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“'Since the madness began working its destruction, I have become an adept of every horror which can be thought or sensed or dreamed. In my dreams - have I not told you of them? - there are scenes of slaughter without purpose, without constraint, and without end. I have crept through dense forests not of trees but of tall pikes planted in the earth; and upon each of them a crudely formed head has been fixed. These heads all wear faces which would forever blind the one who saw them anywhere but in a dream. And they follow my movements not with earthly eyes but with shadows rolling in empty sockets. Sometimes the heads speak as I pass through their hideous ranks, telling me things I cannot bear to hear. Nor can I shut out their words, and I listen until I have learned the horrors of each brutal head. And the voices from their ragged mouths, so clear, so precise to my ears, that every word is a bright flash in my dreaming brain, a brilliant new coin minted for the treasure houses of hell. At the end of my mad dream the heads make an effort to... laugh, creating a blasphemous babble which echoes throughout that terrible forest. And when I awaken I find myself standing on some hillside where I have never been, and for a moment the night continues to reverberate with fading laughter.'”
Thomas Ligotti - “Masquerade of a Dead Sword”

Vastarien Kickstarter Campaign is Live
Feb 06, 2018 - 12:31 PM - by Dr. Locrian

The Kickstarter campaign for Vastarien: A Literary Journal has begun.

Please give generously and share extensively. Thank you.

Also, we're now open for submissions for Issue 2 (https://grimscribepress.submittable....6362/vastarien). If you're creatively inclined, please submit your work for consideration.
26 Replies | 1,879 Views
Thomas Ligotti Online - 20 Year Anniversary
Feb 04, 2018 - 11:30 AM - by Dr. Locrian

After discovering, Ligotti’s work back in 1991, I felt like the only reader alive who had a profound connection with his fiction. And I wanted to share that feeling. Sure, I successfully recruited a Ligotti reader here and there over the years, but for the longest time I felt like my enthusiasm for his work wasn’t widely or even moderately shared, and I longed to discuss Ligotti’s prose with other like-minded readers. As a research and, later, law librarian—in the days before Netscape—I began surfing the World Wide Web using an early version of a text only browser called lynx. For years of solid web presence thereafter, I tried to spread the word about Ligotti’s work but became increasingly frustrated at the relative lack of awareness about his fiction throughout cyberspace.

Finally, in 1997—upon receiving a job in New York City which paid me very little but gave me tons of free time to mess about on the Internet—I truly became a Ligotti advocate (some would say an annoying advocate) on the old alt.horror.cthulhu Usenet newsgroup. After some argument and semantical wrangling (see this [] rather hilarious proposal thread featuring a much more uptight version of myself), I managed to get the alt.books.thomas-ligotti newsgroup created, with the nearly sole support of Matt Cardin, who spent so many of those early days creating impromptu, brilliant analyses of Ligotti's work. A website, cobbled together using stolen HTML from a William Faulkner fan website, wasn’t far behind the newsgroup. Version 1 of TLO from early 1998 is—sadly—lost to the cyber-void as far as I know. Version 2 from the Fall 1998 can be found here (at least in part), and Version 3 existed for the next five years of so and looked like this.

I’m proud of these difficult, initial efforts. In version 1 through 3 of TLO, we published a number of Ligotti stories, some for the first time. TLO—for instance—was the first publisher of the Ligotti and Brandon Trenz penned, original X-Files­ screenplay, Crampton, and was the original home for Ligotti’s masterful novella, My Work Is Not Yet Done. It has also been—for 20 years now—the source for (more or less) updated Ligotti-related news, a place for Ligotti readers to chat and share thoughts and ideas with each other, and—notably—a place in which Ligotti-inspired work may be shared. TLO published Matt Cardin’s remarkable short story, “Teeth,” for the first time anywhere.

About five or six years into TLO’s twenty year life to date, the website had fallen into quiescence—mainly due to my challenging job and active home life in New Orleans. Fortunately, back in 2004, Brian Poe (aka Dr. Bantham) contacted me with a plan to revive the site. And, boy, did he ever revive it. For the next 14 years, TLO became a thriving, vigorous community of Ligotti readers, which is what I originally intended but didn't have the know-how or time to pull off. I can never repay Brian for what he’s accomplished. We've had our ups and downs over the past two decades, but TLO remains an important source of analysis and discussion of weird fiction and more, well beyond its original Ligotti-centric intent. Back in 2005, in fact, Ligotti himself wrote of TLO, “what I like the most about the site is the idea of people who appreciate my horror stories talking about stuff that has nothing to do with my horror stories and, as we used to say in the sixties, just doing their own thing.”

Two decades after its inception, TLO is more energized than ever, with the imminent launch of Vastarien: A Literary Journal (Kickstarter campaign dropping this Tuesday) to Cadabra Record's release of Ligotti's The Bungalow House. And there will be some more TLO-related surprises to share in the coming months.

Happy Birthday, TLO. Here's to twenty more years of weirdness, derangement and macabre goodness.
16 Replies | 1,237 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 | 1,234 Views
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