Horrific Reads, Bloody Off the Press
By Nathaniel Katz
Somehow I don’t think I’ll be surprising anyone when I say that the first week of October ramps up steadily when it comes to horror until it reaches genuine landslide proportions just before Halloween. Luckily for the average horror reader’s enjoyment, albeit not for their free time or bank account, more than a few of these new releases look quite interesting.
Fittingly enough, the first of wave to arrive – coming out on Tuesday the 23rd, this column’s day of writing – is Michael West’s Spook House, the blurb of which ties the novel right into Halloween. By the week’s end, we’ll not only have gotten quite a bit closer to that date, but will have ventured far into horror’s strange territory. Todd Keisling led us over the boundaries of reality in A Life Transparent; now, in The Liminal Man, he sets down beyond to roost. It’s home and safety that are sought in Matthew Costello’s Home, a sequel to Vacation in which neither the horror nor the desperation do a great deal of letting up.
The short story, though, is the form in which the week’s main attractions have decided to come. The single most exciting collection seems to me to be Elizabeth Bear’s Shoggoths in Bloom and Other Stories, which would be essential if it had the Hugo-winning Lovecraftian title tale alone. Then there’s David’s Peak’s Glowing in the Dark, a slim volume packed with versatile, varied and cutting tales. Robert Shearman’s array of awards (including a World Fantasy Award and a Shirley Jackson Award) seems to promise that his stories will be with our genre for quite some time. If there is any doubt of that, his brilliantly titled collection Remember Why You Fear Me should keep us there, whether it does so by reacquainting us with long-loved stories or by introducing new readers to Shearman’s dark strengths.
But, when it comes to the release that packs the most succulent dread between its covers, the 23rd Mammoth Book of Best New Horror may prove unbeatable. Fans of Weird fiction might want to make particular note of tales by Mark Samuels and Simon Strantzas within it.
Finally, those enamored with the strangest of stories may be interested to note some Ex Occidente volumes with fall release dates. Derek John’s The Aesthete Hagiographer, William Charlton’s Canapes for the Daughter of Chaos, and Mark Valentine’s At Dusk are all costly-but-intriguing. When it comes to Ex Occidente titles, it seems fair to assume fabulously crafted volumes with even better prose within.
Once Upon a Time (Sunday nights, 8pm, ABC)
By Heather S. Vina
ABC released the synopsis for the episode, “Child of the Moon,” the episode featuring Ruby/Red Riding Hood.
“RUBY’S FEAR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SHE TURNS INTO A WOLF IN STORYBROOKE IS CONFIRMED, AND RED RIDING HOOD FINDS A KINDRED SPIRIT IN ANITA, A LEADER OF HUMANS WHO TURN INTO WOLVES, ON ABC’S ONCE UPON A TIME:
“Annabeth Gish Guest Stars as Anita.
“‘Child of the Moon’ – Ruby’s fear about turning into a wolf during the first curse-free Storybrooke full moon is confirmed when one of the town’s residents is viciously murdered, and Ruby is the prime suspect; Decker – AKA King George – threatens to expose David as a shepherd, not a prince, and not fit to run the town as Sheriff; and Leroy stumbles upon some treasure in the Storybrooke mine that could help bring Mary Margaret and Emma back into our world. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Red Riding Hood finds a kindred spirit in Anita (Annabeth Gish), a charismatic and mysterious leader of a pack of humans who, like Red, turn out to be wolves, on Once Upon a Time, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Once Upon a Time stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David, Emilie de Ravin as Belle, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mills, Meghan Ory as Red Riding Hood/Ruby, and Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold.
“Guest starring are Lee Arenberg as Leroy/Grumpy, Keegan Connor Tracy as Mother Superior/Blue Fairy, Beverley Elliott as Granny, Alan Dale as Spencer/King George, Sarah Bolger as Aurora, David-Paul Grove as Doc, Faustino Di Bauda as Sleepy, Jeffrey Kaiser as Dopey, Michael Coleman as Happy, Mig Macario as Bashful, Jarod Joseph as Billy, Annabeth Gish as Anita, Ben Hollingsworth as Quinn, Jason Cermak as Black Knight No. 1 and Chad Riley as Black Knight No. 2.
“‘Child of the Moon’ was written by Ian Goldberg & Andrew Chambliss and directed by Anthony Hemingway.”
The show made the cover of EW this week and it’s a very lovely cover, indeed! Nice article inside, as well. The EW site posted a snippet of one of the interviews with Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, where in they spoke about whom they would like to see on the show. You can read it here. You can see the cover and a brief overview of the articles inside here. And here are some portraits EW did of the stars.
Adam Horowitz announced on his twitter the titles of some upcoming episodes: “ep 8 ‘into the deep’ ep 9 ‘queen of hearts.'”
This coming week’s episode is “The Doctor,” which features Dr. Whale, who looks like he is going to end up being Dr. Frankenstein.
TV Line had a few things up this week. First, Ausiello had this spoiler up for his chat.
