Goth Chick News Mini Blog: The Dead Matter Lurching Toward You in Two Days

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Posted by Sue Granquist

dead-matter2The Dead Matter, Midnight Syndicate’s first leap from music to movies, is available to add to your gothic collection starting July 30th.

However, as I have been shameless stalking Ed Douglas since first meeting him at the Halloween, Costume and Party Show back in 2003, he gave up an advance copy of the movie and the music; probably thinking he’d get me to stop reading angst-y poetry into the Midnight Syndicate office answering machine.

Hah! No such luck!

I spent last weekend combing over the release that combines the movie with two music CD’s meaning another I haven’t seen daylight in 72 hours. And if that doesn’t seem all that unusual for me, well then let me tell you that it is. Normally when I sit in the dark for days on end it’s with my voodoo dolls and I’m…well… meditating over something important, like my exes or my last boss. So if I’m doing it because of The Dead Matter, then it’s definitely worth it, trust me.

Only two days to go!

Even Nickelodeon Can Scare You: The Third Eye

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | Posted by Ryan Harvey

third-eye-logoI don’t keep track of what cable network Nickelodeon does these days (I don’t have children), but even with the new logo I can’t imagine that the channel has altered much from the manic “no adults in the room” style that it started to specialize in during the mid-‘80s. That was the point when Double Dare and its profusion of goo heralded a rethinking of the channel’s former “education-and-imports” format it had used since its launch in 1979.

That’s right: for people who weren’t watching Nickelodeon during its debut years of the early 1980s, it may be hard for them to believe that the mega-children’s brand was originally educational programs done in the mold of Sesame Street and The Electric Company, and most of the show were imported from Canada and overseas English-speaking countries. Nickelodeon had very little original programming in the early years, and it purchased UK and Canadian shows to fill out its schedule. Some of these shows did break the educational format, such as a number of bizarre animated shorts and the trippy parody Brit-toon DangerMouse (which attracted many adult fans). And then there was the oddball Canadian sketch comedy starring a mostly young cast, You Can’t Do That on Television!, which proudly contained no educational content at all and instead dumped slime on people . . . The Shape of Nick to Come. (And borrowed, no doubt, from Bunny Rabbit pouring ping-pong balls on Captain Kangaroo.)

That newborn Nickelodeon was at the bottom rung of the ratings, but it really was a strange place, weirder for not actually trying to be weird. But why am I bringing up the cable network here, on Black Gate? Don’t I have Conan pastiches to shred apart?

The reason I bring up Nickelodeon at all is that hiding in the shadows of its young years was a genuinely creepy dark fantasy and science-fiction program called The Third Eye. It ran for only a brief time on the network, but I’m amazed how much I recall about it. Aside from DangerMouse, it’s the only show I remember fondly from my time watching the network when I was in elementary school. It was smart, clever, and scary. Kids who would later grow up on Goosebumps have no idea of what genuinely cerebral terrors they missed out on.

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Rogue Blades Entertainment conjures Demons

Monday, July 26th, 2010 | Posted by John ONeill

demons-cover2Our review copy of Demons, the new heroic fantasy anthology from Rogue Blades Entertainment and publisher/editor Jason M. Waltz, finally arrived last week.

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while.  It’s the first Clash of Steel anthology to appear under the RBE banner, although more are planned — including Sea Dogs, Reluctant Heroes, and Assassins.

Demons includes stories from Black Gate Contributing Editor Bill Ward and contributors Brian Dolton and Steve Goble, as well as Elaine Isaak, C.L. Werner, Carl Walmsley, Christopher Heath, Ty Johnston, Laura J. Underwood, TW Williams, and many others.

Twelve of the twenty-eight stories originally appeared in a small press title from now-defunct Carnifex Press in 2006: Clash of Steel: Demon, edited by Armand Rosamilia. As Jason relates in his lengthy Acknowledgements:

It was a sorry day indeed when Carnifex Press was forced to close its doors, prematurely bringing to an end the Clash of Steel series. Or so I thought. In a flash of inspiration, I contacted Armand Rosamilia and made a proposal: Allow Rogue Blades Entertainment to adopt the series, and RBE would swear to carry on its fine tradition of hard-hitting steel-centric sword and sorcery tales. He accepted. Here now is the result of that agreement.

