Vox Day says his totally-not-racist comments have been taken out of context. In context they’re even worse.

•April 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

Vox Day would like you to know he’s not just some racist! He’s also sexist and colonialist as hell, and would appreciate it if all the wimmens and colored people would stop trying to ruin Sci-Fi and Fantasy by writing it and get back in the kitchen and make him a sammich.

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

Guys, wait up! Guys, wait up!

Racist, woman-hating fantasy author Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day) is upset that people are calling him racist. I mean, it’s not like he called all black people “savages,” he objects; he merely called one black woman — speculative fiction author NK Jemisin — a “half-savage” in a portion of a blog post that, he complains, has been taken out of context. Indeed, he sniffs,

the fact that the same ungrammatical excerpt chopped out of the middle of a sentence keeps being trotted out again and again should alert the dialectical mind to the probability that there simply isn’t very much, if any, there there.

Ah, context! A lot of shitheads who say terrible things complain, when others point out these terrible things, that their words have been taken out of context. So I thought I’d do Vox a little favor here and provide the context to…

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Does Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula Stay True to Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

•April 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Guest Blog by Maria Ramos

Prof Pic 1Maria is a writer interested in comic books, cycling, and horror films. Her hobbies include cooking, doodling, and finding local shops around the city. She currently lives in Chicago with her two pet turtles, Franklin and Roy. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaRamos1889.

Dracula as a monster has been around for a long time, yet he still has the power to influence modern pop culture media. Everything from hit books and movies like Twilight to popular television shows like The Vampire Diaries owe a little something to this classic tale of blood-lust and evil. The vast majority are not drawn directly from Bram Stoker’s novel. Underrated, but also very similar to the novel, is Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula which is being rerun this month on the El Rey network (check here for listings). I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison and maybe settle this debate once and for all.

Coppola’s version of Dracula is not an exact reproduction of Stoker’s novel. One of the most telling differences between the film and the novel is the addition of a love story. The original Dracula was not a lovelorn warrior who damned religion for his lost love. The Count came across as more soulless and unloving of anyone. The basis of the movie is Count Dracula’s search for Mina Harker, a woman who reminds him of his lost love. The original tale followed Dracula as he attempted to help spread his undead curse to England and beyond.

This added romantic aspect also gave way to more backstory on Dracula and his becoming a vampire. Stoker’s original novel hinted that it was unknown, even to the Count, how he became the monster he is. Coppola’s movie draws a clear parallel between the true-life figure of Vlad the Impaler and our fictional Count Dracula during this added backstory.

Another major difference is the much more sexual tone of Coppola’s movie. This has been widely thought to be more a case of what was allowed into print when Stoker’s tale was first published, but it also stems from an urge to make the Dracula character more human. This added sexual aspect changes some character portrayals, such as Lucy Westenra having a strong sexual appetite and being more susceptible to Dracula’s charm and prowess.

Now let’s look at some of the similarities between Coppola’s Dracula and Stoker’s classic Gothic tale. One thing that many filmmakers have left out of their big-screen adaptations has been the use of various narrators. Stoker used diary entries, letters and even newspaper clippings to tell his dark tale. This use of multiple narrators is present in Coppola’s vision, and he even manages to change protagonists throughout the movie – a feat that is hard for many filmmakers to pull off.

Stoker’s book also told of the fateful voyage aboard the Russian ship Demeter, upon which the entire crew is gradually murdered except for the captain. While this scene is commonly thought not to add much to the overall story, Coppola recognized it for what it is. This one scene helps set the dark and creepy tone that is seen throughout the novel and film.

Being fans of the original novel, Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart also choose to keep in several characters that are usually thrown out of the films. These characters, while not making or breaking the movie, are used to help keep the romantic element alive. Lucy’s suitors Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris, for example, are featured in the film.

While it is true that Coppola’s Dracula took some creative liberties with Stoker’s story of Dracula, the overall tone and premise of the tale is still alive and well, in a manner of speaking. Overcoming the difficulties of moving from one medium to another, Coppola managed to produce the finest adaptation of Stoker’s novel to date.

Interview with David Watson, editor of “Horror Addicts Guide to Life”

•April 5, 2015 • 1 Comment

The Author

1378065_10202215214692185_1669130623_nDavid was born in the Quad Cities on the Illinois/Iowa border in 1971. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Communications. Now he lives in Milwaukee Wisconsin with his wife and kids. His interests include reading (all genres, especially horror), music (hard rock, heavy metal and industrial), power yoga, bike riding, baseball, hiking,  and Broadway musicals. He also has an unhealthy addiction to surfing the net, listening to podcasts, and diet soda. Find David’s reviews at:DavidWatson

The Book

FinalFrontCoverDo you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society. Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.

