Saturday, August 12, 2017

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes - Best Horror Quotes

On the Internet there are a number of websites that list Edgar Allan Poe quotes:

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” 
“We loved with a love that was more than love.” 
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” 

Oddly, none of them at present list the best horror quotes by the master of the horror short story genre. So with literary pickaxe in hand, I read back over Poe's best horror short stories contained in my horror anthologies and came up with the 10 best. I've have put them in a YouTube video along with creepy music to accompany them. Enjoy and please feel free to share the horror of Poe!

#EdgarAllanPoeQuotes #PoeHorrorQuotes

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Rudyard Kipling House in London

On a recent trip to London I was strolling up Villers street when I saw to the right of me a squeezed building called Kipling House. "Certainly that cannot be the Kipling," I said to my companion. So I asked the same of the a young man enjoying a puff or two on a cigaret in the awning's shadow. "Yes, the Rudyard Kipling lived here for a couple years," he verified. That's one of the coolest things about London is that the history city is so chockablock with literary haunts that you find them walking about.

So I snapped a photo on my phone and continued up Villers. When I got back in the States I researched it. Rudyard Kipling lived there from 1889-1891. Kipling stated: "From my desk I could look out of my window through the fanlight of Gatti's Music-Hall entrance, across the street, almost on to its stage. The Charing Cross trains rumbled through my dreams on one side, the boom of the Strand on the other, while, before my windows, Father Thames under the Shot tower walked up and down with his traffic."

Kipling wrote segments of his novel The Light that Failed in the house. He did not, however, pen his ghost short stories there. His most popular is "The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes published in 1899. That story, nor any of Rudyard Kiplings other ghost stories rose to the level of The Best Ghost Short Stories 1850-1899: A Phantasmal Ghost Anthology given their lack of terror-inducing storylines.

But the next time you are strolling along Villers Street in London and pass building 43, look up and see the digs of famous author of his day (though a middling ghost story writer).

Author Andrew Barger

#RudyardKiplingGhostStories #RudyardKiplingHouse

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Middle Unearthed: The Best Fantasy Short Stories 1800-1849 a Classic Fantasy Anthology Edited by Andrew Barger

Two hundred years before Game of Thrones became a hit series of novels and popular HBO TV episodes, the fantasy genre was launched by short story authors. I have searched old magazines and forgotten journals to find the 10 best fantasy stories that launched a genre. I then annotated them and provided a list at the back of the collection of all the stories considered for the anthology. I further included background introductions to each story and author photos, where available.

Middle Unearthed, an Introduction by Andrew Barger

1836 "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton" by Charles Dickens is thought by many to be a precursor to A Christmas Carol given the subject matter and goblins that a certain grouchy sexton meets on Christmas Eve.

1839 "The Kelpie Rock" by Joseph Holt Ingraham draws on the prior writings of Washington Irving in the Hudson River Valley while giving the world one of the best fantasy stories by an American during this important period in the genre.

1831 "Transformation" by Mary Shelley is the best fantasy short story by the famous author of Frankenstein.

1819 "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving gives a look into the American Revolution by one of America's most famous authors and is also the oldest story in the collection.

1824 "Lilian of the Vale" by George Darley is a haunting fantasy short story that is the cornerstone of all modern fairy stories.

1835 "The Doom of Soulis" by John MacKay Wilson recounts a haunting legend of a wizard that will not soon be forgotten.

1827 "The Dwarf Nose" by Wilhelm Hauff provides one of the best dwarf short stories ever written by one of Germany's most talented authors who died way before his time.

1829 "Seddik Ben Saad the Magician" by D.C. is a mystical story that conjures thoughts of Arabia, astrology, and the black arts.

1845 "The Witch Caprusche" by Elizabeth F. Ellet tells a haunting fantasy story of a witch and the thirst for power that leads to a bitter end.

1837 "The Pale Lady" by George Soane recounts a peculiar visitor who comes to stay at a castle that came only stem from the mind of one of the most underrated English fantasy authors of the nineteenth century.

Before there was a lovable green ogre called Shrek and a bespeckled wizard named Harry Potter, there were the best fantasy short stories published in English during the first half of the nineteenth century. Read today.

Please like my Facebook page: for updates on classic fantasy short stories.

They are included in my new classic anthology, Middle Unearthed: The Best Fantasy Short Stories 1800-1849. Before there were lovable ogres named Shrek and a quizzical boy wizard named Harry Potter, there were these groundbreaking fantasy stories that laid the foundation of so many great works to come. This annotated collection is on sale now at $12.99 for the book and $3.99 for the ebook. Read these stories from the Middle Earth of fantasy writing today.

Buy the Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Waterstones

Buy the E-book
Apple iBookstore | Kindle | Google Books | Nook

#GameofThrones #BestFantasyStories

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review of The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

Albert Camus ("The Stranger"). Jean-Paul Sartre (Author of "Existentialism and Humanism"). Simone de Beauvoir ("She Came to Stay"). They are considered the leading French--if not the worldwide--proponents of existentialism. It's a big word that means, in essence, that to truly be free one kill their conscience; that one should act without fear of moral consequences.

Robert Smith, lead singer of The Cure, was greatly influenced by them. His song "Killing an Arab" was based on "The Stranger" and he stated that he read Sartre in the original French when in high school. It's believe that "Six Different Ways" by The Cure (Head on the Door Album) is about "The Dice Man" and it would seem to fit given Robert Smith's penchant for existentialism. See my Cure blog -- Disintegration Nation.

