Category Archives: Uncategorized

Now on sale: Issue 25 “Miranda”

By Editor

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Sample pages

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Miranda

“The large sitting room of the Rolling Hills Club was empty, save for the flickering candles and the menus that stood like protecting arms around their flames. The tables were covered with empty wine glasses, cocktail glasses, and snifters floating on napkins or abandoned on the side tables. Stray napkin balls sat like cats under the sofas and littered the floor.”

This is the Rolling Hills Club, a place where Philadelphia’s rich—including Miranda Anderson, the socialite who ties the seven stories in Miranda together—come to spend their time and money. From general manager of the club to Miranda’s best frenemy, the other characters in these narratives show what kind of person Miranda is—and what kind of person she might become.

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Help the Wapshott Press publish books that should be published! The Wapshott Press, publisher of Storylandia, is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Tax deductible donations can be made here: Wapshott Press Donations and thank you so much for your support! (PS. Paypal takes zero commissions from your donation to the Wapshott Press.)

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Bad Medicine: The Picture in the House

By Editor

The 12th plate from Regnum Congo

By Kathryn L Ramage

“The book fell open, almost of its own accord and as if from frequent consultation at this place, to the repellent twelfth plate shewing a butcher’s shop amongst the Anzique cannibals. My sense of restlessness returned, though I did not exhibit it. The especially bizarre thing was that the artist had made his Africans look like white men—the limbs and quarters hanging about the walls of the shop were ghastly, while the butcher with his axe was hideously incongruous.”

From HP Lovecraft’s The Picture in the House

This third and final segment of the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre audio drama has been stretched to fit into the “Bad Medicine” category. There is no doctor in the original story, and the physician added to this version seems more helpful than prone to horrific experimentation. But it is a spirited adaptation of an early Lovecraft story that’s never been one of my favorites.

A hapless bicyclist is forced to take shelter in what he takes to be an abandoned house during a violent rainstorm. But the house isn’t empty; its inhabitant is a loathsome old man who has become obsessed by an illustration of cannibals in Filippo Pigafetta’s Regnum Congo (which is …read more

Source:: The Northlands

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Bad Medicine: The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

By Editor

Hypnotism booklet cover

By Kathryn L Ramage

The second episode in this Dark Adventure Radio Theatre anthology is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s story, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, in which a doctor uses Mesmeric control over a dying subject to keep him in a sustained trance state–for months after death.

The episode is also kind of a DART rerun. A downloadable MP3 version of this audio drama was made available last fall, and I reviewed it then.

I’m not going to cover the unchanged parts of this episode again, but I’m going to note the differences.

As in the earlier version, the story has been transplanted to the 1930s, but the framing story with the radio interviewer is gone. Instead, Dr. Michael Quinlan (still Sean Branney) is facing an emergency hearing of the New York State Medical Board to review “purported breaches in ethical conduct” related to the experiment with the late M. Valdemar. The Board will decide whether or not to revoke Quinlan’s license based on its findings.

Dr. Quinlan has come prepared to account for himself; he offers the notes of the medical student Lionel (Jacob Andrew Lyle), who first accompanied him to attend Valdemar’s death-bed, as evidence. This leads into the first …read more

Source:: The Northlands

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Bad Medicine: Cool Air

By Editor

Sonia's notes

By Kathryn L Ramage

This special anthology episode of Dark Adventure Radio Theatre features three separate stories of “horrific healing” and medical science gone mad, two from H.P. Lovecraft and one from Edgar Allan Poe. I’m going to take them one by one.

The first is Cool Air, a Lovecraft story set in New York City during the 1920s. It’s about a Spanish doctor with an odd medical condition that requires him to keep his room very cold. You can read it online at http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/ca.aspx

The principal change in this audio adaptation is the sex of the first-person narrator. In Lovecraft’s story, he is unnamed and refers to himself as a “well-bred man”; here, she is a writer of pulp fiction named Sonia (after Lovecraft’s own wife, with whom he lived in Brooklyn for a couple of years in the 1920s).

When we meet Sonia Rudd (Sarah van der Pol), she and her husband Edwin (Andrew Leman) have fallen on hard times. She is nursing her feverish and desperately ill son; dialog indicates that the couple has already lost at least one other child and it doesn’t look like there’s much hope for this little boy. Sonia insists on keeping the room stiflingly warm. The …read more

Source:: The Northlands

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Dark Shadows: The Rage Beneath

By Editor

The Rage Beneath

By Kathryn L Ramage

This audio drama begins with Maggie Evans speaking, “I remember when it all started. Quentin Collins… came home, and brought the darkness with him.”

Her voice is interspersed with those of other characters–Quentin’s, Angelique’s–but the focus of the story’s introduction remains with Maggie as she summarizes the events of previous audio-plays in the Legend Reborn series, alluding to the “The Lost,” “Charlotte Howells,” and “the Professor and his army” (which settles my question of when the Christmas Presence occurs).

“But the day I’ll always remember,” Maggie concludes, “is the day the Collins family perished.”

She isn’t referring to the Collinses who disappeared mysteriously before this series began, but to those two who are still around: Quentin and Barnabas.

The story proper begins one evening in Collinsport just as it’s beginning to rain, with Quentin meeting up with Susan Griffin (who was one of the Lost souls in House of Despair, but she’s all better now). He offers to walk to the Blue Whale with her, even though he knows her husband Ed, the bartender, despises him; he doesn’t care.

