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Things That Go Bump In The Night: October Reads

Posted on: October 21 2020

Things That Go Bump In The Night: October Reads

We have curated a certified spooky collection of short stories, novels, box sets & academic texts to get you ready for Halloween. All are available in person at Tix on the Square! We are also able to accommodate for curb-side pickup. 

 

1) Ghost Box III by Patton Oswalt
Hingston & Olsen

The beautifully grim (and final installment) of Hingston & Olsen’s Ghost Box includes twelve short stories edited and introduced by Paton Oswalt. The idea for the Ghost Box started in 2017 in hopes that “no one goes through Halloween without a terrifying tale to tell in the dark.”

Included:

  • Gertrude Atherton, “The Foghorn”
  • Charles Beaumont, “The Vanishing American”
  • Poppy Z. Brite, “Bayou de la Mere”
  • Dennis Etchison, “It Only Comes Out at Night”
  • Fritz Leiber, “A Defense of Werewolves”
  • Livia Llewellyn, “It Feels Better Biting Down”
  • Richard Matheson, “The Distributor”
  • Saki, “Sredni Vashtar”
  • David J. Schow, “Last Call for the Sons of Shock”
  • Terence Taylor, “WET PAIN”
  • James Tiptree, Jr., “The Psychologist Who Wouldn’t Do Awful Things to Rats”

 

Did you know that once it was tradition to tell ghost stories on Christmas eve? Or that Icelanders participate in the tradition of Jólabókaflóðið, gifting each other literature on or before the season to devour throughout the holidays? Combine the two and give a new reason for the season. 

 

2) Goth Girls of Banff by John O’Niell

Newest Press

You know the feeling of looming danger winding through the Canadian Rockies, as night falls and darkness is the only thing vast enough to engulf the mountainous terrain? Goth Girls of Banff is a collection of short stories haunted by the violence inherent in nature and humans. Where a two-sister team of goth tour guides offers guided excursions up switchback mountain trails; a paroled convict thumbs his way into the life of a family driving west; and an animal pathologist, while performing a necropsy on a grizzly bear, has an unusual encounter with both technology and humanity. In Goth Girls of Banff, survival proves tenuous when all we have left to rely on is ourselves.

3) The Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell

Stonehouse Publishing

Looking to kick it old school? Similar to Hingston & Olsen’s Ghost Box, Stonehouse Publishing has taken on the task of breathing new life into classic gothic masterpieces. The Poor Clare was originally serialized in 1856 in Charles Dicken’s popular magazine, Household Worlds.

Set in Victorian England, Gaskell weaves the tale of a lonely old woman whose curse upon the murderer of her cherished dog unleashes unintended consequences. The impulse of revenge is turned to contrition after the discovery of an unexpected connection between her and the accursed. Through Ireland to Yorkshire and finally London, a young lawyer discovers a beautiful young woman mysteriously followed by her own demonic doppelganger, and sets out to learn if the curse can be broken.

 

4) Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers by Erin Emily Ann Vance
Stonehouse Publishing

After a mysterious fire claims the life of a young mother and her two children, their rural town is clearly shaken up. Was it an accident, or murder? As their surviving family members seek the truth, the town is enveloped by speculation about this eccentric family whose close bonds are now being tested by tragedy. Erin’s idyllic gothic thriller plays on prairie familiarities and the Lynchian small town creating a clever and fun genre piece.

 

5) We Don’t Go Through the Angel Grass Vol 1 By Courtney Loberg

Fall down the rabbit hole with Loberg's latest graphic novel, We Don't Go Through The Angelgrass. In a certain country, in a certain swath of land, there was a town in the palm of a Gulch. Angelgrass grew on the crest of the circular valley surrounding: pearlescent and shifting, like a rainbow made of pond water. Anyone who ventured in was not seen again. Cornflower has lived in the town all their life, like almost everyone else. But when their best friend Jasper disappears, they are compelled to descend into the dark histories and dreamlike workings of the Gulch, and themselves.

Personally, I believe everyone should be granted the experience of falling in love with her fictional prairie witches and occultists through Courtney's mythical and wonderful illustrations.

You can also pick up her previous Graphic Novel, My Favorite Girl I Never See, at Tix on the Square.

6) Agnes, Murderess by Sarah Leavitt
Freehand Books / Book Publishers Association of Alberta

Agnes, Murderess is a graphic novel inspired by the bloody legend of Agnes McVee, roadhouse owner, madam and serial killer, who is said to have murdered more than 50 people in the Cariboo region of British Columbia in the mid- to late nineteenth century. Fascinated by this legend—which originated in a 1970s guide to buried treasure in BC, and has never been verified—Leavitt has imagined an entirely new story for the mysterious Agnes: her immigration to Canada from an isolated Scottish Island; her complex entanglement with shiny things; and her terrifying grandmother, Gormul, who haunts Agnes’s dreams and waking life.

Leavitt puts a decidedly queer twist on the story, moving from women’s passionate friendships in the gardens of St John’s Wood to female relationships in the Canadian wild. At the same time, the book grapples with the dangerous pre-conceived notions held by settlers that the country was a “new world,” free of ghosts and history. Agnes, Murderess presents a tortured, complicated woman struggling to escape her past. It is a spine-chilling tale of ghosts and murder, friendship and betrayal, love and greed, fate and choice. Recently, Agnes, Murderess, took home the Book Publishers Award for best speculative fiction, and was shortlisted for illustrated books.

7) The Medium Is the Monster: Canadian Adaptations of Frankenstein and the Discourse of Technology by Mark A. McCutcheon
AU Press / Book Publishers Association of Alberta

And finally one for the academics and pop culture nerds!

Technology, a word that emerged historically first to denote the study of any art or technique, has come, in modernity, to describe advanced machines, industrial systems, and media. McCutcheon argues that it is Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein that effectively reinvented the meaning of the word for modern English. It was then Marshall McLuhan’s media theory and its adaptations in Canadian popular culture that popularized, even globalized, a Frankensteinian sense of technology. The Medium Is the Monster shows how we cannot talk about technology—that human-made monstrosity—today without conjuring Frankenstein, thanks in large part to its Canadian adaptations by pop culture icons such as David Cronenberg, William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, and Deadmau5. In the unexpected connections illustrated by The Medium Is the Monster, McCutcheon brings a fresh approach to studying adaptations, popular culture, and technology.