Ginger Nuts of Horror
WHILE YOU ARE HERE WHY NOT CHECK OUT TODAY'S GREAT ARTICLES
HORROR FICTION REVIEW: MAD DOG BY J.R. PARK
FILM GUTTER REVIEWS: 2LDK (2003)
HORROR NEWS: BURDIZZO BOOKS UNLEASHES SPARKS A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY
ENTER THE SHADOW BOOOTH: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNIE NEUGEBAUER
SUMMER OF SABBATH: TYR BY KEVIN G. BUFTON
By Penny Jones
I was six years old the first time I was really scared, and although that was the year that I first read my parent’s Pan books of Horror; and the year I watched American Werewolf in London, and Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time. It was none of those things that were the cause of my many sleepless nights. Sure I was scared by them, I was six. But I was expecting to be scared, expecting to twitch at the curtains and turn on the lights. They were horror. But what I wasn’t expecting to be utterly terrified by was a PG rated film.
My parent’s had rented a video recorder from Rumbelows, and as a treat they rented a couple of films for me to watch. Although they knew I liked horror films, they thought it would be more suitable for a six year old little girl to have some children’s films. One of those videos was Disney’s Return to Oz.
The start of Return to Oz is reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. The camera angles and the melancholy music set the scene for what is to be a disturbing movie. Dorothy (who is played by Fairuza Balk, who went on to play Nancy Downs in The Craft) is unable to sleep; we cut to Dorothy’s Uncle Henry looking at an advert for electric healing. Aunty Em talks about the fact that it is six months after the tornado and Dorothy hasn’t been herself since, that she talks constantly about somewhere that doesn’t exist. So Aunty Em in her wisdom takes Dorothy to see Doctor Worley at his hospital.
Now for the first, really freaky part of the film. Aunty Em leave Dorothy in the care of the seemingly kindly Dr Worley, and Nurse Wilson (who looks like she kills children and eats them for breakfast), so that Dorothy can have electro-shock therapy (just to remind you again this is a kid’s film). Dorothy is taken to a sparse cell-like room. Outside a storm is brewing, and in the distance Dorothy listens to the calming sounds of screams and thunder. A strange girl turns up, hands Dorothy a jack-o-lantern and disappears whilst her back is turned. But that’s fine, Dorothy isn’t on her own for long, as Nurse Wilson and two freaky orderlies soon turn up. They restrain Dorothy on a gurney with a squeaky wheel (that’s straight out of a horror film), and roll her in for her ECT. Luckily there’s a powercut, and the freaky girl from earlier runs in to save the day, and as she is un-strapping Dorothy, the screams begin again. Dorothy asks what they are and the girl responds…
“They’re patients who’ve been damaged, locked in the cellar.”
WTF! This is a children’s film remember. So to cut a long story short, they escape and Dorothy wakes up in Oz in the deadly desert (this time she has a talking chicken called Billina with her). Now the deadly desert surrounds Oz and you can’t touch it or you die and turn into sand. I’m not freaked out by this as most six year olds would be, because I still can’t get over the people locked in the frigging cellar. Dorothy makes her way to the ruins of the Emerald City, and finds that everyone has been turned to stone, and several of them have been decapitated (Gee this is the film that just keeps giving). Then we are introduced to the Wheelers (imagine psycho stilt walkers on wheels, with a bit of Mad Max thrown in, and you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what these insanely giggling creatures look like). These creatures work for Mombi and guess what? She’s not nice. She’s the reason that so many of those statues are missing heads and now she wants Dorothy’s. Cut to a headless witch bellowing ‘Dorothy Gale’, whilst all the other heads scream as Dorothy tries to escape.
Now Dorothy has picked up a little band of friends as always; a Gump (no I’m not going to explain, you’ll just have to watch the film), Jack Pumpkinhead (really annoying, I spent the whole film hoping he would die), and Tik Tok (who for some reason reminded me of Windsor Davies). They get to the Nome King’s mountain and save Oz, blah, blah, blah. Not going to bother telling you about this as it’s just standard Disney scary, not freaky why is this film a PG scary.
I love finding out that people haven’t seen Return to Oz, putting on my copy and watching as their jaws drop (it is still terrifying to watch as an adult). You can get it on DVD and it is well worth the watch if you haven’t seen it (or a rewatch if you were traumatised by it as a child). Just remember beware the Wheelers, Mombi is watching you (from several sets of eyes), and there is no-one screaming in the cellar.
