Tag Archives: horror

Edgar Allan Poe

Three Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the nights have grown colder, the days shorter, and the leaves are starting to change. It’s my favorite time of the year. I figure it’s the perfect moment to share some of my favorite quotes from the king of gothic romanticism and inventor of the detective novel, Edgar Allan Poe.


“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

Eleonora


“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket


“Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.”

The Mystery of Marie Rogêt


Do you have a favorite Edgar Allan Poe quote? Is there a story of his which you love? Let me know in the comments!

Revisiting My American Horror Story Title Rankings… Again.

Revisiting My American Horror Story Title Rankings… Again.

Two years ago, I sat down and ranked all seven of the title sequences for FX’s anthology horror series American Horror Story. While I’ve never been the most die-hard fan, I’ve always been drawn in by its visuals and appreciated how well they set the mood of the show.

Recently, FX released American Horror Story 1984—the series ninth season. And, with a new season came new titles. So, once again I’m revisiting my rankings. Which opening sequence reigns supreme? How well did 1984 rank? See my updated list here.

💀 📺 💀

Raunch Review: The Bell Forging Cycle

Raunch Review: The Bell Forging Cycle

Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.


Raunch Review: The Bell Forging Cycle
Raunch Review: The Bell Forging Cycle
The Author: K. M. Alexander
Work in Question: The Bell Forging Cycle
The Profanity: “By the Firsts”

Sometimes you need to taste your own medicine, and here I am tasting mine. I’m proud of the strange and wonderful world of the Territories. I think it’s different and unique and yet in exploring those differences, it remains approachable. Although I believe my worldbuilding is excellent, I sometimes find myself wishing I had pushed it a bit further.

I feel this particularly in regards to language, and especially with the declarative: “By the Firsts.” It’s a fairly standard pseudo-oath and is used throughout the series. But it lacks the punch it should have—the Firsts, within the context of the story, have faded into myth and legend. The few who have transcended into deity status aren’t considered Firsts by the time the book rolls around. The word itself is also quite common, “firsts” holds no sacred place in the lexicon. So, it fails at being faux-blasphemous. (I’m not doing so well.)

If anything, the phrase ranks as a minced oath. This isn’t uncommon in language drift—we see it all the time as language evolves. Take “by Jove”—“pro Iovem,” in Latin—it means “By Jupiter,” but by the time it caught on Jupiter was myth. The phrase had long ceased being blasphemous. For minced oaths to truly work, the original intent needs to be hidden, often by layers. While “by the First,” is intended to follow a similar cadence, it lacks the obscurity that makes minced oaths so prevalent.

So, I earn some points with the minced roots. But overall it’s a low score for me. It’s always fun and enlightening to look at your own work, and being able to discuss successes and failures is essential for any growth. I would have done much better had I picked “Carter’s cross.” A lot more to unpack there. Perhaps for another time.

Score: Half Swear (2.5)

🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews


Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made-up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.


The Bell Forging Cycle

Buy My Books, Leave Reviews, and Tell Your Friends

I’m nearing the end of draft zero for Gleam Upon the Waves, (note the significant update to the tracker in the sidebar) and as a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Bell Forging Cycle as a whole. I’m immensely proud of the series so far, and I think you’ll be surprised where it’s about to go.

I don’t do nearly enough self-promotion these days—mainly because I find self-promotion boring and I like to keep the stuff I post here as interesting as possible. But occasionally I feel it’s important for me to remind everyone that I write rad books and you can buy them pretty much anywhere. It would be swell if you did. It supports me, my work, and the series.

To make it as easy as possible I’ve included direct links to purchase below.


Book I: The Stars Were Right

The Stars Were RightPaperbacks: Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Powell’s • BAM! • Direct
eBooks: Kindle • Kobo • Nook • iBooks • Google Play • Direct
📖 Click here to read the first chapter!

Book II: Old Broken Road

Old Broken RoadPaperbacks: Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Powell’s • BAM! • Direct
eBooks: Kindle • Kobo • Nook • iBooks • Google Play • Direct
📖 Click here to read the first chapter!

Book III: Red Litten World

Red Litten WorldPaperbacks: Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Powell’s • BAM! •  Direct
eBooks: Kindle • Kobo • Nook • iBooks • GooglePlay • Direct
📖 Click here to read the first chapter!

If you’ve bought and read my books, please take five minutes and drop me a review on Amazon or Goodreads—positive or critical. Reviews help me out a lot, and they help out your fellow weird-fiction readers as well. It’s one of the most beneficial things you can do to aid a writer, novel, or series you appreciate.

Be sure to spread the word by telling your friends about my books as well. (Heck, send ’em a link to this post.) Post about them on social media. Share links on Reddit. Talk about them on your blog. Word of mouth is the best way to assure the success of the stuff you love. That goes for me and my work as well as anything else you appreciate.

If you have already read, reviewed, and spread the message of my series: thanks! You’re helping make these books possible and you’re the reason I’m able to write the next book in the series. I’m excited to wrap up Gleam and get it in your hands as soon as I can, it’ll be worth the wait.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Revisiting the American Horror Story Title Rankings

Revisiting My American Horror Story Title Rankings

A year ago, I sat down and ranked all seven of the title sequences for FX’s anthology horror series American Horror Story. It was a fun project. While I’ve never considered myself a die-hard fan of the show, I’m always drawn in by those opening titles.

Here we are a little over a year later, and FX has released American Horror Story Season 8: Apocalypse and it looks to be a doozy. Of course, with a new season came a new title sequence and this prompted me to revisit my rankings and decided once again which title sequence reigns supreme. So which was it? See my updated list here.

How would you rank them? Shoot me an email or leave a comment below.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Visual Inspiration: Brian Coldrick

Visual Inspiration: Brian Coldrick

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. It’s a book that contained a series of images, each was accompanied by a few lines of text that sent one’s imagination soaring. These small one-shot scenarios were fascinating to a younger-me and were often more imaginative than many of the novels I’ve read in later years. I’ve thought about them often over the years.

So, imagine how delighted I was when I stumbled across the art of Irish-illustrator and sloth-enthusiast Brian Coldrick and his unsettling series Behind You. These single-shot stories follow a similar method to Burdick but the stories themselves skew towards the modern horror or creepypasta—and damn, are they ever compelling.

Behind You is extensive—there are so many pieces it’s difficult to pick a favorite and the series is still ongoing. The loose style and muted colors work remarkably well, blending the fantastic with the realistic and letting the narrative fill in the spaces in between. You’ll find yourself enthralled.

If the static illustration wasn’t enough, Behind You now includes subtle animations as well, which only further each pieces’ effectiveness. You can see a few of my favorites below, click on any image to view it larger. Or just start at the beginning.

That’s only a tiny portion of the entire series and you should take some time and explore the narratives. Recently, many of these images have been collected into the book Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories, which I recommend buying (link takes you to Amazon, but I’m sure you can get it all over the place.) As I mentioned above, Behind You is still ongoing and can be viewed at Tapastic or Tumblr. Making cool art isn’t free—Coldrick has a Patreon (of which I’m a member) and I’d encourage you to throw a few bucks his way so he can keep making these delightful terrors. You can buy prints of his work from Society6. Finally, be sure to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Deviant Art, and Instagram.


If you like Brian Coldrick’s work be sure to check out some of the other artists who I’ve found inspiring in the past. While there’s certainly a theme to the art that inspires me, you’ll find lots of different styles, tones, mediums, and moods.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →