Saturday, August 22, 2020

Isolation: Day 159


I have become a HUGE fan of the AMC show Halt and Catch Fire. K had watched it previously, and both her and Mr. Brown recommended it to me on more than one occasion. Two weeks ago we started the now-completed show - at four seasons, ten episodes a season, I had a sense going into it that the story had been crafted in a tight, no-BS manner, and so far that's exactly what I feel I've gotten out of the first two seasons, the second of which we completed a few nights ago. Following a small Texas tech company in the early 80s, Halt and Catch Fire uses an imaginary company called Cardiff electronics - based on Compaq computers, if what I've read is accurate - as they clone the IBM desktop BIOS and strike out to make the world's first portable computer. "At a feather-lite fifteen pounds, you can take the Giant anywhere," the sales pitch eventually goes. The interesting thing about the show is how, by the end of season one, we're done with Cardiff and personal computing and onto the proliferation of online games and chat. Interesting, too, is how the show keeps the core five characters growing in different directions yet still realistically intertwined; this show is no slouch - the writing is fantastic. As are the performances, set design (so much nostalgia), and the theme song! Created by Trentmøller, I had so hoped the theme was a shortened version of a longer song. Nope. Short and sweet and leaves me wanting more every damn time I hear it, this is another of those show intros that I would never dream of skipping, even in the height of a binge. 



I swam a bit after finishing Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country; there are so many damn books I want to read right now, that I became paralyzed by the prospect of actually choosing one. I ended up going with a short-story collection/novel combo. 

 First up, Nathan Ballingrud's debut short story collection, North American Lake Monsters. I've been wanting to read this since I first read The Visible Filth in 2015, but I'm often a 'saver' - that is to say, I purposefully hold out on reading books by favorite authors so I have something to look forward to. With Babak Anvari's adaptation of the stories as a new HULU original Horror Anthology show set to premiere in October, I figured I should probably get on this one, which was published in 2013 by Small Beer Press.

One story in, the majestic You Go Where It Takes You, I'm even further convinced that Ballingrud is one of the greatest living Horror authors the world has, and I find myself even more excited by the prospect of watching Anvari's interpretation of more of his world (2019's Wounds - which I wouldn't shut up about last year - was Anvari's first work with Ballingrud's material, adapting The Visible Filth, still one of my top five favorite books ever). 

 Next up, John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling The Undead


This is a loaner from my Horror Vision co-host Anthony. Lindqvist is best known for his 2004 debut Vampire novel Let the Right One In - which I have not read - and I am going into Handling.. totally blind to his style or anything about the plot, other than, working backward from the title, this will most likely be Lindqvist's unique take on the Zombie genre, an area I don't normally care all that much for, but which lately I seem to keep finding really interesting derivations of. Hopefully this continues that course. 



The Cure - Standing on the Beach

David Bowie - Lodger

Rezz - Mass Manipulation

Deftones - Ohms (pre-release single)

Santogold - Eponymous

Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Skywave - Killerrockandroll

A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head

Thou - Heathen

Deftones - Gore

Midnight Danger - Chapter 2: Endless Nightmare

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik



Back to my original, full-size Thoth deck for today's pull:

Keeping me on course. Reading You Go Where it Takes You this morning, I feel the urge to work on one of several short stories I have sitting around. Maybe late tonight; for today's writing session - which I've already budgeted out to be fairly lengthy - it's back to what I have to complete next, Shadow Play Book Two: The Absence of Light, which means I have to finish the outline for Book Three, the title of which I am not yet ready to reveal, but which fills me with unholy glee!

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