Wednesday, March 30, 2005

We Like the Moon

This is kind of a blast from the past, but since I have my own blog now and I make the rules (as Dennis Leary said in The Ref "Why? We're adults, and we can open our presents. WHENEVER WE WANT!"): I bring to you the spongmonkeys.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Funny Image

Octopi (a favorite here in Detroit) sometimes walk slowly away from predators on two of their legs while they use the other six to help them pretend to be algae. Pay no attention to the harmless algae...

Jurassic Park Here We Come

This article is really cool: scientists have recovered actual soft tissue from a 70 million year old fossil of a tyrannosaurus rex. I'm really curious what they'll be able to discover about dinosaurs from the analysis of their DNA. I've always wanted to know what color dinosaurs actually were -- but we may not be able to find that out until John Hammond can get his hands on some of the tissue.

Tasers on Pigs

Testing on them, that is, not pigs wearing tasers (as much as Dr. Evil would enjoy that). This article has a lot of interesting characters in it. Apparently, people whom the police have stunned with tasers have died afterward, and the taser-critics (who knew there were such people) blame the tasers. Of course, it's not clear how the results would have been different if the cops had been using bullets, which generally are more consistently lethal than tasers. Here I always thought tasers were kind of wimpy. Speaking as a fairly average citizen, I have no problem with people resisting arrest being roughed up a little, and people who run from the cops being shot. I understand that people sometimes are the victims of mistaken identity or are just plain unlucky, but I have never seen an explanation of why resisting or running would make improve their circumstances. If we're that concerned with the possible side effects of a device that is already decidedly less lethal than guns, why don't we just arm cops with feathers to tickle suspected criminals with?

Then there's the PETA people, for whom I have absolutely no respect. At least the taser-protestors, misguided as I think they are, have some appreciation for human life. PETA-ites would prefer all animal experimentation stop, and the people who could be saved bedamned. Ranking pigs and rats above people: now that's a bleak worldview.

Man Dies Under Manure Pile

No word on whether this guy was chasing a kid on a skateboard.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Cook in Antarctica

I had no idea that James Cook not only discovered Antarctica, but also circumnavigated it. That's pretty amazing. Cook ended up getting killed by the Hawaiians, but he got a lot done before he cashed in. The first article I linked to also has an interesting discussion about a newly discovered painting of Antarctica, which the artist painted over after he returned to New Zealand. Apparently, the painting was the only one of its kind, and the experts are puzzled as to why the artist painted over it. Personally, I like the explanation that he was so miserable by the end of the four months it took to sail around Antarctica that he wanted to obliterate anything that would remind him of the trip. We'll probably never know for sure.

The Butterfly Effect

I've been meaning to post about this for a week or so. This was a pleasantly surprising movie, even if it did have Ashton Kutcher as the dramatic lead. He did a good enough job that it wasn't distracting. The plot was what carried the movie. It was very creative in its use of time travel to show how one change in the past could ripple forward to the present in unexpected ways. The movie's mood was ominous throughout, starting off with a frantic beginning and not letting up throughout. What I really liked was all the nasty surprises and twists and the sense that nothing was as it seemed. Like the main character, the viewer spent most of the movie knowing something bad was going to happen, just not which direction it was going to come from. That makes for good horror. And Kutcher's best friend from childhood had to be one of the meanest, most inventive, and explosively violent characters in recent movie history. This was just a good horror movie, and I blame myself for listening to movie reviewers and not seeing it sooner. But movie reviewers are a topic for their own special rant.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Check out this article about a 8 foot long 800 pound hog running wild in Georgia (before it was killed). That's not something you want to see if you're out for a hike, alone and unarmed. When I was on my way to do a solo hike of the Smokies, the guy who was dropping me off at the trailhead told me not to hike at night. I thought this was good common sense advice, but out of curiosity I asked him why. He said that there are Prussian boars, like the ones from the movie Hannibal, that live in the park. Apparently, they got loose from a hunting preserve and have prove difficult to remove from the park. Fortunately, they are nocturnal, so they don't present much of a problem to hikers. That's fortunate because they will eat people. He told me a story about a local he knew whom the hogs chased up a tree when he was hiking at dusk. He told me that he got a lot of his knowledge from listening to the Park Service over their radio frequencies. Even though this sounds a little like an urban legend, I believed him. He wasn't trying to scare me, just let me know so that I would be careful. I've heard similar reports about animals escaped from hunting preserves from here in Michigan, especially in the UP.

