“We must make friends with the many-tentacled alien idea.”
—John H. Lienhard, “Medicine and Maggots”
Hardly a week goes by without at least one reference to John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece The Thing appearing in my Facebook feed. No other film has wound its way so deeply into the collective psyche of the quirky amorphous Weird Fiction community that comprises the largest single segment of my social network. Although Carpenter’s film is essentially a science fiction film in its elements and a work of horror in its structure, a powerful consensus clearly exists that it constitutes the finest and purest exemplar of The Weird in cinema. Interestingly its closest rivals to this title, Alien (1979) and Phase IV (1974), are also science fiction/horror hybrids. This aspect of The Weird’s manifestation on the screen deserves further exploration…but not right now, not while we have other dark fissures to explore. Continue reading
Evans didn’t even merit cover credit. The other stories from this issue are entirely forgotten.
A horror story about children can be especially disturbing—Something Wicked This Way Comes, IT, “The Specialist’s Hat.” Throwing adults into unnatural peril is one thing—they at least can grasp their options, draw on support, choose to make sacrifices. Children are at once incredibly vulnerable yet charged with potential, so we fear more for them and the immense possibility of their futures than we do for the intrepid polar explorer, the graying antiquary, or the other interchangeable narrators of so many weird and gothic tales. How cruel the author who chooses children as protagonists in a narrative of weirdness and monsters. Continue reading