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Mr. Schneider
“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”

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 | 1,835 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 | 1,216 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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