While they are walking, the pair hears what sounds like masculine laughter and gruff voices singing the words of an old sea-chantey, …read more

Source:: The Northlands

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The Testimony of Randolph Carter

By Editor

Carter and Warren on the Gainesville pike

By Kathryn L Ramage

“I will not deny, though my memory is uncertain and indistinct, that this witness of yours may have seen us together as he says, on the Gainesville pike, walking toward Big Cypress Swamp, at half past eleven on that awful night. That we bore electric lanterns, spades, and a curious coil of wire with attached instruments, I will even affirm; for these things all played a part in the single hideous scene which remains burned into my shaken recollection. But of what followed, and of the reason I was found alone and dazed on the edge of the swamp next morning, I must insist that I know nothing save what I have told you over and over again.”

From The Statement of Randolph Carter

This is one of H. P. Lovecraft’s early macabre works, written in 1919. It’s a simple, very short story about two men who visit an abandoned cemetery to open up a crypt in the middle of the night. One goes down inside the crypt for reasons he has not made entirely clear to his companion, who remains above ground. The two continue to communicate via telephone equipment they’ve brought with them, and the man on the surface hears …read more

Source:: The Northlands

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Storylandia 24, “Chassy” Now on Sale!

By Editor

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Sample pages

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Chassy

“‘My Lord, they’re too close!’ A lady stood by herself at the stern of the SS Normandie looking at the ocean liner’s wake. The breeze coming off the Hudson River ruffled her long dark skirt and carried her anxious admonition across the promenade deck. A strand of blonde hair escaped her scarlet beret and waved against her cheek.

“Bridge Appleton, twelve years old, looked up from his book and stared at the lady’s silhouette, framed by the receding New York skyline as the Normandie made its way down the river toward Rockaway Point.”

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Help the Wapshott Press publish books that should be published! The Wapshott Press, publisher of Storylandia, is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Tax deductible donations can be made here: Wapshott Press Donations and thank you so much for your support! (PS. Paypal takes zero commissions from your donation to the Wapshott Press.)

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Storylandia 24, “Chassy” Now on Sale!

By Editor

By Ginger Mayerson

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Sample pages

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Chassy

“‘My Lord, they’re too close!’ A lady stood by herself at the stern of the SS Normandie looking at the ocean liner’s wake. The breeze coming off the Hudson River ruffled her long dark skirt and carried her anxious admonition across the promenade deck. A strand of blonde hair escaped her scarlet beret and waved against her cheek.

“Bridge Appleton, twelve years old, looked up from his book and stared at the lady’s silhouette, framed by the receding New York skyline as the Normandie made its way down the river toward Rockaway Point.”

Where to buy: Amazon (eligible for free shipping) and Kindle.

Help the Wapshott Press publish books that should be published! The Wapshott Press, publisher of Storylandia, is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Tax deductible donations can be made here: Wapshott Press Donations and thank you so much for your support! (PS. Paypal takes zero commissions from your donation to the Wapshott Press.)

…read more

Source:: Storylandia

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Film Review: The Shuttered Room

By Editor

The Shuttered Room

By Kathryn L Ramage

August Derleth is a somewhat ambiguous figure in the personal history of HP Lovecraft and his work. On the one hand, Derleth is the reason most people today are at all familiar with Lovecraft. If it weren’t for his Arkham House press keeping Lovecraft’s stories in print, they might otherwise have been lost to pulp horror obscurity. On the other hand, Derleth not only kept Lovecraft’s finished work alive, but contributed posthumous “collaborations” to what he called the Cthulhu Mythos, built on notes or fragments of story ideas Lovecraft left behind… and Derleth wasn’t the writer that Lovecraft was.

He’s not actually a bad writer–he could do some nicely creepy things with the lonely woods and lakes of Wisconsin–but he also had the nerdish need to categorize and rank his monsters. Even in his best stories, someone will pull out a checklist to try and identify the particular Elder God that’s causing all the trouble so it can be dealt with correctly. If nothing else, Derleth’s scope of vision is more narrowly focused than Lovecraft’s and his cosmic horrors aren’t indescribable beings barely comprehensible to the humans who encounter them, but tend to be a tad more localized.

The Shuttered Room is …read more

Source:: The Northlands

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Blu-ray Review: The Mummy

By Editor

Boris Karloff as The Mummy

By Kathryn L Ramage

Ancient Egypt has been on my mind for some time. It was the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre audioplay of Imprisoned with the Pharaohs that I reviewed last spring that made me think about going someday. Curse of the Pharaoh followed, as well as two different versions of Death on the Nile, and various Mummy movies from Hammer and Universal. Eventually, I worked my way back to original film–Universal’s The Mummy from 1932, starring Boris Karloff.

This movie was filmed in California with stock footage of the Valley of the Kings and back-screen projections of contemporary Cairo, but very few movies from the early sound era ever filmed on location. Its sets and settings are steeped with imagery and lore from ancient Egypt, though a lot of it is historically confused or fiction created specifically for this story–but one also expects a certain amount of mystical fabrication from a movie about a mummy that’s come back to life. What’s most interesting to me, however, is how little of this movie’s manufactured lore and story template are reused in the numerous sequels and remakes over the 85 years since it was made.

The Mummy begins with the British Museum …read more

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