The year is coming to an end. Unfortunately, I’ve been in poor health for a few weeks now, so this review has been a bit delayed. Nevertheless, there is a lot to report, because many longer-term undertakings have found their conclusion in the last two months.
As announced in the last roundup, there were still some podcasts in the works. For dLG-Radio, I participated in the October episode on “Cthulhu-Mythos und Cyberpunk“. In December, there will be another episode hosted by me.
Also in October, I was a guest on the games podcast Nerdwelten, where I talk about Horrorgames in the 80s (“Horrorspiele der 80er“) together with Hardy Heßdörfer. In particular, we go through the aspects of “theme”, “game mechanics” and “atmosphere” and talk about what makes a “real” horror game. We had a lot of fun!
In November, the film podcast Filmtoast released the episode “A Year in Horror – Das Jahr 2002“, in which I discuss the horror year 2002 together with Patrick Krämer and Daniel Flege. We each feature one horror movie in three categories – nine films in all: Best in Class (the best movie of the year in our personal opinions); Underrated (movies that we think have a bad reputation they do not deserve); and Top Secret (movies that largely fly under the radar).
The current issue of VIRUS magazine contains two contributions by me. Aside form a review of the audiobook Breathless by Amy McCulloch I wrote a ten-page article on “J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla: 150 Years of Lesbian Vampires” (“J. Sheridan Le Fanus Carmilla: 150 Jahre lesbische Vampire”). Carmilla (1872) has been one of my all-time favorite narratives for quite some time, and I can read it over and over again, always discovering something new. With his vampire tale, Le Fanu not only inspired other writers, such as Bram Stoker (Dracula, 1897), but also invented an independent subgenre: lesbian vampires. Especially in film, there are numerous representatives of this subgenre, as I explain in the article.
As a supplement to VIRUS No. 110, SuperVIRUS No. 31 was released, written entirely by me. Under the title “The Salem Witch Trials: A Town Descending into Madness” (“Die Hexenprozesse von Salem: Ein Ort verfällt dem Wahnsinn”), I examine the history of the Salem witch trials, address the Puritan origins of U.S. witch hunts, and discuss some film examples of New England witch hunts.
Meanwhile, work on the next issue is already in full swing. Among other things, I will devote myself to the 200th anniversary of Ann Radcliffe’s death.
Strictly speaking not a project of mine, but one that fills me with pride: The German Lovecraft Society will publish the poetry collection Fungi von Yuggoth und andere Gedichte in the next few weeks. For the first time, some of H. P. Lovecraft’s most important poems will be presented here in German. The author and actor Frank Dukowski has created reinterpretations of the poems, which are printed in this splendid edition alongside the English-language originals. In addition, the nearly 300-page volume features accompanying epilogues and numerous illustrations. A truly impressive project! More information will follow soon via the Society’s channels.
Speaking of the dLG: In November, the DreieichCon took place in Hesse, where the association was of course again represented with a booth. For a few hours I also made myself a picture of it, before it went back to the Rhineland.
For the next few weeks, my health is at the top of the agenda. This also means that I want to devote myself more to things that I enjoy and that give me strength.
In other words: writing and talking about horror. Besides the usual “day-to-day business” at VIRUS, dLG and Stay Forever, this means that I’ve set myself some larger projects that I can immerse myself in completely and for which I finally have to do some in-depth research again. I cannot report on the biggest of these projects at this point. But I can tell you about the two articles I’m currently working on for Lovecrafter, the club magazine of the dLG: Firstly, I want to examine with the political poems of H. P. Lovecraft; secondly, I am currently working on some essayistic thoughts about the relevance of Robert E. Howard’s barbarians Kull and Conan today.
I am also very happy that the Nerdwelten podcast invited me to work on an entirely new project together with them and many other smart and creative minds. But again, I can’t reveal too much at this point.