Death—It’s at the center of both Gothic literature (as one of the primal fears driving the atmosphere of dread) and the gothic subculture (as inspiration for its music, art, fashion, and overall aesthetic). But outside of the goth world, death can be a difficult topic to broach. Death and dying are taboo, especially in American society, and no one seems to want to talk about the one fate that awaits us all. That’s why Kimberly Mead created the game Morbid Curiosity to get everyone talking about death.
I tend to focus primarily on books on this site, but this week I decided to branch out into a new medium—podcasts! I just finished listening to Season 1 of Limetown, a podcast drama produced last summer about mysterious disappearances, mind-blowing scientific advancements, and the quest for truth, even in the face of death.
Limetown is a fictional podcast in the style of a radio show, much like the ever popular Welcome to Nightvale. Or so I’ve heard anyway, since I haven’t actually listened to Nightvale, yet. Podcasts are a new medium for me, and I find myself easily intimidated by the idea of committing to a long series with so many episodes. For this reason, my friend recommended that I start with Limetown, which has a similar sense of sci-fi spookiness but on a much more easily digestible scale. Continue reading Limetown Review: A Suspenseful Sci-fi Podcast
This tarot deck was one of my most anticipated items on my holiday wish list this year. And because my parents love me, I got it for Christmas! For those of you who don’t know, Maggie Stiefvater is one of my absolute favorite authors of YA fantasy, and she recently designed a tarot deck to go with her latest series, The Raven Cycle. Since the first book in this series, The Raven Boys, was my favorite book of 2015 and I’m always drooling over Maggie Stiefvater’s artwork, I knew I needed to get my hands on this deck. Continue reading Maggie Stiefvater and The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot
A couple months ago, I posted about some of the foundational female writers of gothic literature. There was one woman on that list whose works I had not read before, and so I decided to seek her out. Thus, I found myself downloading the audiobook of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Rebecca is essentially a Gothic novel in the traditional sense, though it was written much later than its 18th– and 19th-century fellows. Ambiguously set in the 1920s or ‘30s, Rebecca contains no elements of the supernatural, no true evil villain, and no attacks on the heroine’s life. Instead, what makes Rebecca a Gothic novel is its focus on the core Gothic trope: the present haunted by the past—although in Rebecca’s case, this haunting is purely psychological. Continue reading Rebecca Review–A Haunting Tale
You know the drill–whispered tales of dark creatures that live in the forest and only come out at night. Only in this world, night lasts for 14 years…
Nightfall, a young adult novel blending horror and fantasy, is a joint effort written by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski, best known for their epic fantasy Dormia series. Nightfall comes out in just over two weeks, on September 22, but I managed to pick up a couple of Advanced Reader Copies at Book Expo America this year so I could give you a sneak peek of the harrowing horror that is headed your way. You can preorder the book now from Peter Kujawinski’s website or Amazon–OR you can ENTER A GIVEAWAY to win a FREE ADVANCED READER’S COPY by the end of this week! Read through to the bottom for instructions on how to enter the giveaway. Continue reading Nightfall Review and Giveaway!
Melissa Marr may be better known for her fairy-filled urban fantasies, but her most recent YA novel delves into the darker side of the human realm. With just a touch of the supernatural, Made For You is a suspenseful thriller that examines the minds of an obsessed stalker and his target. Eva Tilling is the unintentional It Girl of a privileged Southern high school. Despite her occasional frustration with the social status inherited from her parents, Eva seems to have it all: a great boyfriend, plenty of friends, invitations to all the best parties, and the envy of the rest of the school. Until one night she gets hit by a car…and realizes it wasn’t an accident. She wakes up to discover that she has gained a strange new ability—when others touch her, she can foresee their deaths.
One of the things that makes goths special is that we are not afraid to look death in the face. We take special delight in exploring taboos, especially the taboo of death. The entire aesthetic of the gothic subculture reflects a time when people interacted heavily with death—specifically the Victorian era, with its elaborate mourning customs and associated wardrobe, art, and accoutrements. Unfortunately, much of mainstream American culture does not share our morbid proclivities. In fact, Americans seem to have become obsessed with shielding themselves as completely as possible from death and dying. We relegate death to the sanitized rooms of hospitals and allow funeral workers to whisk our loved ones away as soon as possible to be prepared for cremation or burial by total strangers. Did you know you can even order a cremation online and have your loved one picked up, cremated, and mailed back to you in an urn without ever interacting with a single human being or having to face any visual reminders of death?