Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 18, 2014
Cast As Thou Wilt: Kushiel’s Dart Dream Cast
Natalie Zutter
September 17, 2014
How Goldfinger Bound Sci-Fi to James Bond
Ryan Britt
September 15, 2014
Rereading the Empire Trilogy: Servant of the Empire, Part 1
Tansy Rayner Roberts
September 13, 2014
If You Want a Monster to Hunt, You’ll Get It. Doctor Who: “Listen”
Chris Lough
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
Showing posts by: Grady Hendrix click to see Grady Hendrix's profile
Wed
Sep 17 2014 11:30am

Under the Dome: “Turn”

Under the Dome Turn

There are two very important things that Under the Dome would like you to know. First, the Dome is shrinking. In the first five minutes of this episode Scarecrow Joe mentions it, Computer Hacker Guy mentions it, Fivehead Norrie mentions it, and so does Creepy Lyle, Rebecca Pine (high school science teacher and triage center setter-upper), Junior Rennie, Dale Barbie, and Julia Shumway. So guys, THE DOME IS SHRINKING OKAY?

Second, the actors have a very special message for you. “Thank god it’s warming up again,” says Pauline. “It seems warmer,” says Melanie. “The cold snap’s over,” says Junior Rennie. And, to bring it all home, Rebecca Pine, high school science teacher, “The Dome stopped spinning and inverting the atmosphere, that’s why the temperatures warmed up.” So guys, THE DOME IS WARM NOW OKAY? THE DOME IS WARM AND IT IS SHRINKING ALL RIGHT DID EVERYONE HEAR THAT? Good? Then let us begin.

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Fri
Sep 12 2014 11:00am

Summer of Sleaze: Guy Smith’s The Sucking Pit and The Walking Dead

The Sucking Pit Guy SmithSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

He enjoys tobacco. He loves guns. He does not like street lights. Truly, Guy N. Smith is a man of many facets, but he’s best known for his crabs. From 1976 until 2012 he wrote Night of the Crabs, Killer Crabs, The Origin of the Crabs, Crabs on the Rampage, Crabs’ Moon, Crabs: The Human Sacrifice, and Killer Crabs: The Return. Along with about 93 other books. But apart from being a prolific writer of all things crab, what does Guy N. Smith have to offer the modern reader?

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Wed
Sep 10 2014 3:00pm

Under the Dome: “The Fall” and “Black Ice”

Under the Dome Black Ice

Watching Under the Dome is like French kissing an octopus (horrible but slightly less traumatic if you don’t resist) and as Season 2 nears its end that octopus is feeling more romantic than ever. It’s lashing my face wildly with its Plot Tentacles! It’s gnawing on my tongue hard with its Beak of Inconsistent Characterizations! It’s transferring its Spermatophores of Futility into my Mantle Cavity of God Help Us with its Hectocotylus of Awful Dialogue like a mad thing! My metaphorical make-out session with a love-crazed cephalopod has resulted in the current situation whereby I am recapping Two (2) TWO Under the Dome episodes at once.

So hold onto your Angie-Chopping Ax because you’re about to get both Barrels of Bafflement, right in the face! Prepare yourself for “The Fall” and “Black Ice.”

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Fri
Aug 29 2014 11:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Exploitation of James Dallas Egbert III

The Dungeon Master William DearSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

“Last night I cast my first spell…this is real power!” Debbie gloats.

“Which spell did you cast, Debbie?” Ms. Frost asks.

“I used the mind bondage spell on my father. He was trying to stop me from playing D&D…He just bought me $200 worth of new D&D figures and manuals. It was great!”

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 1984, the year Jack Chick published his famous anti-RPG tract, Dark Dungeons, revealing the shocking truth behind D&D: it is a gateway to Satanism and suicide! If you have rolled the polyhedral die, the only way to save your immortal soul is to burn all your monster manuals and player handbooks for Jesus. Underneath all its bluster, the moral lather B.A.D.D. (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons) worked itself into over RPGs had a very real nougaty center: the very sad suicide of a child prodigy named James Dallas Egbert III.

