yesterday on Super Bowl Sunday, Jordan dropped another trailer on us, this one seems to offer more of the story, but everything is still a mystery.

Us drops on 3.22.19. And we cannot wait.

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In Service of Slaughter

Service of Slaughter Front Cover.jpg

 

We are very happy to announce that our second chapbook ‘In Service of Slaughter’ is now available in our online store!

You can also pick it up on amazon.

In Service to Slaughter, is a collection of 25 poems, each following a different poetic form. Each poem delves into the themes of killers, murderers and those beloved slashers we have all come to know and love. I am very happy with this collection, and I hope you will be too!

Oh. My. God.
If you love slasher flicks, serial killers, serial killer profiling…you are going to LOVE these dark and twisted poems. WOW.
These take dark and demented to a whole new level.
Dive into the mind of a crazed killer, feel their joy and excitement as they kill. That’s what these poems do.
At first you’ll be shocked, then uneasy, then you’ll start to dig deeper.
This book will leave you twisted.
My favorite poem in this collection is Devouring God. The crazed mind of a killer who thinks them self a god.
Toymaker is another favorite. The imagery of innocence lost. Childhood destroyed.
-Roxanne Rhoads
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Shards of Shattered Sentiments now available at Amazon!

 

 

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Ladies and gentlemen, I am incredibly pleased to announce that my first chapbook “Shards of Shattered Sentiments” is available from Amazon.com.

This book started as a warm-up exercise for me, I would pull up a list of various poetic formats, and attempt to write a horror poem in that format. It was a lot of fun, both exploring new forms and trying to write thematically.

Poetry in one form or another has been around almost as long as language. We have used it to communicate our joys and heartbreaks, our victories and our losses. But fear has also been a constant companion, and our ghost stories and monsters stretch their claws back into history as far as the eyes can see. It’s with this in mind that we begin our journey through various poetic forms, from traditional Japanese Haiku to more modernist takes such as The Bop. Exploring the rules that create these literary creations all while bending their use to telling scary stories. Heavily inspired by the American pulp horror writers of the 1930’s, this chapbook explores themes of madness and forgotten monsters. Haunted houses that demand sacrifice and sunken cities waiting to be rediscovered. 25 poems, each using different forms dive into the chilling and often deranged world of horror.

This will be the first of a three-part chapbook series. Each book will feature 25 different forms (for 75 total) and cover a different horror theme. This one deals heavily with insanity and Lovecraftian motifs. Our next book will feature Slashers and Serial Killers, and our third will feature Kaiju and monsters!

I encourage you to go pick up your copy, and write a review on Amazon for me, believe it or not, those reviews really help!