Posts tagged Tillinghast Resonator
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond is in the world! We’re preparing to ship out the fine quality prints of Nick Gucker’s cover art to the lucky four winners of the Pre-Order Contest, and readers are beginning to receive their books in the mail! Can a wholesale dimensional breakdown and general apocalypse be far behind? Gosh, we hope so! While you’re waiting for doom to rain down, though perhaps take a read through this insightful interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Leeman Kessler! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
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Well, trust the man who reformats and reinterprets Lovecraft himself for the 21st Century to put a truly unique spin on From Beyond! It’s all there in the title of your story, Deresonator: a machine to counter the effects of Tillinghast’s original contraption. I especially enjoyed your narrator’s voice; he’s essentially an old-school grifter. So, do you come by this voice honestly? Any criminal history in your family?
No criminal history as far as I’m aware although there are an awful lot of pastors and preachers in my family tree and they employ similar showman-like qualities as your average flim-flam man so perhaps I’ve just hit on that racial memory of patter and rhetoric which both helps me as a performer and gave me a fun voice for our hapless narrator in this story.
It’s safe to say you’ve had to steep yourself in Howard (the Man, the Myth, the Mythos) in order to do what you do for Ask Lovecraft. Also, you’re one of the newer writers in this anthology. Have you found that playing a writer on TV has pushed you towards writing? More seriously, is Howie’s phantom hand gently pressed to your writing arm(s)? Is this like a ‘Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore in Ghost’ thing going on? Be honest. We can take it.
Oh man, now I really want to find a way to film or photograph that image so everyone has to experience the horror along with me. I wonder how much Unchained Melody costs these days? Oops, got distracted there. Funnily enough, reading Lovecraft’s fiction and his letters did not in any way give me any sort of writing itch. In truth, I blame the fact that Ask Lovecraft has widened the number of writers I now know and when you spend time with those people, you’re bound to get infected with something. I’m just lucky that this time, I only came away with a mild case of literary inspiration and there are creams for that.
You’re taking Ask Lovecraft on a bit of a festival circuit in 2015. Where will you be seen, and when? Do you have a favourite aspect of live performance?
This year will see me at Cthulhucon in Portland, Oregon this April and then back in Providence for NecronomiCon in August. Live performances are really my favourite part of this whole shebang. My background is in stage acting and while I don’t really work off of a script for my live shows, that energy and immediate feedback one gets from having an audience right in front of you is still so gratifying. I also love being kept on my toes and having to come up with answers for questions on the spot. For the web-series, I mull and I ponder questions and it can take me forever to hone what I think is an acceptable reply but when you’re staring face to face with your inquisitor, you really have to think fast. It’s a completely different part of my brain, almost more muscle memory and reflex than conscious thought and I can’t get enough of it.
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond drops today FRIDAY MARCH 13th! Today is the day we pull names from some kind of container to see which 4 of our pre-ordering Migraineers will be the lucky bastards to win the sweet original art by Nick Gucker that we used for the cover! That’s later on… in the meantime read this swell interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Christopher Slatsky! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
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Christopher, as I read your story, Film Maudit, I was put in mind of the urban legend that surrounds the 1895 showing of the Lumiere Brothers film, L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat: basically, viewers at the time were said to recoil in terror at the image of the train pulling in at speed, largely because no one at the time was used to the immediacy of the medium. Movies have always had this aspect of altered reality, and a good movie, shown in the black cavern of a theatre, can be completely transporting. Your titular film is of course anything but Good, and the addition of a Resonator-type spookshow gimmick machine makes of the film a portal into hell. You’re clearly a film buff: what movies have had a profound effect on you, and why?
Of course there are dozens, but those that invariably rise to the surface are the usual dark fantasy and noir film suspects: Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, Dawn of the Dead, Kwaidan, Scarlet Street, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Spirit of the Beehive, anything by Maya Derren, specifically Meshes of the Afternoon. In fact Meshes was screening in my head the whole time I was writing Film Maudit.
I’ve seen you mention elsewhere that you’re more interested in writing stories that chronicle the moment before an apocalypse than the moments that come after. Once the horror is revealed, do you think there is anything more to be said about, say, the human condition, or our place in the universe? Or is post-apocalyptic horror fiction just so much fantasy-fueled gilding of the lily?
