If you’re anything like me, you have long since exhausted the established canon of weird, speculative, and mainstream horror fiction. You’ve read every Stephen King novel in triplicate, and are starting to wish that H. P. Lovecraft at least attempted to describe the indescribable horrors appearing on his pages. Philip K. Dick’s paranoid schizophrenic revelations elicit bored yawns, and your local used bookstores are getting frustrated with your endless questions and requests for vintage Mythos pulps. If this be the case, you are in luck!
Originally aired on Resonance Fm, now available for free download or streaming here, Johnny Mugwump and his Exotic Pylon posse of New Wave radiophonic mediums updated the classic radio drama for the eccentric postmodern age. Over the span of two seasons, a special Halloween episode, and a handful of guest mixes, Weird Tales For Winter is a modern-day primer of esoteric weird fiction. Its contributors list reads like a Who’s Who of innovative electronic experimentalists, that have become some of the most influential acts of the musical underground since the series first aired. Following the breadcrumb trail of the artist’s influences will lead you down a hellish subway tunnel of obscure British horror films, Avant-garde graphic designers, unheard of Television series, and of course, an ocean of strange sounds to thrill and delight. The 14 contributors have exquisite taste! I was introduced to the works of \authors like Nigel Kneale, William Hope Hodgson, and M. R. James, and reminded of the twisted brilliance of Thomas Ligotti. The works of this cadre have kept me awake during many long, dark nights of the soul, and you may rest assured, you will see these names again in these pages.
Weird Tales For Winter reminds us of the early days of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (they began life making sound effects for radio dramas by Samuel Beckett). It is a welcome tribute to the glory days of weird radio, when radio programs like Dimension X and Lights Out! would terrify a generation with ring modulated robot voices and the creak of groaning, tortured wood. The radio play was uniquely suited to the Horror genre, where what is implied is often more chilling than what is seen.
I felt that Weird Tales For Winter was an appropriate topic for my first post, here at the newly renovated Amazing Stories, for what I hope to bring to the table. At my main blog, Forestpunk, I unearth obscure artifacts for fresh scrutiny. I will be digging up lost classics of the Horror, for unbiased evaluation, to fill in the cracks of the Akashic Records. I’ll also be looking at the ways that Horror influences other media, bringing you the choicest blood-curdling sounds. Weird Tales For Winter is a wonderful encapsulation of all of those things. You will be introduced to a wide swath of new psychopaths to dig your fangs into, while we wait for the return of the sun.