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Wed
Aug 27 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “The Red Door”

Under the Dome The Red Door

One day in the not-too-distant future someone will stand trial for illegally downloading Under the Dome and the judge will ask, “Is this the television program that features grown men standing in a room shouting about a make believe egg? Ham-handed Guantanamo Bay metaphors? A woman drawing pictures with poo? Dwight Yoakam in an ill-fitting white undershirt? And a gang of imbeciles running across a lawn and hiding in a root cellar?” And the prosecutor will say, “Yes, your honor. That would be episode 9.” And the judge will say, “I dismiss all charges. By watching this episode the accused has been punished enough.” And everyone in the world will cheer.

As Sam Verdreaux says, buckle up kids, it’s about to get a lot weirder. Welcome to episode 9 of Under the Dome.

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Wed
Aug 20 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “Awakening”

Under the Dome Awakening

That darn Dome has been over Chester’s Mill for two weeks, and in just 14 days it has been magnetized, rained acid blood, gotten clogged with dust, been infested with butterflies, Barbie has almost been hung, Big Jim has almost been hung, Sheriff DJ Phil has been shot, Wendell has been shot, Sheriff Linda has been crushed, Angie has been chopped, a dead girl has come back to life, a plane has hit the Dome, a fire station has exploded, a locker has exploded, a pig virus has been viraled, a food shortage has shorted, a lite genocide has been planned (then canceled), and a windmill has been milled.

To better wrap your brain around these events, redditor u/Wadam1230 has edited every “previously on Under the Dome” recap into a single supercut of madness. But as Big Jim has taught us, people can change, and this week we discover...so can Under the Dome.

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Fri
Aug 15 2014 11:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Auctioneer and Maynard’s House

The Auctioneer Joan SamsonSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

A brief bestseller when it debuted in 1975, Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer has been totally forgotten. Sites like Will Errickson’s Too Much Horror Fiction have kept its tiny flame from becoming completely extinguished, but it’s basically a literary shooting star that flared once, and was gone. Contributing to its short shelf-life, Samson wrote The Auctioneer in her 30s and died of cancer shortly after it was published. Her death is our loss. This is one of those books you stumble across with no expectations, and when you finished reading you think, “Why isn’t this more famous?” Spare, unforgiving, and hard all the way down the line, if Cormac McCarthy had written Needful Things, you’d get The Auctioneer.

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Wed
Aug 13 2014 2:00pm

Under the Dome: “Going Home”

Under the Dome Going Home

Since the first season, the people of Chester’s Mill have been suffering from Exposition Syndrome, a terrible disease that forces them to explain things over and over again, even when everyone has just seen these things happen or, in truly acute cases, just as these things are happening right in front of them. Unfortunately, this disease is not fatal, and those suffering from it will never feel the merciful relief of death’s sweet embrace. Instead they will just keep explaining things until Under the Dome is canceled. Like the West African Ebola outbreak, this is a fast-spreading virus but, fortunately, the Dome was lowered over Chester’s Mill to keep it contained.

No longer.

In this episode, the Dome is breached.

[Now no one is safe.]

Wed
Aug 6 2014 10:00am

Under the Dome: “In the Dark”

Under the Dome In the Dark

San Diego Comic Con! Where the hottest breaking news about the hottest TV shows are thrown to excited audiences like it’s raining puppies over Shark Lake. And there was an Under the Dome panel. I have to assume the youngest exec at CBS pulled the short straw and had to call Comic Con, lower lip trembling, practically in tears, “But…we can bring our show, can’t we? I mean, people like us, too, right?” and the Comic Con programmers didn’t have the heart to say “no.”

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Fri
Aug 1 2014 12:30pm

Summer of Sleaze: Michael McDowell’s The Amulet

The Amulet Michael McDowellSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Sometimes you’re just wrong. Michael McDowell probably figured that his books would be his legacy. After all, Stephen King called him “the finest writer of paperback originals in America” and said he was “a writer for the ages.” Surely literary immortality was assured by his two screenplays for Tim Burton, Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Collecting funerary ephemera was just a hobby. By now McDowell been dead for 15 years and his books are long forgotten while his massive “Death Collection,” containing everything from a tombstone salesman’s kit from the Thirties to wreaths made of dead people’s hair, was installed with great ceremony at Northwestern University.