“Question: Can I have some Once Upon A Time scoop, please? – Angie
“Ausiello: Someone gets punched out this Sunday – and I can already hear viewers cheer.”
They also have up promotional pictures for the episode, “Tallahassee,” which reveals some of Emma’s past. And our mysterious man from the opening scene in the season opener, “Broken,” is in a photo with her, as a passenger in the VW Bug she owns. Which means this is PRE-Storybrooke! And we know she was arrested before Henry’s birth. Could he be the reason that she is getting arrested?
The final ratings are out for the show and it went up in the coveted demos, which is a very good thing! It received a 3.3/8 in the demos, and 9.89 million viewers.
Supernatural (Wednesday nights, 9pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles
Tonight’s episode is the experimental found footage episode, “Bitten.” The usual promotion is up for it. We’ve got the CW promo, the Canadian promo, and the sneak peek. The writers have compared this to recent found footage film, Chronicle, but this reminds me a lot more of genre granddaddy, The Last Broadcast, from 1998. The glowing-eyes-over-the-shoulder-framed-by-evergreens is a direct rip from the latter, which was set largely in the Pine Barrens and involved people being ripped to pieces by an unseen monster.
This one is supposed to be Sam’nDean-lite. This has not thrilled a lot of fans. I can already see from the promos that the three kids who are the episode’s “heroes” are going to annoy the bejeezus out of me, which doesn’t thrill me. On the flip side, I really liked The Last Broadcast and I try not to pre-judge episodes, so we’ll see.
Misha Collins has been doing lots of interviews this week, as well as doing a con in Edmonton. Spoilers essentially boil down to the return of Castiel in 8.07 when he finally escapes from Purgatory. Kevin and his mom will also return in the same episode with a plan to build a demon bomb against Crowley. I sure hope said plan involves a whole lot of humility from Kevin, especially, since I am all full up on his being an arrogant little jackass who chokes in the clutch and his mother didn’t do much better.
It seems Castiel will deal with being manipulated by unknown forces without either he or the brothers knowing (Naomi and her group of angels, perhaps). Dean will feel guilty about leaving Castiel behind in Purgatory, but won’t actually remember what really went down. Castiel and Sam will grow somewhat closer (Big whoop. They always promise this and never deliver). And Castiel’s quest for not-quite-redemption will initially put him in line with the brothers, but create trouble down the line.
We’ve got episode synopses and information up. First, there’s the official synopsis for 8.06:
“GARTH RETURNS TO HELP SAM AND DEAN ON A CASE – Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) investigate a murder and find Garth (guest star DJ Qualls) is already on the case. Dean is not happy to learn that Garth has assumed Bobby’s duties, but Garth points out that both Sam and Dean have been missing for the last year and someone needed to do it. They guys discover an ‘avenging ghost’ is responsible for the murders and they need to find the source before the killings starts again. Tim Andrew directed the episode written by Adam Glass (#806).”
I’m not the least bit impressed by this description. For one thing, Garth was previously the Hunter who was so incompetent that Bobby once asked him, “How are you even still alive?” And he’s going to replace Bobby? Don’t think so. For another, even though it’s obvious from previous Garth episodes’ set-ups that Garth will be asking for help in the guise of “helping” the brothers, I find the idea of him even pretending to help annoying. Can’t we find a different shtick for this character? And that’s not even getting into the way Glass has failed to impress over the past two seasons.
More interesting are the official photos for the episode, which include Garth in fringe and a zombie Civil War soldier. Garth’s car is looking a bit sad these days.
Martin (from “Sam, Interrupted”) will return in 8.09, “Citizen Fang.” He’s finally out of the hospital. I like Martin. Not so sure about the spoilers that he won’t be thrilled about Benny and may side with Sam on that against Dean, when they suspect Benny of some vampire-like murders in his town and Dean defends him. It could be good conflict and it could also suck. So to speak. Ty Olsson has been tweeting a good bit about Benny and it sounds as though there will be plenty of the character this season. I know. I’m shocked, too. [/sarcasm]
8.11 will involve a guy who’s a bit too into a “medieval-style game.” I roll my eyes and brace myself for yet more medievalesque nonsense along the lines of “Like a Virgin”‘s dragons.
Ad Age has an article up about Supernatural‘s escape from Fridays. The show’s ad rates continue to be low ($35,123 dollars), but the move definitely reflects increased confidence and expectations from the network.
Finally, the ratings for “Heartache” remained high with the same demo of 1.0/3 from last week and a slight drop to 2.13 million in audience. Meanwhile, its lead-in, Arrow, kept its 1.3/4 from its first week and picked up a full season order as a result.
If you like these spoilers, please help continue our site by making a donation, buying one of our fiction issues, or buying one of our books: Fraterfamilias, Historical Lovecraft, Future Lovecraft, and our Gothic horror anthology, Candle in the Attic Window. You can also buy Paula’s non-fiction book on medieval Spanish history, Templar Convivencia.