Bibliography

Posted in Bibliography with tags on November 27, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

A listing of my published works and appearances.

2018

Spectral Realms #9: Thalía (poetry).

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Update 12/08/2018: Morbidezza sequel and Krampus chapbook

Posted in Chapbooks, Dick Kelly, Greetings from Krampus, Morbidezza, Updates with tags , , , , on December 8, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I spent all day yesterday, from sunup to sunset, sitting on my sofa in front of my apartment waiting for both a pest control inspector and the fellows who were going to both swap out my carpet and put a vinyl covering on my floor. My roommate and I had to clear nearly everything out of our apartment and place it under the ramada in front of our unit. both parties were supposedly scheduled for 8:00 AM sharp, and both ended up arriving around 3:30 PM. The inspection was for an issue in our building, not specifically our apartment, but the leasing office insisted it be done on the same day as the carpet. Anyway, long story short, we spent the day guarding our belongings and praying that it didn’t rain, as it had the night before. We did get a light sprinkle around 6:30 AM, but it was mercifully brief. While waiting, we both read to pass the time, and I wrote, both in my journal and I also began to write was has turned out to be a continuation of sorts to my prose poem Morbidezza. It is written from the point of view of her abductor, Adalbert Glöde, and picks up shortly after where the original poem leaves off. I wrote the bulk of it but it needs some serious editing. I do have the ending though, and I actually got emotional when I wrote it. I think it’ll be good.

Also, I got a call from my buddy Rand saying that our mutual friend, Dick Kelly, was trying to get in touch with me to set up a meeting so I can approve his completed facsimile of the Greetings from Krampus chapbook. I have arranged to meet him tomorrow, Sunday the 9th. I have seen some snapshots he sent through Facebook and it looks amazing! I will share some photos in another update very soon.

Thoroughbreds (2018)

Posted in Anya Taylor-Joy, Thoroughbreds (2018) with tags , on November 22, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

A while back I got to see the Black Comedy / Thriller Thoroughbreds featuring my favorite new scream queen, Anya Taylor-Joy. It was a lot darker than I thought it would be from the trailer, which emphasized some of its more humorous aspects. Olivia Cooke was brilliant as Amanda, the sociopath childhood friend of Lily, the disenfranchised rich girl who is a burgeoning femme fatale, portrayed by the stunning Anya Taylor-Joy (of “The VVitch”). Lily is tired of being lorded over by her stifling stepfather and decides it’s time for him to go, so she recruits Amanda and a small time hood, Tim (played by the late Anton Yelchin, in what must have been one of his last roles before his untimely death in 2016), to help take him out. Hijinks ensue…
I think Anya Taylor-Joy is a contender to take the mantle from Barbara Steele as the ethereal Queen of Horror. She has a look and presence which is unsettling yet gorgeous all at once, and she can volley effortlessly between innocence and predatory evil. I would love to see her in a classic Gothic Horror film someday.

Poster for Thoroughbreds (2018).

August Derleth’s “Mr. George”

Posted in Arkham House, August Derleth, Boris Dolgov, Boris Karloff, Ghost Stories, Mr. George and Other Odd Persons, Stephen Grendon, The Mask of Cthulhu, Thriller TV Series, Weird Tales with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I recently discovered that the Internet Archive has scans of many classic issues of Weird Tales magazine which you can download for free…which I did. Most of the stuff I like from that era has become available through specialty publishers like Hippocampus Press or Chaosium books and over the years I have been able to find collections of stories by Weird Tales luminaries such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, etc. but the one great omission has been the work of August Derleth, especially his non-mythos tales. The only collection which I’ve seen around, and then only in cheap no-thrill paperback editions, is The Mask of Cthulhu.

The Mask of Cthulhu by August Derleth [1958, Arkham House]

Most of his non-Lovecraftian tales are out of print, if not all. Occasionally something like The Drifting Snow will appear in an anthology, but that’s it. So imagine my surprise when I found the original runs of stories Like Colonel Markesan or Mr. George. Prior to finding this I had considered investing in a collectible copy of one of his Arkham House collections, but had held off because they’re so expensive. The first story I read was Mr. George, which was adapted in 1961 for Boris Karloff’s Thriller. For fun, I re-watched the episode (I own the complete series box set) and read the story for comparison. Here are my thoughts…

March 1947 issue of Weird Tales

Mr. George was first published in the March 1947 issue of Weird Tales under the pseudonym Stephen Grendon. Oddly enough, the story is advertised as being by Derleth on the front cover, but inside it is attributed to Stephen Grendon, with an asterisk leading to a note explaining…

“Through a regrettable error, this story is announced on our cover as by August Derleth. Mr. Derleth acted as agent for Mr. Grendon’s story, and someone in our office confused the agent’s name for the author’s. The error was discovered too late to stop printing of the cover.”

I am not sure why Derleth used pseudonyms for the same market, and have not seen an official explanation anywhere that I can recall. Anyway, Mr. George is the story of little Priscilla, an orphaned 5 year old living with her sanguinary adult cousins whom wish to do her in so they can collect on her sizeable inheritance. She is, however, protected by the spirit of the kindly Mr. George whom her cousins speculate may not only have been her late mother’s lover, but could possibly even be the girl’s father.

