Retro Stephen King Interviews

I was fascinated to discover some old Stephen King video interviews from the early and late 80s. It might only be of interest to S. King buffs like myself, but I found them incredibly interesting; getting a glimpse of the man he was decades ago and what he thought about writing, horror and his own fame.

He's already a best selling author in these, but he definitely wasn't the legend he is today. A lot happens in 20-35 years.


Dick Cavett Show

This one is for US residents only I'm afraid and I can't embed it either. It's a talk show featuring S. King, George Romero, Ira Levin and Peter Straub. If that doesn't blow your mind, something's wrong with you.


Master of the Macabre: A Conversation with Stephen King

Then there's this 4-part interview from what I think is a channel from the Netherlands. Check out King's pool and bitchin' jukebox. Also if you wanna see King drive a truck and sing along to some rock tunes.


UMO Graduate Profile

Then there's this profile on him from 1982. It's in English, despite the title.


I know there are a bunch of others floating around, but these were my favorites. Let me know if  I missed any great ones.

7 Awesome Made-for-TV Horror Movies

I unironically love trash TV movies. We got a lot of those growing up where I'm from and sometimes it was all you can get outside of video rentals that were few and far between. Some of these I only saw as an adult and thus I didn't enjoy as much. Sometimes the medium is the message, and staying up late on a school night and watching a scary movie on TV is probably the best medium there is for less-than-stellar acting and cinematography. Salem's Lot ''Vampires are invading a small New England town. It's up to a novelist and a young horror fan to save it.''

Based on the fantastic Stephen King novel of the same name, it's probably my favorite made for TV horror flick. Of course it takes the #1 spot. The scene with the kid floating outside his friend's window is iconic for a reason (and still terrifying today).

Dark Night of the Scarecrow ''In a small town, a wrongfully killed man exacts revenge on those who murdered him beyond the grave.''

It's been a while since I've seen this, but it's a pretty solid revenge/horror flick.

Dont be Afraid of the Dark ''A young couple inherits an old mansion inhabited by small demon-like creatures who are determined to make the wife one of their own.''

Has aged remarkably well, in all honesty. The remake was terrible, so I'd rather watch this instead.

It ''In 1960, seven outcast kids known as "The Loser Club" fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. 30 years later, they are called back to fight the same clown again.''

Hey, another King adaptation. Arguably the TV movie that has scared more kids than any other. I like the book a lot and while I don't love the movie, Tim Curry is pretty cool and it features some creepy ass scenes.

Duel ''A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by a malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.''

Langoliers ''Most of the passengers on an airplane disappear, and the remainder land the plane in a mysteriously barren airport.'' I'm gonna get flack for this one, but I enjoyed it as a kid, back when I worshiped King. It's goofy as hell, but hey, this was Lost before Lost.

Body Bags ''Three short stories in the horror genre. The first about a serial killer. The second about a hair transplant gone wrong. The third about a baseball player.''

Top 10 Horror and Fantasy Covers for May and June 2014

A bit late and also spanning two months instead of one, but here are the Top 10 Cover for May and June 2014!  

9781466868984

1. The Walking-stick Forest

Artist: Karla Ortiz Author: Anna Tambour Publisher: Tor.com

"The Walking-Stick Forest", by Anna Tambour, is a dark fantasy about a recluse who creates collectible walking sticks in post WWI Scotland by manipulating the woods somewhat like bonsais. He refuses a commission from a very rich, powerful man, never considering or caring about the consequences.

authority

2. Authority: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy)

Artist: Eric Nyquist Author: Jeff VanderMeer Publisher: FSG Originals

After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X—a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization—has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray.

John Rodrigues (aka "Control") is the Southern Reach's newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he's pledged to serve.

In Authority, the second volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Area X's most disturbing questions are answered . . . but the answers are far from reassuring.

