Showing posts with label The Art of Hunting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Art of Hunting. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2019: May 18th - New Mike Patton Project!

Many thanks to Mr. Brown for alerting me to this new Mike Patton project, a collaboration with historic Serge Gainsbourg collaborator Jeanne Claude-Vannier. You can pre-order the album from Ipecac Records HERE; Corpse Flower is scheduled to drop September 13th.


I finished Alan Campbell's The Art of Hunting this morning, and now I must HOWL at the fact that there is a third book completed and TOR baulked at publishing it! WTF! Mr. Campbell doesn't have very much of an internet presence to speak of - can't blame anyone on that philosophy - so, although two or three years ago there was an update on the possibility of him releasing the book digitally, there's been nothing since. Please! I need to read the third book NOW!


Lacking a third volume of Campbell's Gravedigger Chronicles, I've moved into one of my two most anticipated books of the year: Nathan Ballingrud's Wounds: Six Stories From the Border of Hell. This is the collection that re-publishes Mr. Ballingrud's masterpiece of short, Weird fiction The Visible Filth that I have expounded on often in these pages since I discovered it in late 2015, and adds to it five other short stories that, if the first one is any indication - and I'm sure it is - are brilliant! Such a great time for lover's of dark fiction!

Wounds comes to us just slightly ahead of the first cinematic adaptation of Ballingrud's work, director  Babak Anvari's take on The Visible Filth, also titled Wounds. I believe the arrival of this one-two punch will be the opening salvo on the establishment of Ballingrud as a major force in the modern Horror Lexicon. And that makes me incredibly happy.


Playlist from 5/16:

The Cure - Disintegration
Blackwater Holylight - Eponymous
Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Bauhaus - In the Flat Fields
Clint Mansell - Out of Blue OST
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Sect(s)
Melvins - Houdini
Helms Alee - Sleepwalking Sailors
Helms Alee - Noctiluca

Playlist from 5/17:

The Cure - Disintegration
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Beach House - 7
Lustmord - Songs of Gods and Demons
Melvins - Houdini
Melvins - (A) Senile Animal
Big Business - Here Come the Waterworks
Big Business - The Beast You Are

No card today.

Monday, May 6, 2019

2019: May 6th The Thirsty Crows - Anchors Up

I have not talked enough about The Thirsty Crows new album in these pages. Hangman's Noose, available from Batcave Records, is easily going to slip into my top five albums of the year. Over the last week or so, it has become one of those records I put on and end up listening to three or four times in a row; at fourteen songs/thirty-nine minutes, it's a perfect amount and yet not quite enough, so that by the time I reach the cover of Dramarama's Anything, Anything that finishes out the album, I'm ready for another full go-through. There's something epic about the way these guys approach Rockabilly; there's some great moments where the band members' love of metal comes through, and it blends perfectly with the 'billy aesthetic, so we get something both classic and refreshing. The mark of a great record, to be sure.


I recently interrupted my read of Alan Campbell's The Art of Hunting to act as an HWA colleague's first reader on his debut novel from Cemetery Dance. I'll post more about that once the release is officially announced, but in the meantime, since finishing that book, I jumped back into the second installment of Alan Campbell's Ghostdigger Chronicles, and just like that, I've fallen in head over heels again.

I can't recommend these books enough; people who know my tastes in fantasy fiction know I have little tolerance for 'High Fantasy.' But Campbell's Gravedigger books take one of the major tropes of High Fantasy, the inclusion of Dragons, and ports it into a truly fascinating world. A world where an ancient, almost extinct and now imprisoned race of cosmic sorcerers long ago tainted the Oceans with a baffling poisonous agent known only as Brine, making it toxic to most life. Humans who are exposed to Brine stiffen and crack like stone; full submersion - 'the drowned' - stay alive indefinitely, but change in strange and horrifying ways. And the sea life mutate horribly as well, only coming to the surface fleetingly, so that all the new forms are not necessarily known or understood, enormous boogey men of the depths. Oh, and the dragons, those are humans the Entropic Sorcerers long ago twisted into these massive new forms. And they're all insane, as you would be after going through such a thing.

I'm really not giving you much about the books, but it would be very hard for me to do these novels justice in only a few short words. All I can say is The Art of Hunting is turning out to be thrilling, and insanely more imaginative than the first volume, Sea of Ghosts. I know a lot of other folks out there that have similar tastes to my own - and those who do like High Fantasy - would probably all love these books.

There's an Amazon Link to buy these HERE. However, they're out of print and pretty expensive, so if you need an easier option, try HERE.


Playlist from 5/05:

The Thirsty Crows - Hangman's Noose
White Zombie - Astro Creep 2000
James Brown - Black Cesar OST


Card of the day:

Moving forward. Which I am, by leaving two stories somewhat hanging and going full hilt on Ciazarn. So that feels good, to get validation from the cards.

