Scott Nicolay

Ana Kai Tangata

Tag: Monster

Stories from the Borderland #4: “Beyond the Dead Reef” by James Tiptree, Jr.

tip2Nothing is what it seems to be chez Tiptree, least of all, Tiptree. Don’t think for a moment that knowing their legal name was Alice Sheldon, AKA Raccoona, AKA Alli, leaves you on any solid ground. Our subject is a psychologist who helped forge the modern CIA from the disjointed remnants of the OSS—and who was still leaking classified information in their first novel over a decade after they supposedly left The Agency. They must have been a regular terror at the old “tell me three things about yourself, one of which is a lie” game. Consider how well a CIA psychologist could fuck with your mind. After they pinched a pseudonym from a venerable UK manufacturer of marmalades they found they could fuck with more minds than ever through the medium of fiction. Continue reading

Stories From the Borderland #1: “Slime” by Joseph Payne Brennan

slimeweirdtalesWho remembers Joseph Payne Brennan? Some of you I am sure, though not nearly as many as his work deserves. He merits a position in the lineages of Weird Horror analogous to those of David Goodis, Chester Himes, Jim Thompson, Dorothy B. Hughes, and Charles Willeford in Noir—a major practitioner of the form who arose in its postwar Silver Age. Stephen King remembers him, and has paid him homage in stories such as “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut” and “The Raft.” Thomas Ligotti remembers him, and it becomes apparent in his verse—Brennan was perhaps the finest poet Weird Fiction ever had—yes, better for the most part than even Clark Ashton Smith, who had a tin ear (though “The Hashish Eater” is a masterpiece, no argument there). Continue reading

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