The Interview

Q.  Whose idea was the Horror Addicts Guide to Life?
A. It was mine, when I first came on staff five plus years ago, I had heard of a book that was a goth guide to life. I liked the concept of a group of people who see the world the same having a lifestyle manual. Right away I thought: “I’m a writer for horroraddicts.net, this is a website/podcast that looks at horror as a lifestyle so why not have The Horror Addicts Guide to Life.”
I brought up the idea to Emerian Rich four times and on my fourth try she decided it was a good idea and we should work on it. I wanted this guide to show people who make horror part of their everyday life by watching movies, listening to music, reading and dressing up. There are a lot of different aspects to the horror lifestyle, and hopefully we did a good job touching on all of them.
This book has a horror almanac, horror-themed recipes, articles on horror writing, party planning, healthy eating, advice on surviving the zombie apocalypse and so much more.
Q. Several of the articles seem to be gothic in nature. What do you think the connection is between goth life and horror addict life?
A. I think goths and horror addicts are pretty similar, they have a lot of the same interests, they like things that are dark and different and they look at the world in a unique way.
Q. What is a horror addict?
A. I think a horror addict is someone who loves horror books, movies and they want to share that passion with others. They like to talk about the latest scary movie that just came out and when Halloween comes around we like to plan out scary costumes and decorate the house to show our love of the genre. To take it a step farther I think they also look at the world in a specific way. They look in the woods and wonder if there is a werewolf lurking there, they look at an abandoned building and wonder if a coven of vampires is living there. There not scared by the idea, they just have an active imagination and like to believe that there are things in this world that we don’t understand.
Q. Much of the content focuses on movies. Do you think film is the primary source of horror for the addict, or are literature and music and visual arts equal outlets?
A. I think when most people think of horror they think of movies before anything else but true horror addicts also like to find horror in fashion, literature. music and even food. I think movies are the primary source because they are the most visable. You see ads for horror movies, you can find them on TV a lot and you can usually find one playing at a theatre near you.
Q. There are also great sections about horror writing, art, music.. even an article about manga. Do you think anything was left out?
A. It would have been nice to have a few more articles about haunt actors, people that are into horror cosplay and people that go to horror conventions. That being said we do have some good articles on fashion such as Back To Black by Mimielle here and one on Halloween haunts called October Dreaming that are really good.
Q. The horror party tip section is quite extensive. Do you think horror addicts are big party animals?
A. I think so. Horror fans love to have a good time, they like to dress up in costume and have horror themed snacks. We have a couple of good horror themed party articles here. One is Pumpkin Patch Party and Recipes by Dan Shaurette and Hosting A Creepy Crawly Party by Chantal Boudreau. Horror Addicts are creative people and they like to party with style.

An interview with speculative fiction author Sumiko Saulson by Rebecca G. Wilson

•March 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment


via An interview with speculative fiction author Sumiko Saulson by Rebecca G. Wilson.

Review: Somnalia

•March 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

As usual, David Watson’s review is thoughtful and informative. If you haven’t finished the first book Happiness and Other Diseases yet, this comes with a SPOILER ALERT for you.

Originally posted on horroraddicts.net:

10423262_10153131197557246_7282674637382451459_nLast time we saw Flynn and Charlotte in Happiness And Other Diseases things were not going well for the young couple in love. In Sumiko Saulson’s Somnalia things have gotten worse for them and the gods of the underworld. With Brash the god of erotic nightmares gone, Phobetor the god of nightmares is looking to expand his kingdom. He tries to win the trust of Flynn and Charlotte, while another god releases two dream demons in the form of children into the real world to wreak havoc. Chaos reins supreme in the land of dreams and in reality. Earth’s only hope is in the hands of two lovers who have been separated after making a supreme sacrifice.

The best part of this book for me was the interactions between Phobetor and Flynn. The early scenes with these two were like a therapy session and as the book goes on, you…

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Friday the 13 through St Patrick’s Day Spookathon

•March 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Friday 13 thru St Pats Banner

Friday the 13 through St Patrick’s Day Spookathon

If I were a television programming director, I would probably be planning a Friday the 13th and Leprechaun movie marathon this weekend. Five full days are sandwiched between Friday the 13th and St. Patrick’s Day, what could be more perfect? Well, I’ll tell you what could be more perfect! My birthday – that’s March 20th – on the first day of spring, the Vernal Equinox just three days later. Guess what there will be then? A total solar eclipse. Are you creeped out yet?

Trilogy of Terror

Trilogy of Terror flier

Even more perfectly frightening? The fact that I have an In Store Appearance with fellow horror divas Crystal Connor and Lori Titus at the largest horror bookstore on the west coast, Dark Delicacies, on Saturday, March 14th. That’s right! But that is just the middle of a whole weekend full of fun filled frightening activity for the terrible threesome, the Trilogy of Terror, Crystal Connor, Lori Titus and Sumiko Saulson.

All three of us are black women who write horror. I met Crystal Connor when I interviewed her for 60 Black Women in Horror, but this is the first time we will be meeting in person! I am so excited! I interviewed Sunday, March 15th.

The three of us will appear at $10 or Less Bookstore for a signing and reading in-store event.