 

Boy Eating

3. Irregular Verbs and Other Stories

Artist: Erik Mohr Author: Matthew Johnson Publisher: ChiZine Publications

keluarga: to move to a new village

lunak: to search for something without finding it

mencintai: to love for the last time

Meet a guilt-ridden nurse who atones for her sins by joining her zombified patients in exile; a lone soldier standing guard on a desolate Arctic island against an invasion that may be all in his mind; a folksinger who tries to unionize Hell; and a private eye who only takes your case after you die. Visit a resettlement centre for refugees from ancient Rome; a lost country recreated by its last citizen on the Internet; and a restaurant where the owner's ghost lingers for one final party. Discover the inflationary effects of a dragon's hoard, the secret connection between Mark Twain and Frankenstein, and the magic power of blackberry jam-all in this debut collection of strange, funny, and bittersweet tales by acclaimed writer Matthew Johnson.

libretto_cover_a_p

4. Libretto Volume 1: Vampirism

Artist: menton3 Author: Multiple Publisher: IDW Publishing

Libretto Volume 1 is curated/edited by Kasra Ghanbari with a theme of Vampirism, being the misuse of power, as well as the objectification and exploitation of others. Featured contributors include Ben Templesmith, David Stoupakis, Riley Rossmo, Christopher Mitten, George Pratt, menton3, and others.

Swordcover

5. Sword and Mythos

Artist: Nacho Molina Editors: Silvia Moreno Garcia and Paular R. Stiles Publisher: Innsmouth Free Press

The blades of heroes clash against the darkest sorcery.

Aztec warriors ready for battle, intent on conquering a neighboring tribe, but different gods protect the Matlazinca. For Arthur Pendragon, the dream of Camelot has ended. What remains is a nightmarish battle against his own son, who is not quite human. Master Yue, the great swordsman, sets off to discover what happened to a hamlet that was mysteriously abandoned. He finds evil. Sunsorrow, the ancient dreaming sword, pried from the heart of the glass god, yearns for Carcosa.

Fifteen writers, drawing inspiration from the pulp sub-genres of sword and sorcery and the Cthulhu Mythos, seed stories of adventure, of darkness, of magic and monstrosities. From Africa to realms of neverwhere, here is heroic fantasy with a twist.

 

girls-at-the-kingfisher-club-hr

6. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

Artist: ? Author: Genevieve Valentine Publisher: Atria Books

The Hamilton sisters live a double life—caged in their house by day, they break free at night to hit the dance floors of New York. Following her debut novel, Mechanique (2011), Valentine offers this fanciful reimagining, set in the Roaring Twenties, of the fairy tale of the 12 dancing princesses. The princes have been replaced by bartenders and bootleggers, and the girls wear out catalog-ordered shoes. Their dominating father has kept them shut up at home, virtual prisoners, for their entire lives. When he gets wind of what they’ve been doing, he works to find them more permanent positions as wives—whether or not they like it. The narrative is simple, as befits a modern fairy tale, and the characters are drawn in broad strokes, each dominated by one identifiable personality trait. When the novel shines, it does so by juxtaposing the tension of the imprisoned daughters’ plight against the gimlets and glitter of the underground dance halls they frequent. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club is like a jittery Charleston—loose, fast, and fun.

--Bridget Thoreson

the-bees-cover

7. The Bees

Artist: ? Author: Laline Paull Publisher: Ecco

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen. A feat of bravery grants her access to the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all–daring to challenge the Queen's preeminence–enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the hive's strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by a greater power: a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, and her society–and lead her to perform unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful, and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees and its dazzling young heroine will forever change the way you look at the world outside your window.

 

10306480_10152422346508205_2756680466678465299_n

8. The Devil in the Details

Artist: Dominick Saponaro Author: Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald Publisher: Tor.com

A new adventure of Peter Crossman, special agent of the Knights Templar — a man prepared to administer last rites with one hand while wielding a flamethrower with the other. Now an ancient manuscript of peculiar power has surfaced, and Crossman’s assignment is simple: Get it for the Temple at all costs. This will lead to conflict with entities secular and otherwise — and to a new encounter with Sister Mary Magdalene of the Special Action Executive of the Poor Clares.

 

in-the-dark

9. In the Dark

Artist: ? Publisher: IDW Publishing

In The Dark is a monstrous collection of all-new original terror tales from the darkest and most brilliant minds in comics and prose. Featuring an introduction by American Vampire, The Wake, and Severed writer Scott Snyder, and a frightful feature on the history of horror comics, through their rotten rise and dreadful decline by comic book historian Mike Howlett!

