Midnight Skull Sessions – Episode 14

Another hour of vampire wackiness is up on iTunes. This episode was supposed to be about Swedish mysteries and The Uninvited (which I thought was a Swedish mystery, but it’s actually just British, and a horror story). But as it turns out, we didn’t have much to say about them. And you know what they say, if you don’t have anything interesting to say about Swedish mysteries, edit that part out and talk about vampires. So that’s what we did.

Books discussed this episode include: Blood Therapy by Lynda Hilburn, Blindsight by Peter Watts, Wild Thing by Josh Bazell, and Playing at the World by Jon Peterson.

Embarrassing slips of tongue this episode include: Me confusing Lynda Hilburn with Laurell K. Hamilton right out of the gate, and saying that HP Lovecraft ran the Associated Press. I’d just like to say this. You probably can’t prove that Laurell K. Hamilton isn’t Lynda Hilburn. And as alternate histories go, HP Lovecraft being in charge of the Associated Press is a lot more unique than HP Lovecraft solving mysteries with Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Most of my reading in April was dedicated to Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World, an excellent, thorough, and witty chronicle of the genesis of Dungeons & Dragons. Even for readers who’ve never played a role-playing game, chapter two serves as an insightful overview of the history of genre fiction. But for those familiar with the system, it’s fascinating to see all the inspiring factors compiled in detail, and how much modern fantasy in all its forms owes to the original version of D&D and its four supplements.

Between Playing at the World and Blindsight, I haven’t had the opportunity to read much of note in the last few weeks. But I hope to have another review or two up sometime soon. In the meantime, I’d recommend checking out Children of No One by Nicole Cushing. It’s an excellent little horror story about an artist who builds an underground labyrinth in the desert and sets children loose in it. It’s the best novella I’ve read in awhile, and you can borrow it for free from Amazon if you’re a Prime member.

And despite not discussing it on the podcast, I did enjoy The Uninvited by Liz Jensen quite a bit. I just couldn’t talk about it without revealing everything that happens in the story. Although framed as a thriller, it has a lot more in common with a couple of classic science fiction stories. To say any more would ruin the fun. But if Children of No One sounds like it would appeal to you, The Uninvited probably will, too.

Per listener request, there’s a direct link to the podcast for non-iTunes users below. Simply click on the link to visit the webpage, then right-click on the .mp3 link and “Save File As”.


If you do get the podcast through iTunes, please leave a review! I only have two and could use more. It would also be cool to get some comments or mail to read on the next podcast. Or feel free to reach me on Twitter, where I rant about books and movies and videogames after everyone else has gone to bed.


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