Thursday, May 30, 2019


NEWS FLASH: My next book, WIDOW OF THE AMPUTATION & OTHER WEIRD CRIMES, will be published by Eraserhead Press early next year. Feast your eyes on the stunning cover, as designed by the incomparable Matthew Revert and his Mysterious Third Eye....

Though the official release date is March 1, 2020, the book will be ready for preorder in July. Better start saving your shekels now, kiddies! I'll post more details as they emerge....

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dennis Etchison, R.I.P. (1943-2019)

I was very sad to hear today about the death of Dennis Etchison, a masterful short story writer whose work transcends genres. If you've never read his fiction, particularly his short stories, you're missing out on one of the most subtly disturbing American writers of the past forty years. His many memorable stories include "The Late Shift," "It Will Be Here Soon," "The Dark Country," "On the Pike," "The Soft Wall," "The Olympic Runner," "The Blood Kiss," "The Dog Park," and "The Detailer." I consider all four of these collections to be essential reading:  THE DARK COUNTRY (1982), RED DREAMS (1984), THE BLOOD KISS (1987), and THE DEATH ARTIST (2000). Also noteworthy is his work as an anthologist, particularly CUTTING EDGE (1986), which includes Whitley Strieber's infamous short story "Pain," and the MASTERS OF DARKNESS series (1986-1991). 

I highly recommend listening to the following interview with Etchison, who spoke with fellow short story writer Scott Edelman during the second annual Stoker Convention (held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California back in April of 2017) where Etchison was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association. To hear the June 23, 2017 episode of Edelman's EATING THE FANTASTIC podcast, click HERE


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Jared Kushner and the Bilderbergers

From David Reid's 5-28-19 CNBC report entitled "Jared Kushner, Google's Schmidt and Microsoft's Nadella to Attend Secret Bilderberg Meeting":

Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald Trump, is set to attend this year’s Bilderberg Meeting in the Swiss town of Montreux this week.

Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg Meeting was designed to foster warmer relations between the United States and Europe. The annual talk fest is considered secretive because guests are not allowed to reveal who said what at the meeting.

The Bilderberg guest list typically includes top politicians, business leaders, financiers, academics and influential members of the media. The event’s website said Tuesday that about 130 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance this year.

Aside from Kushner, this year’s list of attendees features French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, Credit-Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger are also confirmed.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Harlan Ellison Reads "The City of the Singing Flame"

In honor of what would have been Harlan Ellison's 85th birthday, check out this 1986 recording of Harlan reading one of his favorite short stories, Clark Ashton Smith's "The City of the Singing Flame." Harlan read the story in several parts over the course of three episodes of Mike Hodel's Hour 25, a radio show dedicated to the science fiction genre that aired on KPFK in Los Angeles every Friday night from 1972 to 2000. The source of this recording is Will Hart, who briefly discusses both Clark Ashton Smith and Harlan Ellison on his CthulhuWho1's blog.

You can listen to Harlan reading "The City of the Singing Flame" by clicking right HERE.

You can also hear Harlan ruminating about Smith's tremendous influence on his writing in Darin Coelho Spring's excellent 2018 documentary CLARK ASHTON SMITH: THE EMPEROR OF DREAMS, the trailer for which can be seen directly below....

Clint Margrave on Charles Bukowski

Earlier today Quillette published Clint Margrave's latest article entitled "Bukowski: Recommended Reading for the Damned." Here's an excerpt:

It seems to me that some of Bukowski’s critics could use a drink. I dread a future in which our artists must meet the high moral standards of a David Orr and Ceri Radford. How boring the future of fiction or poetry will be when its value depends upon the rectitude and responsibility of its author. Or has it already come to that? Could a Bukowski be published today? Not likely. What goes missing then is the chance to glimpse the darker and messier side of life, which is still there no matter how many “sensitivity readers” try to edit it out, and no matter how many Twitter mobs try to suppress it.
What is perhaps even more alarming about these reviews is the insinuation that art is something to be feared because it can influence people to do bad things. How is it Bukowski’s fault that some people become alcoholics? That’s quite a responsibility for a man who couldn’t even control his own drinking. Not to mention the familiar assumption—such a common narrative of our day—that readers need to be protected by those who know better. When art is framed by fear and moral grandstanding, it always leads to censorship. Today, of course, it isn’t so much a religious concern about obscenity that drives censorship and informs taboos, but deviation from politically correct orthodoxies.
To read Margrave's entire article, click HERE.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

