Less Than Pulp, Issue 36
Convention Schedule, Internet Horror, and Snow Angels on Godless
Dates and guests of honor were announced this past Friday for Killer Con 2023. You can go here for more information, including how to register. Held in Austin, this is an easy con for me to attend, and I've been every year since its resurrection in 2018 (it used to be held in Vegas when its founder Wrath James White lived out that way). It’s a small con, good for hanging out and getting to know each other instead of being all business all the time. Lots of great memories from the past four years, probably too many to list here.
It won’t be my only convention in 2023. I’ll be driving with Max Booth III to Scares That Care AuthorCon in Williamsburg, Virginia. Held from March 31-April 2, it will have hundreds of horror folks selling books and tons of other goodies. I’ll be there, tabled next to Carver Pike. We’d hoped to have Diablo Snuff vs Gods of the Dark Web ready by then, but other deadlines got in the way. No matter, though. He’ll have Faces of Beth and Kin of the Fallen for those wanting newer titles, and I’ll have Earth vs the Star Mummy, The Bleak Season, and Snow Angels to sign, along with copies of older titles. You can register here.
Then, because I apparently can’t get enough of Max, I’ll be at the second annual Ghoulish Book Festival in San Antonio. I had a blast at last year’s, and I expect this year will be just as fun and successful. I’ll be sharing a table with author, game designer, and zine maker extraordinaire Eve Harms again. The event is from April 14-16 and will have tons of cool guests, including the creator of Sirenhead (which means I’ll probably have my son with me one day because he’ll get a kick out of that). You can register here.
That’s it for planned appearances this year, but if anything else comes up, I’ll make sure to post about it in this newsletter.
I watched the above video on the history of “internet horror” last night. I found it a fascinating overview of a medium where I believe the future of this genre lies, at least in terms of truly independent art. I’ve written two books based on creepy internet stuff. Gods of the Dark Web, which turns five this month, is a gory novella about an eldritch cult that grows out of net’s darkest corners. Digital Darkness is a sprawling narrative about horror games and online life’s impact on the nature of reality. I hope you’ll check them out if you haven’t already.
My love for this type of stuff sometimes makes me think I should be making videos instead of writing books, but then I remember this.
I also watched an in-depth look at people's fear of deep water by excellent YouTube channel Nexpo. This is something I find intimately relatable. Many childhood nightmares featured descents into deep water. Sometimes, it was filled with colossal beasts, but sometimes it was simply empty, dark, and crushing. The latter is…somehow worse. Occasionally, these dreams recur in my adulthood just with less frequency. Though I love the beach, I seldom wade into the ocean over my knees. I’ve never taken a headfirst dive into a deep pool. Maybe that’s because one of my earliest memories is a near-drowning I experienced when I wasn’t much older than my daughter is now. Or maybe it’s something primal, hidden in the collective unconscious, a memory of a time when our species didn’t have the comforts of modern life.
Anyway, this was a cool video! The creator explores the chilling game Iron Lung, Junji Ito’s “Thing That Drifted Ashore,” footage from the real-life death of diver Yuri Lipski, and other examples of media that epitomize this very real fear many people have. Thalassophobia is its clinical name. Nexpo, along with Night Mind, Nick Crowley, Shookey, Solar Sands, and Pad Chennington, is doing some of the best work on YouTube. When I’m not on that site mainlining nostalgia in the form of wrestling retrospectives, 90s toy commercials, or playthroughs of old video games, these are the creators I enjoy most.
Digital Darkness was definitely me trying my hand at YouTube horror in book form. Even at 95,000 words, I don't think I’m done with exploring that concept. The internet has a plethora of rabbit holes full of snakes, plenty of dark corners for Frank Belknap Long's Hounds of Tindalos to manifest themselves, and weirdoes meeting with other weirdoes to discuss how to best unfold their perfect chaos in the flesh space. We no longer know where digital ends and analog begins.
Or maybe that's just me.
I’m writing this on Sunday, 2/5. I have been without power for most of the week due to the ice storm that hit central Texas. We wound up staying with Jean's brother and his family when it got too uncomfortable at our place. The power has been restored to my neighborhood now, but needless to say, I’ve not done much writing or anything other than trying to stay warm and sane this week. I’m staring down a 3/1 deadline, though, which is less than ideal, but I like what I have so far on the piece (about 7,000 words of worldbuilding and setup). Only fun stuff from here! It's a road trip horror novella that I can't talk too much about yet, but let's just say it involves some classic horror characters having a bloody rendezvous at a far-flung rest stop. I’m pretty psyched for it. Think Devils Rejects meets From Dusk Till Dawn in terms of its tone.
The e-book edition of my newest book Snow Angels is now available on Godless for $1.99. It goes to Amazon (and up in price) on 2/17. The paperback will be available then too, but I absolutely encourage e-book readers to grab it before then.
From the back cover:
Thirty years ago, the town of Silver Lake left a bus full of ex-convicts to die in a snowstorm, and the legend of the Snow Angels was born. Now, the forecast is calling for a blizzard... and murder. The Snow Angels are back for revenge and no one is safe—not unless a trio of paranormal podcasters and a few brave townspeople can stop them.
Snow Angels is two-time Splatterpunk Award-nominated author Lucas Mangum's ode to classical supernatural horror and a novel about reckoning with the sins of the past.
If it sounds like The Fog, well, that’s probably because I adore that movie! It’s probably my favorite John Carpenter, but it’s hard to choose. The dude only made bangers. Yes, I even like Ghosts of Mars and The Ward.
In the newest episode of Make Your Own Damn Podcast, Jeff Burk and I attempt to figure out what is going on with the Amityville Horror franchise. It’s…not that complicated, but we sure did have a lot of fun. We even have a sidebar about how The Conjuring films are just the Catholic MCU. You can listen to it here or wherever you get your podcasts.
We also have a new bonus episode on the Patreon where we give our thoughts on the Academy Awards nominations, Adult Swim’s Too Many Cooks, and a few movies Jeff caught last week. You can listen to that for just a buck right here.
That’s gonna do it for now. I appreciate all of you sticking around and reading these. Lots of new subscribers this week. I’m not sure where you came from, but uh, thanks so much for stopping by! I hope I didn’t scare you away!
Less Than Pulp is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.