Demons is an anthology

…devoted to the devilish fiends who seek to wreak havoc among mankind upon the mortal plane – and of the paladins and warriors who return the vanquished denizens of all the hells to whence they’ve come!

Looking forward to digging in to this one.  You can find the complete TOC here.

Goth Chick News Mini blog: Midnight Syndicate’s movie The Dead Matter coming July 30th

Monday, July 26th, 2010 | Posted by Sue Granquist

image002I’ve been telling you about this one for quite awhile and now it’s finally here!

Our favorite gothic musician crushes at Midnight Syndicate are finally unleashing their original movie The Dead Matter at Hot Topics stores and on, available July 30th.

The media package retailing for around $20 will include the movie, the original motion picture soundtrack, and Midnight Syndicate’s 13th anniversary greatest hits CD entitled Halloween Music Collection.

Ed and the boys made good on their promise and sent me a screener (or should I say screamer?) so I got an advance look.

Stay tuned for updates all week leading up to the big release date!

Readercon Report

Monday, July 26th, 2010 | Posted by George R. Morgan

Editors Mike Allen (Mythic Delirium) and Amal El-Mohtar (Goblin Fruit) at Readercon 2010

Editors Mike Allen (Mythic Delirium) and Amal El-Mohtar (Goblin Fruit) at Readercon 2010

Readercon is a science fiction convention held every July in or near Boston, Massachusetts.

I’m a member of the Yahoo Fictionmag (FM) group, and FM-ers once again showed up in strength, July 8th thru July 11th in Burlington Ma., to reaffirm Readercon as, short of a worldcon, Fictionmags best attended con. I had occasion over the weekend to engage in a friendly ‘hello’ and often more, with Fictionmag chums J.J. Adams, Amelia Beamer, Mike Blake, Neil Clarke, John Clute, Don D’Ammassa, Ellen Datlow, Paul Di Filippo, Scott Edelman, Peter Halasz, John Kessel, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Laity, Barry Malzberg, Darrell Schweitzer, Gordon Van Gelder, Sean Wallace, and Lee Weinstein who, along with myself and chum-alum Marty Halpern, brought our number to 20.

There was rumor of a planned gathering of FM-ers at the con however, consistent with past efforts at such planning, the group maintained its unblemished record of such good intentions remaining unrealized.

Probably the main spanner in the effort was the involvement of so many in our number on panels, precluding a quorum of FM-ers at any one time at the bar during the day. For awhile Paul di Filippo appeared to be on almost every panel but with apparently only seven on his schedule had to vie with with Ms. Kowal (10), Messers Kessel and Malzberg (8 each) and Messers Clute and Edelman (7 each) for the title of ‘Panel-King/Queen’. [Non-FM-ers authors Walter Hunt and Shira Lipkin had us beat with 11 scheduled panel appearances each].

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An Introduction

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Posted by Matthew David Surridge

comics-journal2It’s only polite to introduce yourself properly, and as this is my fourth posting on this blog, a proper introduction is really overdue. So: Who am I, and what am I doing here?

I’m a writer. I’ve had two short stories published so far, including “The Word of Azrael” in the most recent issue of Black Gate (previewed here), and I’m working on a novel. Several novels, actually, but at the moment only one is actively ongoing.

I also write non-fiction, most notably articles for Old News magazine, short biographies telling true stories from the past. I’ve written criticism and journalism for places including The Comics Journal and the Montreal Gazette. Oh, and I helped cover the 2009 Worldcon for the Gazette (you can find my blog posts about the convention here, along with posts by my colleague, Claude Lalumière, who wrote a comic column for Black Gate a few years back).

I’m also a reader. Like, I’d imagine, most people around these parts, I read a lot, and I love browsing book fairs and used book stores looking for an oddity, a novelty; trawling through the past, magpie-like, looking to pick out glittering fragments that would otherwise be lost in the ocean of published texts.

My sporadically-updated personal blog, Hochelaga Depcta, is mostly a record of what I’ve read, a venue to put down the thoughts that strike me. I’m hoping to do something a bit more focused here.

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What Sword and Sorcery Means to Me

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Posted by John ONeill

swordssorcery2The masterminds at SF Signal have asked the contributors and editors of Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword & Sorcery — including some of the biggest names in fantasy — to define Sword and Sorcery, as part of their Mind Meld series.

