Monday, October 22, 2018

Fear Street

Bad Books for Bad People
Episode 26: Fear Street
Jack and Kate celebrate the Halloween season with a visit to R.L. Stine's fictional town of Shadyside, a suburban hamlet with more than its fair share or spooky teen-centric violence. For their first venture onto Fear Street, your hosts read and dissect The Wrong Number and The Halloween Party. Surprisingly, the books contain many of the perennial BBfBP favorite themes along with some insight into the psychology and behavior of 90s teens.
Are these books a gateway drug to convert teens into weird fiction fans? Is Zima a very mature beverage? What do Elvira, Psychomania, and Drake in a wheelchair have to do with all of this? Find out the answers to all these questions and more in this month's episode of Bad Books for Bad People.
BBfBP theme song by True Creature 
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Truly the Best Time of the Year

The Long Halloween season means getting art cards in the mail from talented friends like Becky Munich (who you may remember from my Krevborna book), spooky beers everywhere you turn, and deals on horror novels at fall book sales.

This fall I also decided to try my hand at home-brewing. Pictured here is a very simple half-gallon of hard cider that I made for about four dollars. Surprisingly, it turned out really well. Not just drinkable, but actually delicious. I've got a gallon each of cherry and orange mead that will be bottled this weekend; stay tuned to see how they turned out.
Speaking of things that will be finished in the near future, check out the cover for the forthcoming Umberwell: Blackened Be Thy Name. Cover art by Tenebrous Kate. Coming soon to DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Lexikorum

The Lexikorum
A faction in Krevborna

The Lexikorum is a monastic order of ascetics who believe that contemplation of the holy name of god is the only path to spiritual redemption. Each monk of the Lexikorum is given portions of god’s sacred name; through contemplation, privation, and extreme bodily exercise, they seek to transform the divine meaning of their deity into miraculous physical action.

Only the power of god’s name can save our souls.

    • There is but one god and his name will guide us toward spiritual perfection.
    • Contemplation of the divine is not enough; we must let the word of god flow through our bodies and souls.
    • The darkness that infects the lands of Krevborna is anathema to the holy syllables of creation.

    • Honor god by destroying evil in the world.
    • Discover the missing fragments of the true god’s name.

* * *

The Lexikorum is a faction created by one of the players in my Krevborna campaign that their character belongs to. Here's a bit about their character:

Soriah Red, human way of the shadows monk, criminal background
Soriah joined the Lexikorum to atone for the sins she committed; she has been sent out into the world to defeat evil to attain redemption by the Lexikorum.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Dark Descent

As anyone who loves reading knows, books tend to come and go but some books stay with you and become an integral part of your experience of the world. For me, one of those books is The Dark Descent, edited by David G. Hartwell.

This book entered my life because my aunt joined a mail order book club. Generously, she let me pick out two books from her first allotment of books for myself. The Dark Descent was one of my picks, and it forever skewed my taste in literature.

(My other pick, Edith Hamilton's book of mythology, was also highly formative--I'll talk about that one another day.)

The Dark Descent is an anthology of horror stories, and frankly it is a masterclass in great short horror fiction between two covers. This book introduced me to a number of authors that I absolutely love; this was my first exposure to Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Michael Shea, E. Nesbit, Karl Edward Wagner, Robert Aickman, Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, Manly Wade Wellman, Richard Matheson, Joanna Russ, Dennis Etchison, Ramsey Campbell, Gene Wolfe, Joyce Carol Oates, Walter de la Mare, Flannery O'Connor, and Oliver Onions.

Look, this is the book that introduced me to Tanith Lee.

Also, this book was my first taste of authors I would go on to teach: Stephen King, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Faulkner, Henry James, Charles Dickens, Robert W. Chambers, Ambrose Bierce, Algernon Blackwood, and Philip K. Dick are all represented.

The good news is that The Dark Descent is miraculously still in print. It doesn't have to be your first experience of these fantastic authors; I have no doubt that it would serve just as well as a repository of dark delights that adorns your shelves.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Cacophony of the Funereal Moon

I've been prepping some Krevborna adventures lately in advance of starting a new campaign. Which means I've also been assembling a playlist to fit the mood of the new saga. Below are some of the songs in the current rotation. Needless to say, they're perfect for the Halloween season as well. Portal, in particular, might be a good band to put on if you don't want any kids coming to your house to trick r treat.

Myrkur, "Ulvinde"

Chelsea Wolfe, "The Culling"

Portal, "Curtain"

Huntress, "Sorrow"

Carach Angren, "Charles Francis Coghlan"

Cradle of Filth, "Heartbreak and Seance"