Tag Archives: Gothic

[GUEST POST] Steve Rasnic Tem on Southern Gothic and the Appalachian Weird

In Steve Rasnic Tem‘s 30 + years as a professional writer he has published over 300 short stories, three collections, and four novels, as well as hundreds of poems, essays, articles etc. He is a past winner of the British Fantasy Award, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and International Horror Guild awards, and had been nominated for the Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson, and Theodore Sturgeon awards. His latest novel is Blood Kin, out this month (February 26th) from Solaris.

Appalachian Weird

by Steve Rasnic Tem

My new novel Blood Kin, a dark study of ghosts, snake-handling, and the Great Depression, is set in two Appalachias. The first, a sepia-toned vision of the impoverished thirties, is full of characters. The people are poor, but there are a lot of them. The other Appalachia, seventy-odd years later, is a greener vision, but it’s the green of rot and moss and kudzu vine filling the empty spaces of a much-diminished town. It’s like an Iris DeMent song with the sun going down and the town fading into little more than a memory.

I’m one of many who moved away. I needed book stores and movie theaters and the university. But despite the poverty, despite the sadness I feel when I see all the empty stores and abandoned houses, I still find it to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
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Dr. Amy H. Sturgis to Teach The Gothic Tradition at Mythgard Institute

Registration is now open at Mythgard Institute for the SF-centric online class The Gothic Tradition, taught
Dr. Amy H. Sturgis.

Here’s the course description:

The Gothic literary tradition began in the mid-eighteenth century in Europe and lives on in various forms across the globe through contemporary fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and television. Mad scientists, blasted heaths, abandoned ruins, elusive ghosts, charming vampires, and even little green men people its stories. With ingredients such as a highly developed sense of atmosphere, extreme emotions including fear and awe, and emphases on the mysterious and the paranormal, Gothic works tend to express anxieties about social, political, religious, and economic issues of the time, as well as rejection of prevailing modes of thought and behavior. This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination (from the haunted castles of Horace Walpole to the threatening aliens of H.P. Lovecraft, from Dracula to Coraline), identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, consider how it has developed across time and place and medium, and explore how it has left its indelible imprint on the modern genres of science fiction and fantasy.

For more details and the course schedule, check out the The Gothic Tradition at Mythgard Institute.

And look! A trailer!
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INTERVIEW: Freda Warrington, Author of A TASTE OF BLOOD WINE, on Vampires and Gothic Romance

Freda Warrington is a British author, known for her epic fantasy, vampire and supernatural novels. Her earliest novels, the Blackbird series, were written and published when she was just finishing her teen years; in the intervening years she has seen numerous stand-alone novels and a trilogy published. (The original Blackbird series has recently been put back into print by Immanion Press.) Four of her novels (Dark Cathedral, Pagan Moon, Dracula, The Undead, and The Amber Citadel) have been nominated for the British Fantasy Society’s Best Novel award. Warrington has also seen numerous short stories published in anthologies and magazines.

Born in Leicester, Warrington grew up in Leicestershire. After completing high school, she trained at the Loughborough College of Art and Design and afterward held a job at the Medical Illustration Department of Leicester Royal Infirmary. She eventually moved to full-time writing, pursuing a love she had had since childhood. In addition to her writing, Warrington works part-time in the Charnwood Forest.

A TASTE OF BLOOD WINE and A DANCE IN BLOOD VELVET are getting stunning new reissues from Titan Books, and Freda answered a few of my questions about the series, and more!

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MOVIE REVIEW: Shutter Island, Directed by Martin Scorcese (2010)

REVIEW SUMMARY: Dennis Lehane’s Gothic novel gets a solid, though by no means perfect, adaptation to film from director Martin Scorcese.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A federal marshal with a haunted past must track down an escaped patient on an island-bound mental hospital where nothing is as it seems.


PROS: Strong performances by a solid cast; interesting directorial choices by Scorcese and rich camerawork and music make hackneyed material into a genuinely scary viewing experience.

CONS: Fantasy sequences go on a little too long; the parts, when put together, don’t quite add up to a sensible whole; and even casual genre fans might see the ending pretty early.

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