MIT Scientists Can Beam Voices into Your Head

From Kristin Houser's 1-25-19 Futurism article entitled "MIT Used a Laser to Transmit Audio Directly into a Person's Ear":

Scientists have figured out how to use a laser to transmit audio, ranging from music to speech, to a person across a room without any receiver equipment — a potential breakthrough for the future of audio and communication.
“Our system can be used from some distance away to beam information directly to someone’s ear,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology research Charles M. Wynn said in a press release. “It is the first system that uses lasers that are fully safe for the eyes and skin to localize an audible signal to a particular person in any setting.”
In a paper published on Friday in the journal Optics Letters, the MIT team describes how it developed two different methods to transmit tones, music, and recorded speech via a laser.
Both techniques take advantage of something called the photoacoustic effect, which is the formation of sound waves as the result of a material absorbing light. In the case of the MIT research, that material was water vapor in the air.

To read Houser's entire article, click HERE.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Karen Yossman's "Writers Blocked: Even Fantasy Fiction Is Now Offensive"

What follow are the concluding paragraphs of Karen Yossman's 5-18-19 Spectator article entitled "Writers Blocked: Even Fantasy Fiction Is Now Offensive":

"Once you start seeing goblins in fairyland, there’s no end to it. Even the most enlightened author can cause offence. It is only a matter of time before it begins to eat away at every genre until, as [Lionel] Shriver predicted, ‘All that’s left is memoir’.

"Already poets might understandably feel anxious: last summer The Nation, one of America’s most venerable literary magazines, published a 14-line poem about homelessness, which was swiftly accused of co-opting a ‘black vernacular’ and criticised for its use of the word ‘crippled’. Instead of defending the verses it had previously deemed worthy of publication, the magazine immediately issued an apology so spineless one of its own columnists said it resembled ‘a letter from [a] re-education camp’.

"But it’s not just writers who ought to be worried. The logical apogee of a prohibition on cultural intercourse is a future in which each person is allowed to document only his or her precise subjective experience. A future, in other words, where fiction is history. And that sounds like a very dreary prospect for us all."

To read Yossman's entire article, click HERE.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Stanton Friedman on Radio Misterioso!

In honor of the passing of Stanton Friedman, one of UFOlogy's most credible researchers, I recommend listening to Greg Bishop's interview with Friedman on the always compelling Radio Misterioso. Here's Bishop's description of this latest episode:

Lifetime researcher Stanton T. Friedman passed away on May 13, 2019 after over 50 years of writing and lecturing. He was the public face of UFO study for those who knew little about the subject, and a mentor, inspiration, and guru for many inside the sometimes strange world of UFO conventions and gatherings, many of which he headlined. He earned the trust of those on many sides of the issue for his honesty and forthrightness, and was unfailingly thoughtful and polite to all, no matter what disagreements were present.
On February 18 of 2018, I recorded an interview with Friedman in an unused room at the International UFO Congress. In this conversation, he recalled his childhood and love of the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson, and his college and early career as a nuclear physicist for a variety of aerospace companies. He even described a job for McDonnell Douglas which he said assigned him to “figure out how flying saucers worked” but was unfortunately cancelled for budgetary reasons.
Friedman explained his philosophy that “technological progress comes from doing things differently in an unpredictable way,” and ended the interview with his observation that since (as he believed) extraterrestrial civilizations have been able to survive any growing pains to reach us, this strengthened his hope that the human race can do the same.
You can download Bishop's excellent interview with Friedman right HERE.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jon Rappoport on Censorship

Here's a timely excerpt from Jon Rappoport's 5-15-19 article entitled "Censorship and the Decline of Civilization":

There are now large numbers of people who think they're making a political advance, even a breakthrough, by demanding the censorship of those individuals they don't like, when in fact, they're moving backwards into a more primitive political climate.

