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Long Live the American Reader

This is an awesome book. I love Postman's writing style and rhetorical savvy. But, at least in this humble theorist's views, much of the hand-wringing here hasn't come to pass. 

Alexis de Tocqueville: ...the invention of firearms equalized the vassal and the noble on the field of battle; the art of printing opened the same resources to the minds of all classes; the post brought knowledge alike to the door of the cottage and to the gate of the palace. (Postman 38)
And, as we move through the first years of the twenty-first century, we remain a highly literate culture. I know it's a little bit of selection bias on my part, but my students are reading some great stuff, and it's showing in their writing and thinking. 

Creative Career Speaker Series at UCF: Digital Horror

The Vander Kaays will be joining our panel next week at the University of Central Florida, where we will discuss technology's impact on the contemporary horror narrative. Please join us in VAB 132 on Friday, October 24, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. for a lively discussion!

Topics will include narrative theory, film making, sound production and editing, marketing, and writing. 

With Halloween just a few weeks away, it's a good time to discuss all those things that go bump in the night...


Creative Career Speaker Series at UCF: Digital Horror

I'm moderating a panel on technology's influence on the modern horror narrative down at UCF next Friday afternoon. Join us in VAB 132 to hear from Rob Cowie, who worked on The Blair Witch Project and whose film Exists (2014) will be released just in time for Halloween!

Shoot me an e-mail if you'd like more information...


Monday Matinee...

Showed this one to Lyla recently. Bad parenting move, but at least she's been spending more time with us at night...

"Gramma" is based on a Stephen King short story--a punchy little number about demonic possession and generational necromancy. Good stuff, and perfectly appropriate for the season.


Monday Matinee...

Tales From the Darkside was such a delicious thrill for me when I was a kid. Emily and I used to wait all weekend for Sunday nights, when WGN ran a couple of episodes back to back. My folks didn't care much for the program, so we always watched them on the back television--in the dark. Great times, and resonant stories.

I attended an Oktoberfest party out at the beaches with the girls this weekend, and Lyla hopped into the host's pool with a couple of other kids. It was a potluck, and the kids asked for carrots, so I brought them a paper plate filled with them and they chomped down. There were little bits of carrots floating around in that pool, and I suddenly remembered the Darkside episode "Anniversary Dinner." 

Did I tell 'em about the plot? You bet I did! It's October, after all...

I'll embed some of these great episodes here every Monday. Yeah, I know I'm posting this on a Tuesday. It's been a crazy busy time at the college. Meetings, committee work, grading, teaching, writing, UCF work, and family time have drawn me in ten directions. 

Take a look at the story above. It's just my kind of horror (strange, mundane, tiny bit plausible), and it always made me think twice about that quaint little cottage in the woods...



sun climbs at low tide
oyster pops and muddy flats
Earth sighs, day begins


These Strange Worlds: Fourteen Dark Tales

Just in time for our yearly voyage into the heart of the October Country!

Available on iBooks above, or you can grab a digital copy over at Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, or B&N...

Paperback here...

Happy Autumn, everyone!