GARCIA_Unbreakable_HC

10. Unbreakable

Artist: ? Author: Kami Garcia Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I never believed in ghosts.
Until one tried to kill me.
 
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, she doesn't realize that paranormal forces are responsible--not until mysterious identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her room and destroy a deadly spirit sent to kill her.
Kennedy learns that her mother's death was no accident, and now she has to take her place in the Legion of the Black Dove--a secret society formed to protect the world from a vengeful demon. A society left in the hands of a misfit group of teens with unique skills: Jared, combat trained, with a temper to match; Lukas, rogue hacker and code breaker; Alara, whose attitude is as powerful as her voodoo protections; and Priest, an engineer capable of making a weapon out of a soda can.
As the teens use their individual talents to battle paranormal entities, they earn their rightful places in the Legion--except for Kennedy, who is left wondering if she is truly one of them.
Can she stay alive long enough to find out--without losing her heart in the process?
Protect Yourself.
What you can't see CAN hurt you.

 

The Day the Weird Tales Facebook Page Got Hacked

The Weird Tales Magazine Facebook page got hacked the other day and has been mostly posting clickbait content that seems to lead to a spammy website. With more than one million likes, the peanut gallery of the page fans came out in force in order to share their insight into this situation.

Update: Weird Tales is back! Praise Cthulhu!

Here's an example of the content that has been going up.

11

 

And here are some choice comments.

The Supportive, if a little sociopathic.

10

 

The Mixed Priorities One

9

 

The NSFW

8

 

The Political

7

 

The Frustrated

6

 

The Mixed Messages One

5

 

The Activist

3

 

The Smug One

2

 

The WTF

1

Best Fantasy and Horror Book Covers for April 2014

A new feature for the Aghast blog: A Book Cover Top 10 of the month. Each month, I check out the upcoming releases in the genres of horror, fantasy and sci-fi and pick my favorite 10 covers to feature.

Tracking down the artists is the hardest part of the whole thing and I have failed in more than one case this month. A few words about the list: I included only novels, novellas and anthologies. So no comic books or magazines. I tried to link to each book's Amazon page, each artist's portfolio and each publisher's website. I didn't always succeed in finding them.

If you find an omission, please let me know.

In any case, check out these covers and maybe buy some cool books!

 

dragon-age-masked-empire-large

1. Dragon Age: The Masked Empire

Artist: Ramil Sunga Author: Patrick Weekes Publisher: Tor Books

Journey into the darkest and deadliest part of Orlais, where the weight of titles matters less than the strength of blades. Empress Celene of Orlais rose to the throne of the most powerful nation in Thedas through wisdom, wit, and ruthless manipulation. Now the empire she has guided into an age of enlightenment is threatened from within by imminent war between the templars and the mages, even as rebellion stirs among the downtrodden elves. To save Orlais, Celene must keep her hold on the throne by any means necessary.

lovecraftsmonters

2. Lovecraft's Monsters

Artist: John Coulthart Editor: Ellen Datlow Publisher: Tachyon Publications

Prepare to meet the wicked progeny of the master of modern horror. In Lovecraft's Monsters, H. P. Lovecraft's most famous creations—Cthulhu, Shoggoths, Deep Ones, Elder Things, Yog-Sothoth, and more, appear in all their terrifying glory. Each story is a gripping new take on a classic Lovecraftian creature, and each is accompanied by a spectacular original illustration that captures the monsters' unique visage.

Contributors include such literary luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Karl Edward Wagner, Elizabeth Bear, and Nick Mamatas. The monsters are lovingly rendered in spectacular original art by World Fantasy Award–winning artist John Coulthart (The Steampunk Bible).

Legions of Lovecraft fans continue to visit his bizarre landscapes and encounter his unrelenting monsters. Now join them in their journey...if you dare.