I prefer the insinuation of Armageddon, the circumstances and emotions that accompany the descent to the End. There are some who can masterfully chronicle the lives of those after the Fall (McCarthy’s The Road and Tim Lebbon’s Naming of the Parts are two great examples of post-apocalyptic tales that gut-punched me), but for the most part I find such stories seem more concerned with inventories, stockpiling and survival preparation, rather than any meaningful examination.
Post-apocalyptic tales lean towards a literature of comfort, of celebrating the attempt to return to the status quo, or a semblance of some such. I prefer horror that unsettles so profoundly the reader is left wondering why they’d even settled into whatever complacent worldview they held before reading the tale. The plummet down the well is more interesting to me than what happens when they hit the bottom.
What’s coming up for you in the next months, Christopher? Anything special we should be on the lookout for?
I have a tale in the premiere issue of the new weird journal Xnoybis, a story in The Summer of Lovecraft anthology coming up, and a collection in the works, tentatively scheduled to be released at the end of the year. And I also have the usual short stories in limbo and a novel in the works.
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond drops officially at the end of this week! FRIDAY MARCH 13th! A day that will no doubt live in some kind of infamy, according to our recent tea leaf readings and repeated exposure to cosmic rays in our specially constructed ray-harvesting bunker! (Ahh, the things we get up to for fun here at MMP HQ! We can’t even, not even.) Anyway, you can still PRE-ORDER the paperback edition of RESONATOR HERE (until Thursday, naturally — jeez! Tomorrow? Yes.) and not only save on shipping costs (anywhere in the world!) but be entered to win the sweet original art by Nick Gucker that we used for the cover! That’s all kinds of pineal-stimulating win, right there. So, go do that, and then come back here to read this swell interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Lyndsey Holder! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
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Lyndsey, your story, Parasitosis, has a remarkable crackling energy to it, largely due to the poetic choice of having your Resonator technology induce a synaesthetic response in the user. Colours you hear, language you feel on your skin, vignettes that impose themselves over reality the deeper one goes into the experience. Synaesthesia is a little known condition; what made you want to work with it?
I’m fascinated by the human body and its weirdness: all of the strange little things that some of us can spontaneously do that make us so different from any kind of artificial intelligence. I grew up in the 1980s, when the prevailing attitude was that technology would eventually outshine all of humanity. After having worked in an operating room for a while, I’ve come to believe that human bodies are far more complex and amazing than technology could ever be. Also, I personally have orgasms to colour synaesthesia.
Neat! The creatures your narrator encounters in the spaces Beyond are sentient, scheming things, with an active interest in using her for their own ends, which I found made a nice change from the usual run of mindless hungry blobs. It stands to reason that a Beyond ecosystem (or as I started to call it, an “eeek!-osystem”) would have highly-evolved, thinking beings somewhere in it. Which would you find more horrific: consumed by an extra-dimensional jellyfish or enslaved by (for lack of a better term) a junkie demon?
Being eaten has an end point at least, though I can’t imagine jellyfish, even extra-dimensional ones, being terribly quick eaters. They probably have lots of fun neurotoxins they’d hit me up with, though, so there’s that to look forward to. Anyway, having stared into what I was fairly certain was my own impending doom more than once, there’s something freeing about letting go when you’re in that moment, when you see your own death looming immediately ahead of you and you are sure that there is nothing you can do to stop it. Most of us spend every waking moment running from our own mortality so there’s a profound sense of relief when you feel that Death has finally caught up with you and you don’t have to run any more. Being trapped by junkie demons is far more insidious, because your cage is something that is intangible. When you can’t see the walls of your prison, how do you know where they begin and where they end? How do you tell your fellow inmates from your jailers?
You’re fairly new to being published; Parisitosis is, I think, your second story published and the first in print. How are you finding the experience so far? Any writing goals you’d like to share?
I’ve been trying to be a lot more visceral with my writing lately, which is both liberating and terrifying. Putting a lot of myself into my work makes the process of writing a lot more of an adrenaline rush, but it also makes submitting it a lot more tense – I sometimes feel like I’m showing up naked on someone’s doorstep and hoping they don’t laugh at me.
No one’s laughing, trust us! Where can we find more of your work in 2015, Lyndsey?
My story Chosen will appear in Innsmouth Free Press‘ upcoming anthology She Walks in Shadows in the fall. I’m also working on a project with some other incredibly talented women with collagen disorders, the proceeds of which will be used to help us all meet together in person in November this year. It’s still in very early stages of planning, but I’m very excited about it.
Always a pleasure, Lyndsey! We’re very happy to have you in RESONATOR and we look forward to watching you rise!