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  • Tag Archives True Detective
  • Random-Ass Interview: Ellen Datlow

    Photo on 5-14-15 at 4.20 PM

    Ellen Datlow has a bajillion anthologies out she’s edited. In the interest of time, just go to amazon, or her website, to check out links to the plethora of them.
    But, Nightmare Carnival rules, and a new one The Doll Collection, is out now!

    Favorite part about NYC?

    Everything– but especially the fact that it really is the city that never sleeps!

    So you collect dolls. How many you got, if you were to give it a rough estimate?

    Oh gods, are you going to make me count? And do you mean whole dolls or parts of dolls? I have lots of doll heads, lots of doll tootsies and arms and a few torsos.
    And do I count the voodoo dolls and the Japanese Kokeshi dolls (wooden).
    Looking around my living room (there are some in other rooms) there are dozens of all kinds and made of all materials. You can see the “problem” in the attached photo of my radiator in the living room.

    dollradiator

    You have a collection you edited called Alien Sex.

    Uh, what’s that one about?

    Ummm. Alien sex of course 😉
    No really-it’s an anthology of science fiction stories about gender and human and not so human relationships.
    The “aliens” are sometimes just other species on this planet. A few funny stories, some black humor, but mostly dead serious. One of my favorite anthologies. (And one of my first).

    I suspect that Tom Waits might be an alien. Do you think Tom Waits is an alien?

    Oh yeah. With that voice? You bet!

    What kind of food you feed your cats? I do with that Blue Wilderness indoor formula for the dry, and usually either wilderness canned, or sometimes Weruva.

    Proplan soft food and Wellness hard food. Proplan is expensive but my cats have become very choosy and refuse what is known as “pate”-so I now try to buy a variety of flavors and chunky stuff with gravy. Mixed with the cheap stuff. I’m hoping it’s just the hot weather but they’re both off their feed.

    Photo on 5-14-15 at 5.00 PM #2

    How many hours do you read per day?

    A few hours–mixing different kinds of reading- manuscripts for Tor.com or whatever original anthology I’m reading for and previously published stories for the Best Horror of the year, and any other reprint anthology on which I’m working.

    How many hours, on a good day, do you dedicate to editing?

    Sometimes not at all. Depends on deadlines. Other times a few hours. When editing short fiction, I can’t edit more than a few stories a day and need a break between each one.

    Joyce Carol Oates has a story that’s going to be in one of your new collections, which is about birds?

    Well, I didn’t know for sure that she’d be doing one for that anthology -I approach her for anthologies I think she might be interested in and she’ll usually say yes-if she can come up with an idea. If that happens, I might get a story from her in a few days. Otherwise, I don’t expect anything. So the first I knew she was working on this one was when she tweeted it -that was quite a surprise.

    Did you happen to see True Detective season 2, and the part with the dude in the bird mask? That was like, my favorite part.
    Here’s a pic of it.
    (What I just asked about her bird antho, it fits, sorta…)

    true-detective-birdman

    Not yet-no spoilers!! I watch everything on netflix DVDs so am awaiting its release.

    You have a favorite pizza place in NYC? Am I an asshole for asking?

    Actually, the one several blocks from me -a little hole in the wall called Village Pizza (on 8th avenue at 13th street)-when I have someone over whose helping me out with my tech, I often order in from there.
    You’re not an asshole -I hope everyone gets pizza there–it would help them enormously.

    Favorite candy?

    Too many–good n plenty, red twizzlers (the traditional kind that are chewy not the crap you often get now), See’s chocolate lolipops. Cotton Candy.

    Did you know cats have no sense of gender?

    No-how do they know and what does that mean? That they can’t sense gender in other cats? (Unlikely, or there wouldn’t be cats yowling like they’re being tortured 😉 )
    Or do you mean they can’t differentiate the gender of humans? And again…how could that be determined?

    (I don’t know, someone told me that the other day. I think they meant they can’t tell it about themselves… I have no idea, actually.)

    You drink a lot of coffee?

    Not much- usually a cup in the morning. Unless I’m out with people all day-then often we stop for iced coffee.

    Have you ever seen anybody actually slip on a banana peel? I haven’t. I’m crying foul, Looney Tunes.

    Nope. But I bet it’s happened at least once in real life–where would Looney Tunes get the idea from otherwise? And they can be very slippery, those banana peels.
    I would watch out for them if I were you.