BY DAN COXON
"A lot is talked about authors finding their ‘voice’, and I was spending all my time trying to fake somebody else’s accent. It’s no wonder that I was rarely convincing."
Today marks the launch of a Kickstarter project that gets the full Ginger Nuts seal of approval. Tales from The Shadow Booth is a new journal of weird and eerie fiction, edited by Dan Coxon (Winner: Best Anthology – Saboteur Awards 2016) and published as a mass market paperback. Drawing its inspiration from the likes of Thomas Ligotti and Robert Aickman, The Shadow Booth explores that dark, murky territory between mainstream horror and literary fiction. The journal is crowdfunding on Kickstarter from Today with a view to publication in December 2017.
Featuring stories by:
Paul Tremblay, Malcolm Devlin, Richard Thomas, Stephen Hargadon, Annie Neugebauer, Richard V. Hirst, Sarah Read, Timothy J. Jarvis, Gary Budden, David Hartley, Kate Feld, Dan Carpenter and Joseph Sale. Tales from The Shadow Booth looks set to be a must read for fans of intelligent horror fiction.
To celebrate the launch of the Kickstarter Ginger Nuts of Horror has a series of exclusive interviews and articles from some of the contributors to the first volume. Today we are honoured to have Shadow Booth editor Dan Coxon over for a fascinating article about his journey and reasons for bringing this anthology together.
As a writer, and an editor, the last ten years of my life have been filled with confusion. During my university years, and the years immediately after, I wrote strange little stories that I thought were groundbreakingly brilliant, but which few others had the time for. I remember one about a burns victim slowly peeling the dead skin from his head, another in which a psychiatric patient gained god-like powers thanks to an experimental drug. Then there was the time travel story about an erratic time machine constructed of skin and bone. You get the idea.
Thankfully I started to enjoy some limited success with these, and a number of magazines and journals published the better ones (I remember Trevor Denyer, now of Midnight Street, being particularly supportive with his Roadworks magazine). I was even published, briefly, in The Third Alternative, the seed from which Andy Cox has grown his wonderful TTA Press. I barely made a penny from any of them, but I felt as if I was slowly getting somewhere.
For someone with a degree in English Literature, however, and (at that time) a career in bookselling, these genre stories felt rather lowbrow and garish, knock-offs of pulp fictions that were thirty years – or more – out of date. I don’t recall making a conscious decision to write ‘straight’ literary fiction, but gradually I turned my sights on supposedly ‘literary’ journals and competitions. I kept my weirder impulses firmly in check, replacing them with everyday tragedies and a search for epiphanies, both literal and literary.
This, by the way, was a huge mistake.
At the time, I felt that my writing simply wasn’t good enough to ‘step up’ to that level. This, to me, explained why I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. The competition was simply too good. I, by extension, was not.
In case you haven’t worked it out, this was also a huge mistake.
The truth of the matter is that I spent a number of years suppressing the stories that occurred to me naturally, trying instead to manufacture mainstream tales that never really interested me, never mind my readers. A lot is talked about authors finding their ‘voice’, and I was spending all my time trying to fake somebody else’s accent. It’s no wonder that I was rarely convincing.
Eventually, I realised that I’d strayed down the wrong path, but things were still far from simple. The pure, genre horror ‘voice’ wasn’t mine either. To this day, I’m not a great fan of monsters and gore – they don’t scare me, they simply leave me bored (or, worse, make me laugh). I recalled authors I’d enjoyed in my teens – Alan Garner, Michael Moorcock, Jonathan Carroll – but as far as I could see, there wasn’t a name for the strange blend of fantasy and realism that got my pulse racing, that misty realm of the odd and the profane. I enjoyed King’s The Shining, but not Salem’s Lot. I read and re-read Ian McEwan’s early stories, but Atonement left me cold. I seemed to exist between genres, neither one thing nor the other.
Slowly, I started to encounter a few authors who occupied a similar hinterland. Jeff VanderMeer, Robert Aickman. There was something different happening out there, in unmapped territory. Adam Nevill’s novels thrilled me too, with their very literate, and yet muscular, take on the supernatural. Here was something genuinely scary, and genuinely interesting. Through Adam, I found Machen, and then Ligotti. I returned to Lovecraft, and found him weirder and more challenging than I remembered. My interest in the strange even started to spill over into literary realms – Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Loney is a fine example. Suddenly, strangeness was everywhere.