That's all fine and good, but where does that leave "The Dice Man"? The 1971 cult novel emulates these existential heroes by introducing readers to Dr. Luke Rhinehart, a fictional character (we think) who just happens to have the same name as the author of the novel. Hoomph. George Crockcroft is real name of the author and Luke Rhinehart is his penname, which makes tongue-in-cheek sense. Crockcroft sounds more like a penname or perhaps if you last name is Crockcroft you need a penname.

Dr. Rhinehart adopts the dicelifestyle by doing what a roll of dice tells him to do without regard to morality or social outcome. The protagonist tells readers: "The secret of the successful dicelife is to be a puppet on the strings of the die." We are told to "Create the options. Shake the dice. All else is nonsense."

If you are into existentialism or even nihilism, The Dice Man is for you. If not, the novel can drag over close to 600 pages and doesn't have the plotted storyline one might expect for a novel this size.

Andrew Barger author of The Divine Dantes trilogy.

#DiceManReview #ExistentialismInLiterature

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A New English Translation of "The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains" by Alexandre Dumas

In 1848 Alexandre Dumas published "The Vampire of Carpathian Mountains" (also called "The Pale Lady") in his French short story collection One Thousand and One Ghosts. It is a fantastic book that contains some of the best supernatural tales Dumas ever penned. If you have at least a reading knowledge of the French language, it is well worth the effort of flagging it down on or some other site.

Of course if your French needs a bit of a refresher from high school, it becomes a more difficult task. This is especially true of Dumas's signature horror tale: "The Vampire of Carpathian Mountains". When BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849 was compiled, I included a 1848 translation of the Dumas vampire story from the London New Monthly Magazine. It was the rag, after all, that printed John Polidori's "The Vampyre" in 1819, which is also contained in my collection and is considered the first vampire short story to originate in the English language. So I figured the New Monthly Magazine knew a thing or two about vampire stories and would give the English translation the attention it rightly deserved.

Only after I published the classic vampire anthology did I realize I was wrong. It was brought to my attention that the original French version by Dumas included a poem that was nowhere to be found in English translation by theNew Monthly Magazine. Not only that, but the ending seemed rushed. I turned paler than a person under the throes of vampirism. I had done what is a no-no for one of my collections--I had published an abridged version of a classic short story and fallen victim the horrible magazine practice of trying to save space on the printed page.

With the aid of a translator in Montreal and a little help from online translators, I went to work. A month later I had in front of me an English translation of The Vampire of the Carpathian Mountains in a form that is much closer to what Dumas originally intended. I immediately updated the ebook versions of the collection and they are live now with the non-abridged story. I hope you enjoy it and forgive my faux pas.

#VampireCarpathianMountains #DumasVampireStory

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to Write a T. S. Eliot Poem

T. S. Eliot

The routine and regimented ways in which to write a T. S. Eliot poem in 10 easy steps are as follows, ahem:

1. Come upon a cute turn of phrase,
2. Pen a rambunctious title loosely related to said turn of phrase,
3. Thumb the pages of Dante and pluck out an epigraph (preferably in the original Italian),
4. Insert said epigraph beneath said title,
5. Write slapdash quatrains,
6. Insert said turn of phrase at a random place in said quatrains,
7. Run the occasional line of said quatrains onto the next line,
8. Allude to a Bible verse (preferably the Old Testament),
9. Add italics to random words, and
10. Tell short tales within the poem that have no connection to the others.

Eliot is said to have ushered in the modernist movement in poetry. That is to say he largely did away with rhyming and sentimentality employed by the Victorians. He painted a dying world in the relatively few poems he gave us. "The Waste Land" is considered his best--perhaps because it is his longest. "The Hollow Men," however, shines brightest with its Shakespearean and Heart of Darkness references. A number of songs have been written about Eliot's poems and the famous play Cats was based on his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" "Afternoons and Coffeespoons" Crash Test Dummies God Shuffled His Feet 1993
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" "Creep" Radiohead Pablo Honey 1993
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" “Peaches” The Presidents of the United States of America Presidents of the United States of America 1995
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" “The Message” Grand Master Flash The Message 1982
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" "Thick as a Brick" Jethro Tull Thick as a Brick 1972
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats Cats Musical Andrew Lloyd Webber
"The Wasteland" "The First Day of Spring" Noah and the Whale
"The Wasteland" “Wasteland” Dan Bern Dan Bern 1993

Meh is how I would sum up the body of poetry Eliot left us. It certainly pails in scope and impact to the poems of Edgar Allan Poe. One has to wonder if he would be known at all without the litter of jellicle cat poems he penned, had more than nine lives on the West End and Broadway.

#tseliot #reviewoftseliot


Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Kindle Short Story is Free This Weekend - Azra'eil & Fudgie

Through Monday snag my free kindle short story "Azra'eil & Fudgie on Kindle.

In "Azra'eil & Fudgie" a group of marines stationed in Afghanistan meet a cute little girl who is not all that she seems. This only adds to the tension for Private Fudgerié ("Fudgie") who is on his first mission to diffuse IED roadside bombs that the team calls "skulls". Can Fudgie overcome the demons of his past and those of the present to triumph in the ever shifting sandscape of Afghanistan?

The short horror story is touching and even *gasp* has a little humor in it. In other words, "Azra'eil & Fudgie" is typical of the stuff I like to write. Enjoy.

#FreeKindleShort #BargerShortStory