 

GALLOW

3. The Crimson Shield

Artist: Alejandro Colucci Author: Nathan Hawke Publisher: Gollancz

I have been Truesword to my friends, Griefbringer to my enemies. To most of you I am just another Northlander bastard here to take your women and drink your mead, but to those who know me, my name is Gallow. I fought for my king for seven long years. I have served lords and held my shield beside common men. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face. For my king I will travel to the end of the world. I will find the fabled Crimson Shield so that his legions may carry it to battle, and when Sword and Shield must finally clash, there you will find me. I will not make pacts with devils or bargains with demons for I do not believe in such things, and yet I will see them all around me, in men and in their deeds. Remember me then, for I will not suffer such monsters to live. Even if they are the ones I serve.

HouseIvySorrow_front

4. House of Ivy and Sorrow

Artist: God forbid HarperTeen mention their artist Author: Natalia Whipple Publisher: HarperTeen

Transparent author Natalie Whipple is back with another refreshing blend of realistic romance and light-hearted humor with a one-of-a-kind paranormal touch. Fans of Charmed, Kiersten White's Paranormalcy trilogy, and Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys won't want to miss this spellbinding contemporary tale of magic, first love, and high-stakes danger.

Jo Hemlock is not your typical witch. Outside the walls of her grandmother's ivy-covered house, she's kept her magical life completely separate from her life in high school. But when the Curse that killed her mother resurfaces, it threatens to destroy not only her life but her grandmother's too—and keeping her secret may no longer be an option.

 

.................................

5. Masters of the Weird Tale: Carl Jacobi

Artist: David Ho Author: Carl Jacobi Publisher: Centipede Press

This title in our Masters of the Weird Tale series focuses on the weird fiction of pulp master Carl Jacobi, and is introduced by John Pelan. Over sixty stories are collected in a large hardcover edition, featuring original artwork. A large number of stories have never before been collected in book format.

 wwa

6. The Last Weekend

Artist: Pedro Marques Author: Nick Mamatas Publisher: PSPublishing

Meet Vasilis ‘Billy’ Kostopolos: Bay Area Rust Belt refugee, failed sci-fi writer, successful barfly and, since an exceptionally American zombie apocalypse, accomplished ‘driller’ of reanimated corpses. Now that all the sane, well-adjusted human beings are hunted to extinction, he's found his vocation trepanning zombies, peddling his one and only published short story and drinking himself to death—that is, until both his girlfriends turn out to be homicidal revolutionaries, he collides with a gang of Berkeley scientists gone berserker, the long-awaited ‘Big One’ finally strikes San Francisco, and what’s left of local government can no longer hide the awful secret lurking deep in the basement of City Hall. Can Bill unearth the truth about America’s demise and San Francisco’s survival—and will he destroy what little’s left of it in the process? Is he legend, the last man, or just another sucker on the vine? Nick Mamatas’ The Last Weekend takes a high-powered drill to the lurching, groaning conventions of zombie dystopias and conspiracy thrillers, sparing no cliché about tortured artists, alcoholic ‘genius’, noir action heroes, survivalist dogma, or starry-eyed California dreaming. Starting in booze-soaked but very clear-eyed cynicism and ending in gloriously uncozy catastrophe, this tale of a man and his city’s last living days is merciless, uncomfortably perceptive, and bleakly hilarious.

city-of-iron-fish

7. City of the Iron Fish

Artist: Jeffery Alan Love Author: Simon Ings Publisher: Gollancz

Simon Ings has written a surreal adventure probing the very fabric of existence, tearing it open to reveal a sometimes horrifying world within. It is a work that will delight any fan of China Mieville. Only a fool would question the strange magics that maintain the cool haven of the City of the Iron Fish in the middle of an inferno of scorching heat and splintered rock, for the well-watered streets of the city hide secrets in their shadows. Thomas Kemp is just such a fool...And embarks on a journey that will take him to the limits of reality. It may kill him, worse, that may not be enough. Especially as it is his only friend, Blythe, who may discover the secret of the city's isolation.

18616071

8. The Bird Eater

Artist: Cyanotype Book Architects Author: Ania Ahlborn Publisher: 47North

Twenty years ago, the mysterious death of his aunt left Aaron Holbrook orphaned and alone. He abandoned his rural Arkansas hometown vowing never to return, until his seven-year-old son died in an accident, plunging Aaron into a nightmare of addiction and grief. Desperate to reclaim a piece of himself, he returns to the hills of his childhood, to Holbrook House, where he hopes to find peace among the memories of his youth. But solace doesn’t come easy. Someone—or something—has other plans.

