supernatural horror

DAYBREAKERS Capture Humans PSA Video

Daybreakers so far has not really impressed me.  I want to like it because it is a vampire flick but sometimes that is not enough.  At least this promotional video has helped to bolster my faith in the movie’s ability to tell an interesting vampire story.  Plus it appeals to my Supernatural Horror / H.P. Lovecraft nature in it’s structure as a well played hoax.

Watch the video above.  Daybreakers is in theaters January 8.

Sci Fi Wire doesn't know the difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Image via Wikipedia

I was initially intrigued when I saw a post on Sci Fi Wire by Wil McCarthy called: Is Mysticism overtaking science in sci-fi?

It sounded interesting, and I really wanted to discuss the question until I saw the Movies they decided to pick on:

Wait, wait, what?  They picked a:

They didn't list a single science fiction or sci-fi movie!!

The closest they came is maybe Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but that is like comparing Spy Kids to a James Bond movie.

Fantasy and Horror are genres that change something about the nature of the world to affect their Fantasy or Horror.  That is the nature of these genres.  Asking them to be scientifically accurate is to ask them to stop existing.

(sigh)  I hope Sci Fi Wire would at the very least go to Wikipedia, and learn a little something about genre before they lose all their credibility on the issue...

How embarrassing!

If you would like to discuss Whether Mysticism is overtaking science in Sci fi, leave a comment below and let's get the conversation started.

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What is Supernatural Horror

English: Visualization of a DTI measurement of...
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The tale of supernatural horror provides an interesting field.  THE OLDEST and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.  It is the literature of cosmic fear in its purest sense.  There is here involved a psychological pattern or tradition as real and as deeply grounded in mental experience as any other pattern or tradition of mankind.

A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain.  The more completely and unifiedly a story conveys this atmosphere the better it is as a work of art in the given medium.

  • The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow
  • It demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from everyday life.
  • Atmosphere is the all-important thing

Why is Supernatural Horror Effective

The thrill of the chimney-corner whisper or the lonely wood invades an obscure corner of the very hardest head; so that no amount of rationalization, reform, or Freudian analysis can quite annul the thrill.

This tendency, too, is naturally enhanced by the fact that uncertainty and danger are always closely allied; thus making any kind of an unknown world a world of peril and evil possibilities. When to this sense of fear and evil the inevitable fascination of wonder and curiosity is superadded, there is born a composite body of keen emotion and imaginative provocation.

Supernatural Horror Plays with

  • fear of the unknown
  • psychology
  • the sensitive
  • curious streak of fancy
  • more maleficent side of cosmic mystery
  • A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread

What Supernatural Horror is Not.

The literature of mere physical fear and the mundanely gruesome.  This type externally similar but psychologically widely different.  The true tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains.

Such writing, to be sure, has its place, as has the conventional or even whimsical or humorous ghost story where formalism or the author's knowing wink removes the true sense of the morbidly unnatural.  These things are not the literature of cosmic fear in its purest sense.

For more read Supernatural Horror in Literature by H. P. Lovecraft

[reus name="lovecraft books"]

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A Story with 3 Genres

Mongolian Writing - a place for God`s meditation
Image by Jeff Bauche._.·´¯) via Flickr

An idea hit me. One that I love. One that I really want to write, but I have one little problem...

I am not sure what genre to set it in!! The basic idea is to explore spirituality, power, and the power of relationships to save people.

I know that is a little vague, but it is a complex story with a generic outline that spans four novels at the moment.

My biggest problem is that I can see the story existing in three different settings

  1. My existing Barrens End setting, where Liquid Sky, Fate's Harrow, and Shine like Thunder take place.
  2. A new modern supernatural horror setting that would be somewhere between the Vampire Chronicles, Harry Potter, and the Cthulu Mythos.
  3. A unique hybrid fantasy setting, a kind of sword and sorcery/dark fantasy/supernatural horror/steampunk thing.

I can honestly see the story in each of these settings, and how each will affect the plot. I am partly looking for comments, and part thinking out loud. I am really unsure which way to go.

What would you all like to see?  I am really open to suggestions

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Why Progressive Speculative Fiction?

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today- but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept about which resolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all. Isaac Asimov, "My Own View," The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

While Asimov was interested solely with Science Fiction, I believe the same can be said about Speculative Fiction as a whole. Many of the problems we face cannot be faced solely by working to fix the present conditions. If we do not explore the possible futures our choices could produce, we walk blindly into the future.

