Blog

Werewolf History

werewolfwoodcut

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that one of my features is Werewolf Wednesday. This started out as a column on werewolf films at Killer Horror Critic, then became a column on werewolf films at my personal blog, and finally became a column on werewolf literature at my personal blog. Right now it’s a serialised trip through Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf, and this’ll be taking up my Wednesdays for most of the foreseeable future.

Looking back, I realised that I’d seen a substantial potion of the werewolf genre’s development. So, if you feel like a deep-dive into all things lycanthropic over the Halloween period, here’s a chronological list of all the works (other than Wagner) I’ve covered in the column.

Literature:

Films:

(And if you’d rather read about vampires, I’ve got them covered as well)

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: A Long Year’s Dreaming

For much of this year (and the tail-end of last year) I’ve been at work on a book called A Long Year’s Dreaming: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in 2020. The book will be a collection of essays (some new, some previously published at either this blog or WWAC) discussing the fantastical books, comics, films and TV that came out in 2020 alongside the real-world events of that year. It’ll be self-published with all proceeds going to charity, although I have yet to finalise the details there.

I have a bad habit of announcing large-scale projects before I’ve been able to put substantial work into them, hence why I’ve left off talking about A Long Year’s Dreaming. At this point I can confirm that the bulk of the writing is done, and the flexibility of the subject means that I’ll have ample room to hold my hands up and say “that’s it, no more is needed.”

My pencilled-in goal was to have the book out in December. I’m not sure how viable that is: this’ll be my first time pulling together an entire book by scratch and publishing it myself, so I may well find that editing, cover design and other technical considerations will push it into 2022. Still, my every aim is to have the writing completed in time for my original deadline.

As a teaser, here’s a partial list of essays you can expect to see turning up:

  • Copter Crash: Isabel Fall and the Transgender SF Controversy
  • Coronaphobia: Horror Films in Lockdown
  • 2020 A.D.: Reviving the British Anthology Comic
  • MAGA 2020 and Beneath: The Strange World of Trumpist SF
  • Broken Futures: Iron Man 2020
  • Investing in the Gods: Jiang Ziya and the Fengshen Cinematic Universe
  • Out with the Old: The 2020 Hugo Awards
  • Dragons and Death Cults: The 2020 Dragon Awards
  • Untitled Superhero Film Essay
  • Wit, Weirdness and Warped Ethics: Megan Giddings’ Lakewood
  • Cannibal Women, Laughing Lords and Ownvoices Iconoclasm
  • First Lady: Lilith as Icon of 2020
  • The Last Laugh: Animated Films Before the Pandemic
  • Prophets of Doom: Did Authors Predict COVID-19?
  • Red Brains: Zombies in 2020
  • Blue Veins: Vampires in 2020
  • For Better or Worse, the Film of the Year: Tenet

I intend to add much more besides, but as I say, there’s still a large degree of flexibility. Stay tuned for updates…

How I Spent September 2021

What a month. The last few days led to a personal loss that still stings, but I’m trying not to let that colour what was a pretty productive month for me. I sent off the complete draft of a novel I’ve been working on, plus a short story (now pending acceptance, fingers crossed) and what currently appears to be the penultimate draft of a script. With a chunk of my to-do list polished off, I’m looking forward to see what October holds.

Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for October and beyond:

ArticlesOct21

September 2021: A Month in Horror

midnightmass

I’ll be honest, this was rather took hectic a month for me to keep up with my genre beat. We all know that September is something of a calm-before-the-storm month for horror happenings, anyway. Even if, as in this case, it did see some notable streaming releases: witness Mike Flanagan’s miniseries Midnight Mass, and the immigration-themed horror film No One Gets Out Alive.

Before I go, I could hardly leave without mentioning something I’d missed from last month’s round-up: Graham Masterton now has a statue in Poland depicting himself as a pointy-hatted dwarf. This is one of many dwarf statues decorating the streets of Wroclaw, Poland.

Werewolf Wednesday: Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf by George W. M. Reynolds (1846-7) Part 7

In the previous instalment of Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf we left the title character held cpativei n a dungeon. So, with its werewolf confined, how can this penny dreadful keep up the blood and thunder? Answer: with sadistic nuns!

