There’s something afoot this side of Christmas: dark skies over real-world book retailing, and a black vein of change for UK genre magazines.
Maybe this change can be referred to as evolution, or as some might say, a devolution. But would anyone go so far as to think of the developing situation as an opportunity?
The future of the Borders book chain is looking less than rosy. This affects me on both a professional and a personal level. I for one will miss that particular quirky retail experience. There was always the possibility of finding something new and interesting on the genre shelves, and the magazine section, well, I’d regularly hotfoot it down to pick up the latest issues of HorrorHound, Fangoria, The Darkside, Rue Morgue and Death Ray, have a flick through Interzone (as I’m a horror boy and subscribe to Black Static), and generally nose about the imported titles until I sniffed out something new. That small high street pleasure is denied to me now, (and I’m sure there are others out there like me).
My day job is website design, build and strategy, although I’m not one of those talented designer/coder types – just responsible for the management and strategic approach of such projects. Happily I also get to work with several publishers.
This week a few thoughts of mine are featured in The Bookseller, the trade magazine for the UK publishing industry.
The article is reproduced here, and the paper version also includes a ‘baker’s dozen’ of my viral marketing tips for UK publishers. The cover of this week’s issue is nice and gory, and within the article I managed to sneak in the words ‘vampire’ and ‘zombie’ and namedrop the ongoing Stephen King Under the Dome viral campaign. A tiny victory for the genre…
You’ll no doubt have encountered the furore this movie has generated over the past few months and while I’m loath to add to the noise, I don’t think it’s possible to not have a debate over a film of this nature. Although divided into several chapters with titles including Grief, Pain and Despair, for me, Antichrist is a film of two parts: the first two-thirds and the final third; this latter segment no doubt being responsible for its seeming adoption or alignment by and with the horror genre.
Antichrist commences with an extended scene, shot in black and white, and set to a classical soundtrack. No dialogue, just detailed slow-motion shots of the flat in which the Man and the Woman (the characters are unnamed and I’ll not mention the actor and actresses names either) are making love, and (ooh how controversial) a single second scene of penetration. During this activity their young son walks down the stairs, climbs onto a desk and falls out of the window. It’s a memorable, simple and stylish way to begin a film that soon loses itself in analysis, atmosphere and ambiguity. Read more