Archive for the ‘Writing & Poetry’ Category

Weird Tales and Amazing Stories

Mar
13

March sees the birthdays for two magazines that would inspire fandom, Weird Tales and Amazing Stories. Weird Tales introduced H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and Amazing Stories codified, if not named, science fiction via publisher Hugo Gernsback.

Weird Tales

Là-bas: One Hell of a Story

Feb
13

On February 15, 1891, L’Écho de Paris courted controversy when it published the first installment of J.K. Huysmans’ Là-Bas. The serialization reflected fin de siècle decadence with its depiction of a satanic black mass.

Là-Bas translates as down there

Clockwork Futures’ Brandy Schillace

Oct
03

Last month, I reviewed Brandy Schillace’s Clockwork Futures: The Science of Steampunk and the Reinvention of the Modern World. It presents the history of the natural sciences via steampunk. She was kind enough to answer a few follow up …

Clockwork Futures: The Science of Steampunk

Aug
29

The real world is full of fascination and wonder, so I’m not a huge fiction reader. There’s always more to discover. At the same time, there’s a visceral appeal to the neo-Victorian aesthetic of cogs, gears and tubes. Brandy Schillace’s …

Lovecraft on Lovecraft

Jul
04

On July 5, 1927, horror master H.P. Lovecraft summarized how he crafted in his sense of dread in a letter to Farnsworth Wright, the editor of Weird Tales.

“Now all my tales are based on the fundamental

Wilde Accusations

Feb
21

oscar-wilde

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” –Oscar Wilde

On February 18, 1895, Lord John Douglas the Marquis of Queensbury left his business card at the Albemarle Club for Oscar Wilde, who was his son’s lover. A note …

How to Be Bad

Jan
31

Jack_Black

Where can you go for immoral instruction? You can find plenty of pontification about Victorian morals, but the street-smart facts about amorality rarely come through book learning. Fortunately, we have The Right Way to Do Wrong, “Yellow Kid” Weil:

Dear Midnight of Love

Oct
11

dearmidnightoflove

Beneath the corrupt exterior of alderman “Bathhouse John” Coughlin beat the heart of a poet. On October 8, 1900, his sentimental ballad Dear Midnight of Love debuted at the Chicago Opera House, sung by thirteen-year-old May “The Silver-Tongued Nightingale” de …

The Facts in the Case of Edgar Allan Poe

Oct
04

poepoe2

Of course I shall not pretend to consider it any matter of wonder, that the extraordinary case of Edgar Allan Poe has excited discussion. It would have been a miracle had it not—especially under the circumstances. Though the desire of …

Gail Carriger Promotes Imprudence

Jul
21

Carriger_Imprudence-HC

Author Gail Carriger comes to Chicago to promote Imprudence, the second book in her Custard Protocol series. The book released on July 19. Volumes Bookcafé (1474 N Milwaukee Ave.) in Wicker Park hosts her book launch at on Tuesday, …