There is another vital factor which permits people to register no objection to censorship.  The factor is: vast frustration with their own lives.  This is usually concealed, as if it were a secret not to be shared.  The frustration, at the core, has to do with a perceived lack of freedom.

In which case, the actions of life take on a mechanical character, which becomes the heavy cover, the lid over the flame of frustration---and in that state of being, a person actually wants others who speak out and go against the grain to be silenced and censored.

Stop him!  Keep him from speaking and writing!

Yes, keep the free individual from reminding the mechanical liver of life that he is not free.

The Mechanical Person wants to bury all signals that carry a flavor of originality.  He wants the constant hum that tells him routine and repetition are firmly in place as the guidance system of existence.

In the frozen rigid river of anti-life...rebels are just machines that need to be turned off.  Censorship is a tool for that purpose.

That's what censorship really is.

An attempt to hide that disturbing thing called Life.

If you're interested in reading Rappoport's daily reports (which never fail to be anything less than illuminating), I highly recommend visiting his home page and signing up for his email list posthaste.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Stanton Friedman, R.I.P. (1934-2019)

From CBC in Canada comes the news of Stanton Friedman's death. Here's a brief excerpt:

Stanton Friedman, the famed UFO researcher based in Fredericton, has died.
Friedman was returning from a speaking engagement in Columbus, Ohio, when he died suddenly at the Toronto Pearson Airport on Monday night, according to his family.
He was 84.
A nuclear physicist by training, Friedman had devoted his life to researching and investigating UFOs since the late 1960s.
He was credited with bringing the 1947 Roswell Incident — the famous incident that gave rise to theories about UFOs and a U.S. military coverup — back into the mainstream conversation.
Friedman "officially" retired last year but still booked speaking engagements "because he loved talking about UFOs," said his daughter, Melissa Friedman, who works for CBC News.
"Dad was curious about anything he didn't know about. He was always asking questions about how things worked.
"I think it's rare for someone to stay so engaged and curious and open-minded for a life that's that long."
She remembered her father as encouraging, proud and caring and said she was fortunate to have one last visit a week ago in Nova Scotia. 
Friedman was an accomplished writer, publishing dozens of papers about UFOs and writing or co-writing several books. Three of those books were written in tandem with Kathleen Marden.
To read the entire CBC article, click HERE

Of Stanton Friedman's numerous books about UFOs, I particularly recommend the very credible and well-researched CRASH AT CORONA (co-authored with Don Berliner), which was released by Paragon House in 1992.

If you're interested in reading Loren Coleman's obituary for Friedman at his Twilight Language blog, click HERE.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A Montauk Primer

From Adam Gorightly's 5-7-19 Chasing UFOs blog post entitled "Unpacking The Montauk Mythos":

Of the various conspiratorial/paranormal cottage industries that have sprung up over the last few decades, the Montauk Project stands tall as perhaps the most bizarre of all, its mythology a veritable smorgasbord of “comic book metaphysics,” as Richard Metzger once so aptly put it.

As legend has it, this twisted tale began towards the end of World War II, an outgrowth of the U.S. government’s top-secret Rainbow Project, the ultimate goal of which was to make a ship—specifically the USS Eldridge—undetectable to radar. Although the experiment was allegedly successful in causing the Eldridge to disappear from the Philadelphia Naval Yard, it also produced an unexpected side effect: the ship and its crew were transported a hundred miles away to Norfolk, Virginia, where it reappeared. After a brief interval, it was then teleported back to the Philadelphia Naval Yard where one crewmember was discovered planted into the bulkhead of the ship. Others who survived the ordeal entered into a state of madness and terror [...].

For the average Jane and Joe—whose ideas about alternate dimensions come directly from the rental of an occasional sci-fi flick—the Philadelphia Experiment remains naught but a fictional flight of fancy, although researchers—many of them purported Montauk experiencers—claim to have in their possession actual documents verifying the existence of the project! In fact, on the covers of many a Montauk book, it’s boldly advertised that the book series, “Goes beyond science fiction.”