Priscilla seems to be a very sweet and very independent little girl, but even within the framework of the story it seems a bit unrealistic that a 5 year old girl would be aware enough to ride a trolley by herself to the other side of town, which she does in order to visit the grave of Mr. George. She talks to him there and leaves a note requesting he come back home to help her handle the cousins, who are always plotting her demise. He complies and the bulk of the story features the little girl barely escaping from the clutches of death as the unseen Mr. George turns the murderous siblings traps against them, thus taking out the prospective killers one by one.

Boris Dolgov illustration for Mr. George depicting the scene where cousin Laban (named Jared in the Thriller adaptation) lures Priscilla to the attic. [Weird Tales, March 1947]

Thriller’s adaptation of this tale, as with the other Derleth tales they adapted, seems to make some minor changes which streamline and vastly improve the flow of the stories. In Derleth’s tale there is a woman, Laura Craig, a friend of the Mr. George’s family who acts as an intermediary between Priscilla’s cousins and the brother of Mr. George. She keeps tabs on the well-being of the little girl, and seems to genuinely care for her; a sentiment which is reciprocated by Priscilla. This brother is never actually seen in the story and really superfluous. In the Thriller adaptation, she is Mr. George’s sister, and there are no extraneous siblings. Derleth also had a tendency to use obscure names, but Thriller changed a few of the more distracting ones especially when they don’t come to play in the story. Also, Priscilla as portrayed by 10 year old actress Gina Gillespie, was a few years older and more credible than the way she was delineated in Derleth’s story.

Priscilla (child actress Gina Gillespie) addresses the spirit of her late friend in the 1961 Thriller adaptation of August Derleth’s Mr. George. [image retrieved from http://athrilleraday.blogspot.com/2010/10/mr-george-season-1-episode-32.html%5D

Thriller went on to adapt several of Derleth’s tales including A Wig for Miss DeVore, The Extra Passenger (as part of director Ida Lupino’s Trio of Terror), The Return of Andrew Bentley, and Colonel Markesan (filmed as the Incredible Doktor Markesan), all of which were arguably improvements on their source material. Mr. Derleth was a prolific but journeyman author who wrote in many genres, Horror only being one of them. He lacked H.P. Lovecraft’s dark vision, or C.A. Smith’s poetic flair, but his tales were interesting and simple enough in their concepts and construction to be easily adapted to television, and that is most likely why Thriller used them so often for their show and not the tales of his more celebrated compeers.

The titular story for this episode can also be found in the Arkham House collection Mr. George and Other Odd Persons (1963) under the pen name of Stephen Grendon.

Mr. George and Other Odd Persons_1963_Arkham House_Stephen Grendon

Mr. George and Other Odd Persons by Stephen Grendon (a/k/a August Derleth) [1963, Arkham House].

Spectral Realms #9 Available for Order!

Posted in Dan Sauer, Hippocampus Press, Spectral Realms, Thalía, Thalia with tags , , , on November 17, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

It seems that after an unavoidable delay, Spectral Realms #9, featuring my publication debut with the poem Thalía, shall finally be available for order from Hippocampus Press! Just go to http://www.hippocampuspress.com, click Journals > Spectral Realms > #9 and order yours today!

Front cover of Spectral Realms #9 (artwork by Dan Sauer).

Update 11/29/2018:

I have recently noticed that it is also available on Amazon at the regular price of $10 but, unless you have a special credit or gift card from them, I implore you to buy directly from the source at hippocampuspress.com .

New cover art for Spectral Realms #9

Posted in Dan Sauer, Spectral Realms, Thalía, The Audient Void with tags , , , on November 14, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I was checking up on Spectral Realms #9 to see what the latest info was on it’s availability, as it seemed to be in limbo for a while. Apparently, it has new cover art by none other than Dan Sauer, of The Audient Void, one of my favorite current genre artists! The new cover (featured below) is a much more appropriate integument for my vampire poem, Thalía, than the provisionary cover they had before. At present it seems to be sold out, but hopefully Hippocampus pulled contributor copies as neither I nor any of my fellow contributors have received one yet.

In retrospect, this would have been perfect artwork for the next issue, which shall feature both my Gargoyle poem and Morbidezza. Especially since the back cover features giant bats (also mentioned in Thalía by the way) and a tower house, both of which feature in Morbidezza.

Cover art for Spectral Realms #9 (cover by Daniel V. Sauer)

Update 11/12/2018

Posted in Black Hymeneal, Manny's Book of Shadows, The Grimoire of the Dark Young, The Manuel Arenas Poetic Omnibus, Updates with tags , , , , , , on November 12, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I am beginning to rethink my poetry collection…again! I think I may call it The Manuel Arenas Poetic Omnibus and just have a section with my poems not included in the other two booklets, which I shall call MiscellManny. Currently I am dealing with renovations in my apartment, so I have been a bit remiss in keeping up on that. Once the holidays pass I will get on it and try to have something publishable ready by the end of January. It will be limited edition though as I do not want to have any conflict of interest with the various publications which have been gracious enough to accept some of the poems featured therein.

On second thought, an omnibus collection would imply the chapbooks had been printed previously. Maybe it should be Manny’s Book of Shadows! Like my blog. We’ll see…