The Goreletter — my creative horror newsletter, delivered free since Sept. 2002 — is evolving into something fresher. I’m still prepping the new issue, but you can now subscribe to add your name to the list and be among the first to check it out using the form below. Uncertain if you’re on the list? Go ahead and use this form to resubscribe. Or if you’ve never read The Goreletter, give it a whirl — you can always unsubscribe later if it doesn’t strike your fancy. Still unsure? Here’s a taste: a sample back issue from July. [Update: take a look at the latest edition!]
I’ll be reading at North Virginia Community College – Manassas on Friday, October 25th. The event in Colgan Theater begins at 7pm, and will be followed by a booksigning. This part of the event is free and open to the public; the following day’s workshops are for NOVA students only. If you’re nearby, come on by Friday night to warm up for Halloween!
Raw Dog Screaming Press authors signed at bookstores all around Pittsburgh today, and I dropped in to see each one. With help from Diane Turnshek, Laurie Mann and the good folks at Parsec, the event was dubbed “Booksburgh” and every store offered some great discounts and happy surprises along the way. My photos don’t do much justice to the creative energy and frivolity on display this afternoon, but it gives you some sense of the occassion.
The day began with my signing/reading at CMU Bookstore, which was a good warm up act to a series of intelligent and entertaining readings and encounters with authors and readers across town. Pittsburgh really is a great town for book lovers, and Raw Dog Screaming Press — which hails from Baltimore, MD — really is right at home here. This was the line up:
Mike Arnzen at 1pm at the CMU Bookstore – 5032 Forbes, 15213
I’ll be signing books at Carnegie-Mellon University at 1pm on Saturday, 10/19 — part of Raw Dog Screaming Press’ “Pittsburgh Bookshop Hop.” If you come to town, tour the area bookstores and meet all five of the Raw Dog Screaming Press authors who will be on hand across the city. CMU should have copies of my novel Play Dead on hand, along with other titles. I’ll bring some Fridge of the Damned magnets, too.
Mike Arnzen at 1pm at the CMU Bookstore – 5032 Forbes, 15213
Watch my events calendar page for other emerging opportunities to allow me to deface your printed matter.
KillerCon V (Sept 2013) — a scary-sounding and small-but-professional convention for authors of dark crime, horror and thriller fiction — was really a blast to attend last weekend. It was my first con West of the Mississippi in a really long while, so it was good to reunite with old friends and to make all sorts of charming and alarming new ones. My reading and panels were fun, and perhaps I’ll share some audio soon. I also was pleased to sell a lot of copies of my novel, Play Dead, since this book is SET in (a fictionalized version of) Vegas!
In addition to the shots below, I posted things on twitter throughout the weekend and there were numerous “Fridge of the Damned” magnetic horror poetry compositions created live at my signing table, which you can read on flickr.
Read [an archived version of] “Skeeter” — a short-short “clickable” story posted to [the now defunct] Tapestry. I wrote this goofy thing by messing around on an ipad.
Tapestry files were “sequential” stories. To read, click on the screen to forward page by page.
I’m a big follower of the Showtime TV series Dexter, currently airing its final season. For the past year I’ve been rescreening the entire run, posting a running series of notes to twitter under hashtag #dexternotes (see the archive in The Nest), and my next personal reading project is to catch up with Lindsay’s Dexter book series (the program is a fascinating study in adaptation, as it departs wildly from the books) in preparation for the upcoming release of a new title, ironically called Dexter’s Final Cut (releasing end of August 2013 on Kindle and in mid-Sept in hardcover). As a fan, I’ve become somewhat impatient this season with waiting each week for the next episode, so when I’m not otherwise rewatching older seasons (the one with Lithgow is my favorite) I research Dexter fan postings on the internet.
Here, without further ado, are my favorite remakes and riffs on Dexter’s now CLASSIC opening sequence. There are a lot of remakes of this out there, as students of film study and reproduce it, and fans come up with clever parodies. These are my faves:
This Really is Dexter in 60 Seconds:
Clever Approach to a School Assignment
From The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror:
Dexter Intro in Heavy Metal:
Clever Parody by Jack’s Films
Dexterized Pee-Wee’s Playhouse
And here’s just the cool re-imagining of the opening credits by poster-creator, Ty Mattson:
Imagine if Cronenberg had written
and directed The Exorcist. In it,
Father Damien Karras is not a psy-
chiatrist but a psychic, capable
of reading thoughts and moving objects
with merely his mind. This superpower, he believes,
is the Power of Christ, and it compels him
to study the art of exorcism under Father Merrin,
who trains him to become a “Scanner” — a psyche-soldier
in the Christian Army, capable
of not only sensing a sinner’s guilt
and truly knowing the nature of their crimes,
but also able to circumvent confession altogether
and directly absolve them, should they genuinely
regret their sin and seek psychic purity.
This, at first, is what exorcism means for Karras.
But then he meets Regan,
body scraped and raped from the inside out,
possessed by the demon Pazuzu,
who reflects and projects his scanning powers
right back at him:
she seems to be able to read his mind as well,
calling to him in the voice of Mother,
shaming him for abandoning her in the nursing home.
He shakes with rage, while Regan cackles quietly,
curled up in puddles on the bed,
knowing his wishes, cajoling him
to beat her to bruises
with his boxer’s fists.
And then her head pivots impossibly backward
on the child’s shoulders, puking green soup
spraying the stream like a garden sprinkler,
sloshing goop right into his face.
He blinks and screams and shudders
and as Regan’s head spins around
it progressively begins to swell with boils
and puff up like a blowfish
stretching open its scars
till it explodes in a burst of green gore
that splashes across the bedroom,
getting into his eyes,
now red demon eyes,
while Regan’s bloody, exposed spinal cord
is all that remains above her shoulders
spinning, still spinning,
like a forgotten whisk
in some sick cotton candy machine
as Damien summons the psychic power
needed to telekinetically
hurl himself toward
the bedroom’s open window.
Some visuals from Raw Dog Screaming Press’ community gathering in Columbus, OH, Aug 2-3, 2013. I did not manage to snap too many, because I was far too busy having a blast. For now, you can find things on the Raw Dog Screaming Press facebook page, and I’m sure more recordings will make their way online soon.