Mike Thorn joins the hosts of Necronomi.com to talk social commentary in Color Out of Space. They discuss isolation, environmentalism, family, tomatoes, alpaca milk, H. P. Lovecraft’s undying racism, and more.
It is fascinating to assess Gemma Files’ Drawn Up from Deep Places as a collection, because the book’s construction is so uniquely connective. That is, rather than reading as an assortment of individual, isolated pieces, Drawn Up from Deep Places registers as a carefully designed, cumulative whole, comprised of two re-emerging fictional sequences woven among several standalone stories. With this text, Files displays extraordinary thoughtfulness and craft, both in conceptual and formal terms.
The collection begins with the vivid, haunting “Villa Locusta,” which situates us in an apocalyptic environment laden with mythological and religious imagery. Files further demonstrates her penchant for religious allusion with “Sown from Salt” and its companion story, “A Feast for Dust”: this duo recalls Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter, injecting a somber Western narrative with Biblical and supernatural reflections.
The bulk of the collection is devoted to another ambitious, genre-crossing series of interconnected tales. These pieces (“Trap-Weed,” “Two Captains,” the title story, and the final novelette, “The Salt Wedding”) revolve around a toxic, queer, and (sometimes dangerously) magic pirate romance aboard a ship named the Bitch of Hell.
There is also a queer horror-Western populated with demonic zombies (“Satan’s Jewel Crown”), a dark, culturally-specific love story with supernatural threads (“Hell Friend”), and an assembly of screenplay-formatted tableaus set around Jack the Ripper (“Jack-Knife,” definitely my favorite). With “Jack-Knife,” Files draws adeptly on her cinephilia and film criticism background, designing a narrative that reads both thrillingly as prose fiction and convincingly as visual text.
Drawn Up from Deep Places showcases a highly talented writer who inhabits rich genre histories and always manages to reconfigure those traditions in unusual, interesting ways. Files demonstrates stunning formal dexterity here, and a total command of voice (I am in awe of the sheer range of approaches here). This is a collection meant to be consumed as a whole, carefully designed and artfully executed. Highly recommended to adventurous readers of genre fiction.
It’s the worst part of winter (at least in this hemisphere), so why not try insulating your house with books? Even if it doesn’t work, hey, reading material! Read on for 20+ new horror books on sale this month, including new work from C.J. Tudor, Cynthia Pelayo, Ramsey Campbell, Isabel Yap, Gemma Files, and more!
Coming from The Seventh Terrace, June 16, 2021: Welcome to the Sixth Terrace of Dante’s tower of Purgatory, serving up sins of gluttony in an eternal banquet…
This exciting anthology will include Mike Thorn’s new story, “Vomitus Bacchanalius.”
Mike Thorn appeared on the Extended Clip podcast to talk about Shelter for the Damned and two of the films that inspired it: Gene Fowler Jr.’s I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) and Larry Clark’s Ken Park (2002).
“Why I’m excited to read [Shelter for the Damned]: I’m always up for horror that include creepy buildings which seem to be alive. I’m also interested by the study of violence and toxic masculinity within the main character! Looks like it could a fantastic book!“
“Recommended to horror fans not looking for cheap, easy thrills.”
We’re back with a new installment of Horror Highlights! Watch the trailer for The Sinners, learn more about the upcoming novel Shelter for the Damned, watch the trailer for A Writer’s Odyssey, and learn more about the upcoming movie Safer at Home: