Gifts: Le Guin’s usual mastery of story and style


Gifts by Ursula Le Guin There are lots of reasons to like a good Le Guin novel — her spare prose, her sharpness of description, her ease of storytelling, but in simple terms,...

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King of Morning, Queen of Day: A fairy tale of unforgettable power


King of Morning, Queen of Day by Ian McDonald I knew, just by reading the back cover blurb, that King of Morning, Queen of Day was right up my alley. Women with mystical powers?...

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Klara and the Sun: An understated masterpiece


Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro Klara and the Sun (2021) is the newest novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, and the best description I can think of it is that it’s the newest novel by...

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The Ends of the Earth: Luminous, powerful stories of war, exotic locales, and supernatural horror


The Ends of the Earth by Lucius Shepard Lucius Shepard had already created one of the best short story collections in the genre, The Jaguar Hunter, which won the 1988 World Fantasy...

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Recent Posts

Wes Craven Horror Triple Feature

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1939, Wes Craven would go on to become a legendary director, screenwriter and producer. Before his passing in 2015, at the age of 76, he helmed almost 20 films in the arena of horror, carving out for himself a place in the modern-day pantheon of great frightmakers. Starting with 1972’s remarkably effective (although wholly offputting) classic The Last House on the Left, Craven proceeded to create the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise in 1984, and the Scream franchise in 1996. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986) and Shocker (1989) also proved to be rattlingly good film jolters. Here, during this 50th anniversary year of Craven’s first film, I would like to discuss three other Craven outings that might make for perfect fare during a long Shocktober weekend. Each one of these is guaranteed to both stun and entertain:

THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977)

As I me... Read More

WWWednesday: October 5, 2022

Sequencing the Neanderthal genome was a winner (A Nobel prize for medicine winner) for Svante Paabo, the son of a previous Nobel prize winner.

Baen Books’ annual adventure story contest is open for submissions, closing February 1, 2023. See the article and the site for details.

File 770 shares the first Utopia Awards. Becky Chambers took one for A Psalm for the Wild-Built.

Entertainment Weekly... Read More

Two Early Horrors From Peter Jackson

Born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1961, Peter Jackson is today known throughout the world as one of cinema’s foremost filmmakers; a triple threat in the fields of directing, producing and screenwriting. After a string of modestly budgeted early films, Jackson would, of course, begin to helm some of the priciest productions ever made, with his Lord of the Rings trilogy being budgeted at some $270 million, and King Kong at $200+ million. But in today’s Shocktober column, I would like to shine a light on two of Jackson’s earliest projects, the combined budgets of which probably totalled the one-week caterer’s bill for the Two Towers shoot. Both of these early films from Peter Jackson are considered gross-out horror classics today amongst the films’ growing cult legions. And both, of course, might make for perfect at-home viewing this Shocktober season: 

BAD TASTE (1987)

Sometime... Read More

Five Grisly Zombie Films

Everybody the world over loves a good zombie movie, right? For proof positive of that statement, I offer you these five stunning little excursions into the realm of the lurching dead, culled from various international sources – the U.S., Spain, Italy and Hong Kong – each one of them a stunner in its own unique way. And, of course, each one of them an ideal entertainment for this Shocktober season…

CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (1972)

Back in the dark days of the late '70s and early '80s, when none of us had what's now known as cable TV (remember, kiddies?), Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things was often shown late at night on the station then known as WOR here in NYC (now, it's called My 9 or something). Edited and broken up by commercials though it was, it still pleased us back then, and so I jumped at a chance to see it uncut and on DVD today. And you know what? The darn thing holds up pretty nicely, all t... Read More

Three Horror Films Featuring Killer Genitalia

Three Horror Films Featuring Killer Genitalia

We’re all adults here, right? Okay, then, here goes: On her Grammy Award-winning album of 1994, Turbulent Indigo, Joni Mitchell gave the world a wonderful song entitled “Sex Kills,” which was written during the height of the AIDS epidemic. In part, the song bemoaned the fact that something as simple and natural as the act of lovemaking could prove deadly to the participants engaging in it. However, what Ms. Mitchell was unaware of at the time, perhaps, was the fact that one horror film, and two more that would emerge in the next few years, had depicted/would depict not just the sex act as being lethal, but the very genitalia of an unfortunate person becoming dangerous and even willfully homicidal! Think I’m kidding? Just check out this trio of jaw-droppers that feature perverted private parts, deadly dongs and vicious vulvae, all for the viewer’s dubious delectation… 

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Sunday Status Update: October 2, 2022

Kat: I’m still really busy, so haven’t had time for writing substantive reviews. Therefore, I continue to read my backlog of books that have already been substantively reviewed here at FanLit. Since you heard from me last I’ve read The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Icefall by Matthew Kirby, and the first four books in Read More

Abe Sapien (Volume 4): The Shape of Things to Come: Abe Sapien continues his journey across the United States

Abe Sapien (volume 4): The Shape of Things to Come by Mike Mignola (writer), Scott Allie (writer), Sebastian Fiumara (art), and Max Fiumara (art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Clem Robins (letters)

This volume consists of two stories: “The Shape of Things to Come” and “To the Last Man.” In the first story, we find ourselves in Arizona, outside of a militia-run Phoenix. Abe meets another group of people and is surprised to find himself welcomed and fed by them. They discuss old stories and myths and contemplate what role Abe may play in the continuing apocalyptic events. Though nothing is decided, we do get to hear old tales of magic, monsters, and changes that come to the world throughout time. Some of the stories are those of the Aztecs. They are good stories, and that’s key to this first comic since it’s low on action and based on dialogue, though we do get one action scene with monsters at the very end. Meanwhile, one of the former ... Read More

Stan Lee: A Life

Stan Lee: A Life (Centennial Edition) by Bob Batchelor

Bob Batchelor’s biography of Stan Lee, titled unsurprisingly Stan Lee, is a solid if somewhat stylistically flat look at the life of a man who has had a huge cultural impact. People who pay attention to this sort of thing won’t find a lot new here, and may even find the book’s gloss over things a bit frustrating, but for casual fans of Marvel movies who have a first-time interest in where this behemoth began, the book suffices.

We pick up with a young Stanley Lieber growing up in NYC in the 30s, important because of how, as Batchelor makes clear throughout the book, the problems Lee’s father had in finding/keeping a steady job had a major impact on Lee, creating not only a strong work ethic but also making it nigh on impossible for him to quit a job that he wasn’t sure he wanted or enjoyed. Luckily for many of us, that belief in keeping the ... Read More

WWWednesday: September 28, 2022

File770 discusses how the Chicago Worldcon Community Fund extended memberships and increased inclusion for people who would otherwise have been unable to participate.

Teen writers in the Los Angeles area can submit their short fiction to the Tomorrow Prize science fiction contest. Details are in File 770’s article.

Charles Payseur takes up the debate of “Who Should Really Win a Fan Hugo?”

David Levithan wrote an Read More

The Yellow Mistletoe: “I Say, This Is Top-Hole”

The Yellow Mistletoe by Walter S. Masterman

A wholly intriguing blend of murder mystery, detective thriller, lost world/lost race adventure, and horror novel, The Yellow Mistletoe, by British author Walter S. Masterman, impressively manages to triumph in all four of those literary departments. Like another book that I recently experienced, H.B. Gregory’s Dark Sanctuary (1940, and only available today via Ramble House), The Yellow Mistletoe was also tapped by editor/author Karl Edward Wagner for inclusion in his widely-referred-to list of The 13 Best Supernatural Horror Books. And while I do have a small problem with that inclusion (more on ... Read More