Monday, March 18, 2019

2019: March 18th: First Track from Final Cranberries Album

Wow. I didn't even know this was coming. I've never been a very active Cranberries fan, despite the fact that I loved their sound. Zombie and Dreams were HUGE parts of the musical landscape of my youth, but I never really followed through on their albums. Then, maybe ten years ago, I picked up Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We and experienced a brief fascination with the band again after the use of one of their songs in the movie, The Sound of My Voice. I had just fallen head over heels in love with The Smiths - another band I had previously only dabbled with -  and with their music floating through my head 24/7, I began to realize a lot of other bands were directly influenced by them, The Cranberries one of them.

When Dolores O'Riordan tragically passed away in 2018, an unexpected thing happened on Los Angeles radio - everybody began playing The Cranberries again. What's more, from what I gather in my little snippets of FM radio at work, they still play them. Often. This feels a bit like some sad triumph for a great band that kind of disappeared for years, only to resurface after tragedy. Fast forward to April 26th this year, and apparently we get the final album The Cranberries recorded with O'Riordan and then, that's it. This is the first single, and both the song and the video are emotional heavy weights in light of everything that's happened. A fitting tribute to the late O'Riordan, whose voice was really unlike anyone else's on Earth.

You can pre-order In The End HERE.


I received and began reading The Art of Hunting, the second book in Alan Campbell's Gravedigger Chronicles, and I can already tell I'm going to freak out when it's over, knowing there's a third volume finished that Tor won't publish. I can't express how high a regard I hold Campbell's writing in; I did when I read the Deepgate Codex, and the Gravedigger series feels like a serious level up from that, so in my mind, this is a fantastic example of expertly rendered world-building fantasy that does not succumb to "Tolkienism."

Yeah, I made that term up.

Anyway, thirty pages in, and The Art of Hunting has me as strongly as Sea of Ghosts did.

Playlist from 3/17:
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Wasteland
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Mind Control
The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash
The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God

Card of the day:

A lot of ending this morning. I'm reading this one at face value: I'll finish the reading of Shadow Play today. I had an excellent session yesterday, and I really can't stress what a game changer reading out loud has been for me. I'm finding the book very much on track, and hearing it out loud is helping iron out little inconsistencies in tone, syntax, grammar, and detail.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

2019: March 2nd

I've been waiting for this documentary for a while now. Can't wait.

Hopefully going to the theatre to see this later today. I'm posting the trailer, but I haven't watched it; I want to go in blind, as I'd not even heard of it until K mentioned it two days ago.

Happy Birthday to one of my extraordinary co-hosts on The Horror Vision, Ray Larragoitiy.

It started strong, but around page 100, Alan Campbell's Sea of Ghosts became magnetic and I ca no longer put it down. The world Campbell has built, this drowned, imperial ghetto, soaked in the fall-out poverty of endless war and a desperate population, is both beautiful and affecting. There are scenes here that I visualize perfectly, in a way that makes me suspect I am seeing exactly what the author saw when he penned them. It's that vivid. HIGHLY recommended.

It's a real shame these books, the two Gravedigger Chronicles volumes Mr. Campbell published earlier this decade, didn't find their audience. I just ordered the second volume, The Art of Hunting, from a bookseller on Ebay. I worked at Borders for five years from 2006 to 2011. We received and sold all three main volumes of Campbell's Deepgate Codex series, but I remember we never received Sea of Ghosts in 2011 when it was originally published. Honestly, I'm not even certain the Gravedigger books were available in America. Tor is the publisher, and in crawling around online, trying to catch up with Campbell's been doing these last few years, I've seen on his facebook that apparently there is a third volume ready for print but Tor wouldn't invest in it because the first two volumes didn't sell well. To that I say, Did you fucking market them at all? Because as a fan, I've had to scratch and claw for every bit of information I've garnered about these books since their inception, and even on Amazon they fetch an insane aftermarket price. So no, I'd say you did not. I hold out hope someone will give this book and any future projects Mr. Campbell has up his sleeve a home, because he is an exceptional writer. This is the kind of Fantasy we need, not more Knights and Dragons.

Playlist from 2/28:

The Cure - Pornography
The Cure - Faith/Carnage Visors (Side B)
Deafheaven - Black Brick
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Firewater - The Ponzi Scheme
Deafheaven - New Bermuda

Playlist from 3/01:
Wasted Theory - Warlords of the New Electric
Baroness - Purple
Ritual Howls - Turkish Leather
Budapest Festival Orchestra - Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite
Budapest Festival Orchestra - Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka
Cocksure - K.K.E.P.
Firewater - The Ponzi Scheme
Deafheaven - Black Brick
Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Deafheaven - New Bermuda

Card of the day:

Epiphany. Good. I'm posting this, tearing Sea of Ghosts from my hands and digging in to work on my own book, which is coming along swimmingly.