I suspect that some of these writers I love have gone through their own identity crises. In his Introduction to The Wine-Dark Sea, Peter Straub reveals that Aickman disliked the term ‘horror’ for his fictions, preferring to call them ‘strange stories’. Lovecraft used the term ‘weird fiction’, shifting his focus away from horror and towards ‘vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy’. This seemed to apply to most of the stories I enjoyed, even the supernatural ones. Fear alone was not enough.
Hopefully this goes some way towards explaining why I decided to launch The Shadow Booth, a journal of weird and eerie short stories by contemporary writers. For a long time, I felt that there were a number of authors writing and interesting stories in this hinterland – stories too philosophical and introspective to fit the horror genre, but too weird and unsettling to sit within the literary field. It seemed natural to try and give them a home. I had recently bought several second-hand Pan Books of Horror at a book stall in London, and I wanted to use them as a touchstone: broad in their range, encouraging new writers as well as established authors, and yet extremely readable and accessible. It made sense for The Shadow Booth to be a mass market paperback too, somewhere in the region of 200 pages (slim enough to still fit in a pocket). The black cover suggested itself and could not be ignored.
In his book The Weird and the Eerie, Mark Fisher does an excellent job of distinguishing the two terms, but he also brings them together. For Fisher, ‘the weird is that which does not belong. The weird brings to the familiar something which ordinarily lies beyond it, and which cannot be reconciled with the “homely”’ (Fisher’s italics). The eerie, meanwhile, ‘concerns the most fundamental metaphysical questions one could pose, questions to do with existence and non-existence: Why is there something here when there should be nothing? Why is there nothing here when there should be something? The unseeing eyes of the dead; the bewildered eyes of an amnesiac – these provoke a sense of the eerie, just as surely as an abandoned village or a stone circle do’ (italics again are Fisher’s). For me, the first half of Stephen King’s It is eerie, that unsettling image of Pennywise lurking in the sewer. The second half spirals into the weird pretty fast (and not always in a terribly convincing way, it has to be said).
I knew from early on in the process that I wanted The Shadow Booth to encompass both. Going back to Fisher again, he points out that, ‘What the weird and the eerie have in common is a preoccupation with the strange. The strange – not the horrific.’ We’re back to Aickman and his ‘strange stories’ again. I remember a song from my teenage years, around the time that I was starting to read Moorcock and explore the gothic, by the band Therapy?. The song was called ‘Face the Strange’, and if I remember rightly, the chorus went: ‘So you turn/To face the strange/You turn/To face yourself’. I had finally found my ‘voice’, and indeed, it was strange.
I hope I’ve managed to bring all these elements together in the first volume of The Shadow Booth. I think I have. Some of the stories are undeniably weird (Dan Carpenter’s contribution, for example, as well as Richard Thomas and David Hartley). Some are definitely at the eerie end of the scale (Paul Tremblay, Stephen Hargadon). Others, for me at least, sit somewhere between the two (I’m thinking particularly of Malcolm Devlin’s story, and Gary Budden’s too). Whether you find them weird, or eerie, they are all undeniably strange.
On a personal level, The Shadow Booth feels like an odd kind of homecoming. This is territory I left many years ago, and I’ve spent the interim tramping through the literary wilderness. But now, unexpectedly, I have stumbled across a tiny, one-man booth in the desert sands. It looks like an old-fashioned Punch & Judy booth, the striped fabric faded by the sun and the winds. The sign is so worn I can barely read it, but I can just make out the name, and the promise of excitement, of beauty, and maybe even a little fear. The decision takes no time at all. I lift the canvas flap and step into the darkness.
The Shadow Booth is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter, until 26 October. Featuring stories by Paul Tremblay, Malcolm Devlin, Richard Thomas, Stephen Hargadon, Gary Budden, Annie Neugebauer, Richard V. Hirst and many more, it is available as a mass market paperback. Please pre-order a copy here and show your support:
Dan Coxon’s writing has appeared in Salon, Unthology, The Lonely Crowd, Popshot, Neon, Gutter, Wales Arts Review, The Portland Review, and the DadLit anthology Daddy Cool, amongst others. He is the editor of Being Dad, a collection of short stories about fatherhood that won Best Anthology at the Saboteur Awards 2016. He was long-listed for the Bath Flash Fiction Award 2017, and is currently a Contributing Editor at The Lonely Crowd.
He also writes weird and eerie fiction under a pen name, some of which has been published in Black Static, Unsung Stories, Speculative 66 and The Year’s Best Body Horror. He’s starting to feel that Stephen King’s The Dark Half may have been a grittily realistic depiction of the schizophrenia of storytelling.
