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“Quisser contended that his parents actually enjoyed watching him sit in terror before the Showman, until he could not stand it any longer and asked to go back to the car. At the same time he was quite transfixed by the sight of this sideshow character, who was unlike any other that he could remember. There he was, Quisser said, standing with his back to the audience and wearing an old top hat and a long cape that touched the dirty floor of the small stage on which he stood. Sticking out from beneath the top hat were the dense and lengthy shocks of the Showman's stiff red hair, Quisser said, which looked like some kind of sickening vermin's nest. When I asked Quisser if this hair might actually have been a wig, deliberately testing his memory and imagination, he only gave me a contemptuous look that seemed to reply that I was not the one who had seen the stiff red hair; he was the one who had seen it sticking out from beneath the Showman's old top hat. The only other feature that was visible to the audience, Quisser continued, were the fingers of the Showman, which grasped the edges of his long cape. These fingers appeared to Quisser to be somehow deformed, curling together in little claws, and were a pale greenish color, Quisser said. Apparently, as Quisser viewed it, the entire stance of the figure was calculated to suggest that at any moment he might twirl about and confront the audience full-face, his moldy fingers lifting up the edges of his cape, reaching to the height of his stiff red hair. Yet the figure never budged. Sometimes it did seem to Quisser that the Showman was moving his head a little to the left or a little to the right, threatening to reveal one side of his face or the other, playing a horrible game of peek-a-boo. But ultimately Quisser concluded that these perceived movements were illusory and that the Showman was always posed in perfect stillness, a nightmarish mannikin that invited all kinds of imaginings by its very forbearance of any gesture.”
Thomas Ligotti - “Gas Station Carnivals”

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 | 5,837 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




Quote
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:

Quote
The Conspiracy Against the Human Race will be republished this year by Penguin
16 Replies | 877 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 | 662 Views
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