Ramsey Campbell’s ‘The Grin of the Dark’

This book shocked me. I had no idea how Cambpell would rope me in with mundane human drama of an academic struggling to publish his research, moving in with his girlfriend who has a seven-year old and excessively wealth parents who hate him. And in this context, an unspeakable evil will venture forth into our world, latched to the legend of an obscure silent-film star whose antics caused his movies to be banned. Campbell’s otherworldly view of the internet is just off enough for me to forgive its somewhat awkward role in the story’s conclusion.

The true gift is the nameless, soul-destroying dread that Campbell conjures. This has nothing to do with how creepy clowns are, that’s just the icing on the cake. I’ve never been that frightened of clowns, nor did I seek them out. Now, I’m definitely frightened of clowns

I’m reading @auntbeast again

And she knows that there are things, things in THIS world, that are so horrifying that any attempt to understand them will drive you beyond the point of madness, and you will be forever shunned by society.

The book is A Murder of Angels, and I’m at the 18% mark. It is utterly unrelenting and its not even near her best work.

Just finished Threshold by @Auntbeast Caitlin Kiernan


Kiernan’s storytelling is brutal, unrelenting.  This is a nightmare that goes on in the day, in the night, awake, asleep – it doesn’t matter.  And it can’t be explained.  And in the end, these characters, and all of us, can try to be the heroes, but there’s no way to know if any of it really matters, or if any of it even happened.  The only things you can be sure of are fear and madness.

You can buy Threshold on Amazon.

It’s a READING frenzy!!

After having (finally) finished Jay Lake‘s stunning new book, ‘Green‘, I’m all charged up to do some serious reading.  Em is out of town for the next two nights, so it will just be me and the four-letters.  Right away, there a ton of decent-looking selections close at hand.

Firstly, I have to give a special shout to John Scalzi’s ‘Big Idea‘ project. On his ancient blog ‘Whatever‘ he’s been highlighting a veritable cornocopia of tasty sci-fi, fantasy and more. I would never have heard of ‘Green’ or ‘W.W.W Wake‘ if it hadn’t been for Scalzi. And, as of today he’s now featuring ‘The Big Idea’ on his Twitter feed, so check it out.

The next novel I’m reading comes right off that list and tells the story of a Louisiana detective who uses demons to help her solve crimes. I’m not completely sold on the premise of the appropriately titled ‘Mark of the Demon‘, but it’s a good choice for Halloween and the reviews are very positive so far.  Plus, Scalzi hasn’t really steered me wrong yet.

In a piece of conceptual continuity, a great mystery writer whom I enjoy is taking up a great all-time graphic novel character. Ian Rankin of Rebus fame has written a nice fat graphic novel in the John Constantine series for Vertigo called ‘Dark Entries‘. As if that weren’t enough to get me on board (it is), the story puts Constantine, paranormal investigator, in the midst of a reality TV show – Brilliant!

In addition to those items, I’ve picked up ‘Sandman Slim’ by Richard Kadrey for after ‘Mark of the Demon’.  I think this is an urban fantasy about revenge from beyond the grave.  Again, it seems to fit in nicely with the theme I’ve got going.

In the realm of shorter works, the incredible Aliette de Boddard has just published a short story over at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.  This site takes the traditional sci-fi fiction journal and puts it online.  I paid about $2.50 for the September issue and I get de Boddard’s On Horizon’s Shores, which is the featured work, and a number of other tasty looking goodies.  It’s actually a novelette (as opposed to short story) and after just reading the first few paragraphs, I know it’s going to be great.

The other shorter work I’m excited to look at is a crazy-looking new wave script from 1980 that was linked on io9 today.  The Tourist would probably have made a great movie if it hadn’t been for infighting and development hell.  In present day (well, 1980, anyway) Manhattan, there are aliens living among us, in disguise.  In real life they look like amazingly icky H.R. Giger creatures, because he was brought in (following the groundbreaking success of Alien) to do the concept art.  There’s a link that lets you download the script and I’m hoping for something partway between Cronenberg and The Hunger.

Finally – some ‘Game of Thrones’ news


The good old SciFi Wire is reporting that the above-pictured Peter Dinklage has signed on to the HBO adaptation of George R. R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones.  This is great news for so many resons.  Lets list them, shall we?

  1. This means there actually is a project.  Up until now, there was talk, but little or nothing concrete.
  2. Dinklage is perfect to play Tyrion, a brilliant and complex character who is also a dwarf.  When I started reading this series, I was floored at how much there was to this character.  Although there are many aspects to the story which don’t concern Tyrion, the material that revolves around him and his supremely f-‘d up family is, in my opinion, the best part of the book.
  3. Director Thomas McCarthy is Dinklage’s running partner from the Station Agent.  HBO’s choice of McCarthy tells me a lot about how important Tyrion’s character will be to this adaptation and that is outstanding.

I’m not expecting anything to actually air anytime soon, but at least the thing is moving forward and there some good thinking about how to do this project.