Like Aaron, Holbrook House is but a shell of what it once was, a target for vandals and ghost hunters who have nicknamed it “the devil’s den.” Aaron doesn’t believe in the paranormal—at least, not until a strange boy begins following him wherever he goes. Plagued by violent dreams and disturbing visions, Aaron begins to wonder if he’s losing his mind. But a festering darkness lurks at the heart of Holbrook House…a darkness that grins from within the shadows, delighting in Aaron’s sorrow, biding its time.

 

81ood4cUtiL._SL1500_

9. The Keys to the Realms

Artist: Mark Winters Author: Roberta Trahan Publisher: 47North

In this sequel to The Well of Tears, the last bastion of magic standing against the dark forces threatening the prophecy of the Ancients has narrowly escaped destruction—wrought by the sorcery of one of its own. Reeling from loss and betrayal, the Stewardry at Fane Gramarye is in chaos. The young acolyte Glain is called to replace the traitor as Proctor and serve the new Sovereign. It has fallen to Alwen to lead the order and find the remaining Guardians of the Realms and their keys of power. Only then will the king of the prophecy win his throne.

When assassins breach the protective veil surrounding the Fane, an unexpected evil is revealed. The renegade mage Machreth has garnered new allies and his agents might already have infiltrated the ranks of the order. Glain must discover where the treachery lies before Machreth bends destiny to his will, but the truth is shrouded by secrets. Though her visionary powers are strong, there are things Glain can’t foresee. Can she still trust those she calls her friends—or her own heart? For even Glain has something to hide…

 

DorothyMustDie_CoverOnly1.indd

10. Dorothy Must Die

Artist: Pokemon slave labor Author: Danielle Paige Publisher: HarperCollins

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know? Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling. What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe. My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas. I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I've been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

 

Aghast - A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic KICKSTARTER

 

I really like fanzines. I made my first one when I was nine or ten. I don’t even know how I got that idea in the first place, it’s not like the Greek small town I lived in had a zine scene. Probably a project some other, more well-funded school did. I got my buddy at the time to help out and we filled almost 30 pages with inane drivel. Knowing nothing about copyright and IP law, I used some Christmas cards as illustrations. I got my uncle to photocopy it for free at his job and after selling copies to all my relatives, we straight up went door to door (or store to store) selling this. I guess I figured stores and doctors’ offices needed magazines and they’d love a copy of THE CHILDREN OF 2000. In retrospect, the title sounds like a bad 50s sci-fi movie, but at the time the year 2000 was far far away.

Anyway, this is a really roundabout way of saying, I love magazines and more than anything, I love making them. I tried my hand on a one-off magazine for a comics convention and it did reasonably well (sold out, actually), so it was time to go bigger.

That’s AGHAST – A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic. An illustrated journal of dark fantasy and horror. Each story will be accompanied by an illustration done by me. I believe in presenting fiction in the best way possible; wide margins, art, good layout. The first issue will contain short stories by Jonathan Maberry, Megan Arkenberg, Tim Waggoner, Jeff Strand and Gemma Files.

It’s my own work, but I think the art I made for it so far looks pretty good and will only get better. I really hope someone snags that AGHAST! Backer reward, where you get to be illustrated on the cover of issue #2. It should be fun to do.

And don’t forget, we’re still open to submissions and AGHAST is a paying market (1c/word).

I’d appreciate your support and help in getting the message out there.

Let’s make some zines!

jujllj

Horror Short Film Roundup

Sometimes I watch horror short films. I thought you might like some too. Watch these. These are good. I recommend full screen.

This one is animated and kinda long, but it's well made and the song is killer.

  Short and sweet.

  This is probably one of the best stop motion ones I've seen. I love it.

  Has some good visuals, but ultimately I was disappointed that they didn't do more with the idea. Worth a watch though.

 

This is terrifying. Don't miss this one.