Saturday, July 17, 2010
And the call was coming from the basement....
If you wanted the market on scary, you should have come to my spooky story salon! I hosted a fabulous evening of creeptastic readings at my old Victorian Brothel (it actually used to be a boarding house in the late 1800s) where some of my favorite writers (and a few awesome new friends) shared their favorite scary tales.
The sultry evening kicked off with sexy Sue Williams reading an excerpt from Angela Carter's short story, "The Bloody Chamber". As many of you know, Carter is one of my very favorite writers, and I'm not exaggerating when I say the whole salon was titillated by Sue's masterful reading of this erotically charged reimagining of Bluebeard. (It's always a great treat to hear Sue read anything with that lovely British accent of hers!)
Next we heard from creepy Cam Terwilliger, who read from another classic, Lord of the Flies. I don't know about you, but this book of survival and the deepest, darkest recesses of humanity never fails to give me the shivers, and it was even more disturbing when Cam read it in his tremulous baritone (if you were at the Fantasy salon in April, you know what I mean). We were rapt.
The ghostess with the mostess (a.k.a. me) shared a fun little story, one of the best to come out of one of my favorite mags (Weird Tales) in the past few years. It's entitled, "Working for our Salvation" and it's written by Trent Hergenrader (check him out if you haven't, he spins a pretty nasty yarn, particularly when it comes to zombies).
Strange Stephen Dorneman (see my blog favorites for more from this awesome guy) treated us to a tale by Saki, the short, yet brilliantly paced and deliciously gruesome "Sredni Vashtar". Stephen also shared a wonderfully funny and disturbing anecdote about a house fire and pants (but I'll let him tell you, since he's so good at it).
My new friend and fellow Grub instructor, the chilling John Cotter (my apologies, John, I couldn't think of an appropriate alliterative adjective that started with "J") shared what was pretty unanimously voted to be the spookiest tale of the night, Ramsey Campbell's "The Hands". Word to the wise, kids. Do NOT seek refuge in a British church. Ever.
Chainsaw-wielding Chip Cheek (in spirit if not in practice, folks) preached on the horrors of hell as he gave a very dramatic reading of the hellfire-and-brimstone sermon in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. We were all roaring with laughter (sinners and heathens that we are).
The night closed with a round-the-room share of our scariest encounters with forces both human and inhuman and all left sated (if not a bit scared).
A huge thanks to all who read and all who came. We'll be having another salon soon on sexy sci-fi tales (by request).