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Maintenance Time: Creative Hands at Work

August 15th, 2019

Things at this site aren’t as messy as that men’s room in “This Way to Egress.” Nevertheless, you’re likely to find the layout looking a bit different, maybe even a little messy while web designer Will Horner (of W. H. Horner Editorial & Design) and I work to give things an overdue upgrade. [More at The 21st-Century Scop.]

Recommended Horror:
Good Stuff You Might Have Missed

August 3rd, 2019

Horror exploded in the 1970s. Following the runaway success of Rosemary’s Baby and fueled by the political turmoil of the time, horror publishing rode a wave that didn’t break until the late 1980s. That phenomenon is explored in Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell (Quirk 2017), which presents a road map to the horror that filled the bookracks of drugstores, supermarkets, and newsstands of the day. Some of those books were amazingly good. Most weren’t. And therein lay the dilemma —  separating the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the curds, the high-octane from the unprocessed crude. It wasn’t easy, and toward the end of the run, the glut of mediocre and outright-bad product led to a genre implosion by the early 90s. Something similar is happening today, but with digital platforms taking the place of … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

This Weekend @ Confluence:
The Best Recent Horror & 50’s SF

July 24th, 2019

This weekend some of the top names in science fiction, fantasy, and horror will gather at the Pittsburgh Airport Sheraton for the latest installment of Confluence, the region’s long-running sf convention, sponsored by Parsec, Pittsburgh’s premier science fiction and fantasy organization.

The convention will run three days, July 26-28, and I’m looking forward to being there Saturday to take part in panel discussions on two of my favorite subjects: mid-20th-century science fiction and 21st-century horror.

First up will be “Beyond Campbell: The SF Explosion of the 1950s” (2:00 PM). The panel will be moderated by Eric Leif Davin, past president of Parsec and current Pitt lecturer. Joining us will be writer-editor Darrell Schweitzer and poet Herb Kauderer.

Here’s a summary … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Nightmare Cinema in Japan

July 16th, 2019

Nightmare Cinema’s release schedule continues this month with its Japanese debut on July 19, complete with promotional art that incorporates elements of the US poster with striking details of its own.

In place of the demon from Ryuhei Kitamura’s “Mashit” segment, the Japanese poster features the face of a sleeping woman, head cleaved above the eyes to serve as a bowl of cinematic nightmares. Spiraling up and out of her skull is a length of film displaying many of the images included in the US poster. Look closely, and you’ll see Fred the welder from “The Thing in the Woods,” Ron the janitor from “This Way to Egress,” and Mr. Stitches from “Dead.” Look to the right of the movie marquee, and you’ll see the demon from “Mashit” that … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].