A look back at The Colour Out of Space…
“The Colour Out of Space” was not the first piece of fiction H.P. Lovecraft is known for. By 1927, Lovecraft had published “The Alchemist” and “Herbert West – Reanimator”. In March 1927, he’d completed the “The Colour Out of Space” and sold it to Hugo Gernsback for $25. Gernsback, the editor of Amazing Stories, published it in the September 1927.
Adaptations include Daniel Haller’s 1965 Die, Monster, Die!, David Keith’s 1987 The Curse, and Richard Stanley’s 2020 Color Out of Space. It has influenced movies like 2018 Annihilation and books like Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers and short story “Weeds”.
The narrator is an unnamed Boston surveyor relaying his encounter in the hill county West of the fictional town of Arkham. He records the account from a local name Ammi Pierce who tells him of the “strange days”, a period in the not to distant past. Ammi relays the story of Nahum Gardener and his family.
When a meteorite lands on the Gardener land, the news reaches as far Miskatonic University. As professors begin trying to make sense of the unearthly visitor, the meteorite disappears and the effects it has on the land becomes apparent. The crops on the Gardener property begin to grow large and vibrant but are sour and inedible. Soon, the decay begins to affect the live stock and even the family.
As the family succumbs to various illnesses, mental and physical, one of the children goes missing. Nahum claims that something is in the well and it took the child. When the police arrive to investigate, the last of the meteorite’s effects leaves none questioning the presence on the Gardner farm.
The narrator concludes by relaying his fear of the place now known as the “blasted heath”. The reservoir that will cover the old homestead will be in use shortly and the narrator hopes to avoid it. He will write the workers as ask them to check in on Ammi as he dreams of the man decaying like the Gardner family.
Not nearly the end…
What makes this story great is the mystery. So many unanswered questions allow many adaptations to put their own spin on the story. The fact that Lovecraft never reveals what is in the well or what happens to those who drink from the new reservoir, leaves much to the imagination.
I am skeptical about the new adaptation of this story. A modern take on this story may spice it up, but I will always appreciate the original. No matter how old is gets, and it’s close to celebrating its first century, it will continue to influence others.
“The Writing Retreat” Gone Bad: Julia Bartz’s Debut
Keeping it all in the family, Julia Bartz’s The Writing Retreat is the debut novel of the sister of Andrea Bartz, author of We Were Never Here, which I reviewed here.
I was much more impressed with The Writing Retreat than I was We Were Never Here.
Five up and coming female writers under 30 are invited to a writing retreat hosted by the reclusive and acclaimed horror writer Rosa Vallo. Rosa reveals the details of the retreat: each writer must complete a full length novel from scratch over the next month. The best novel wins a multi-million dollar publishing deal with Rosa.
Suddenly, the retreat turns into a nightmare when one writer goes missing in the snowy terrain outside.
The novel hinges on friendships in turmoil and has a focus on LGBT+ representation as well as interpersonal female relationships. The novel explores the dark publishing world and the search for fame and the Great American Novel.
This novel is atmospheric and intellectual, page turning, and the English major’s required reading. I absorbed this novel and found Julia Bartz’s writing and conceptual chops to be leagues above her sister’s.
Ths novel releases on February 21, 2023 and it should be in your cart right now.(4.5 / 5)
Buy it here!
A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”
“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?” — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.
The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.
Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.
This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.
It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.(4 / 5)
Woom: An Extreme Horror Novel
“That doesn’t invalidate it,” Angel said. “There’s no statute of limitations on pain.”
Angel is a man who knows pain: physical, mental, sexual. The story begins with Angel visiting Room 6 at the Lonely Motel and ordering a plus-size sex worker to his room. What comes next is Angel’s retellings of painful stories while performing sexual acts on the sex worker, Shyla.
The novel reads as a book of short stories, as Angel relays stories to Shyla and she tells him stories back. This is a novel of pain and disgust. Angel’s stories are so dark and traumatic that Shyla can’t believe they are true. As Angel bares his soul, we see a side of him that is melancholy and unable to process hurt in a natural way.
This novel is full of disgusting visuals and isn’t afraid to get dirty. This truly is an extreme horror novel. As a warning, there is discussion of feces, blood, rape, sex, and body horror. This novel is not for the faint of heart. You’ll close this short novel feeling dirty. Angel is a character that begs for sympathy while his stories narrate that he may not be as innocent as he perceives.
When the subtitle says this novel is extreme horror, believe it. Only the strong will survive Duncan Ralston’s Woom. It is more splatterpunk than anything, but true literary quality lies beneath the filth.(4 / 5)