Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Little Kings Undiminished: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


I've been enjoying Stephen King's short fiction lately, and I continued to do so with 2015's The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

While there were a couple stories ("little Kings" as I recently called them) I didn't care for as much, I enjoyed the vast majority of this 2015 collection, which shows that King's more recent short stories are up there with his early collections like Night Shift and Skeleton Crew. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Some Thoughts on the Chauvin Verdict


Now that it’s been a few days, here are some thoughts on the Chauvin verdict (he was the former Minneapolis police officer who was recently found guilty of murdering George Floyd in May 2020).

Monday, April 19, 2021

"Well, I'm back": Frodo, Sam, and Life Toward the End of the Pandemic


"Well, I'm back."

- Samwise Gamgee at the end of The Return of the King

I’ve been thinking lately about the impending end(?) of the pandemic on the horizon sometime later this year (hopefully? ... at least this pandemic?). 

Going back to “normal” society is going to be weird and difficult for a lot of people. I don’t even mean for introverts. I greatly dislike the tendency to bifurcate humanity into introverts and extroverts. I’ve gotten more introverted during all this, but I used to enjoy going out and being in public and seeing my friends. In the Before Times (let's call it the Third Age), I found it quite easy to be more extroverted in social contexts where I’m supposed to be speaking. This is why I like teaching in person or giving conference talks--or I did before, anyway.


As I start to think about post-vaccination plans, I'm more and more realizing that it will be hard to do anything without some scars of the anxieties I’ve developed in the last year. 

I thought of a metaphor recently: For many of us who bear the scars of this pandemic, returning to “normal” social interaction is going to be a lot like when the Hobbits returned to the Shire after saving Middle-Earth (hopefully without the Scouring of the Shire!). They all carried their physical and psychical scars with them, and never felt quite at home the same way again. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pinhead the Philosopher: The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker


Reading this on my porch on Easter Sunday seemed weirdly appropriate

I have an abiding love of the Hellraiser movies (well, most of them) that I've never been able to explain, and I've read a fair bit of Barker's stuff over the years (including most of the stuff with Harry D'Amour and the movie Lord of Illusions, although it's been a few decades). I've been excited about The Scarlet Gospels since it was released several years ago, but somehow didn't read it until now. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

A Murder of Little Kings: Skeleton Crew by Stephen King


I was thinking of a cute title for this post, and my first idea was that a Stephen King short story could be called a "little King." A collection of them should have a catchy collective name, and "murder" (as a "murder" of crows) was too good to pass up. Anyway, here's the review....