Monday, September 22, 2008

The Kind of Face You Hate - Where Your Shocktobers Are Guaranteed to Be Spooktacular!

That's right! An announcement! But don't get too excited, because as announcements go, this one's pretty boring.

The deal is this: before I buckled down and started this blog, I decided that, in order to earn my keep as a member of the wonderful Palimpsest book forums, I would do something fairly blog-like and, for the month of October, read only horror fiction -- a genre I seem to love and hate in equal measure -- and chronicle that experience for my fellow Palimpsest members. I'm still going to do that, but now, in order to kill two monsters with one item effective in killing said monsters, I will be posting my insights and delightfully irreverant musings here, as well. And if all goes well, or even if all goes badly, it might help me work up a big enough head of steam to finish off my State of Fear essay.

I have a lot of fiction, stories and novels, picked out for this, and there's no way that I can read all of it in one month, but if you want some idea of what's in store, I can tell you that I know I'll be reading the following: horror fiction written by people you wouldn't normally associate with the genre (this will mostly be short fiction, though I do have a novel picked out); some translated, non-English horror fiction (mainly because my own experience of this branch of horror is weak); writers I think are the best the genre has produced (like Thomas Ligotti and Robert Aickman); classic writers of the genre (Poe, Lovecraft, M. R. James, maybe even Henry James); and a fair number of writers who I've never read before. I can get into more specifics in the comments, if anyone cares. Otherwise, the contents of the syllabus will be a delightful surprise.

So, there you go. My blog is booked clean through next month. Which means there will be a marked decrease in movie posts in that time. Sorry about that, for those of you who will feel that absence like a knife in your heart.

PS - BOO!!!!!!

19 comments:

Rick Olson said...

My, my ... a phantasmatastic announcement, and it isn't even October yet ...

but you know, I've got an announcement for MY blog, and ... oh, never mind ...

bill r. said...

What announcement? That you're tired?

And I can't announce it after October has already begun, can I? I need to sew the seeds of anticipation in my reader(s). Plus, it saved me from writing another post I had in mind that would have been a lot more taxing.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I'm tired too. My October announcement goes up Thursday. We're all such busy bees for that month. I look forward to reading about horror fiction here though, really I do.

bill r. said...

Thanks, Jonathan. As is always the case, when I plan something big, I feel like I'm biting off more than I can chew (really, you should see the stack of horror fiction I pulled off my shelves for this), but I'm still really looking forward to doing this. I hope I can come up with some sort of schedule that I can stick to. Right now, my plans are a bit too loose.

Fox said...

Just when I got around to not hating your kind of face, you go around and say that you are gonna start a month full of book posts?

Que?!

I don't think I've read a book of fiction in 8 years... or something.

bill r. said...

Why the hell not?? You should read more. Books are good.

Fox said...

I learned that I can only hang with non-fiction because it allows me to read more than one book at once. I can't read more than one fiction at once.

bill r. said...

I'm the exact opposite. My non-fiction intake is fairly pathetic, and I wish I could figure out a way to change that.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I read voluminous amounts of non-fiction but my fiction is fairly scarce. In fact, late July (I realize that's not that long ago but still) was the last time I read fiction and it was a short and sweet one, Franny and Zooey, which embarrassingly I had never read. But now I have, so there!

bill r. said...

I've never read Franny and Zooey, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I finally read Catcher in the Rye, which, much to my surprise, I actually ended up liking quite a bit.

And Jonathan, if you think that often films need to be shorter, believe me, that's nothing compared to how often novels should be shorter.

Rick Olson said...

I'm not sure what it is, but I haven't read a lot in recent years ... I used to have a book open nearly 24/7, it was often mystery/PI/crime thing, but recently?

And Jonathan, do bloggers have to have an "October Announcement?"
What about a mid-September one, or a late-August?

bill r. said...

So none of you guys, my regular commenters, read fiction with any kind of regularity, never mind horror fiction. Boy, it's going to be quiet around here next month.

Fox said...

I will still comment Bill... I mean, dude, I got your back yo!

The posts will still interest me, I just won't have much insight.

bill r. said...

I would hope so, Fox. I know from your blog that you like horror films, and I plan on covering a wide spectrum of horror literature, so maybe you'll want to seek out some of it...

Jonathan Lapper said...

You mean you expected to dislike Catcher in the Rye? Why? I thought Franny and Zooey was terrific by the way. Thoroughly enjoyable and yes, meaningful, in a non-groaning eye-rolling way.

And Rick, October is the month to announce because no other genre is so closely associated with a month. Duh. I mean, I know you knew that but I felt like pointing it out. No one associates Sci-Fi, Westerns, Musicals, etc with a month. Although I've often wanted to do "Sci-Fi September" but then I think no way am I doing two specialty months back to back.

bill r. said...

Yeah, I phrased that comment about Catcher in the Rye badly. The truth is that for many years, before I'd ever read any Salinger, I expected to dislike him, because I have an aversion to literature that is supposed to appeal to teenagers. This has less to do with my well-documented hatred of teenagers than it does my bad experience with A Separate Peace.

But about five years ago, I finally decided to give Salinger a try, and I chose to start with his short stories, as I often do with writers I'm unfamiliar with. And I read Nine Stories clean through, and I thought it was truly great, absolutely brilliant (highlights, if you've never read it, include "The Laughing Man" and "Down at the Dinghy". Read those ASAP, if you haven't already). So, by the time I got around to Catcher in the Rye, I honestly had good reason to believe I would enjoy it, and I did. As you said about Franny and Zooey, Jonathan, I found it meaningful, quietly so, in a way that I would find hard to put into words.

Really, for anyone who still hasn't read it, do so. Salinger's use of the word "fuck" is, in context -- no joke -- devestating.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Yeah, it's an incredible work, and it says a lot about it that it's been so praised and appeals to teenagers AND it's still great. I read Teddy years ago from Nine Stories and liked it but I still haven't read the others. I read Teddy because it was so famous. I've got Nine Stories on my bookshelf so I'll read those this week, along with your story of course.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I forgot to add: In doing so I will actively compare your writing to Salinger.

bill r. said...

It will be an apt comparison.

Followers