Bottom line: watch out for hogs.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cryptic Animals

I'm a sucker for stories about unidentified/unidentifiable animals (although I've recently read a rather disheartening book about the unlikelihood of Bigfoot's existence). Stories like this one, where the police said they saw a large, black cat-like animal the size of a Labrador. Male labs range from 70-100 lbs. full grown. I don't think it's possible for house cats to get that big. Spooky.

It Disturbs Me Greatly...

Not that Paula Abdul was charged with misdemeanor hit and run. No, I find it profoundly disturbing that the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline was this lyric from "Straight Up":

Do you really want to love me forever oh oh oh
Or am I caught in a hit and run?

I'm not sure how that got in my head, but I blame my sister. Maybe MTV too.


...has signed Stephen Alexander, former tight end and end zone pass-dropper for the Lions. I especially like the sub-headline "Veteran proved his worth in 2004." Apparently, he did this by appearing in almost every game. Quite an accomplishment. I think the best proof of Alexander's worth was the contract the Lions offered at the end of the Marcus Pollard.

Good luck, Broncos.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pet Peeve

I normally don't post much on politics, because this is a blog of madness, but not that kind of madness. However, I can't resist commenting on this story, because it contains a pet peeve of mine: the labeling of a Nazi-sympathizer as "right wing." In America, "right wing" refers to conservatives and Republicans (generally, there is no hard definition). Conservatives in this country look to preserve institutions and traditions that have worked well in the past in this country. It might, might, be accurate to refer to a German neo-Nazi as "right wing," because that person would be looking to Germany's past traditions. Here, the traditions conservatives generally (I stress generally) value are individual liberty, personal responsibility, etc. If you read the article and see the kind of philosophy that sick kid in Minnesota was espousing, you'll see something quite different from anything in mainstream American conservatism or liberalism. I know the article I'm talking about appeared in the Guardian, but it would be nice to see some responsibility from them with the labels they fling around. After all, the name of the party whose message board this kid was posting on contained the words "socialist" and "green," but conservatives would be rightly condemned if they tried to affiliate the kid with the American left.

What happened in Minnesota was a tragedy, an example of the dark side of human nature, but I think it is inappropriate to attempt to subtly slur a political party with it.

Does Sex Sell?

Who knows? And this article from certainly won't enlighten you. There are so many laugh lines in this thing, it's hard to know where to start. First of all, though, when your article's theme is that movies about serious adult sexual relationships can't sell, maybe you shouldn't start off by citing Striptease, Showgirls, and Crash (a movie about people with an amputee fetish! Not that there's anything wrong with that). These movies flopped for a reason: they stunk. The only heavy-on-the sex movie the article cites that was actually good was Boogie Nights, a personal favorite of mine. And while that movie had an great script and cast, given its subject matter, is it really that surprising that it didn't do well at the theater? The problem with this article is that its evidence doesn't support its conclusion. The author is trying to argue that we have a prudish society (we are all Puritans, even those of us who are Polish, Irish, and Catholic) that doesn't like sex in movies. Now, this is manifestly untrue. As the article mentions, Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction were big hits, and there are plenty of other examples like this. The article attempts to dismiss them by saying that it is an exception to the rule that you can get away with sex in action movies. But I think that is the rule: generally, movies with sexual content will sell, if there is something else in the movie worth seeing. Movies like Boogie Nights run into difficult because their sexual content overwhelms the rest of the movie, but pretty much all the rest of the flops cited tried to get away with having sex carry a movie with bad plots and acting. If you wanted that, and the article barely brushes on this point, you could get a porn movie with real sex that doesn't waste your time pretending to be a real movie.

And lastly, I am pretty sure that the reason why a viewer would want to watch this last type of movie in his own home is not because he is a "Puritan." Ask Pee Wee Herman if you need a further explanation.

Monday, March 21, 2005

More Naomi Watts

Filming for King Kong, starring our favorite Ring herione Naomi Watts, has wrapped. Now, I've announced a general presumption against re-makes, but even at the time of that announcement I noted that there would be exceptions to this rule. This is one of them, for two main reasons. First, Peter Jackson, simply, is magnificent. He captured the hearts of fantasy geeks everywhere (including this one) for putting Lord of the Rings on the screen in such a dominating fashion. That was a project that could have crashed and burned, hard, but Jackson won a Best Picture Oscar for it. That was amazing. Second, the original King Kong, while a great story, was definitely lacking a bit in the technology department, and that is a fairly important part of a movie where your title character is a fifty foot ape living on an island with other over-sized and/or extinct beasts. I'm curious to see what Jackson can do with it.

