The curiouser and curiouser life of one little girl’s favorite story, and what adults found there…

We’re all mad here…

I like to consider myself something of a student on Alice in Wonderland and its myriad adaptations. I can’t rightly say “Expert”, exactly, because there seems always to be something new to be taken from each new form, but at any rate I have made it a personal project to seek out and dissect what it is about Alice that makes it such a rich playground for the weird and terrifying, when it began life as little more than a story told to one…


In Which a world of very little brain bans a bear of very big heart

Children’s imaginations are a powerful thing

We all have that book. The one we treasure the most, that we beg incessantly for our parents to read to us over and over again, silly voices and all. The one that fueled our love of reading and gave us memories that feel fundamental to the way we interact with the world. For me, that book was A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. Some of my earliest and most treasured memories are of reading about this silly old bear and his friends with my mom…


Children’s stories are a scary business…

Let the wild rumpus start!

Welcome back to On Literary Censorship, the yearly series released during Banned Books Month where we dive deep into why books get banned, what it says about the culture of the places that ban them, and revisit them with a more open perspective. A few things worth noting: I tend to stick within the confines of my own geographical experience, which means primarily focusing on and dissecting bans in the United States, though this year will offer some branching out to other countries’ reasoning. Ordinarily I also try to engage with texts I have…


Slasher 101

Horror has always been a more complex genre than most people give it credit for. Any given day on the Internet will show the ever-going debate of horror’s political commentary abilities. As it has always done, the genre has become the hot spot for confrontation with the things we do not wish to face out loud, only now more artists are letting the mask slip a little to reveal the undead and undying monster beneath — and his resemblance to humanity is shaking even those who never bothered to look. …


On Possessions, Intentions, and Hidden Selves

One, two, swimmer’s coming for you…

What does it truly mean to be haunted? To be possessed? When pain and love are inextricably linked, how do you tell the difference? And can you break the cycle, or pass it on?

When I set out on Andy Marino’s debut horror novel The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, I expected a more or less run of the mill possession narrative. Woman is attacked during a home invasion, home invader is secretly supernatural, woman is marked and haunted by the newly-arrived entity in her home and either defeats or is defeated by it…


Ashes, ashes, we all fall down…

Break the wheel, remake the wheel…

There’s something so sinister about cycles. They can feel like an infinite loop you can’t claw your way out of, or like an echo of something you swear you’ve felt before but can’t explain or remember just right. There’s an air of predestination about them that can either comfort you or really mash that rebellion button. Sprinkle in a serial killer, maybe some ghosts, and weird perceptions of reality and you’ve got Chuck Wendig’s latest, The Book of Accidents.

Told from the alternating perspectives of serial killer Edmund Reese and each member of the…


Where horror and compassion intertwine

I don’t think I have the words to describe how speechless it left me.

I have been reviewing books intermittently between writing about film and balancing my day job for about a year, maybe a bit longer. Lately, though, with some shifting conditions in my circumstances I have found time to focus more on them than any other medium. Books have always been my first love and, while I have favorite little pockets to occupy, the most important thing to me — beyond genre conventions or expectations, beyond type of book — is the story itself. Can it make you feel something unexpected? Can it absorb you completely without…


The South is a ghost and so am I…

Southern Gothic that sticks to you

I grew up in the South. Not necessarily the backwoods country, dirt roads, and dead ends side of the South, but the South nonetheless. Even the most built up areas, one of which I was raised in, have rundown buildings with ivy roots running through them on the sides of the roads and secrets in the whispering sects of the community. No town here is big enough to miss the gossip and the rumors. I do have a bit of roots in the backends of the South, however, whether I want…


The making of truth is belief…

First of all, look at this flawless cover.

Rare is the book that can thwart your expectations at every turn. To do so requires a deft hand and knowledge of conventions that feels almost…magical. Getting to encounter a book like that, that sees the walls and boxes you have built for it and slowly tears them down brick by firmly placed brick, is nothing short of enchanting. …


Violent delights and violent ends…

Daddy’s little blasphemy

My introduction to the seedy grindhouse works of Preston Fassel was, of all things, through a podcast I was listening to in the middle of my workday. There I sat in my little cube, crunching numbers and minding my business when, suddenly in my ears unfolds the story of two women facing off against each other in life-or-death stakes that rang through with the mythology of the Minotaur in its maze and on the hunt. It caught my attention with such force that I paused the episode to go order the book (Our Lady of…

Katelyn Nelson

Katelyn Nelson’s writing interests lean mostly toward pop culture analysis and representation. She tweets @24th_Doctor, mostly about horror.

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