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“I became as though a moth to a constant and unnecessary light. A small town was brightly lit by the descending beam from an overhead spotlight; this corner of The Mechanical Museum appeared at odds with the distant memory of my childhood visitation, and yet there was some aspect about this particular machine's melancholy streets, that seemed vaguely familiar. I had my suspicions, but to throw more light upon these I would need to be gifted darkness. Just a few coins and the overhead beam dimmed to nothingness. Beneath the glass case lighted a sequence of occasional street-lamps, their yellow glow hardly penetrating the fresh darkness of that small, degenerate town. A mechanical moon began to rise slowly upwards by way of a steel spindle, the tiny bulbs within its glass crescent, casting grotesque shadows via the manufactured branches of dark, leafless trees. These fell almost claw-like upon the walls of many dream-haunted houses.

My intruding eyes gazed through the lace curtains of one upstairs window, and the comforting glow of a night-light spread over a small single bed. Rested upon a pillow I saw the wooden countenance of an eternally sleeping child, while tiny squares of cloth blanket rose and fell with the rhythmic timings of sweet oblivion. Strings of sentiment tugged at my soul, and like some emotional marionette, I warmed until I became moulded into his mind of innocent dreams.

Identity became lost to me in one instant, and so I entered within the eternal dreams of the Sleeper. In ethereal form I wandered the dark streets of that town, revelling in the essence of past and future dream, and delighting in the lonesomeness and seclusion that now enveloped the Sleeper. The unreal world of another had become home to me, and being now able to realise this fact, I knew with certainty that a true annihilation of my former self would soon become complete.

Very swiftly all sign of memory faded to become replaced by the on-going construction of infinite possibility. I felt the coldness of the eternal night, then looked upwards to see the crescent moon moving slowly through the blackened skies. Contentment reigned in me, so that I became invisibly escorted through these desolate streets of my new home, but always walking to the tune of my own undreamt dream. Though when the music of this dream began to seem vaguely familiar to me, I became quick to encounter the fleeting presence of unaccountable unease.

Over the unworn cobbles of narrow alleys and backstreets I roamed, elated at the escape I had made from my forgotten confines. Yet eventually I was certain I heard a soulless screaming coming from beyond the door of some long-forgotten attraction. Entering through that door beneath a sign of coloured lights, I became temporarily blinded by a sudden beam of bright, white light. When my eyes saw again, the crescent moon had descended from the blackened skies above that small town within the glass case, and the return of the spotlight made it no longer possible to peer through those lace curtains into the bedroom of the Sleeper.

All around me still played the soft, strange music of his formerly undreamt dream, but I had now filled with much hatred and envy at the thought of that eternally sleeping child and how he had betrayed me.”
John B. Ford and Thomas Ligotti - “The Mechanical Museum”

Cadabra Records Announcement
Apr 13, 2017 - 2:17 PM - by Dr. Locrian

Get ready.

#ThomasLigotti #nowspinning #vinyl #vinylcollector #coloredvinyl #horror #horrorfiction #vinyljunky #spokenarts #spokenword #CadabraRecords #NightmaresOnVinyl

I'll be narrating.

More details forthcoming.

Above is the title page for Matt Cardin’s superb essay, which will be included in "The Bungalow House" LP.

The sound design and music are by Chris Bozzone. I've heard what is very close to the final product, and I doubt I could be more pleased. I'll keep you all posted on a release date.
10 Replies | 5,898 Views
The X-Files script that was too bleak to air
Jan 12, 2018 - 5:31 PM - by Dr. Locrian

Cult horror author Thomas Ligotti explains why his nihilistic take on the sci-fi series never made it to TV

Their search for truth has seen them do battle with vampires, zombies, aliens, and elasticated mutants hungry for human offal. But what would Mulder and Scully make of a case that brought them face-to-face with “the strange and awful truth” of existence? “Crampton”, an unproduced screenplay for The X-Files, offers a clue: co-written by cult horror author Thomas Ligotti in 1998, the script plunges our detective leads into a world of illusion, suggesting conspiracies of a different kind.

If only the 2018 iteration of The X-Files were so ambitious. Last week, the new series premiered to middling reviews, following a first rebooted season that could not have felt more like a period piece if Mulder and Scully had rocked up wearing corsets. The original X-Files, of course, remains a hugely influential show and pop-cultural motherlode of pre-millennial tension. One difficulty with bringing it back is that television has become so much weirder since then: Black Mirror continues to mine a potent seam of techno-paranoia, while shows like Top of the Lake (in its first series) and The Returned evoke an otherworldly atmosphere far richer than anything Chris Carter’s show used to conjure. Even Twin Peaks, itself an influence on The X-Files, amped up the weird for its much-vaunted Return.

TV’s recent flirtation with the uncanny found its groove with the first series of True Detective, which relied for much of its unholy swagger on the character of Rust Cohle. A few years ago, writer Nic Pizzolatto revealed that part of the inspiration for Cohle’s bleak philosophising came from Thomas Ligotti’s non-fiction work The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, causing dark mutterings among the author’s devoted fanbase. Less known is that Ligotti also wrote an X-Files script which, had it gone on to be filmed, would surely rank among the series’ strangest and most terrifying moments.
And the very last line:

The Conspiracy Against the Human Race will be republished this year by Penguin
18 Replies | 1,165 Views
Absurd Degenerations and Totalitarian Decrepitude in "The Town Manager"
Dec 18, 2017 - 11:17 AM - by Dr. Locrian

I'm delighted that my article concerning Ligotti's corporate horror masterpiece is out in the world now, with beautiful artwork by the great Jason Van Hollander.

101 Weird Writers #47 Thomas Ligotti | Weird Fiction Review

The humor in 'The Town Manager' is of an absurd (or, rather, absurdist) flavor, from the useless trolley to the murder of the trolley operator by possibly supernatural means via the semi-literate town manager. In the pivotal book, 'The Theatre of the Absurd,' Martin Esslin quotes philosopher Apuleius, describing ancient mime plays in which 'serious, even horrifying matters are miraculously mingled with the… humorous.' This is of a kind used by Ligotti, humor that might be found in a Beckett or Ionesco play – a hilarity that reinforces and deepens rather than defuses the horror of existence.
4 Replies | 699 Views
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