July 24, 2010

Best of the Dark Side: 13 Wicked Horror Authors

1. Charlaine Harris

I always thought of her Southern Vampire Mysteries as lighthearted fun, not horror fiction. But they've been turned into the extremely dark True Blood show on HBO. And unlike the vampires of Twilight, hers actually do bite, instead of mooning about all the time.


Charlaine Harris Official Fan Site, on Facebook

Charlaine Harris on Twitter

Charlaine Harris, at Wikipedia

Loving True Blood in Dallas

The Sookie Stackhouse Series Fanlisting

Southern Vampires.com

True Blood, at LiveJournal

True Blood Net.com

2. Francesca Lia Block

Not a "horror author," but many of her works feature very dark, disturbing themes.


Francesca Lia Block, on Facebook

Francesca Lia Block, on MySpace

Francesca Lia Block, on Twitter

Francesca Lia Block Shrine

Francesca Lia Block, at LiveJournal

Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Series Fanlisting

Goddess: The Francesca Lia Block Fanlisting

3. Ramsey Campbell

A British horror author that kindergoths might not have heard of. My favorite book by him is "The Long Lost."


Ramsey Campbell Community Page, on Facebook

4. Douglas Clegg

I can't remember which one I was reading, but a Douglas Clegg novel grossed me out so much, I put it down and never read another book of his again. (That's a compliment though, but it means I'm a gore wimp!)


Douglas Clegg, on Twitter

Douglas Clegg, on Wikipedia

5. Nancy A. Collins

Probably most known, so far, for her Sonja Blue books. Check out her awesome taste in music, which you can discover on MySpace.

Nancy A. Collins on Facebook

Nancy A. Collins at MySpace

Nancy A. Collins on Twitter

Nancy A. Collins at Wikipedia

6. Storm Constantine

Best known for her "Wraeththu" series.


Storm Constantine: Stormboard, at Yahoo! Groups

Storm Constantine, at Wikipedia

Forever Wraeththu Fanfiction

Inception Zine: Inspired by Storm Constantine

Procreation: Wraeththu Fanfiction

Wraeththu Rocks, on Facebook

Wraeththu, at LiveJournal

7. Nancy Kilpatrick

A prolific Canadian author. Of all my Facebook acquaintance friends, hers are the most interesting, thoughtful real, and honest updates. I end up paying more attention to them than to updates from people I know more closely, and that surprises me. She writes and edits a lot of vampire fiction, and wrote the extremely popular Goth Bible. She also stays extremely busy editing and contributing to short story compilations and anthologies.

Nancy Kilpatrick (Official)

Nancy Kilpatrick on Facebook

Nancy Kilpatrick Bibliography at Fantastic Fiction

8. Brian Lumley

British author, best known in our scene for the Necroscope series.


Brian Lumley Necroscope Group, on Facebook

Brian Lumley at Wikipedia

9. Yvonne Navarro

"Back in the day," when the net.horror scene was small, I had the pleasure of corresponding occasionally with this nice and creative lady. I even got to meet her at a World Horror Con in Eugene, Oregon. I am so delighted to see her success in the horror field!


Yvonne Navarro, on Facebook

Yvonne Navarro, on LiveJournal

Yvonne Navarro, on Twitter

10. Clive Barker

I hardly need to introduce him to you guys. Seriously. But here are some links!


Clive Barker, on Facebook

Clive Barker, on Twitter

Clive Barker at Wikipedia

Clive Barker Fanclub, at Yahoo! Groups

11. Laurell K. Hamilton

Author of the extremely popular "Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter" series.

All Things Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Wiki

Anita Blake Fan Fiction, at Yahoo! Groups

Anita Blake Series, on Facebook

Anita Blake Triumverate Fanfiction, at Yahoo! Groups

Dark Desires: The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Fanlisting

Laurell K. Hamilton (Official)

Laurell K. Hamilton, at Yahoo! Groups

The Merry Gentry Fanlisting

Vampires & Faeries: The Laurell K. Hamilton Fanlisting

Laurell K. Hamilton, on Wikipedia

12. Neil Gaiman

Oh for heaven's sake, you already know who this is!

Neil Gaiman.com

Neil Gaiman's Journal

Neil Gaiman, on Facebook

Neil Gaiman, at IMDB

Neil Gaiman, on Twitter

Neil Gaiman, on Wikipedia

London Below: The Neverwhere Fanlisting

Smoke and Mirrors: The Neil Gaiman Fanlisting

Stardust Fan Fiction, at LiveJournal

13. Dean Koontz

Currently writing some interesting Frankenstein-based fiction.

Dean Koontz (Official)

Dean Koontz Fan Club

Dean Koontz Fansite

Dean R. Koontz at IMDB

Dean Koontz, on Wikipedia

Strange Highways: The Dean Koontz Fanlisting

--Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net

July 23, 2010

The Passage Book Review

"Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born."

I have never before done a book review as part of Dark Side of the Net. For 15 years, new goth or horror authors have been emailing me wondering if they could send their book for a review, and I always said no. My website was about links and resources, not book reviews; and I'm not a talented enough writer to bother trying to write reviews.