    Well played, Datlow. Well played.

    Do you think Guillermo Del Toro would ever cast Benicio Del Toro, and have Guillermo Navarro help him with the cinematography? That’d be a confusing set. “Hey Del Toro… wait, I mean Benicio. Cool. Now where’s Guillermo?”

    You’re too silly! I’m not familiar with Navarro-but they’d probably call each other Guillermo (or “Big G), Benicio, and Navarro on the set.

    Favorite season?

    Spring-although there hardly is any in NYC-I love the gingko trees on my block, with their teeny tiny gingko leaves getting bigger and bigger. And the magnolias (although the blossoms only last a few days so sometimes if I’m out of town I miss them). And the white pear trees around the corner from me.

    Thanks for taking part in this babbling only semi-coherent exercise in thought patterns. Anything coming up you’d like to plug?

    The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven is out NOW from Night Shade and The Monstrous is coming out from Tachyon in time for Halloween. Also, a bunch of my anthologies are now available as audio books
    Thanks for the fun interview!


  • The Horror Influences of True Detective

    tdladyhornchurch

    True Detective follows Rust Cohle (Mathew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they attempt to solve the murder of a woman in Louisiana. It contains many elements, from classical horror stories, to modern horror stories, and from old and new horror films and shows.

    There are many references to the classic Robert W. Chambers series of horror stories, “The King in Yellow.” The main reference is through the visual use of something somewhat similar to “The Yellow Sign,” on the victim in the first episode, though I’m not sure yet whether or not this show is in a universe where the stories were published. The first victim in episode 1, former prostitute Dora Kelly Lange, has something that appears to be “The Yellow Sign,” on her back.

    sign

    spiraltd

    However, when looking for a picture of the design on Lange’s back, I discovered an article which says it is actually derived from the Illuminati. I know nothing about the Illuminati, so I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to make your own judgement call on what the sign is supposed to be. It could easily just be a spiral, representing the cyclical nature the killer thinks life and time exist within.

    Any time you hear about “The Yellow King,” or “Carcossa,” or even “The Black Stars,” that’s the show drawing from “The King in Yellow.” Indeed, “The King in Yellow” was before it’s time. First published in 1895, most of the stories revolve around a fictional play, aptly named “The King in Yellow” that drove readers to madness.

    As the show progresses, Cohle’s character grows increasingly unsettling. We start to really question his sanity. This doubt fits perfectly with the theme of the most influential of stories in, “The King in Yellow,” namely that of “The Repairer of Reputations.” In “The Repairer” a man named Hildred meets with Mr. Wilde, who has a book that contains shocking truths about lots of people. Mr. Wilde uses this book, with its secrets, to blackmail individuals, makes his money in this fashion. I’ve talked about these stories on one of the podcasts I contribute to, Miskatonic Musings, on the episode entitled The King of Creol
    so if you want to hear more about my thoughts on the stories, listen to that.

    Recently, I was thrilled to read in an interview at The Wall Street Journal with Nic Pizzolatto that he is a fan of the work of Thomas Ligotti, and indeed some lines in the show are almost word for word from Ligotti’s books. Pizzolatto even references other modern day weird fiction writers I’ve yet to even take in. It’s a really great interview, and has made me an even bigger fan of Pizzolatto, and even more excited for the next season of True Detective.

    Visually, there are of course other influences, which dare I say are borderline derivative. The devil’s Trap is a Southern thing, I haven’t checked yet whether they are a legit thing, but they remind me an awful lot of the little stick designs and people from The Blair Witch Project.

    deviltrap

    BlairWitchProject-thumb-550x300-12916

    There’s also the glaringly obvious comparisons to be made between all the antler stuff on True Detective which also features prominently in Hannibal.

    hannibalantlers

    And, the use of the gas mask on Ledue reminds me of the character Bing from Joe Hill’s Nos4a2. The description of Bing as a gas mask wearing killer is a hard one to escape, when you compare him to the gas mask wearing killer in True Detective.

    No matter what, the show True Detective is great for horror. It is just police procedural enough to draw in the mainstream audience who wouldn’t normally indulge in these horrific things (Well, save for the Hannibal crowd), on their own. It combines the mystery and thriller genres with horror in a seamless and beautiful blend. And at the end of the day, who cares what the genre is classified as, as long as it’s good.