Horror movie franchises are often recognized by their iconic villains — Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Ghostface, Pinhead, and many other often-masked and often-men baddies who are easily recognizable as a Halloween costume. However, they are not always the core of the series; more often, the heart and soul of a horror franchise is its survivor — the Final Girl (or Guy), who finds herself hunted all over again in the next film, who must learn to survive and survive again as she continuously stares down the ever-looming presence of the monster in the dark.
Bearing the wounds and scars granted by their roles as would-be-victims turned fighters, these Final Girls find themselves perpetually trapped in a limbo of trauma, dragging themselves through the mud and blood in the hopes of coming through the other side alive. This article will present an overview of a number of survivors, who have each appeared in at least three films within their franchise — and who each have their own journeys of coming to terms with their dark worlds.
Continue reading on Interstellar Flight Magazine. . .
Set in Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love, Gwendolyn Kiste’s Reluctant Immortals, gives voice to two often forgotten women of literature — Lucy Westenra from Dracula and Bertha Mason from Jane Eyre. Having both been turned immortal against their will, the two women band together in the face of an eternity in which they must continually fight off the control of the men who changed them. When Dracula and Rochester make a sudden return, the two women draw on the strength of their sisterhood to make a stand and claim their own power and space in the world.
I recently spoke with Kist about her novel and the writing life in an interview published on Interstellar Flight Magazine. In the interview, she notes:
“Women’s voices have so often been silenced. That’s true of real-life women as well as female characters. We tend to be seen as being less important to the world and less important to storytelling. You can see this throughout literature, and while it’s been getting better over the last few years, we still have a long way to go.”
It’s been a pretty great reading year for me. I might have not have hit as many books as in years past, but the quality of books that I’ve read this year have been stellar (and I have a few more great books in the stack that I’ll likely finish by year’s end).
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Nghi Vo’s Siren Queen unfolds the story of Luli Wei, a talented and beautiful Chinese American woman, who is desperate to become a star in pre-code Hollywood. In order to do so, she navigate the fair-like realm of the Hollywood system, which exacts a sharp (and sometimes deadly) price on those who long for fame. The magic here is at once beautiful, wicked, and mundane.
Vo’s prose is rich and lyrical, evoking a sense of magic, menace, and desire on nearly every page. Siren Queen is a work of art; it is powerful and evocative — a book that I plan to read again and again.
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
The City We Became is another masterpiece from N.K. Jemisin. It presents a vision of New York City as a living creature about to be born with a human avatar — except a dark presence nearly aborts the process and the avatars of various boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island) are awakened to hold back the tide of darkness.
Jemisin is a phenomenal writer, and the story she unfolded in this book made me fall in love with a place I have never been. I cannot wait for a sequel.
Continue reading “Books I Loved Reading in 2022”
Hi, lovelies. Here’s my month in books, movies, television, and podcasts.
The Route of Ice & Salt by JosÃ© Luis ZÃ¡rate presents a loose retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, told from the point of view of the ship captain, who carries the crates of soil from Transylvania to England. Along the way, some deadly misfortune begins to befall the crew.
Told through the captain’s journals, the novella is beautiful written, vibrantly erotic, and deeply unsettling. The captain is gay, harboring secret desires for the men of his crew. But he keeps these desires locked down inside himself in order to maintain his position and safety in the world. He’s a fascinating character, with many layers of depths and his own secret courage. It’s a powerful story.
Continue reading “Culture Consumption: April 2020”
Junji Ito is a master of horror storytelling. His beautifully illustrated comics offer deeply disturbing, strange tales, exploring cosmic and body horror. Fantastic though these stories generally are â€” in my experience â€” they tend not to focus on character development, as much as they reveal the bizarre ways the world can be twisted into utterly horrifying experiences.
In this way,Â No Longer Human is somewhat of a departure from his previous work. While it contains the same level of gorgeous artwork combined with incredibly unsettling horrors, it’s more grounded, focusing on the life and experiences of Yozo Oba.
Continue reading “Exploring the Horrors of Being Human with Junji Ito”