Chapter fourteen opens with Nisida visiting the Convent of Carmelite Nuns, which is something of a centrepoint for rumour:

Rumor was often busy with the affairs of the Carmelite Convent; and the grandams and gossips of Florence would huddle together around their domestic hearths, on the cold winter’s evenings, and venture mysterious hints and whispers of strange deeds committed within the walls of that sacred institution; how from time to time some young and beautiful nun had suddenly disappeared, to the surprise and alarm of her companions; how piercing shrieks had been heard to issue from the interior of the building, by those who passed near it at night,—and how the inmates themselves were often aroused from their slumbers by strange noises resembling the rattling of chains, the working of ponderous machinery, and the revolution of huge wheels.

Such food for scandal as those mysterious whispers supplied, was not likely to pass without exaggeration; and that love of the marvelous which inspired the aforesaid gossips, led to the embellishment of the rumors just glanced at—so that one declared with a solemn shake of the head, how spirits were seen to glide around the convent walls at night—and another averred that a nun, with whom she was acquainted, had assured her that strange and unearthly forms were often encountered by those inmates of the establishment who were hardy enough to venture into the chapel, or to traverse the long corridors or gloomy cloisters after dusk.

Inside, the abess hears from a nun about the murder of Agnes (“a young female, whom the worldly-minded outside these sacred walls denominate beautiful”) and the subsequent arrest of Fernand Wagner (“whom the worldly-minded style a young man wondrously handsome”). Nisida then disguises herself as a German cavalier and visits Wagner in his dungeon cell, making him swear that he did not kill Agnes. She offers to break him out, but he declines on the grounds that he would rather stay in captivity to prove his innocence.

Continue reading “Werewolf Wednesday: Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf by George W. M. Reynolds (1846-7) Part 7″

Werewolf Wednesday: Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf by George W. M. Reynolds (1846-7) Part 6

(This is the sixth part in a series; see also parts onetwothreefour and five)

Chapter 12 saw Wagner run away from Nisida to turn into a wolf; chapter 13 returns to Nisida, who is understandably bewildered by the sudden departure of the man she has found herself passionately attracted to. Reynolds spares few words in describing her emotional state:

Her mind was like the sea put in motion by the wind; and her eyes flashed fire, her lips quivered, her bosom heaved convulsively, her neck arched proudly, as if she were struggling against ideas that forced themselves upon her and painfully wounded her boundless patrician pride. For the thought that rose uppermost amidst all the conjectures which rushed to her imagination, was that Fernand had conceived an invincible dislike toward her.

(This is, incidentally, the second of four passages in the novel containing the phrase “her bosom heaved”, and one of two in which the adverb “convulsively” follows).

While dealing with Wagner’s departure, Nisida catches sight of two men named Antonio and Stephano plotting to rob the forbidden closet containing her brother’s mysterious inheritance — although, being deaf, she is unable to hear the conversation in which they pointedly spell out not only their scheme bu their names.

Continue reading “Werewolf Wednesday: Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf by George W. M. Reynolds (1846-7) Part 6″

Does Looking at Manga Boobies Give You Demons?

MaoyuuMaouYuusha

Having blogged about the world of right-wing pop-culture warriors off and on for a few years now, one thing that’s fascinated me is the contradiction at the centre of their movement. They like to portray themselves as rebellious bad-boys, melting snowflakes and smashing safe spaces; yet at the same time their movement has a streak of puritanical moralism that’d make Mary Whitehouse say “dude, lighten up.”

I recently a good example of this conflict bubbling to the surface. Brian Niemeier (a sci-fi author so far to the right that even BasedCon founder Rob Kroese called him a “nutcase and an asshole”) ran a blog post arguing that left-wingers are being controlled by demons. The post isn’t particularly remarkable by Niemeier’s standards, being largely a reprint of an article he published in 2017, albeit altered so that it says “woke” instead of the now-antiquated “SJW”. What caught my attention was a post in the comments section by someone called Dweller:

I have seen demons myself.

Okay, with an opener like that we all know we’re in for a treat. Dweller goes on to explain that his demonic encounter involved hearing voices in bed:

Continue reading “Does Looking at Manga Boobies Give You Demons?”