Showing posts from January, 2024

Into Dust

Adam "Bucho" Rodenberger, "Into Dust" in Under a Black Rainbow  (2023). "People are still having sex."  ㅡLaTour Some of the best speculative fiction has a way of bringing to light the paradoxical features of our nature. Many of these murmurs point to the tensions at the heart of who we are, and "Into Dust" gives us a peek at the paradoxical sinew that simultaneously holds us together and tears us apart. Puritanical efforts to control sexual appetites rarely result in sex being controlled; instead, the control just becomes sexualized. Similarly, that psycho-sexual mechanism is at work in our protagonist. That which is neglected, ignored, and remains unused will gather dust, and when sex becomes dusty, the dust just becomes sexualized.   

The Falling Glass

  Algernon Blackwood, "The Falling Glass" in Tongues of Fire: And Other Sketches  (1924). Read the story here on the Internet Archive . Cosmic horror is at its best when it is less about the immediate danger posed and more about the horror/awe evoked by the thing's very existence. This often emerges because of its unfathomable scale, total indifference to us, and/or incomprehensible otherness. While thunderstorms are often used in horror to invoke fear based upon the danger they pose to life and limb, Blackwood taps the weather for a different kind of horror. These massive natural forces, not in the least concerned about the things we value, continue to humble us and stand to remind us of our insignificance.