Oct 31 2007
Yep, once again it's October 31st, and Halloween, Samhain, whatever you choose to call it is here for a few scant hours.
No costume parties for me this year, I'm afraid - nowhere to go and no time to do anything. I can't honestly say that this sits well with me, but I guess that's a sign of getting older: You do what you need to do however you can. Oh, well. just like undergrad.
With that cheerful sentiment, I think I'll leave you with links to some of my favourite reading and listening these days. First on the list is a weird horror serial called Footnotes To A Species Once Called Humanity by a good friend of mine, Mr. Derek C.F. Pegritz. The story is told as a series of vignettes from the point of view of a slightly morbid country boy from western Pennsylvania who is one of a small number of humans left on the planet (who haven't gone mad or mutated beyond recognition) when the Elder Gods from H.P. Lovecraft's C'thul'hu mythos arise and claim Earth as their own once again after a conflict in the Middle East with a number of the other mythos races. When things that probably don't even recognize the existence of the human race, let alone care about them beyond their usefulness as a psychic foodstuff appear, there's really only one thing left to do: You take shelter wherever you can and see how long you can hold out. The narrator of these tales, a writer by trade and talent, leaves records of what has come to pass wherever he can in the subterranean world of abandoned mine shafts and natural caves that honeycomb much of southwestern PA in the hope that whatever race which claims the Earth as its own after the Elder Gods have moved on will find them. It's morbid. It's chilling and downright scary by turns. There is even the occasional moment of panicked desperation when things that would storm the gates of Hell because it would make a pleasant location for a family reunion come squelch-squelch-squelching at the front door. Fine, fine reading for a day like today, doubly so if you're into the weird and fantastic.
If the C'thul'hu mythos isn't your bag, then I recommend the podcast audio dramas by Sean Kennedy called Tales of the Afternow, in which a renegade historian and archivist from a post-apocalyptic world "sometime after now" records travelogues, cyberpunk folktales, and the history of his world in the form of audio broadcasts that an unknown party throws backward in Time in an attempt to prevent his world from ever coming to be. The world that Independent Library (Dynamic) Sean Kennedy VI lives in was devastated by a global war of some kind, leaving the last enclaves of civilization under the control of the few megacorporations that survived the nuclear/biological/nanotechnological conflict. In the storyline, everything is as tightly regulated as can be, because there is so little of substance left. The most precious resource of all, information - even basic knowledge, such as how to use a medical kit - is restricted to licensed, bonded technicians, though those outside of the arcologies who are still capable of learning wield considerable power on their own. The stories that the character of Kennedy (distinct from Sean Kennedy the author/actor who performs in the podcasts) are definitely worth giving a listen to if you like cyberpunk or dystopian science fiction. Personally, I think that listening to the first two seasons is worth it just to get to the story with the water bar...