Monster Porn

Big FootNow here is a topic I really didn’t expect to see. I suppose it’s two-fold: the first part being online self-publishing, and the second part being the imaginative documenting of the naughty adventures of luscious women with gnarly mythological creatures. If you need an introduction into either of these trends, I recommend you read more at The Daily Beast site.

But to focus on a few points from the article, I’ll quote a bit from Lizzie Crocker’s article:

Monster Porn Is the Latest Wrinkle in Self-Published Smut

Forget brawny cowboys and sadomasochistic millionaires. ’50 Shades’ opened the door for every horny monster, space alien, minotaur, leprechaun, and gargoyle imaginable. Can you say ‘cryptozoological erotica’?

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Vampires

CarmillaWe’ve all read Bram Stoker’s very commercially successful treatment of the vampire stories in the character of Dracula. Written in 1897 and adapted to the stage and later to the movies, Dracula became the modern archetype of the vampire. But Stoker didn’t in fact introduce the vampire to the English speaking world. The Irish writer, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, provided a wonderfully creepy treatment of the vampire in his 1872 novel Carmilla.

Carmilla reads just like a movie: a strange woman comes to the castle and her daughter stays behind to be a companion to the young lady of the house. But strange things happen and the young lady begins to fall ill. Furthermore, other young women in the area are taken ill and rapidly die. Concern for the guest leads to discovery that she disappears at night, as if through solid walls, and doesn’t join the household until later in the day.

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The Cool Ghoul Abides

For whatever reason, I have never responded to Horror genre fiction (at least not since Zacherley’s Midnight Snacks). When we stayed up to watch Chiller Theater on Saturday nights, those classic Universal horror movies were fresh and downright scary. Of course after seeing The Mummy for the sixteenth time, it loses some of its fright factor. It’s interesting that I once found movies scary but it never seemed to work in literature. The last book I read that had me in a sweat was James Dickey’s Deliverance which was almost as scary as James Dickey.

So is it any wonder that I don’t find anything of value in Stephen King? He’s boring and not good enough a writer to make me forget how silly his narrative is.  I did read the first Anne Rice—Interview with the Vampire— with some interest. But then I made the mistake of assuming the author was onto something and agonizingly slugged my way through the first half of her second vampire novel before fighting off the horrid writing and casting it into the pit under the sink. I haven’t done a scientific study but I believe Rice mentions blood more than Rowling mentions quidditch … but it’s close and could go the either way.

I have read and reread the standards of horror—Frankenstein, Dracula, House on Haunted Hill, Tales of Cthulhu, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Rosemary’s Baby, The Day of the Locusts, and various copies of the Fortean Times—all without a shudder or a grimace. They all remind me of a very silly joke that went around when I was in fourth grade:  “Do you want to hear a dirty story?” [the audience moves in close and begins to pant] … “A boy runs around the corner and falls in a mud puddle.” [groans of disappointment]. Horror stories have a similar effect on me.

So I’m trying to make a list of the books I read that I found even moderately scary. Did I mention Deliverance? I’m stuck … any ideas?