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“When the door was opened and some men in uniforms entered the room, they found Victor Keirion screaming to the raucous limits of his voice and trying to scale the thick metal mesh veiling the window, as if he were dragging himself along some unlikely route of liberation. Of course, they pulled him to the floor; they stretched him out upon the bed, where his wrists and ankles were tightly strapped. Then through the doorway strode a nurse who carried a slender syringe crowned with a silvery needle.

During the injection he continued to scream words which everyone in the room had heard before, each outburst developing the theme of his unjust confinement: how the man he had murdered was using him in a horrible way, a way impossible to explain or make credible. The man could not read the book - there, that book - and was stealing the dreams which the book had spawned. Stealing my dreams, he mumbled softly as the drug began to take effect. Stealing my...

The group remained around the bed for a few moments, silently staring at its restrained occupant. Then one of them pointed to the book and initiated a conversation now familiar to them all.

'What should we do with it? It's been taken away enough times already, but then there's always another that appears.'

'And there's no point to it. Look at these pages - nothing, nothing written anywhere.'

'So why does he sit reading them for hours? He does nothing else.'

'I think it's time we told someone in authority.'

'Of course, we could do that, but what exactly would we say? That a certain inmate should be forbidden from reading a certain book? That he becomes violent?'

'And then they'll ask why we can't keep the book away from him or him from the book? What should we say to that?'

'There would be nothing we could say. Can you imagine what lunatics we would seem? As soon as we opened our mouths, that would be it for all of us.'

'And when someone asks what the book means to him, or even what its name is... what would be our answer?'

As if in response to this question, a few shapeless groans arose from the criminally insane creature who was bound to the bed. But no one could understand the meaning of the word or words that he uttered, least of all himself. For he was now far from his own words, buried deep within the dreams of a place where everything was transfixed in the order of the unreal; and whence, it truly seemed, he would never return.”
Thomas Ligotti - “Vastarien”

The Short, Nonsense Life of Your Average Clown Puppet
Oct 13, 2016 - 11:34 AM - by Dr. Locrian

Near Huntsville, Alabama?

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 [] 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!

This event is free and open to all!
Click here for more information.
4 Replies | 1,246 Views
Available for Pre-Order: THE SECRET OF VENTRILOQUISM by Jon Padgett
Sep 25, 2016 - 7:50 AM - by Dr. Bantham
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
150 copies
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
Origami Dreams
20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism
Organ Void
The Secret of Ventriloquism
Escape to Thin Mountain

Ships in October.

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"The Frolic" short film now on Amazon Prime
Sep 04, 2016 - 12:04 PM - by Laffo
For those of you who may have never seen it, the short film adaptation of "The Frolic" (written by Ligotti and Brandon Trenz, directed by Jacob Cooney) is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

3 Replies | 1,750 Views
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