They’ve published responses from Michael Moorcock, Glen Cook, C.J. Cherryh, James Enge, Lou Anders, Garth Nix, Joe Abercrombie, Bill Willingham, Tanith Lee, Tim Lebbon, and others.

Here’s what Moorcock said, in part:

I didn’t get this the first time around; I wrote a whole book on supernatural adventure fiction called Wizardry and Wild Romance which still probably didn’t answer the question. Basically I see it as a good old-fashioned sword and sandal or cloak and dagger drama with strong supernatural elements. Captain Blood meets Cthulhu. It seems, in fact, to have replaced the old historical melodrama in most of its aspects. Or returned to them if you look at those origins in the late Peninsula Romances which were the big news circa 1450.

You can read the complete article here, and SF Signal’s prior article on the best sword and sorcery stories — with lists from Martha Wells, Steven Brust, Brandon Sanderson, Lou Anders, James Enge, Mark Chadbourn, Mercedes Lackey, Mary Robinette Kowal and others — here.

Requiem for a Writer: James P. Hogan (June, 1941 – July, 2010)

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 | Posted by Theo

giants-star2Many years ago, when I was in junior high, I read a science fiction novel that had what I still consider to be one of the greatest endings in science fiction literature.

It was compelling enough that I didn’t learn until years later that I had read the last book in the original trilogy, and what ultimately turned out to be the third in a series of five.

That book was Giant’s Star, and it offered what then appeared to me to be a unique and highly original concept of human origins.

The author was James P. Hogan, and the books of the Giants series are very well worth reading today as they hold up surprisingly well considering the changes in technology that have taken place between now and 1977.

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Short Fiction Roundup

Saturday, July 24th, 2010 | Posted by Soyka

july2010Each week, Lightspeed features a short story from its current magazine, that is otherwise available for a $2.99 PDF download. The current one is “The Zeppelin Conductor Society’s Annual Gentleman’s Ball” by Genevieve Valentine. Next Tuesday (July 27) it will be … for a single yesterday” by George R. R. Martin.

Theodora Goss is the new Folkroots editor for Realms of Fantasy.

Here’s another take on Gary MacMahon’s The Harm, which sees a lot more in it that my own lukewarm review.

The 2009 Shirley Jackson Awards winner in the short story category is “The Pelican Bar” by Karen Joy Fowler (Eclipse 3).  Haven’t read it, nor any of the nominees (nor for that matter, any nominees any category, maybe I get out too much):

  • “The Crevasse,” Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud (Lovecraft Unbound)
  • “Strappado,” Laird Barron (Poe)
  • “Faces,” Aimee Bender (The Paris Review, Winter ‘09)
  • “The Jacaranda Smile,” Gemma Files (Apparitions)
  • “Procedure in Plain Air,” Jonathan Lethem (The New Yorker 10/26/09)

Fu Manchu in Comics

Friday, July 23rd, 2010 | Posted by William Patrick Maynard

drfumanchu_wallywood2From his first appearance in print in the pages of The Story-Teller in October 1912, Sax Rohmer’s criminal mastermind, Dr. Fu Manchu took the world by storm. While Rohmer would complete three novels featuring the character between 1912 and 1917, the Devil Doctor would extend his domain to include film and comics in the fourteen years before Rohmer bowed to commercial demand and revived the series.

Leo O’Mealia was responsible for adapting Rohmer’s three original novels into a daily newspaper strip, Fu Manchu from 1930 to 1931 while Warner Oland was occupied starring as the character in three feature films and a short for Paramount. Oland, incidentally, was the second screen Fu Manchu following Harry Agar Lyons in the 1920’s.

The comic strips were later colored and edited as a back-up feature in the pages of Detective Comics which top-lined a new comic character in the pulp tradition known as The Batman.

Despite the fact that Rohmer went to great pains to make it clear that the Devil Doctor was clean-shaven, the very first magazine illustrators to tackle the character were responsible for grafting upon his terrifying visage the stereotypical Chinese moustache known today as a Fu Manchu.

O’Mealia presented Fu Manchu devoid of facial hair in his daily strip, but in place of Rohmer’s famous description of “a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan,” the artist depicted a repulsive hunchbacked gargoyle.

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