Archive for June, 2012

Gyro Park

Posted: June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
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[This is a (very) short horror story I wrote some years ago. I'm posting it now for International Short Story Day.]

Imagine the city. And now a small park: a block in area, green space, trees on the perimeter, hockey rink, playground. Monkey bars, swings, slide. Carousel. Got it? Good. Now listen. There was a grad student. Owen Astor. He was auditing an evening class. When he walked home, it was natural for him to use Gyro Park as a shortcut. But he walked home at night, and the neighbourhood was a bit sketchy, and he wasn’t a big guy. So he always gave the park a quick scan before actually setting foot in it. Sensible. Smart.

Usually there was no problem. Plenty of events at the rink, with people around. But then October came, and everything died. (more…)

Alien is my favourite movie.

I don’t know if I could tell you my favourite novel, song, video game or play. But I have no trouble pointing to one movie and saying, “There. That one. That’s my favourite.” As I suspect is the case with most people who have a definite fave, how and when I saw the film play a significant role in shaping its importance for me. My father took me to see it on my 13th birthday. Once the face-hugger popped out of the egg, and especially once Kane had that bout of indigestion, I was curled into foetal position for the rest of the picture. It was an experience of terror that I have treasured ever since. My love for the film has never abated. Over thirty years on, I appreciate the film’s accomplishments in a new, but no less fond, light. Earlier this spring, for example, as I was teaching a course on remakes and sequels, Aliens was one of the films we looked at. And much as I love Cameron’s film, too, I was struck by how some of its special effects are showing their age, while those in Alien remain almost seamless. (more…)