Artists Salute Past Members
Neil Gaiman *** Lucy Taylor *** Barbara Roden
But the charm of the tale is in the telling.
–H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature
H. R. Wakefield, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the gloriously portentous 1950s Hollywood monster/alien movie scriptwriters have all left their traces on my favorite contemporary writers. Listen in now to a story or a poem where artists featured in EXOTIC GOTHIC read works from earlier makers, or nod to admired creators in new works of their own. Mind the ghosts, happy madwomen, furtive villains, and demon lovers, as well as flying saucers, zombies and battling Gods as you listen.
No less an authority than H.P. Lovecraft once affirmed the “great heights of horror” that British ghost & weird story writer H.R. Wakefield (1888-1964) achieved, despite his “vitiating air of sophistication”. In the still rewarding Supernatural Literature of Horror, Lovecraft especially praised Wakefield’s tales, He Cometh and He Passeth By, And He Shall Sing, The Cairn, Look Up There, The Red Lodge “with its slimy aqueous evil”, The Seventeenth Hole at Duncaster with “that bit of lurking millennial horror” , and Blind Man’s Buff. Ash Tree Press publisher and World Fantasy Prize recipient Barbara Roden reads Blind Man’s Buff, a story republished in their pictured Wakefield collection Old Man’s Beard.
Surveying from England to New England, Lovecraft had an even more generous lauding of American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935): “The Yellow Wall Paper rises to a classic level in subtly delineating the madness which crawls over a woman dwelling in the hideously papered room where a madwoman was once confined.” In a never heard recording, Stoker Award winner Lucy Taylor shares The Yellow Wall Paper.
Lovecraft noticed the “powerfully spectral note[s]” of Doyle nearly a century ago. See if you sense them in New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s own A Study in Emerald, read by himself. And last come another story and a poem from said author featuring those beings that may look human, but aren’t quite, read again by their maker. What comes down to earth, what either blasts, devours, or Lovecraftilly possesses others and may soon us-the staple of Hollywood horror from It Came From Outer Space to Not of This Earth to Invasion of the Body Snatchers-are coming for you now. Hear Neil Gaiman read How to Talk to Girlsand The Day the Saucers Camefrom his enthralling anthology, Fragile Things.