“Images from waking life are revived in dreams but from perspectives not consciously noticed before, ones which are thus not entirely recognizable, as when one sees a photograph or film of a familiar place which, due to the peculiar limits of a camera lens, looks unfamiliar.”
October 27. 7pm. Salmon Library 111. Thomas Ligotti is a highly influential writer of weird fiction whose short stories deal with themes of nihilism, humanism, anti-humanism, despair, creativity, and surrealism. His poetic prose and characters descending into chaos and madness has all the flair of a Samuel Beckett play, if Beckett wrote for the Grand Guignol. He has become one of the few living authors to be honored by a Penguins Classic collection and his older collected editions are now collector's items of some value. In this talk, Doug Bolden [firstname.lastname@example.org] will look at some of Ligotti's most powerful tales, his impact on the genre [including some of the controversy about how his nihilism may have been an uncited source for the first season of True Detective], the works (both fiction and philosophy) that have influenced Ligotti, and how to find out more of his evocative darkness. Halloween treats will be provided. Mannequins are optional.
As a bonus, after the talk, there will be a complete showing of Jacob Cooney's short horror film, "The Frolic," based on one of Ligotti's first ever short stories!
Available for Pre-Order: THE SECRET OF VENTRILOQUISM by Jon Padgett
"Padgett proves with his stunning debut collection to be a worthy successor to the master, Thomas Ligotti. There's no gristle, no bone, no dilly-dallying here: only pure meat whose terrors seamlessly grow into the metaphysical. This volume is jam-packed with the stuff that nightmares are made of."
- Dejan Ognjanovic, Rue Morgue Magazine
"...a voice that lodges in the reader’s mind with colossal force and intensity, marking... this book as unforgettable."
- Matt Cardin, from the Introduction
"The Secret of Ventriloquism is horror with a capital H. Some of Padgett's lines raised the hair on my neck."
-Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase
Limited Edition Hardcover
Cover and interior art by Dave Felton
With themes reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, Thomas Ligotti, and Bruno Shulz, but with a strikingly unique vision, Jon Padgett's The Secret of Ventriloquism heralds the arrival of a significant new literary talent. Padgett’s work explores the mystery of human suffering, the agony of personal existence, and the ghastly means by which someone might achieve salvation from both. A bullied child who seeks vengeance within a bed’s hollow box spring; a lucid dreamer haunted by an impossible house; a dummy that reveals its own anatomy in 20 simple steps; a stuttering librarian who holds the key to a mill town's unspeakable secrets; a commuter whose worldview is shattered by two words printed on a cardboard sign; an aspiring ventriloquist who spends a little too much time looking at himself in a mirror. And the presence that speaks through them all.
Introduction by Matt Cardin
The Mindfulness of Horror Practice
Murmurs of a Voice Foreknown
The Indoor Swamp
20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism
The Secret of Ventriloquism
Escape to Thin Mountain