It is change, continuing change inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the word as it will be - and naturally this means that there must be an accurate perception of the world as it will be. This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our Everyman, must take on a science fictional way of thinking, whether he likes it or not or even whether he knows it or not. Only so can the deadly problems of today be solved.

Isaac Asimov, "My Own View," The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Again, I would broaden his words out to all of Speculative Fiction.

Lovecraft's Mythos

Cthulhu in the lost city of R'lyeh
Image via Wikipedia

Numerous horror novels/movies have shown us the problems eugenics would unleash upon our societies. Lestat's hope that there is some good in the universe heightens his fear and motivates him to find the answers.

H. P. Lovecraft's fiction had a simple message behind the supernatural horror.  Humankind's chief sin is hubris.  We think too highly of ourselves, and as a result blind ourselves to the fact that somewhere in this vast cosmos, there are creatures who are infinitely more powerful than we are, and whose motives are unfathomable by human logic.

Cthulu, Nyarlahotep, Azathoth, the color out of space, and the color out of time are all horrifying warnings that if we lie to ourselves, pretending there is not a bigger fish out there, we will eventually be devoured by it.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is an all too familiar cautionary tale about scientific and technological advance without the restraining forces of morality and common sense.  The tale has been told and retold, spawning an entire subgenre of horror about the dangers of dabbling in things not understood.

The Resident Evil franchise, Godzilla, and so many others I could spend the rest of the year naming them have picked up the mantle and and shared the horrific future we could create for ourselves if we are not careful to think ahead and not blindly rush into the future.

Star Trek

star-trek-crew-tm.jpgShowed us a future we could hope for.  Imagine a world  where hunger and poverty were removed from the equation.  New challenges would raise their heads, some of which would threaten to return us to the barbaric world we had left behind.

Gene Roddenberry kindled a vision in the hearts and minds of his fans of a world of limitless possibilities.  A world were our only limitations were our imagination and our character.  It is a world to strive towards.

Lord of the Rings

In the Lord of the Rings books, J. R. R. Tolkien showed us a world on the cusp of transition from one age to another.  His mythic prose illuminated the choices that people have to make when culture finds itself on the crossroads of history.

The basic choice is demonstrated through the characters of Sauroman and Gandolf.  Their world, their age was ending.  They had the choice to either embrace the future and try to make the new world a better place to live, or to hold on the past and seek the destruction of the new world before it comes.  Gandolf chose the first path, Sauromon chose the latter.

Star Wars

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Image via Wikipedia

Anakin Skywalker is faced with the same choice in the Star Wars saga.  At first he fights the future out of his attachment, but when he is faced with the ultimate decision, watching the future be destroyed in the person of his son, he learns that he must let go of his attachments and help the future come.

I wonder if that is why more people don't love the prequel trilogy.  It touches a nerve in them, and despite our bravado, no one really wants to think of themselves as Darth Vader.  No one wants to entertain the thought that they could destroy everything they believe in and care for as a result of trying to protect it.

Like all great stories, Star Wars holds a mirror up to us and says, this could be you.

We need Progressive Speculative Fiction

Many things are hard to talk about.  Stories can often show us things we would not or could not have seen otherwise.

Next time, we will discuss the differences between Positive Scifi and Progressive Speculative Fiction.

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12 Day of Tales

Fiction-1I have an idea, more of a notion or a hope, but I think it would be pretty cool if I can pull it off.What if this year to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, I gave you all 12 free stories in 12 different genres. To make it even more interesting, I will see if I can get some other writers to join in.

You all have been so great to me, the least I could do is get you some free stories.

I am not sure how feasible this is. It is a lot to write in a short time, but I think it would be really fun to try. Now the question remains, what should the 12 genres be?

  1. Steampunk
  2. Elfpunk
  3. Mythpunk
  4. Space Opera
  5. Galactic Empire
  6. Wuxia
  7. High Fantasy
  8. Dark Fantasy
  9. Supernatural Horror
  10. Space Western
  11. Contemporary Fantasy
  12. Sword and Sorcery

I think that is a good list, but I would be interested in what you all think. Do you want the stories to be tied together with a particular theme? We have to act quickly. Time is ticking away.

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