The Ring 2

The Ring 2 won the box office this weekend. I haven't seen it yet (hopefully we'll go this weekend), but I really enjoyed the first one. Bizarrely, I remember it in an almost romantic way, because it was the movie my wife and I saw on our first date. The movie actually was very uneasy and atmospheric, and the boy was great. The only downside, for me, about these movies, is that they are rated PG-13, so that the theater tends to be packed with screaming teenagers. That can detract somewhat from the experience.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Maggots Are Falling Like Rain

Actually, not really. But how often can you use a lyric from a Gwar song as the title for a post? This post was inspired, though, by this story of British doctors using maggots to treat leg ulcers. Apparently, the maggots will eat all of the diseased or dead flesh from the ulcer, but will eat each other rather than eating any healthy flesh. It sounds like the 18th Century returning, but maybe the idea isn't that bad. There seems to be a growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is caused by people who don't finish taking their antibiotics after they start to feel better. The maggots take place of using antibiotics in these leg ulcer cases. But is it really a good idea? I don't know. I'd be interested in hearing more about this from anyone out there with any more information on this topic, especially doctors who either have heard of this maggot treatment or about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In the meantime, I'll try not to have nightmares about maggots feasting on the rotting flesh of my open leg wounds.

Friday, March 18, 2005

More Celebrity News

According to this article, Lil' Kim was convicted of three counts of perjury and one of conspiracy (probably to commit perjury). The article then says that she could face up to 20 years in prison. This is technically true, because each of the four counts carries a five year sentence, but it is misleading. The article does say that because she is a first-time offender she probably won't be sentenced to the full 20 years. Still, it could have at least listed the minimum sentences for each, probably around a year or so. Also, there's the possibility that she might be sentenced to one total year for all the counts. I don't know - I'm a lawyer, but not that kind of lawyer. It would have been nice to have the reporter discuss these facts, instead of using the shock value of the 20 years to draw attention.

The real tragedies of this article are twofold, though. First, Lil' Kim's part in the re-make of "Lady Marmalade" (a good re-make despire Kim's involvement in it) earned her the right to be referred to as "Grammy-winning hip-hop star" Lil' Kim. I had to read that twice.

Second, Syracuse University offers a class called "The Life and Times of Lil' Kim." Hopefully the Syracuse students will have the sense to jump out of the handbasket before it reaches its destination.

Frightening News

The bird flu virus has killed a 5 year old boy in Vietnam, bringing the death total there to 47. The experts cited in the story stated that the virus has not yet shown the ability to transfer from human to human yet. Given the rapid mutations that the flu virus undergoes, I wouldn't be surprised if it did soon. In that case, things could get ugly fast. Ever since reading this book about the 1918 flu epidemic, I have been aware of how dangerous the flu virus really is. The flu doesn't really inspire fear in people like Ebola (which sounds fearsome but has limited ability for mass infection, especially in the more advanced countries) or even AIDS, but it can be quite nasty if a new strain crops up. Like when it jumps from an animal to a human.

By the way, the 1918 epidemic killed 40 million people world-wide. Sleep tight.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Blake Acquitted

The jury thought the evidence against him was "flimsy" and the prosecution's witnesses were "unbelievable." Read the whole story, though. I normally don't read much about these celebrity murder cases (and only read anything about this one because I find Robert Blake disturbing), because I don't find the idea that a celebrity might do something criminal or amoral particularly surprising. Actually, I'm more surprised when I read about celebs who live relatively normal, happy lives. Anyway, this story, from the dead wife who made a living based on naked pictures of herself and sex to the hallucinatory stuntmen, made for some interesting reading. Now that Blake's free to roam the country, I just hope I don't run into him at any cocktail parties...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Et tu, Brute?

This story is great:
Sharing a name with the most famous leader of ancient Rome is not always easy when you're a modern politician -- especially on the Ides of March, when the first Julius Caesar was assassinated.

