eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
Here's a great list from Culturess: "Scary Women: 13 Female Horror Writers You Should Read."

Today I'd like to share another book recommendation. I fell in love with author Craig Johnson's Longmire stories through the outstanding television series Longmire, and then (with the encouragement of [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl) I followed those stories back to their inspiration, the award-winning Longmire series of novels. They are part contemporary Westerns, part mysteries, part police procedurals, and part other genres, depending on the specific book. Due to the long character and plot arcs, I usually recommend that readers encounter the novels in their published order.

This year, however, we received a special treat: a stand-alone Gothic ghost story. No prior knowledge of the Longmire series is necessary. The Highwayman is a haunting, atmospheric little novella that is made for the Halloween season.

Here's the premise: when Wyoming Highway Patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the Wind River Canyon territory, she begins receiving repeated radio calls from her colleague Bobby Womack, each at the same time in the dead of night, reporting an officer needing assistance. But how exactly can she assist him, when Bobby died decades earlier? Or is he calling Rosey to say that she is the one in need of help? This tale is about legend and history and memory, the stories we tell ourselves and the truths that haunt us.

I'll leave you with a short excerpt. In this scene, Sheriff Walt Longmire has asked a retired state trooper if he has heard any unusual stories about his fellow trooper, the late Bobby Womack.

"Then there was this hitchhiker, hippie kid out of Benicia, California, who was heading north and got picked up by a trooper in the canyon really early one morning and said he gave him a ride all the way up to Canyon Hills Road and dropped him off. The kid wanted to buy him a meal to thank him, but the trooper said there was something he had to take care of but if the kid wanted to buy him lunch, he knew a place and would meet him at the end of the road in about an hour."


"The kid does what the trooper tells him to do and goes out to the end of Canyon Hills."


"There's nothing out there but Monument Hill Cemetery."

I didn't say anything.

"Where Bobby is buried."

I rested the Red Ryder in my lap for lack of targets. "You ever have anything strange happen to you?"

He thought about it for a while... "Back in 2000, WYDOT was painting the center strips, and we had to ride along in front of them, straddling the line so some idiot didn't come around a corner and run into their trucks. Well, I'm pulling the duty, and we stop at the Tipi Camp about halfway for lunch, and one of the crew comes up and asks me to say something to the trooper who's running behind us. According to this guy, he's got his windows down and has been playing the same song over and over and would I please do something about it."

I sipped my beer. "And?"

"Well, I tell this idiot that there isn't any other trooper, that I'm the only one on duty in the canyon, but he keeps complaining, so we walk back there and of course there's no patrol car. Now, normally I would've just let it drop, but I was curious, so I asked him what song it was."


"Said it was that old Rolling Stones tune 'It's All Over Now,' and that he must've heard it about forty-seven times."


"You know who wrote that song?"


"Bobby's namesake -- Bobby Womack."
eldritchhobbit: (Pretender/Wondering)
Cool Things are Extremely Cool:

- Netflix Revives Western Longmire. Woohoo! I am one happy fangirl.

- The University of Iowa is digitizing 10,000 vintage sci-fi zines dating back to the 1930s. Fantastic!

- Three Calls for Papers of potential interest: 1) on Robert A. Heinlein, 2) on the Gothic and Racism, and 3) on "It's Happening Again": Twenty-Five Years of Twin Peaks.

- FX Is Making a Television Show Out of Alan Moore's From Hell.

Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell - From Hell

- The latest episode of StarShipSofa is out - it's a jam-packed episode - and it includes my most recent "Looking Back on Genre History" segment, which celebrates the recent good news received by fans of The Pretender, Millennium, and Twin Peaks. You can download the episode via iTunes or stream/download it here.

Uncool Thing is Way Not Cool:

Cut for TMI )

The takeaway here is that most of my Spring 2015 trips and appearances - my Asheville weekend seminars, SofaCON and ConCarolinas, and likely another university campus talk in the works - won't be affected by this turn of events, but I'm very disappointed to say that it looks like Mythmoot III in January is off the table. I'm quite bummed about this.

For now I'm on the road again. Have a great one, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Longmire)
Every year, my parents send their granddog, the fabulous Virginia, a Halloween costume for her to wear (as well as treats to bribe her to model for pictures).

This year, my brilliant parents outdid themselves, sewing and accessorizing a most remarkable costume. I invite you to behold Virginia as one of our favorite contemporary characters, Sheriff Longmire of the award-winning Walt Longmire book series by Craig Johnson and the television show it inspired.

Virginia as Sheriff Longmire

Virginia as Sheriff Longmire

“I don't trust people who don't like animals. Hell, animals are the finest people I know.”
The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire #5) by Craig Johnson

Under this cut are pictures of some of her previous costumes from recent Halloweens. )

As always, you can see many more pictures of Virginia here.
eldritchhobbit: (Longmire)
Here are a couple of Calls for Papers that may be of interest.

- From Here to Hogwarts is a proposed interdisciplinary, multi-contributer volume born of the burgeoning field of Harry Potter Studies and the community of collaborators that is developing within the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association. Read more here.

- Joss Whedon's Comics: Essays on any aspect of Whedon’s comics are welcome. Read more here.

And here's a thoughtful piece on one of my favorite current television series, Longmire: "Longmire Shattering Expectations for Procedural Television."

An excerpt: "The legacy of the western frontiersman chases and embraces dominance: dominance over the land, over the indigenous Cheyenne and Lakota peoples, as well as over Longmire’s own family. It is a paternalistic legacy that honors an alpha-masculinity, whose power can only be maintained by dwarfing all others. Instead of fully embracing this tradition, Walt Longmire represents an alternative. He inherits only that which is noble within this tradition, while working to mend the callously inflicted wounds perpetrated by those that fully embrace it....

"We tend to forget that when perpetrators commit crimes, they take. When thieves rob they do not just take nice cars and expensive jewelry, but they often take from the identities of their victims, distort reality, invade memories, seize happiness, and hold it for ransom. Longmire explores the crippling sorrow of reconciling with such grief, and the value in seeking resolution."

Here, have a scene (in which the literature-loving Longmire gets his Iliad on).


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