But I can't stop thinking about this book...

I picked it up at Sea-Tac just before a flight to San Diego, having conveniently forgotten to bring the (boring) book I was supposed to be reading for work. I'd flipped through The Passage a week before on the Borders New in Hardback table. But I was initially put off by the mystical-sounding page I randomly happened to open to.

On my second look through the book, I realized it encompasses my two favorite fiction tropes: vampires and post-apocalyptic survivors. I opened to a page that caught my attention this time, so went ahead and coughed up the $29, wishing I'd thought to buy it away from the airport for MUCH less with my B&N or Borders discount cards.

I read fast, but only covered maybe 270 intriguing pages on my 2.5 hour flight. The flight, one I take quite often, seemed to go by incredibly faster than I'm used to.

During my three day vacation, every night in my hotel I'd try to sneak away to bed a little early to enjoy more reading and see what happened next. I've never before read a "vampire page turner" nor a page turner that keeps you entranced for so many hundreds of pages in a row.

When I got home, I immediately hopped on Amazon and sent a copy to two teenage cousins who are avid readers. I'm not in the habit of forcing books on people, so I think I took them by surprise enough that they both prioritized reading it. And I was surprised to go to a dinner party at my best friend's house and find her husband engrossed in Chapter Six. He'd picked up a copy after seeing so many glowing reviews online. I was dying to talk to him about it but didn't want to accidentally reveal any spoilers.

The Passage is being described as "The Stand meets The Road." Fair enough, but I want to tell you that I absolutely hated The Stand (though I enjoy most of Stephen King's other books). And The Road is far, far more depressing.

The Passage is so good, that Salon.com created a book club for the very first time and chose it for the first book. It's suddenly become very popular in the mainstream, but don't let that scare you off. Merely pray that even 10% of the cheese-loving readers of Twilight read The Passage next, so they can see what a good vampire book is actually supposed to be like. No sparkles, no sitting around talking in cars for 40 pages, and not much kissing.

The vampires in this book (he calls them "Virals") are really fucking scary. They're not Anne Ricean fops wearing gorgeous clothing, nor girl-kissing Twilight pretty boy vamps. They're disgusting, rampaging, bloodthirsty, mean, and you want them to die. You'll really care about the human characters in the book. You'll ache for them, you might cry over them, and you'll get really stressed out about what happens if the lights go out on them.

Note: I do run affiliate ads on the right side of the blog to help pay Darklinks' expenses. But I wanted you to notice I'm not linking to this book with an affiliate link anywhere in this post. That's because I don't want you to suspect I'm only raving about the book to make fifty cents here and there. I want to encourage you to read it, if you haven't already. I think if you prefer dark or horror literature, you are going to really enjoy this long read.

Then pass your copy along to a friend and nag them to read it, because I foresee you'll want to talk about this book with someone!

I'm delighted to learn the book is part of a planned trilogy; and sort of unhappy to hear it of course will be made into a Hollywood movie soon. I hope they don't fuck it up.

-Carrie Carolin

- Dark Side of the Net


Enter the Passage.com

Find Subject Zero.com

Stephen King's "6 Must-Reads for Summer" (Entertainment Weekly, July 6, 2010)

New York Times' The Passage Book Review #1

New York Times' The Passage Book Review #2

July 13, 2010

Best of the Dark Side: 13 Fantastic Regional Goth Scene Resources

1. Gothic BC

British Columbia's goth scene has always been fantastically organized. It warms my heart to see it's still a strong scene. Many people have put so much work into keeping the scene informed, planning events, and providing up-to-date info. The forums here are pretty active, and you might enjoy the galleries. Currently featuring 67 new images from the recent Steampunk mini-con


Gothic BC on Facebook

Gothic BC Livejournal

Gothic BC on Twitter

2. Toronto Goth

Another extremely organized, vibrant Canadian goth scene. "Making Toronto a Darker Place."


Toronto Goth Facebook Group

Toronto Goth, at Yahoo! Groups

3. New England Goth

An active scene with lots of events within easy train or Metro rides. I'm jealous! The Yahoo! group is one of the very few moderated, still-on-topic, active regional goth groups I've seen lately.

New England Goth Livejournal

New England Darkside Walkers, at Yahoo! Groups

4. Arizona Goths

These folks face particular challenges that most of the rest of us don't have to cope with: Blazing hot sunshine pretty much year-round!

AZ Goths, at LiveJournal

AZ Goth at Yahoo! Groups

AZ Industrial, at Yahoo! Groups

Gothic AZ, at Yahoo! Groups

PHX Goth.com

5. Colorado Goths

An extremely active scene. Those long snowy winters seem to make Colorado goths band together, organizing resources and keeping in touch with fellow goths.

Colorado Net.Goths, at LiveJournal


Colorado Goth Community, on Facebook

Colorado Goths, at LiveJournal

Co-Goths, at Yahoo! Groups

Colorado Gothic Promotions, at LiveJournal

Colorado Therians, at LiveJournal

Colorado Vampire Meetup Group

Dark Colorado, at LiveJournal

Death Rock Colorado, at LiveJournal

6. Florida

Another brave, busy cluster of goths hiding from the sun in the Sunshine State.

