It was a tradition waiting to happen. If you had to choose the three most important ingredients in any holiday, they’d have to be saints, chocolate, and books. At least, if your holidays are anything like mine, they are.
Halloween usually has its fair share of chocolate, and here at the Hog’s Head we heartily approve. And it’s a catch-all feast day for saint-types: All Hallows, after all. But books? What about books? If we took a straw poll of pub regulars–no offense to the scarecrows among us–I suspect we’d find it hard to imagine a day without books, let alone a holiday.
Welcome, then, to All Hallows’ Read.
This year on October 31, the Hog’s Head Pubcast and Middle-Earth Radio are going to join forces for a Halloween evening broadcast (more details coming soon!) One of our plans is to read some spooky tales on the air, and here’s where you come in: we’d love suggestions of short works to read. What are your favorite Gothic and otherwise Halloweenish stories? For the broadcast, we’re looking for anything that’s in the public domain, or anything we could get the author’s permission to include.
Middle-Earth Radio has an actor whom we hope to have join us and do some of the reading. If any of you especially want to read on live radio, though, let us know. We just might be able to work that out.
Tomorrow, August 20th, is the 120th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday. Lovecraft, of course, is well known for his writings in horror, science fiction, and fantasy, genres which I think most of us here at The Hogshead appreciate.
So, to toast the birthday of this noted author, let’s make tomorrow a “Read a Lovecraft Story” Day! Feel free to post what you’ve read here or make any other comments on Lovecraft that you like. Many of Lovecraft’s writings can be found on the Net. Here’s a place to start. If audio books are more your style, then try out LibriVox. Enjoy!
FYI: Spoilers present, but for the first novel only.
The anime show Fullmetal Alchemist contains, in one of the early episodes, a storyline in which one of Ed and Al Elric’s friends is transmuted by her father into a chimera, her body fused with that of the family dog. Years after watching it, that scene continues to haunt me. It took me by surprise to find a similar idea in The Hunger Games—the muttation pack that drives the final showdown in the arena, formed from the bodies of all of the dead tributes, even that of pure little Rue.
The horror evoked by such desecration is overwhelming to me; it is worse than the things that happen in bad dreams. Super-powered killer wasps are the stuff of nightmares. Watching your friends die in terrible ways is the stuff of nightmares. Outright mocking perversion of the human body and spirit is the work of a demoniac imagination, something hellishly subhuman.
We begin week two of A Hog’s Head Halloween with Edgar Allen Poe’s story, “The Masque of the Red Death.” It’s a short read – the text can be found here, and there’s a free audio of the story in the this collection at Librivox.
Begin discussion below, and we’ll have posts on Poe and this story later in the week!
Also, I intend to record a PubCast on Dracula soon.