Red Sonja in the Seventies

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If you’re a subscriber to the Women Write About Comics Patreon, then another patron-exclusive article is available for you: The Fighting First Lady — Red Sonja in the 1970s, where I look at the earliest appearances of the comic book sword and sorcery heroine and trace her evolution from her pulp namesake Red Sonya. If you’re not a subscriber, well, here’s a preview to show you what you’re missing…

Saint Sadist by Lucas Mangum (2020 Splatterpunk Awards)

SaintSadistCourtney is the daughter of a sexually abusive father, and shortly after her nineteenth birthday she finds that she is pregnant. Despite her mother’s pleas, she runs away from home, and her travels begin with a spiritual experience:

On the side of the main drag, some five miles from Daddy’s property, I have a vision:

A genderless angel falls, wings on fire. When it hit the ground, the sky turns red. I’m caught in the internal blast radius. My child swims like a fish in my belly. Tongues of fire rise alongside me like burning buildings. They line the road ahead, and I walk on.

A prophetess whore in exile, onward to Canaan.

Her subsequent exploits form not only an escape, but also a religious journey. Courtney earns money as a sex worker, all the while being haunted by visions that channel her emotional state through religious imagery: the demonic figure of Baphomet; a puritan witch-hunter eager to punish her transgressions; an Aryan Jesus; the hanging of a female Judas. Eventually she meets a strange yet charismatic individual named Brother Ambrose, who claims to be a prophet. After joining Ambrose’s religious commune, Courtney hopes to find a safe space to give birth to her child – but it soon turns out that she has traded one abusive environment for another.

Continue readingSaint Sadist by Lucas Mangum (2020 Splatterpunk Awards)”

White Trash Gothic Part Two by Edward Lee (2020 Splatterpunk Awards)

whitetrashgothic2In this shorter sequel to the Splatterpunk Award-winning White Trash Gothic (itself a continuation of threads from other Edward Lee stories, most notably The Bighead and Minotauress) readers are taken on a return trip to Luntville, West Virginia. In this backwoods town, the locals follow their own code: all manner of hedonistic perversions are rampant, but at the same time, those deemed transgressors are punished without mercy.

The main character is a visiting novelist revered to simply as the Writer, recovering from a recent encounter with a doppelganger. The mysterious double set him a strange task: to exhume the body of Ephriam Crafter, a man reputed to have been a magician. The Writer is accompanied on his mission by amputee Dawn and albino Snowie, a pair of voluptuous but not-particularly-bright young women who are ready to help him dig up Crafter’s remains – so long as he can keep them from catfighting, of course. Together, the three head to the purportedly haunted house where the grave is located.

Continue readingWhite Trash Gothic Part Two by Edward Lee (2020 Splatterpunk Awards)”

In Times of Strife

There are times when it’s fun to run a horror blog. Like Halloween, or around the release of the latest horror film everyone’s talking about. Other times, though, it feels painfully incongruous.

A few days ago I was writing a “month in horror” round-up post where I talked about a controversy involving a horror TV host – a controversy which, I suspect, most people had already forgotten about. That same day, the news was filled with protests and civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police less than a week beforehand. Even as I finished off my post, I thought to myself, “who cares about this stuff?”

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How I Spent May 2020

DorisMay20As I type this, I’m just a tiny bit worn out from cramming to finish off my to-do list for the month. I freely admit that I left a few things until the last minute. Oh well – I’m on top of things now, I think.

The big news this month is the unveiling of my novel The Omega Factor: Divinity, based on the classic 1970s TV series of psychic forces and occult investigation, which’ll be released in July as an audiobook read by Louise Jameson. I hope to be talking a bit more about that project very soon.

Other than that, I’ve been getting stuck into my awards-reading for 2020. If you’ve been following this blog you’ll have been seeing my Splatterpunk Awards reviews – and allow me to apologise for that if uninhibited blood-and-guts isn’t your idea of a good afternoon’s reading. Meanwhile, my coverage of the Hugo Awards will be starting at Women Write About Comics not too far in the future.

Articles published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for June and beyond:

Jun20articles

May 2020: A Month in Horror

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This was a turbulent month for the horror community. Scandal broke out when it was revealed that Adam Donaghey, a producer who worked on 2017’s A Ghost Story, was arrested in late April on suspicion of sexually assaulting a minor during the production of that film. He was released on a $25,000 bond, and resigned from all projects he was involved with at the studio Cinestate. “It’s unclear if and when his next court appearance is scheduled”, reports IndieWire. “A spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office referred requests for information about the case to the city Police Department. The department is not responding to records requests because of city offices’ pandemic-related closure.”

These question makes currently hanging over the Donaghey case no doubt contributed to the affair being overshadowed by another scandal – one with much smaller implications, but where the details are at least clearer. The controversy concerned long-time film critic and horror buff Joe Bob Briggs, who wrote an article last year expressing bewilderment at contemporary LGBT discourse:

Continue reading “May 2020: A Month in Horror”