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Mr. Schneider
“The town impressed me as being much larger once I was within its limits than it had appeared from the prominence just outside. I saw that the general hilliness of the surrounding countryside was also an internal feature of Mirocaw. Here, though, the effect was different. The parts of the town did not look as if they adhered very well to one another. This condition might be blamed on the irregular topography of the town. Behind some of the old stores in the business district, steeply roofed houses had been erected on a sudden incline, their peaks appearing at an extraordinary elevation above the lower buildings. And because the foundations of these houses could not be glimpsed, they conveyed the illusion of being either precariously suspended in air, threatening to topple down, or else constructed with an unnatural loftiness in relation to their width and mass. This situation also created a weird distortion of perspective. The two levels of structures overlapped each other without giving a sense of depth, so that the houses, because of their higher elevation and nearness to the foreground buildings, did not appear diminished in size as background objects should. Consequently, a look of flatness, as in a photograph, predominated in this area. Indeed, Mirocaw could be compared to an album of old snapshots, particularly ones in which the camera had been upset in the process of photography, causing the pictures to develop on an angle: a cone-roofed turret, like a pointed hat jauntily askew, peeked over the houses on a neighboring street; a billboard displaying a group of grinning vegetables tipped its contents slightly westward; cars parked along steep curbs seemed to be flying skyward in the glare-distorted windows of a five-and-ten; people leaned lethargically as they trod up and down sidewalks; and on that sunny day the clock tower, which at first I mistook for a church steeple, cast a long shadow that seemed to extend an impossible distance and wander into unlikely places in its progress across the town.”
Thomas Ligotti - “The Last Feast of Harlequin”

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.
25 Replies | 1,837 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 [http://tinyurl.com/yg6tras] 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 | 1,217 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

Quote
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 | 1,221 Views
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