Astroblackness 2 poster

Friday, March 13th we will be down at Loyola-Marymount for Astroblackness where we will meet our friend Kinitra Brooks for the first time and speak with her about her upcoming scholarly work on black women in horror.  She is also interviewing many women from 60 Black Women in Horror.  I will have a limited number of copies of the book with me, in case you want to pick one up and get it signed by some of the women in it who will in attendance.

Somnalia Release Date

Friday the 13 promo

You know what else happens Friday the 13th? The official release of my book, Somnalia! If you are in LA, you can see me in person for the release, or pick up a copy at Dark Delicacies or $10 or Less. If not, join us online on my Facebook author page for giveaways and fun!

Warmth Giveaway


In honor of the Trilogy of Terror tour this weekend with Crystal Connor and Lori Titus, and the upcoming Re-Release date for “Warmth,” June 18, 2015, I am making the current incarnation of “Warmth” available for FREE from Friday, March 13, 2015 through Tuesday, March 17, 2015!

That’s right! Friday the 13th through St. Patrick’s Day!

Valjeanne Jeffers is working on re-editing the book right now, and is already three-quarters of the way through. Josh Bisher put together new cover art for Warmth. This is a SNEAK PREVIEW of the re-release that is coming out in June.

The Trouble with Romance

•February 27, 2015 • 2 Comments

The Trouble with Romance

“Will love conquer all, or is the world’s only salvation a god with an iron fist?”

Somnalia Cover

As February comes to a close, we prepare to leave Black History Month, Women in Horror Month, and the cavalcade of hearts and flowers and an insultingly diminished Greek God, Eros, who you may know as Cupid, behind.

I will spend the last days of February editing Somnalia, the sequel to Happiness and Other Diseases, which incorporates all of these things… even president’s day, as you can see in the story’s back cover blurb:

Turmoil consumes the Underworld when the death of a god leaves a power vacuum. Phobetor, the stern and ambitious god of Nightmares seeks to fill the gap at any cost. Murderous nightmare daemons escape to the mortal realm, placing all of mankind in peril. In the midst of the unrest, star-crossed lovers yearn for one another across the void, one disempowered and bound to the earth, the other trapped in the land of dreams by a grave sacrifice. Will love conquer all, or is the world’s only salvation a god with an iron fist?

The Somnalia series, from which Happiness and Other Diseases was birthed is a dark fantasy with a love story running through it. The transgressive tale of the lovers Flynn and Charlotte is not a romance that can stand on its own outside of the earth-shattering, humanity-threatening activities of Charlotte’s immortal relatives, who include among their ranks the aforementioned (and quite meddlesome) Eros. It is more like the River Lethe that runs through the land of dreams, the Demos Oneiroi.

The river runs through the entire land of dreams and nightmares, and casts its sedating effect on those who are near it, especially those who are in it. It makes them forget. It doesn’t encompass all of the land, though. It is a feature.

Love is like that… a calming feature in a tumultuous world.

The stressing factors present in Charlotte and Flynn’s world are a lot more supernatural than ours, but I think their need to find comfort in one another is something we all can relate to.

Fantasy vs. Reality

Sumiko with WingsI wrote first drafts of all three books in the Somnalia trilogy last year. While I was busy crafting Charlotte and Flynn’s epic romance, and quite a few less-epic little love stories that exist in the Somnalia universe, my own love life was rapidly deteriorating.

Almost as if to rub salt in the wound, a half-dozen elated and certainly well-meaning fans interpreted the emotional depth I imbued my characters with as a reflection of some sort of my real life. My writing teacher at Berkeley City College, Mary Webb, quite frequently reminds students not to assume that the works of their fellow writers are autobiographical. Yet, it is a thing many readers do – presume the characters reflect real events in a writer’s life. That is not necessarily the case. In fiction, quite often these very active figments of a writer’s imagination are just a part of her rich fantasy life.

The glue holding fantasies together is sometimes the longing of the daydreamer. I would think that much would be patently obvious, but apparently it is not. This is not always the case in writing, even romance writing. However, it can be… and lack of fulfillment can certainly be a motivating factor.

I am single now. My relationship, with all of its myriad flaws, came to an end.

Now I am floating around in the flawed world of dating and single life. I am flying past guys who associate creativity with drugs, and dudes who think it’s a good idea to start off a date with a half-ass critique of my half-read novel. I am kicking the dust off my shoes, but I am also pouting because a guy I like won’t commit to seeing me on any specific date or time.

If I am honest about my feelings, a dozen strong women will pound their chests in my general direction and chide me for my silly, girlish notions. I will be told that I am a strong, independent woman and I don’t need all of that hand-holding I crave.

Now I won’t even say “a man” here, because it doesn’t have to be a man, just somebody.

I could be like Val Kilmer portraying Jim Morrison in the movie The Doors, talking large shit like, “I’ll be the poet, and you’ll be my muse.” I could be like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, making love to my ego. I could quietly lose touch and run away into the Demos Oneiroi with my imaginary lover, but only for a little while.

There will be no one to rub my feet. Hugs and hand holding will be rationed.

When I wake up, there will be tons of editing left to do.


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