It goes on from there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I Love Lovecraft, and John J. Miller is Pretty Swell Too

Great article by John J. Miller about H. P. Lovecraft on OpinionJournal .com. I had already liked him for writing about Dungeons & Dragons, Iron Maiden, and being from Michigan (I do quible with his characterization of Joyce Carl Oates. She has written some horror. I remember a short story by her that was particularly gripping, at least at the time). Now he's taken it to a whole new level by writing about Lovecraft. Lovecraft is one of horrors greatest - a true master. I found reading "The Colour Out of Space" to be one of the most unexpected, uneasy experiences that I've had as a consumer of fiction.

At the same time, Lovecraft is a trap. His hypnotic style can sway horror-loving new writers to believing that that is how they should write. Not so. His style, which to be fair is very difficult to actually emulate, tends to lead to what editors call "overwriting" or "purple prose." I know. I've been there. If you have the Lovecraft writing disease, the only known cure is a red pen and a cold soul. You must be ready to cut. Seriously, though, Lovecraft is to be cherished, and I love Miller for pointing that out, but beware of using his work for anything other than enjoyable reading.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Did George Mallory Summit Everest?

This story from theorizes that he did. What would be the significance of this? Well, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay are currently ackowledged as the two men who summitted Everest first, in 1953. George Mallory disappeared somewhere near the summit in 1924. That would be a serious re-writing of history. Everestnews is organizing a search to find evidence of Mallory above the second step, which would be strong evidence that he made the summit. Mallory is a great story (see this book for good background and a great adventure story about the team of climbers who found the body of Sandy Irvine, Mallory's climbing partner on that day in 1924). My favorite thing about him is his reason for wanting to climb the mountain that killed him: "Because it's there."

"A Frenzied and Prolonged Axe Attack"

Whoa. This is chilling. My first thought was that classic scene in In the Mouth of Madness where Sam Neill is talking to a guy in a window booth as we watch an axe-bearing man slowly approach the two unaware men... This story turns out to be a little different (no horror-crazed random act of violence here -- or so the authorities tell us), but that scene is still amazing.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Man Who Never Grew Up...

...Beyond 5 feet tall, that is. That man would be J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, whom I have blogged about before. Interestingly, the sequel has been commissioned (Barrie is no longer writing due to his death):
Peter Pan and the wily Captain Hook are set for a rematch. Children's author Geraldine McCaughrean has been chosen to write the official sequel to J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan," the London hospital that holds the copyright to the classic work said Sunday.

Barrie willed the "Peter Pan" copyright and royalties to the Great Ormond Street Hospital when he died in 1937, and the institution has long wanted to commission a follow-up.

It has stipulated that the new work, titled "Captain Pan" must feature the original characters: the boy who never grew up, along with his pals Wendy, fairy Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys - as well as the fearsome pirate Hook.
<>Despite my enjoyment of Finding Neverland, I'm not a huge fan of Peter Pan, so I don't have a lot of emotion invested in the sequel. For the author's sake, though, let's hope she does a good job.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Dr. Livingston, I presume?

When I was waiting for the next available chair at the barbershop, I read this article in Outside magazine. It's about two groups in late 2003 who were attempting to do simultaneous runs of the Nile from the rivers two sources. Here's a short summary of some of the obstacles:
For decades, no one has dared to run the treacherous lengths of the waters that helped launch the modern age of exploration. Civil war, freelance rebels, capricious bandits, irascible hippos, surly crocs, billions of malarial mosquitoes, and scores of rapids so deadly they're rated a suicidal Class VI—all have conspired to keep paddlers from navigating the full 4,160 miles of the storied, sacred, and cursed river Nile.
Yikes. I didn't even know there were Class VI rapids. I like the adventurous spirit. I hope they both made it. I'm going to look into that later, and also into the IMAX movie that one of the teams was shooting.

The Backup is in Place

The Lions have signed Jeff Garcia. Well, that's good, because at least now I don't have to listen to the local sports radio guys whining about how the team was in horrible disarray because they couldn't find a back up qb. Does it make that much of a difference? As I said in an earlier post, I don't think it means what some commentators think it means. But, if Joey gets hurt, Garcia will be great insurance. I'd still like to see the team draft a guy in the later rounds to develop as a third quarterback, but as of right now, I tip my hat to the team.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"White Noise"

White Noise is one of the recent horror movies I've seen lately. I liked it, although there were mixed reviews from those I saw it with. What I liked about it, and this is kind of a spoiler in case you haven't seen it, is that it has a very old-fashioned theme, one that goes all the way back to Frankenstein. The main character is a guy who keeps messing around in places that he doesn't belong, far beyond the point when a rational person would have stopped, and it ends up killing him. The theme is that there are some things that should not be messed with, and severe consequences follow from the failure to follow this rule. I like that theme; the old Tales from the Crypt comic books drew on it heavily. And nobody beats the Crypt Keeper.

