A Playground for Authors Jason White and Michael Schutz-Ryan

Posts tagged “tim curran

EPISODE 34: Biting the Bit Vol. 08 – On Horror Literature

Please click the link below to listen:

EPISODE 34: Biting the Bit Vol. 08 – On Horror Literature.

Read more scary books!This week Michael and Jason chat about the horror and dark fiction books they’ve been reading along with the books they want to read. They do so in a from the hip sort of style. It was lots of fun, and you’re invited to listen in.

**NOTE: The book by Greg F. Gifune I was trying to remember during this episode is titled THE RAIN DANCERS. Not sure why I keep forgetting that title.**

You will hear some music on this episode somewhere in the background.
The songs are:
Emotions by Clinic
Climbing Up the Walls by Radiohead
They are available wherever good music is sold.

Help spread the world! Please leave us a great review on iTunes.

And thanks for listening!


Deadlock by Tim Curran

Cover of DeadlockDeadlock is a type of haunted house, or in this case haunted ship, story that’s becoming familiar and also a favourite of mine. Is it scary enough just to have a ghost pop up and say “Boo” every so often? I suppose that it might be, but there’s a sub-genre to the haunted house story that applies to strongly to Deadlock.

I’m not sure where this alternate haunt started, but I think I first saw it appear in Stephen King’s short story 1408. Chronologically, you see something like this in Algernon Blackwood’s old classic The Willows. I’m certain that there are older examples, but you can count on there being a lot more. Much more.

What this type of haunted house story involves is well displayed in Tim Curran’s Deadlock. Charlie Petty is challenged to stay on a cargo ship overnight. It’s a ship that’s rumoured to be haunted. No one will sail her and there are many stories of death and chaos for those crews that have sailed her. If Charlie does this, he will clear up the debt he owes to the collector, the man who also owns the boat.

Charlie is one of those kind of guys. He lets nothing bother him. Even at the beginning of the book, he’s talking to the guy who he owes this money too. It’s a man who’s known as a possible mob guy, and the banter between Charlie and this possible mob guy is priceless. Although Charlie realizes that this mob guy might put a bullet between his eyes, he can’t stop himself from being a smart ass.

Charlie decides to take up the offer. It’s fifty-thousand t0 clear his debt if he does it, so why not.?

I’m not going to go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but what this kind of haunted story involves is like stepping into one universe with its rules and boundaries into another universe with another, more pissed off and poisonous set of rules and boundaries. It’s like going insane within hours, or having someone spike your drink with a heavy dose of LSD. But this trip is real, my friends, and the main character rarely fairs well.

They’re a lot of fun to read and watch, so I was very pleased with this effort by Curran, an author who continues to surprise me and keep me awed and entertained. Read this book. It’s short and a lot of insane fun.

Nightcrawlers by Tim Curran

Cover art for NightcrawlersI first came to reading Tim Curran by taking the advice of my friends in the Goodreads group Horror Aficionados. The people there really know their stuff and I’ve found a ton of new favorites because of them. So, I read Dead Sea by Curran and was blown away. The imagination that went into the monsters of the story, and I can guarantee you that there are many, is something very rare in horror fiction.

I fell in love with the book and continued to read him. I have yet to read everything the man’s published, considering how slow I read and how fast he pumps them out every year, and of course I’ve read some things from Curran that  I thought were bad (no author’s perfect). When I think of horror fiction written in today’s modern world, especially monster fiction, I would have to say that Tim Curran is the only one who can do it the way it’s supposed to be done.

I may have mentioned this top part before, but it really needs repeating. Every fan of horror fiction should be reading Curran.

When I came to Nightcrawlers for the first time, I have to admit that I didn’t like it and put it down. What can I say? I’m a moody reader sometimes. I went back to it recently and started again from the beginning. I figured out quickly the reason why I didn’t like it so much the first time around. It was because part of Tim Curran’s brilliance, in my opinion, is his ability to create deep, dysfunctional characters that mimic real life people we all have probably known or do know. The people who populate Nightcrawlers at first seem empty in comparison.


Tim Curran and the Apple of Sodom

This week was, as usual, pretty crazy. I worked a lot. There were appointments to attend and words to write. I find that I’m having nearly as much trouble struggling to get my word counts down as I was when I was in school not so long ago. Onward I fight, but the struggle is goddamn annoying. It would help if I had no responsibilities other than writing, but that is now an understandable  impossibility.

Today I finished a nine-hour shift where I lifted patio stones and bags a manure all day.  Oh, let me tell you how much fun that is!

Actually, the job’s not that bad. But that’s not why we’re here, is it?

I have some things I want to do in the future with Darkness Dwells. I want to start showcasing more authors. You can also expect to see more movie and book reviews. A lot more. There’s been some movies I’ve watched within the past week or two that I’ve been dying to talk about. I’m also reading one hell of an awesome book by Tim curran.

If you don’t know of Tim Curran’s work, well then … you’d better stay tuned because I plan on writing a lot about this guy’s work as well. He writes these awesome monster stories and I swear that nobody does creepy and scary  like Tim Curran does. He does it so well, I have to wonder if he doesn’t have a basic template on “how to scare your audience to death” on hand somewhere that he edits as each story dictates. One day I hope to talk to him and ask him some of the thousands of questions I have for him. Until then, I can only sit back and admire his work.

You should too.

Another question I’d have for him is, how do you write so prolifically while holding down a job at the same time?

Maybe it’s because he doesn’t blog? Ha ha! Maybe.

Anyway, this week I’ve been obsessed with Marilyn Manson. Well, obsessed might be an exaggeration, but back in the day when MM was tearing the world a new asshole I was a big fan. He used to create some creepy music that is now lost in his music. Manson was once so passionate about his message. Today, his message is gone and it’s more about Manson the character rather than Manson the man who wants to burn the world.

Which brings me to Apple of Sodom, perhaps one of Manson’s creepiest songs that never made it to an an actual MM album. Instead, it appears on the soundtrack to the brilliant David Lynch movie Lost Highway, which Manson has a small role in. I remember when I first heard Apple of Sodom on the Marilyn Manson home video Dead to the World. This was over fifteen years ago, and the song sent shivers down my spine and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. It was just so fucking creepy! So Satanic. I wanted to crawl in its muck and and become something wretched.

My goth side betrays me.

Here’s the video from Dead to the World. It’s not as creepy as I remember it, but it’s still good. Enjoy.