But Stephen King wasn’t wrong. McDowell is one for the ages. In fact, he’d be called one of the great lights of Southern fiction if it wasn’t for the fact that most of his books deal with woman-eating hogs, men marrying amphibians, and vengeance-seeking lesbian wrestlers wearing opium-laced golden fingernails.

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Wed
Jul 30 2014 10:30am

Under the Dome: “Reconciliation”

Under the Dome Reconciliation

This week, something new popped up under the dome. “Folks,” Julia Shumway said, delivering a speech at the end of this episode. “I said this morning that I thought it was time for us Millers to focus on our future.” I did a doubletake. Millers? Does Chester’s Mill have an actual family who own an actual mill that grinds their precious crops into flour? And there it was again in the end credits, “Scared Miller - Samantha Worthen.”

And suddenly I realized, the Millers are what the residents of Chester’s Mill call themselves. The way people from New York call themselves New Yorkers or people from France call themselves Francers. And this episode was all about their quest. Whether they’re credited as “Scared Miller,” or “Townsperson,” “Chester’s Mill Resident,” “Chester’s Mill Local,” “Diner Patron,” or even “Townsfolk” they’re all Millers, each and every one of them, and what they all yearn for is...a name.

[Read More]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 3:30pm

Under the Dome: “Revelation”

Under the Dome Revelation

When people are trapped underneath a dome, their thoughts naturally turn to love. This is a show that began with Junior Rennie imprisoning the love of his life in an old bomb shelter and Julia Shumway falling into the strong arms of the man who had just murdered her husband, so romance has always been in the air, but now, after two weeks of enforced isolation, passions have reached a boiling point. This episode of Under the Dome explores the ins and outs of dating when you’re under a dome.

[Read More]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 2:00pm

Summer of Sleaze: James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog

James Herbert The RatsSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Books win awards. Books drink white wine. Books are discussed in hushed tones by earnest scholars. Books are genteel, books are mellow, books are housed in libraries where there is no talking. It’s hard to remember that books can be a punch in the nose, a bottle of beer broken over the head, a gob spat in the eye. Amiri Baraka’s in-your-face plays, Tom Wolfe’s go-go new journalism, Kathy Acker’s punk poetry. These writers set literature on fire and readers could either get on board or fuck off. James Herbert was one of them.

By the time he died last year he was a mainstream success, but his two earliest books are nasty, mean, angry pieces of anti-establishment sleaze torn straight out of his id, redeemed by Herbert’s complete conviction to Go There. That conviction is what keeps these two books in your hands long after you might otherwise throw them across the room. Read Herbert and you’re like a baby gripping a 10,000 volt cable, hands smoking, unable to tear them away even as your brain turns to cinders.

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Wed
Jul 16 2014 2:30pm

Under the Dome: “Force Majeure”

Under the Dome Force Majeure

Finally! While Lost squandered viewer patience by asking too many questions it never answered, Under the Dome just proved that it’s not going to play that game. After a full season of mystery, we finally started getting answers in this episode! Who shaves Big Jim’s head? Where are all these new characters coming from? Who has the best product placement? Are resources the new crops? What is email? And finally, what does it taste like when God cries? (Answer: Acid-flavored cherry Kool-Aid.)

“Those are pretty provocative questions,” says new character Lyle Chumley. Well, I’ve got some pretty provocative answers! Let’s start with the biggest!

[Was this week’s episode better than last week’s episode?]

Wed
Jul 9 2014 10:00am

Under the Dome: “Infestation”

Under the Dome Infestation

Millions of people are still watching Under the Dome and scientists are baffled. Studies show that since UtD began last summer America has become smellier and 81% of forest animals now hate their bodies. So why do we continue to tune in? This week I had a revelation: UtD is not just a subpar television drama featuring cliché-ridden dialogue, cardboard characters, bad acting, bland camerawork, and poor writing. UtD is educational television and it is here to teach us lessons. As Big Jim says when he reveals that he’s cleaning out the feral pigs and reopening the high school with Rebecca Pine, high school science teacher, “She’s going to teach us things that matter!”

