Fri
Oct 24 2008 3:55pm
SF Scene: KGB Fantastic Fiction 10/15/08

Last week brought New York a decidedly unique instance of the monthly KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series, a special event dedicated to the 85th Anniversary of the founding of Weird Tales magazine. The event featured not only a trio of sui generis readings from Weird Tales contributors Micaela Morrissette (“Wendigo”), Karen Heuler (“Landscape, With Fish”), and Jeffrey Ford (“Wereroot”), but introductions from WT’s esteemed fiction editor Ann VanderMeer, readings of high-placing entries in the “Weird Tales Spam Fiction Contest” by editorial director Stephen Segal, and the display of original Lovecraftian artwork from Steven Archer’s “365 Days of Blasphemous Horrors” series. Ellen’s photos from the reading are already up over here.

During the event I wandered around asking people this month’s Ridiculous Survey question, which—in honor of the Weird nature of the event and the fast-approaching holiday—was “What was your weirdest Halloween costume?”

  • Alaya Dawn Johnson: cut a coathanger in half to make her hair stick up and then spray-painted the entire structure green
  • Andrew Wheeler: Captain Feathersword (motorcycle boots, a puffy white shirt, an eye patch, and a plastic sword with a feather boa wrapped around it)
  • Ann VanderMeer: went as a prizefighter in a group costume with Jeff VanderMeer, who was dressed as Don King
  • Brian Slattery: an existentialist
  • Colleen Lindsay: went with her two brothers, all wearing bread dough that they had caked over their face
  • David S. Meekel: a joker
  • Devin J. Poore: a homemade Dracula costume
  • Douglas Cohen: senior citizen vampire
  • Dustin Kurtz: inserted a loop of fake intestinal tubing into his shirt and then coated it with olive oil and Ragu so that it would stain your hands for a few hours if you touched it
  • Ellen Kushner: Theron (her own character)
  • Felix Gilman: was a Yeti to his wife Sarah’s Winter costume
  • Genevive Valentine: Gandalf. There was an incredibly charming backstory about gender confusion to go with this one, but I don’t think I could do it justice here, so you may have to ask her for yourself.
  • Gina Gagliano: a pencil
  • Gordon Linzner: Victorian ensemble
  • James Stuart: a fully functional version of monopoly
  • Jeff VanderMeer: Years ago, Jeff and a friend covered themselves with a sheet and ran across a four-lane highway.
  • Jonathan Wood: doesn’t have any particularly memorable Halloween costumes, but did attend a Halloween party where everybody dressed up as him
  • Jordan Hamessley: Faye from Cowboy Bebop
  • Josh Jasper: an industrial accident
  • Justin Howe: a mummy dressed in bedsheets
  • Katie Menick: Charlie Chaplin
  • Kris Dikeman: a marshmallow, as part of a group S’mores costume
  • Leslie Henkel: This year, she’s planning to be a horse girl (the girl from your elementary school who was obsessed with horses).
  • Liz Gorinsky: Channon Yarrow, in the dress she wore in issue 24 (and only that issue) of Transmetropolitan
  • Luke Hannafin: a gravestone
  • Matt Kressel: Roy Batty from Blade Runner, complete with blood on face
  • Meghan McCarron: Chow Yun Fat in his glory days
  • Nick Kaufman: was a boulder to a friend who dressed as a cobweb-covered Indiana Jones
  • Rajan Khanna: radioactive guy (clothes covered with glow-stick gel)
  • Rob Bland: pantyhose, a large wig, and not much else
  • Rose Fox: traveling and forgot that Halloween was coming up, so she put on tan pants and a green jacket, borrowed a friend’s riding crop, and went as an equestrienne
  • Stephen Segal: His wife Stacey went as a tree nymph and he went as a tree, by buying a bunch of fake fall foliage and taping it to himself.
  • Veronica Schanoes: The Wicked Witch of the West (an excellent homegrown version, of course)
  • Wendy S. Delmater: Most of her Halloween effort goes into her sons: one year, one of them went as a blood-sucking lawyer (fake teeth and a three-piece suit) and the other as an IRS auditor, with a sign that read “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

Incidentally, this posting comes complete with threefold apologies: first, for taking so long to post the responses (I’d blame my coworker’s wedding, but she and her groom did enter the reception hall to the Imperial March, so I can hardly complain about them); second, for only covering a small fraction of the luminaries in attendance (if ever a reading came close to being too crowded...); and finally, because people’s answers tended to be complicated and unique, which increases the likelihood of transcription errors. If I got something wrong—or if you’d rather I linked to a different webpage or didn’t use your full name—please let me know via my shoutbox. And if I missed you this time, please come find me at the next event!

[Image by Flickr user Anosmia, CC licensed for commercial use.]

4 comments
Matthew Jarpe
1. mjarpe
One time I wore a lab coat, a tool belt with these huge claw plier things, a hammer and chisel, and a change dispenser. I put tin foil fairy wings on my back and slathered on the fake blood. I was a tooth fairy.
Amy Paul
3. redtailedhawk
I took a hospital gown, O.R. scrubs, surgical bandages stained with red food dye and IV tubing and went as an escaped patient.
Irene Gallo
4. Irene
Last time I got dressed up, I was a picnic.

I wore a picnic blanket like a poncho, had a paper plate mask, and a corsage of grapes. I think I even had a wine glass glued to my shoulder. The best part, though, was the row of ants marching up the blanket and around the paper plate. Although it sucked putting them on -- the hot glue gun would often melt the tiny plastic "Thems" to my finger tips.

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