The Pilot

I just noticed that my new car, the Honda Pilot, was listed by Consumer Reports as the top ride in the three-row SUV category. That means it is among the vehicles that are "standouts across the board for performance, versatility, reliability, safety, and interior fit and finish." Heh heh heh.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

"As a matter of fact, I'm there right now."

"What do you mean? You're where right now?" "At your house." Robert Blake freaks me out ever since I saw Lost Highway. I don't know if he did it or not, but I'm keeping my distance.

Detroit Lions

Detroit sports teams are one of my favorite topics -- and in the case of the Lions one of the most painful. The recent signings of Kenoy Kennedy and Marcus Pollard, though, have given the off-season Lions fan a reason to hope. Although I was certainly not a fan of Matt Millen's start as the man in charge of Lions' personnel (that 2-14 record didn't happen on its own), I really think he has the team on the right track. There are many fewer obvious holes in the lineup than there were even two years ago. They need to make a couple moves to help the offensive line, get another playmaker in the secondary, and grab a good backup QB. Backup quarterback, you say? Ah, the elusive backup quarterback. It's interesting the way the idea that one of the biggest team needs is a backup QB has taken on a life of its own. It's always good to have a guy who can step in and play well if the main guy gets injured, but other than that the idea is overrated. The Lions are only going to win big this year if Joey Harrington is the man. They might get to 8-8 or 9-7 with him playing decent, but if they want to go any farther than that, he must excel. Will he? I have no idea. The one thing I'll say is that for all the criticism of him over the last couple of years, he hasn't exactly been throwing to Rice, Taylor, and Jones. Or Irvin, Harper, and Novacek. Or...You get the idea. This year, he will have plenty of experience, Roy Williams, Marcus Pollard, hopefully Charles Rogers, and a solid running game. This is the year for Joey to show that he can be a winner -- and signing Brad Johnson, as nice of an insurance policy as that would be, is not going to matter a bit if Harrington goes down in flames.

Co-Writer of "Halloween" is Dead

This is a sad story. Debra Hill co-wrote Halloween with John Carpenter (who we praise for the giving the world In the Mouth of Madness) and then went on to become a successful producer. Her production companies went on to give us Adventures in Babysitting and Clue (another personal favorite of mine. She died of cancer at the age of 54. R.I.P.

Horror Books Update

I've decided to order Deep in the Darkness by Michael Laimo. It sounds intriguing. I like books where there's something evil living in the woods. That's a theme that I enjoy writing about and watching in movies (Blair Witch, anyone?). In fact, the novel that I'm trying to get published right now has a lot to do with scary things on a wooded West Virginia mountain.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Stoker Awards

For some time, I've wanted to broaden my horror-reading horizons. Horror movies have never been a problem. For one, movies are short, so if you experiment with them you don't mind the bad ones as much as when you waste a lot of time on a bad book. Plus, movies have a way of embedding themselves in your consciousness through advertising, so I usually am on top of what's coming out. For me, horror books are different. I'm pretty well grounded in the classics of the genre (a good resource for classic horror movies and books are the appendices to Stephen King's Danse Macabre), but my reading has narrowed to King and Koontz over the last couple of years, with only the occasional exception. The problem is that it's hard to know what's coming out and, more importantly, what's good. As the title to this post suggests, I have stumbled on a solution: the Bram Stoker awards. My plan is to look through the titles on the ballot for best novel of 2004 and pick out the one or two that sounds most up my alley. Of course, I'll report back on my selections and my findings.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Wicker Man