In an unlikely – and terrifying – plot twist, he once chaired a writers' pitching panel at the SCARdiff horror convention, and he is appearing on two panels at this year’s FantasyCon. His dark half will also be reading something strange on the Saturday evening.
He runs a freelance editorial and proofreading service at Momus Editorial, and is happy to take on private clients as well as established publishers. Find him on Twitter @DanCoxonAuthor.
Horror is defined as a feeling of great shock, fear, and worry caused by something extremely unpleasant; an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. Edgar Allan Poe is not only recognized as the “Father of the Detective Story,” with his publication in Graham’s Magazine of The Murders In The Rue Morgue in 1841, but he is also the first American writer to popularize horror and the macabre. Poe is also credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction.
Horror is a genre of fiction which has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Howard Phillips (H.P.) Lovecraft, the master of the horror tale in the twentieth century, once said that “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
The components of a good horror story usually include fear, surprise, suspense, mystery, foreshadowing, and imagination. A good storyline will interconnect these important elements together in one way or another.
Fear is paramount to any horror story. Scaring the reader with fears they may or may not have (fear of the unknown) is key to writing a spooky tale. A strong emotion of fear sets horror apart from the other genres, and expanding on that fear can contribute to surprise. If the author can’t elicit fear in the reader, then the story shouldn’t fall into the horror genre.
Surprise is important in order to connect with the reader. If the writer can make the fear(s) a surprise, then the story will be even more exciting. Many horror movies rely on the element of surprise to terrify its audience. By tying a surprise to the end of a long suspense, the reader will stay hooked on the storyline.
Suspense can be used to keep the reader’s adrenaline flowing, especially if it plays off of fear. If the story is written well, then the reader will be afraid if the character is afraid. Well-placed suspense holds the reader’s interest in the story and puts them on the edge of their seat. If suspense is intertwined with fear, then it will keep the reader on a roller coaster ride. A suspenseful story is more often than not dependent on a good mystery.
Mystery is a strong element in any horror tale. Generally speaking, the more unknowns the author has in a story, the better the read. A mystery that’s not solved until the end of the book can definitely make for a suspenseful tale. Mystery and suspense can also be used together as a hook to keep the reader’s attention. In order to surprise its reader, a story needs a convincing mystery.
What’s the difference between mystery and suspense? Mystery contains one or more elements that remain unexplained or unknown until a story’s ending. A good mystery story showcases a given character’s struggle with different psychological and/or physical obstacles in an effort to achieve a particular goal or goals. Suspense is elicited when the reader isn’t aware of what’s coming next or what the outcome of an event or conflict in a story will be. A savvy author will create suspense by keeping the reader guessing as to what will happen next. As the great Alfred Hitchcock once said, “Suspense is the state of waiting for something to happen.” A mystery story reveals the major crime or event, followed by the protagonist solving the mystery of the who, why, and how of it. A suspense story delivers twists and turns before showing the crime or event later, thus eliciting a feeling of suspense in the reader. The enemy of suspense is predictability, which should be avoided when constructing the plot. Many authors are able to create a blend of suspense and mystery in their stories, thus providing a reliable way to keep their reader’s interest.
Foreshadowing is a way of preparing the reader for the climax of the story. By leaving well-placed clues in the plot and not giving away any answers, the author can make the mystery in his book even more enticing. Foreshadowing can be used as a tie-in to a mystery as it builds anticipation in the reader. An indication for the occurrence of future events, foreshadowing is a valuable tool for any writer.
Imagination can be a horror author’s best friend when used to construct the events, characters, situations, and storyline of a book. The reader can also draw upon their imagination as they conjure up images and visions of what they’ve read. When used synergistically, fear, mystery, and imagination are crucial to any good horror story. If the reader can imagine themselves as a character in a story, then the author has succeeded in his endeavors. “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” - Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
Why is it important to include mystery in a horror novel? Most people enjoy mysteries because it’s an intellectual challenge for them to figure out the answer to a puzzle. If the narrative contains a thought-provoking mystery, then the reader will want to know how the plot is resolved. A good mystery will leave clues that should keep the reader hanging until the end of the story. Horror is tailored for those readers who wish to have their imaginations stimulated through fear, especially psychological fear or fear of the unknown. Given that the human imagination knows no limits, a cornucopia of scary characters have been created throughout time, including monsters, demons, and ghosts, just to mention a few. The genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy are usually based on fear and imagination, which is why they often overlap each other. A well-written horror novel can uncover a reader’s hidden anxiety or deepest nightmare—the more mysterious the antagonist, the more effective the horror. Adding mystery to horror not only makes for a more interesting story, but it also heightens the fear. Horror authors know that keeping the narrative terrifying is a must for any tale of horror. A horror story without mystery is like a body without a soul!
