How I Spent February 2021


This month I’ve been in my bunker cracking on with a few projects. I don’t have much to show for them right now, but that’ll all change in the future.

For a start, I’ve got started on my year-by-year overview of Lovecraftian fiction; right now I have complete drafts of the first two articles, but since I’m hoping to make it a weekly series, I’d rather wait a while before I start posting. Next, work is properly underway on my Satanic Panic: Back and Based series; I’ve got started on the first profile. On top of this, my commissioned novel is roughly one-fifth finished.

In each case, I’ll be getting more work done over the course of March. So, until next time…

Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for March and beyond:

February 2021: A Month in Horror

Protest movements and countercultures have often appropriated fictional characters as icons, and this month saw another example of the phenomenon with protesters in Myanmar dressing up as the ghostly nun from The Conjuring 2 and its spin-off The Nun. Holding a banner reading “The Nun Will Never Forgive Dictatorship”. The protest took place outside the Chinese embassy in Yangon, spurred by allegations that China aided Myanmar’s military junta.

Elsewhere this month, we found icons of horror media becoming irrevocably tarnished. At the start of February, Evan Rachel Wood accused Marilyn Manson of grooming her as a teeanger, adding to a substantial list of allegations against the singer going back to 1998. Towards the end of the month, another woman – Bianca Allaine – mounted accusations of her own, claiming she was on the receiving end of an emotionally abusive relationship with Manson that began when she was sixteen.

Continue reading “February 2021: A Month in Horror”

Werewolf Wednesday: The Rats Are Coming

My weekly Killer Horror Critic column on cinematic lycanthropes has reached the single worst werewolf film I’ve ever seen: The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!

Past instalments:

MAGA 2020 & Beyond Part 8: The End at Last

The cover to Horrified Press’ aborted Trumptopia, which irked the people behind MAGA 2020 & Beyond.

Finally, we’re here. After the first, second, third, fourth, fifth (deep breath) sixth and seventh posts in this series, I’m wrapping up my deep-dive into MAGA 2020 & Beyond, an anthology put out in 2017 by right-wing publisher Superversive Press. So, having covered the main course, here are the dregs…

“Where is Barry?” by Richard B. Atkinson III
A group of friends celebrate Trump’s landslide re-election, while their annoying jerk co-worker Barry stays away because he’s a Democrat. That’s it, that’s the plot.

“The Pope’s Vision” by L. Jagi Lamplighter
This story opens with a description of a vision allegedly experienced by Pope Leo XIII:

Continue readingMAGA 2020 & Beyond Part 8: The End at Last”

Congrats to the 2021 Splatterpunk Award Finalists!

This week saw the unveiling of the 2021 Splatterpunk Awards ballot. Now, this is an award I’ve been paying close attention to since its inception – in fact, it’s an annual tradition of mine to post a review of every single finalist – so naturally, the announcement grabbed my attention.

A few thoughts on this year’s finalists:

  • Each category has seven titles, rather than the traditional five. Looks like reviewing them will take more time than usual this year…
  • A whole lot of Kristopher Triana: he has two novels, one collection, and at least one of the anthologies has a short story by him. But hey, I’m not complaining – I’ve found him one of the strongest writers in the extreme horror field.
  • Some other familiar names from past iterations: Matt Shaw, Kenzie Jennings, Christine Morgan, Ryan Harding, Lucas Mangum… but also some newcomers. Ross Jeffrey makes his debut as a Splatterpunk Award-nominated writer with both a novel and a novella.

Full ballot below the fold:

Continue reading “Congrats to the 2021 Splatterpunk Award Finalists!”

MAGA 2020 & Beyond Part 7: Eaten by the Hillary-Headed Monsters

maga2020It’s nearly finished. Having dished up the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth instalments of this series, I have only two more to go. Two more!

For those arriving late, MAGA 2020 & Beyond is a 2017 anthology from right-wing science fiction publisher Superversive Press. The idea was to celebrate Trump’s 2016 election along with his inevitable 2020 re-election. The assembled team of writers used their combined speculative fiction talents to imagine the spectacular future that would arise from Trump winning his second term and forever annihilating the Democrats.

All science fiction is doomed to end up as alternate history at some point, and with MAGA 2020 & Beyond, that happened a little sooner than usual…

“Mad Dog Moon” by Declan Finn
This one’s hilariously misjudged, even by the standards of the anthology. Written before General Mattis’ public falling-out with Trump and his resignation as Secretary of Defense in 2019, the entire story is based on a ludicrously over-the-top portrayal of Mattis as Trump’s ever-loyal right-hand-man in the noble art of Muslim-smashing.

Continue readingMAGA 2020 & Beyond Part 7: Eaten by the Hillary-Headed Monsters”

Werewolf Wednesday: On Yer Bike

If you’ve ever seen Easy Rider, there’s a good chance that your immediate reaction was “well, that film could have used a cult of devil-worshippers and a werewolf”. Well, in my weekly Killer Horror Critic column, I’m looking at the movie which corrected that oversight: Werewolves on Wheels

Past instalments: