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“After walking some indefinite time along some indefinite route, I came upon a clearing where an audience had assembled for some late-night entertainment. Strings of colored lights had been hung around the perimeter of this area and rows of benches had been set up. The people seated on these benches were all watching a tall, illuminated booth. It was the kind of booth used for puppet shows, with wild designs painted across the lower part and a curtained opening at the top. The curtains were now drawn back and two clownish creatures were twisting about in a glary light which emanated from inside the booth. They leaned and squawked and awkwardly batted each other with soft paddles they were hugging in their soft little arms. Suddenly they froze at the height of their battle; slowly they turned about and faced the audience. It seemed the puppets were looking directly at the place I was standing behind the last row of benches. Their misshapen heads tilted, and their glassy eyes stared straight into mine.

Then I noticed that the others were doing the same: all of them had turned around on the benches and, with expressionless faces and dead puppet eyes, held me to the spot. Although their mouths did move, they were not silent. But the voices I heard were far more numerous than was the gathering before me. These were the voices I had been hearing as they chanted confused words in the depths of everyone's thoughts, fathoms below the level of their awareness. The words still sounded hushed and slow, monotonous phrases mingling like the sequences of a fugue. But now I could understand these words, even as more voices picked up the chant at different points and overlapped one another, saying, 'In the rooms of houses... across moonlit skies... through all souls and spirits... behind the faces of the living and the dead.'

I find it impossible to say how long it was before I was able to move, before I backed up toward the path, all those multitudinous voices chanting everywhere around me and all those many-colored lights bobbing in the wind-blown trees. Yet it seemed only a single voice I heard, and a single color I saw, as I found my way home, stumbling through the greenish darkness of night.”
Thomas Ligotti - “Nethescurial”

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



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


Vastarien: A Literary Journal


“...a nightmare transformed in spirit by the utter absence of refuge: nightmare made normal."


In-depth essays, interviews, weird fiction, terrific poetry, and fascinating hybrid pieces by some of the best authors out there including Thomas Ligotti. Co-Editor-in-Chief and World Fantasy Award nominee, Matt Cardin, and I have produced Ligottian content for over two decades, and now...Vastarien: A Literary Journal


Visit our Kickstarter campaign page, receive remarkable rewards, and join us “...where stars dance forever like bright puppets in the silent, staring void.”


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.
35 Replies | 2,470 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 | 1,300 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 | 1,288 Views
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