RIP: Colin Wilson (1931 – 2013)

Sad news…

British author Colin Wilson passed away.

Wilson was perhaps best known to sf fans for The Space Vampires which was later adapted as the film Lifeforce, directed by Tobe Hooper. Wilson also wrote the books The Outsider (1956), The Mind Parasites (1967, a Cthulhu Mythos book), the Spider World series, The Philosopher’s Stone (1969), Science Fiction as Existentialism (1980) and more. Some of his short fiction was collected in The Essential Colin Wilson (1985).

[via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine]

Fantasy, Horror, and Infinite Longing

It’s currently October, the spiritual heart of autumn, season of darkening skies and shivering shadows, when death and life, fantasy and reality, night and day, bleed briefly into each other to generate a sense of infinite vistas lying just beyond our ability to grasp. Or at least that’s how it unfolds in the Missouri Ozarks, my lifelong home until a couple of years ago. In 2008 my family and I relocated to Central Texas, and down here in my new native country, daytime temps are still climbing into the 80s. There’s nary a red or golden leaf in sight. The forecast for Halloween itself, the spiritual focal point of the whole month, calls for sunny skies and a high of 85. I don’t often quote Charles Schulz, but since he conceived of the Great Pumpkin, it seems appropriate under current circumstances: Rats.

Still, none of this means the season is failing to inspire its archetypal mood, a pungent emotional coloration composed of equal parts wistful longing, melancholy brooding, and shadowy fascination. And this has got me to reflecting seriously on the significance of this mood for the religion-spirituality-speculative fiction crossover arena that’s my focus here at Stained Glass Gothic. To cut to the chase: The archetypal mood that I and millions of other people have come to associate with autumn in general and October in particular touches on a peculiar emotional/spiritual upwelling that’s central to the concerns of fantasy and horror, and that I first began consciously experiencing as an early adolescent.

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