February 22nd, 2011


Aftershocks: An Anthology of So-Cal Horror

(Sorry about the inadvertent coincidence of the title with headline news.)

I picked this up when Nightshade Books was having one of its excellent sales. Though I note the book was actually published by the defunct(?) fREAk pRESs. I surmise Nightshade gobbled up fREAk's stock -- it's also curious that I seem to have gotten a copy signed by faustfatale. Bonus! Um, anyway...

I was a bit disappointed. For the most part these stories just did not have the strong sense of place provided by, say, LA Noir & LA Noir 2. Some of the stories could easily have been set anyplace, and others had a thin veneer of Los Angeles about as convincing as a red carpet air kiss. (See what I did there?) Of course, LA was just the pretext. As for the horror, it was the usual hit-or-miss affair. De gustibus and all that. My faves would be the aforementioned Ms Faust's "Bodywork," which riffs off the car-culture in an unusual direction. Stephen Woodworth's "Street Runes" delves into the real meaning behind a gang tag. James Van Pelt's "Parallel Highways" makes a Caltrans detour from the 10 into the Twilight Zone.

We are all in some way or another walking up Reseda Blvd. someday to die

We celebrated President's'' Day by hiking around Caballero Canyon. It's one of those not-very-well-planned loop trails that has an unenjoyable section along a street. In this case, a steep upward slope along Reseda Blvd. past characterless tract home McMansion enclaves with snooty names and fountains at their gateway.

A section of the hike is also along Mulholland Drive, but since it's part of the unpaved section that's closed to cars, that's perfectly okay. Most of the hike takes you deep enough into the wilderness that you can't tell you're in Outer Tarzana. It was a bit cool out, but nice to wander about in the green. A few flowers and blossoms here and there, and an incredibly cute and incredibly shy bunny. photos

Janitors and security guards pay higher tax rate than the millionaires living in the Helmsley Building in NYC.

I like to support the arts in my 'hood, but Beacon Arts' latest communique mentions an 'Experimental music bagpiper'.

Spammers on my LJ are getting to be a problem. Don't they know everyone's left LJ for FB? Anyway, may have to close off anon comments.