William Friedkin, director of the classic 1973 film The Exorcist, just screened his new documentary about a "real" exorcism conducted by Father Gabriele Amorth on behest of the Vatican’s Rome Diocese. Friedkin's film is titled "The Devil and Father Amorth." From an interview with Friedkin in Variety:
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What was the experience of witnessing a real exorcism so close up like?
It was terrifying. I went from being afraid of what could happen to feeling a great deal of empathy with this woman’s pain and suffering, which is obvious in the film...
You have subsequently consulted with scientists in the U.S. about what you witnessed and filmed. What did they say?
I consulted with neurologists, brain surgeons, some of the best in the United States. The brain surgeons had no idea what her affliction was and none of them would recommend an operation. They believe that everything originates in the brain but — and they say this in the film — they have never seen anything quite like these symptoms….Then the psychiatrists…all described how psychiatry now recognizes demonic possession. It’s called dissociative identity disorder/demonic possession. And if a patient comes in and says they are possessed by a demon or a devil, they don’t tell them that they are not….They do whatever psychiatric treatment they think is necessary, including medication. And they bring an exorcist in.
Mur Lafferty, an amazing author and podcaster, had her mainstream publishing debt in 2013 with the wonderful Shambling Guide to New York City, about a travel writer who gets tapped to write a guidebook for spooks, haints, vampires and werewolves. Read the rest
Daniel José Older's debut novel Shadowshaper
is a thrilling supernatural YA novel with a diverse, likable cast of characters whose peril can only be averted through acceptance, true friendship and an embrace of their identity.
Richard Kadrey has returned to the world of Sandman Slim
with The Getaway God
, a hard-boiled, down-and-dirty supernatural end of the world novel that demonstrates that even if the world is ending, Kadrey's capacity to spin gripping, hilarious, grisly adventures has no end in sight. Cory Doctorow
reviews the latest installments in one of modern horror's greatest series.
Just in time for Hallowe'en, Richard "Sandman Slim"
Kadrey's publishers have released Dead
Set, a young adult novel about a San
Francisco teenager who ventures into the Egyptian underworld to rescue
her punk father from the clutches of an evil moon-goddess. Read the rest
Mur Lafferty is one of the worst-kept secrets in science fiction and fantasy publishing. "Secret" in that her fiction has not been widely published (until now). "Worst-kept" in that she has been such a force of nature -- the podcaster's podcaster, author of a huge corpus of excellent self-published work, and a skilled editor currently running Escape Pod -- that anyone who's been paying attention has known that there were great things coming from her.
Great things have come from her. The Shambling Guide to New York City is the first volume in a new series of books about Zoe Norris, a book editor who stumbles into a job editing a line of travel guides for monsters, demons, golem-makers, sprites, death-gods and other supernatural members of the coterie, a hidden-in-plain-sight secret society of the supernatural.
The volume opens with a desperate, out-of-work Zoe prowling the streets of New York, looking for a publishing job -- any publishing job. She finds herself chasing down a mysterious advertisement for an editor for Underground Press, which turns out to be the hobby-business of an ancient vampire with a modern idea. Phil, the owner, wants to produce the first-ever line of tour-guides for travelling coterie. And it just so happens that Zoe's last job was editing a successful line of (human) travel guides, a gig she excelled at and would have held still save for her philandering boss, who neglected to mention that he was married (to a psycho police chief!) before he seduced her. Read the rest
A tour of werewolves in European history — the mad, the bad, and the heretics.
High concept from the Hairpin's Mallory Ortberg: "Text-messages from a ghost:"
hey im gaunting you ok
Do you mean haunting
yeah sorry i don’t have any fingers
so im poltergeisting a stick to help me text this
Who is this?
oh sorry im a ghost
So do you live inside this phone
yeah kind of
Text Messages From a Ghost
(via Making Light)
(Image: Ghost Dance Texture, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from oddsock's photostream) Read the rest