[And so is UtD.]

Wed
Jul 2 2014 10:00am

Under the Dome Season 2: “Heads Will Roll”

Under the Dome Heads Will Roll recap

“The groans are coming more quickly,” says Rebecca Pine during the season two premiere of Under the Dome. HOW CAN SHE HEAR THE SOUNDS WE ARE MAKING? IS SHE INSIDE OUR HEADS???? Then again, she is a High School Science Teacher who makes dioramas of the Dome out of chicken wire so who am I to doubt her? “They’re getting stronger, like a pregnant woman’s contractions,” she goes on, getting really, really specific about the sounds I’m making as I view this episode. “Only instead of giving life,” she warns, “people could die.” WHUT? We all might die? How can the Under the Dome kill us? “It’s interfering with people’s brainwaves,” says Rebecca Pine, High School Science Teacher.

Okay, that’s it. Everyone, for your own safety, out of the pool. Turn off your sets. I’m here to sacrifice my brainwaves as I recap season two of Under the Dome so it does not kill your brainwaves. Don’t thank me. I’ve lived a long, full life. It is time for my brainwaves to stop working now.

[Season 2, Episode 1: “Heads Will Roll”]

Fri
Jun 27 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: Graham Masterton’s Feast

Graham Masterton FeastSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

So far this year I’ve read the powerful Thank You For Your Service, David Finkel’s look at the shattered lives of servicemen returning home from Iraq. I’ve read Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I’ve read Austin Grossman’s deceptively experimental You that transmutes the lead of early computer gaming into the gold of transcendence. I’ve read Allie Brosh’s so-personal-it-hurts Hyperbole and a Half, Neil Gaiman’s emotional and revealing The Ocean At the End of the Lane, and two new books by Stephen King, one of America’s greatest storytellers. None of them—none of them—has provided me as many moments of pure joy as a little mass market paperback from 1988 called Feast by Graham Masterton. John Waters once said, “Good taste is the enemy of art.” If that’s true, and I believe it is, then Feast is the Mona Lisa.

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Mon
Jun 23 2014 12:00pm

A Cliché Hunting an Even More Blatant Cliché: Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes

Stephen King Mr Mercedes reviewStephen King loves crime fiction. His first completed novel, Rage, was about a kid holding his high school class at gunpoint, and the novel he wrote right before Carrie was Blaze, the story of a kidnapping gone wrong. Several of his early short stories were crime stories (“Stud City,” 1969; “The Fifth Quarter,” 1972) and when he gave his speech accepting the National Book Award in 2003, he singled out for praise a handful of authors he believed were deserving of more attention, most of them crime and thriller novelists like Elmore Leonard, John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, and Michael Connelly.

Richard Branson wants to be an astronaut and so he built a spaceport in New Mexico. Stephen King wants to be a crime novelist, and so he published Mr. Mercedes. If there’s one thing that we, as Americans, will die to protect, it’s the inalienable right of every rich person to live their dreams. So now Stephen King is a crime writer and god bless America.

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Fri
Jun 13 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: Thomas Tryon

Thomas Tryon The OtherSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Three books launched the horror revival in America: Rosemary’s Baby (1967), The Exorcist (1971), and The Other (1971). Thanks to their blockbuster movies, we all remember Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, but these days you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’d read Thomas Tryon’s The Other. The first two are still in print, while Tryon’s book, which sold 3.5 million copies, is only in print from the New York Review of Books which specializes in forgotten and obscure literature.

Even stranger, Tryon’s next book, Harvest Home, came out in 1973 and became another huge hit, although these days it’s only available as an ebook. Fully a third of our horror roots are missing, which is too bad because while The Other isn’t as good as Rosemary’s Baby it’s a far, far better-written book than The Exorcist.

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Fri
May 30 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Little People

Summer of Sleaze John Christopher The Little PeopleSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

John Christopher (born Samuel Youd) is an author best known for his young adult science fiction stories that were turned into comics in Boy’s Life magazine, most notably The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire. But he also wrote for adults, and his The Little People published in 1966 has a cover by Hector Garrido (reproduced here) that might be paperback publishing’s Mona Lisa.

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