It's the Most Terrifying Time of the Year

Over at Tor. com, 'tis the season for alien horror: December brings a full month of H.P. Lovecraft features under the rubric of "Cthulhumas."

 

And why not? When you find yourself facing down the seething crowds in the mall on a Saturday afternoon in mid-December, with those dogs barking "Jingle Bells" over the P.A. and a knowledge that it's going to take you another 45 minutes just to navigate out of the parking lot...well, then, the confrontation with fungoid horrors from beyond the edge of space can seem soothing by comparison.

 

Things get off to a particularly good start with Stephen H. Segal's essay on Lovecraft as the original science fiction nerd -- "Geek Prime. Fanboy Alpha."

 

-BILL TIPPER

 

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.