This re-make of Wicker Man could be interesting. I generally have my doubts of the necessity of movie re-makes, though, especially if the original was good. Why try to do something that's already been done well? Seems like setting yourself up for failure. I only really like the idea of re-makes if the original had a cool idea that was squandered. The first Jeepers Creepers movie springs to mind. It had the best first 10-15 minutes of a horror movie I've seen in a long time. The rest? Unwatchable. That one is a candidate for an interesting re-make. Wicker Man is kind of borderline. The original was enjoyable in a low-level ominous kind of way. I doubt that the re-make will be able to reproduce that, given the way they make large budget movies nowadays, but there are directions they could have taken the original that the re-make could explore. Of course, they'll probably just use it to make fun of religious people, or to tell us that the worship of ancient pagan gods is just as good as every other religion. But that's just my pessimism peeking through.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Chimps are Scary

This is a pretty frightening story. Imagine taking a stroll through an animal sanctuary and having an enraged chimp come charging at you. One thing that I learned in the article and find particularly alarming is that a chimp can weigh 120-150 pounds. Is it just me, or do they look a lot smaller than that on tv? Of course, I learned from Project X that a chimp is strong enough to rip your arm off, but 150 is big. No wonder. In this case, it wasn't the man's arm they went for. Instead, they chewed off most of his face and relieved him of a foot and his testicles. I know I'll think differently about the ape house next time.

And, by the way, whoever classified Project X as a comedy is a sick bastard.

Finding Neverland

Saw Finding Neverland tonight, partly out of regret at having seen only one of the Oscar-nominated movies - Ray (which was very good). Finding Neverland was excellent. It's the story of the creator of Peter Pan and his interactions with the family that inspired him to write play. The movie took a couple of liberties with Barrie's life, see here, mainly it seems to be able to play up his relationship with the Kate Winslet character. They weren't major, though, and probably made for a better movie. One interesting thing that Barrie did was donate the copyright to Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, so that whenever Peter Pan is staged, the Great Ormond Street Hospital gets a cut of the pie (theoretically). I was not aware of that. Anyway, I recommend Finding Neverland highly, as long as you're looking for a well told story with memorable characters. And flying children.


I've seen this story commented on in a couple of other places, but it's too cool to pass up. As you'll see here, there were once "hobbits" in Indonesia. They're gone now. Apparently they were never able to recover after the Scouring of the Shire.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

New Stephen King Book

Stephen King is coming out with a new book. If you follow the link, you'll see that it's coming out in the fall of 2005, and it's a crime novel. Interesting. I suppose there are some fans out there that might be annoyed that he's going to break his "retirement" for a non-horror book (and you might think I'd be one of them, given the main topic of this blog), but I think it's a cool idea. I've pretty much always been a big fan of King, but, frankly, his later horror novels were a bit bloated. It's not they were unreadable (except maybe for Black House). They just lacked the punch of his earlier work. I think the type of hard-boiled crime novels this new imprint is putting out might be just the place for King to rejuvenate himself, both creatively and stylistically. I'm looking forward to it.


So what/who are my favorites? First, is the movie that should be obvious from the name of this blog: In the Mouth of Madness. A fine movie, and very underrated. Sam Neill is great in it, and in the movie I see as a sort of companion to In the Mouth of Madness: Event Horizon. Another movie that I've really gained appreciation for in the last couple of years is The Shining. It really was a masterpiece. It also provides a good segueway to horror writing, even though its author disliked the movie version enough to redo it "the way it should have been done." (Not a direct quote).

That man, of course, is Stephen King. King is the master of horror, bar none. I don't think the horror industry, especially in terms of books, would be where it is today without him. Another of my favorites, a sort of founding father of horror, is H. P. Lovecraft. His stories - he only wrote one work long enough to be considered a novel - have a sort of atmospheric horror that I really like. I'll have a lot more on Lovecraft in another post. Dean Koontz is a solid writer as well. His early stuff was especially strong, and pretty scary at times. Right now, he seems to be having a later career renaissance, especially with books like Odd Thomas.

I want to try to keep my posts fairly short, so that's all for now. I haven't nearly exhausted this topic, though, so be forewarned.

An Introduction

My name is Tim Harden. I am a lawyer, but more importantly for the purposes of this blog I am a horror writer and aficionado. I hope soon to have my first novel published, and in fact I may have deal in the works. My goal on this blog is to talk about good (and sometimes bad) horror movies and writing. I'll warn you now, I'm not a big fan of slasher-type horror movies, so they won't come up much. Smart and original horror is what I like and what I try to write. To start off, I will discuss some of my favorites, but I hope over time to hear from readers' favorites as well. I would like to expand my horizons in the genre, and I'm sure there's a lot of you out there who could provide input.