Preston Nichols—one of the key players in the Montauk story [and co-author of The Montauk Project]—was an unwitting participant in the project, who years after the fact finally discovered his involvement therein. Since that time he has been sharing his strange story through lectures, books and videos. Nichols—a veritable high-tech wizard—has his own version of the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine in the form of a renovated school bus, or as he calls it, his “Montauk Investigation vehicle.” Nichols' bus is filled with all sorts of gizmos he allegedly salvaged from the abandoned Montauk site. Not only has Nichols been instrumental in bringing the Montauk Project story to the world, but he also (allegedly) played a pivotal role in deprogramming several Montauk mind controlled subjects, more commonly referred as the Montauk Boys, a group of young men with Aryan features, who had been recruited into the Montauk mind control project. During their initial programming, the Montauk Boys were entranced via psychosexual programming. The ultimate design behind this phase of the project was to create a blond-haired, blue-eyed bloodline of future rulers of the planet.

Preston Nichol’s deprogramming of the Montauk Boys was supposedly accomplished by masturbating the lads in combination with radionics, however that works. The method behind this madness—according to Nichols and his associates—suggests that in order to deprogram the Montauk Boys, they first had to be taken into the same trance state in which they were originally programmed. Nichols would then be able to undo the Montauk programming by using similar mind control methods that had been used in the first place, which included tantric massage, and certain other unspecified “Reichian Techniques.”

To read Gorightly's entire post, click HERE.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Camille Paglia: Thought Criminal!

From Conor Friedersdorf's 5-1-19 Atlantic article entitled "Camille Paglia Can't Say That":

For more than 30 years, the critic Camille Paglia has taught at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Now a faction of art-school censors wants her fired for sharing wrong opinions on matters of sex, gender identity, and sexual assault.
“Camille Paglia should be removed from UArts faculty and replaced by a queer person of color,” an online petition declares. “If, due to tenure, it is absolutely illegal to remove her, then the University must at least offer alternate sections of the classes she teaches, instead taught by professors who respect transgender students and survivors of sexual assault.” Regardless, the students behind the petition want her banned from holding speaking events or selling books on campus. In their telling, her ideas “are not merely ‘controversial,’ they are dangerous.”
Others believe that the student activists are trying to set a dangerous precedent that would undermine freedom of expression and free academic inquiry. “The effort to remove her for expressing her *opinions* strikes me as political correctness run amuck,” a faculty member emailed. “Instead of discussing and debating, they attempt to shame and destroy. This is pure tribalism. It is exactly what Donald Trump does when he encounters something he doesn’t like.” Most at the institution seem to hold positions somewhere in between.
In Paglia’s first book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence From Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, she describes sex and nature as “brutal, daemonic” forces, “criticizes feminists for sentimentality or wishful thinking about the causes of rape, violence, and poor relations between the sexes,” and roots sex differences in biology. Seven publishers rejected the book before Yale University Press bought it in 1990; Sexual Personae was then savaged by feminist critics on the way to becoming an unexpected, 700-page best seller. And it sparked a national debate about art, history, gender, ideas that offend, free inquiry, and political correctness.
To read Friedersdorf's entire article, click HERE.

Monday, May 6, 2019


An excerpt from the latest review of my new book, BELA LUGOSI AND THE MONOGRAM NINE (written in collaboration with Gary D. Rhodes):

"Containing several chapters offering different variations on its subject matter, Rhodes and Guffey explore the films Lugosi made at Monogram with an open-minded approach, an intelligent appreciation, and a historical knowledge. Even those of us long familiar with these films will be enlightened by the further information provided in these essays [...]. The reader's understanding of film history, production, and promotion will be enhanced by this exceptionally intelligent text.

"Bela Lugosi and the Monogram 9 is a book that needs to be included in any library, research center, or personal collection that even hopes to be considered at all comprehensive. For fans of film history, of Lugosi, of the horror genre, or of B movies, Bela Lugosi and the Monogram 9 is an absolute must." 