About G.A. Minton
From his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theater, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy.
Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a bizarre Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true). After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, his injured brain slowly began to mend itself. When the damage to his brain finally healed, G.A. noticed something very different in his thought patterns. Now, there was an overwhelming urge, a compulsive drive to put on paper fascinating stories that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI, his first novel and recipient of multiple awards, was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain (a rare medical condition, known as “acquired savant syndrome”). God only knows… stranger things have happened! G.A. is now referred to as “the savant horror writer” by many of his friends.
G.A. has recently completed his second novel, Antitheus, a dark supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of G.A.’s trademarks is that his stories contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending that would baffle even the likes of the great Sherlock Holmes! G.A. lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats named Phinneas and Shamus.
Trapped by a blizzard in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a group of clergymen attending a religious conference find themselves thrown into a gruesome battle with evil incarnate itself. One by one, the holy leaders are being brutally slaughtered by an unknown, malevolent entity. Facing impossible odds and running out of time, the survivors must work together to match wits against their deadly adversary. It’s an epic battle of Good versus Evil, with the winner taking all. . .the fate of every man, woman, and child on Earth hangs in the balance!
Conjured up from the vivid imagination of G.A. Minton, the award-winning author of TRISOMY XXI, comes a tale of unspeakable horror. Akin to Seven, The Prophecy, and Angel Heart, ANTITHEUS takes the forces of light and darkness to a whole new level—holding an unforeseen ending that will both surprise and amaze its reader. Prepare yourself for a terrifying trip into the world of infinite evil!
“ANTITHEUS is a masterfully executed story that will entertain fans of horror and stay with them for a long time. Couldn’t put down!” – Christian Sia’s 5-STAR Review from Readers’ Favorite.
“ANTITHEUS is written to read like an irresistible spell for fans of thrillers and realistic tales of horror.” – Readers’ Favorite 5-STAR Review from Romuald Dzemo.
You can find out more information about G.A. Minton and his books at:
G.A. Minton Author Website
G.A. Minton Author Webpage at World Castle Publishing
ANTITHEUS on Amazon
TRISOMY XXI on Amazon
G.A. Minton Facebook Pages:
Barnes & Noble link for ANTITHEUS
Goodreads webpage link for ANTITHEUS
I leaned closer to examine the designs and was startled to discover that they depicted, in grossly caricaturised form, human sexual organs. Yet this was no simple gallery of antique erotica, for not one of the organs in the pictures was shown to have a human owner. They didn’t even seem to have human skin: the phalluses were covered in interlocking plates much like a suit of armour, while their female counterparts – which more than anything resembled a maniac’s attempt to copy a diagram of the female reproductive system from a biology textbook – were translucent enough for the viewer to discern a tangled network of blood vessels and nerve fibres beneath the surface of the uterus. This network became more or less visible depending on the angle from which it was viewed – a singular quality which I spent a minute or so experimenting with. But when I started moving away to inspect the reliefs on the other side of the tunnel, one of those uterine tubes suddenly throbbed, and an unidentifiable black fluid appeared to surge through it…!
I was so alarmed that I dropped my Zippo, which stayed alight for a moment after it struck the ground. I looked down at the area thus illuminated and saw that the soft grass I had slept upon wasn’t grass at all – it was curly, wispy hair, sprouting from a smooth grey surface whose spasmic twitching beneath the naked flame suggested a monstrous kind of flesh…!
I choked with fright and ran, choosing to abandon my lighter rather than risk direct contact with that abhorrent parody of turf. As I pelted through the tunnel – following it around to the left, then to the right, down a slight declivity and at last sharply upwards – I commenced going ‘La la laaa’ at the top of my voice in a desperate bid to drown out the slapping of my trainers against that repellent sod, and clenching my fists as hard I could lest I became too acutely aware of its loathsome undulations. Eventually I was able to make out a patch of light in the distance which seemed too pale and bright to have been created by those hellish bas-reliefs, and the further I ascended the more certain I grew that it was daylight. Daylight! It was the first time in my life I’d ever been genuinely excited by the prospect of going outdoors.