To read James Neibaur's entire review, click HERE

Sunday, May 5, 2019


From Craig DeLancey's 5-5-19 Quillette article entitled "Policing the Creative Imagination," which analyzes the growing trend of book publishers employing "sensitivity readers":

While it is true that employing a sensitivity reader does not amount to censorship in the strictest sense, this claim is also irrelevant. Writers understand that they are individuals entering into a contractual arrangement with a private business, and that publishers are not censoring when they make editorial decisions prior to publication. Nevertheless, writers are now routinely required to clear an extra hurdle if they wish to see their books in print, and doing so can directly impact their aesthetic choices, even though a sensitivity reader is unlikely to be a professional writer. Serious authors spend decades honing their craft, and can spend years on a book. They will be understandably nervous about an amateur evaluating their work with a red pen and recommending political changes that flatten nuance and character complexity and have nothing to do with creative intention or coherence. For the same reason, screenwriters typically loathe “notes” from executives who are not writers.

Are sensitivity readings always voluntary? We do not have reliable information about how often, and under what circumstances, sensitivity readers are employed. In some cases, they are hired by writers who want to vet their book (or who want to be able to say they vetted their book) before self-publishing or submitting the manuscript to an agent or editor. Some of the authors I spoke to employ a sensitivity reader on their own initiative, believing that it might help them escape accusations of insensitivity. Some editors, and perhaps some agents, recommend using a sensitivity reader, especially in Young Adult, middle grade, and genre fiction. If an editor makes such a request, agreement is voluntary only in the narrow sense that a person is not forced to obey their office boss because they have the freedom to quit. In such a situation, most writers feel compelled to follow the advice of an editor lest their publication deal disappear. For the same reason, writers will understand that they are expected to follow at least some of the advice offered by the sensitivity reader, whatever its merits.

But sometimes the use of sensitivity readers is explicitly mandatory. One writer I interviewed (who asked not to be identified) currently has a manuscript in the hands of a sensitivity reader tasked with checking that a secondary character—a heroic Native American scientist—has been portrayed in a sufficiently sympathetic light. The contract the author signed with the publisher stipulated that both publication and payment would be contingent upon approval by a sensitivity reader. In the event of a mob denunciation, the publisher explained, they could at least counter that the book had been vetted by a Native American. The reader has apparently been slow, which has delayed publication for months. The novel’s author, meanwhile, is established, widely respected, and the recipient of multiple prestigious awards. If a sensitivity reading can be imposed on this writer, it can be imposed on anyone.

Should we care if the use of sensitivity readers becomes widespread and mandatory? Some art forms are, after all, created by committee—writing for television, for instance, is almost always a group effort. But the novel is a form better suited to the expression of a single creator’s unique vision. Sensitivity readers are an affront to that autonomy. The novelist who understands that the representation of diverse characters could sabotage a book deal might reconsider whether it is worth writing about such people at all. The very existence of sensitivity readers may lead them to shy away from writing such characters, since so many in the industry believe they can’t do it. If sensitivity readers become a publishing institution, they will only incentivize more cautious, conservative, and ideologically homogenous books, as authors seek to avoid controversy, costs, and loss of control that will arise from more daring and morally ambivalent fiction.

But it is the claim that sensitivity readers are merely fact checkers that is most troubling. Defenders of sensitivity readers often claim that hiring someone to evaluate the permissibility of a novel’s character is analogous to hiring a scientist to check scientific claims or a historian to check historical events. But this is simply a category error, which disappears the vital distinction between fact and value—what is and what ought to be. There is a fundamental difference between telling an author that Miami is not the capital of Florida, and opining that the portrayal of this-or-that character is morally objectionable.

To read DeLancey's entire article, click HERE.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Clint Margrave on the Quillette Podcast

Check out the latest episode of the Quillette podcast in which my colleague Clint Margrave discusses his recent articles "The Impassable Road to Redemption" and "Poetic Injustice and Performative Outrage." To listen to this entire conversation with Jonathan Kay, click HERE.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


OR Books is now having their annual May Day sale, which lasts until Sunday. If you want to pick up a copy of my book CHAMELEO for 50% off its regular price, simply click HERE.