The light was streaming from an opening on the right-hand side of the corridor, and as I drew nearer it became apparent that this offered my only possible escape route; the tunnel I had been following terminated in an impassable barrier of fallen rock a few feet beyond it. In view of this I stopped beside the aperture, which was more or less twice the size of a standard doorway, and cautiously put my head around it.
What I saw then was enough to make me doubt my own sanity, yet it was so palpably real that my first instinct was rather to doubt the sanity of the universe.
'The story I’m about to tell is true in every detail and you must try to believe it, no matter how hard that may seem, because it proves that my "impotence" was never anything to do with me not loving you, or not thinking you were gorgeous, or being a secret gaybait. It was to do with primal forces of inhuman evil.'
That’s how I put it to my ex-girlfriend. I’m not quite sure how to put it to YOU – let’s face it, you’re capricious – but that doesn’t alter the fact that you MUST read this book. Not only does it relate the full story of how I met and fell in love with the most extraordinary woman who ever lived, it also offers a genuinely plausible explanation for all the terrible wickedness in this world AND exposes a monumentally revolting cosmic conspiracy that implicates the whole human race, as well as several others you’ve never even heard of.
But I wouldn’t want to alienate you, so please try also to keep in mind that it’s basically just a lovely light romantic comedy for much of the time, with lots of droll observations about university life in the 1990s blah blah rites of passage blah blah end of innocence blah blah beautifully evoked. It only really starts to go all H.P. Lovecraft about halfway through, and even then you’ll need your sense of humour as much as your strong stomach (it IS strong, isn’t it? Oh do please say that it’s strong!). Moreover, I can promise – in fact positively guarantee – that you will never, ever be able to forget it...
Ginger Nuts of Horror and The Mega Liverpool Horror Con have joined forces to give you the chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to the event on the 7th and 8th of October.
Fans of the fear-provoking prepare yourselves, Horror Con is coming to Liverpool and it’s looking FRIGHTfully good!. Meet a range of authors, film & TV guests, and shop with a huge array of traders selling everything from prints to films and masks to movie props. View the exhibits and get your photos taken within our special features to enhance your day. Collect your autographs and photographs then relax and unwind, watching film screenings or listen to the panels and talks with guests discussing their previous and current work. This two day event promises no-stop fun this Halloween on October 7th & 8th.
Full details of the event and the stellar lineup of guests appearing at the Con can be found here
For a chance to win one of the three pairs of Tickets all you have to do is head to their Facebook Page and give it a like, share this post
Tagging The Ginger Nuts of Horror in the share so we can keep track of who is sharing it. The three winners will be picked at random and announced Thursday 14th of September.
Anthologies are not a new idea. If anything, they are becoming two a penny. Every week someone is releasing another anthology filled with authors who are hungry for their name to be seen in a book that they, wrongly, believe will be seen by more people than if they released their story on their own. If you hadn’t guessed, I am not a fan of anthologies in general. Too many publishers out there prey on desperate, mostly-new authors - give us your work for free and new readers will come flocking to you. It doesn’t work like that though, especially in this day and age.
There are few action stars as iconic or that have enjoyed as much longevity as Keanu Reeves. Although he established himself as a star in the stoner comedy, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, he quickly rose up in a series of brilliant action films such as Point Break, Speed and of course, The Matrix. About two decades after these legendary roles, Reeves is still at the forefront of the genre, partly thanks to the success of the John Wick series, which reminded many people why they loved him in the first place. To celebrate the home release of John Wick: Chapter 2, we thought we’d round up his greatest action roles from over the years.
I recently tried to explain to my girlfriend why I felt that a certain album was “important” to me. I gave it an off-the-cuff shot, floundered, lost my way, and then gave up without satisfaction.
It got me thinking: why exactly did I think of the album Panopticon by the band Isis as an “important” feature of my life? Why not just say, “It’s awesome”, or “It’s ace”, or any one of the other overused complimentary adjectives that I apply to the things that I enjoy? The conclusion I came to was what gave me the idea for writing this article: because, for every one of those 59 minutes of the record’s playing time, Panopticon takes me away from the horror.
This isn’t going to be a journalistic article, where I describe the band’s intentions, the album’s concept or where it hit in the Billboard charts; it’s simply going to be my own personal reflection of what will no doubt be my lifelong love for 7 pieces of devastatingly affecting music.