Florida Goth, at Yahoo! Groups

Florida Goths, at Yahoo! Groups

Florida Lolitas, at LiveJournal

Gainesville Goth, at LiveJournal

Jacksonville Gothic/Industrial, at LiveJournal

Miami Goth, at Yahoo! Groups

Orlando gothic, at LiveJournal

South Florida Gothic/Industrial Scene, on Facebook

South Florida Goth, at LiveJournal

7. Chicago

Probably the largest US goth scene that I know of, based on sheer number of resources, members, events, DJs, etc. The epicenter of all the activity is Dark Chicago.com

Dark Chicago on Facebook

Dark Chicago on Twitter

Dark Chicago on MySpace

Chicago Gothic/Industrial, at LiveJournal

Chicago Gothic and Lolita, at LiveJournal

Chicago Horror.com

Chicago Zombie.com

Chicago Creepster, at Yahoo! Groups

8. New Orleans Goths

As you can imagine, the New Orleans goth scene was decimated after Katrina hit. As people have moved back into the city, the goth scene has rebuilt and has a lot to offer both locals and tourists. This weekend, the Southern Gothic Festival took place in NOLA, too. Sadly, Nolagoth.com is now gone.

Haunted New Orleans

Lower Decatur, on LiveJournal

NOLA Darkside, at LiveJournal

9. Boston Goths

I love visiting Boston and hanging out with my goth friends there. Always meet really nice friendly people. A very tight-knit scene, where everybody seems to know everybody else. (That can be both good and bad, huh?)

Boston Area Goth/Industrial, on Facebook (not very active though)

B0st0n, at LiveJournal

Boston Goth, at Yahoo! Groups

Boston Goths, at Yahoo! Groups

5 College Area Gothy Types, at LiveJournal

Gothic Boston, at LiveJournal

Steampunk Society of Massachusetts, at LiveJournal

10. New York and New Jersey

By virtue of population, these scenes are of course massive, with tons of events, splinter groups; steampunk, horror and Lolita and zombie crossover interests; and thousands of goth people.

Goths in Jersey, at Yahoo! Groups

Industrial NY, at LiveJournal

NY, CT, NJ Goth Meetup Group

The Court of Lazarus, at Yahoo! Groups

Gothic New York, at Yahoo! Groups

Midnight NYC Meetup Group

NYC Goth, at LiveJournal

NY Steam, at LiveJournal

NY Steampunk Meetup Group

New York Tri-State Goths, on Facebook

Swing Goth NYC, on Facebook

11. Washington, DC

I loved living in our nation's capitol, back in autumn 2002. A goth friend took me to hmm.. Nation, I think, once or twice. I appreciated the energy and the friendliness of the local goths. The clubs I remember were huge multi-room venues with lots of people who actually danced, not hiding on the walls talking to people (like I was doing!)

Ambrosia DC, at LiveJournal

The Metro Underground

Midnight DC, at Yahoo! Groups

Shadowscene, at LiveJournal

Those Who Mourn (Christian goths), at LiveJournal

12. Netgoth.Org.Uk

The ubersite for United Kingdom goth resources. Amazing amounts of work go into keeping this fresh, accurate and updated. Wonderful!


13. London

Of course London has a fantastic goth scene! This is where it all started, after all.

London Cybergoth, at LiveJournal

London Goth Sluts, at LiveJournal

London Goth Sluts.com

The London Goth Meetup Group

The London Goth Meetup Group, on Facebook

London Underground Goths, at LiveJournal

The London Vampire Meetup Group

-Carrie Carolin

Dark Side of the Net

July 10, 2010

Best of the Dark Side: 13 Gruesome Goth Games

1. World of Darkness

White Wolf created the much-loved (at least by geeks) Vampire: the Masquerade gaming system. Other popular games included Werewolf: The Ascension and Changeling: the Dreaming. Many goths and geeks everywhere were obsessed with these games for a few years. Thousands of Angelfire, Tripod and Geocities pages were created for clans, characters, and regional clubs.

Related links:


World of Darkness Articles, at Wikipedia

2. Call of Cthulhu

This Lovecraftian role-playing game was first published as far back as 1981, but I remember it being most popular in the mid 1990s. The Web majorly helped Cthulhu gaming fans find each other to play online and in real life. I spent many long hours looking for links about this game, and now all the Call of Cthulhu links in my old database are dead.

Call of Cthulhu.com

Call of Cthulhu, at Wikipedia

3. Planet Vampire

Planet Vampire offers an up-to-date wealth of resources on White Wolf's Vampire Role Playing PC games and the upcoming World of Darkness MMO. Active forums, mods and patches are available here.


4. Magic: The Gathering

I'm sure you all remember the hygienically challenged M:tg players who would gather in hallways at conventions, swapping cards. I can't tell you how many hundreds of Magic: The Gathering links I had to wade through back in the day to find a few dozen decent ones that were kept updated and had useful info to offer.


5. Deadlands

This game was a mashup of Westerns and horror RPGs. It never got fanatically popular, but I got a kick out of the concept.


6. Alone in the Dark

Did you ever play this PC game? It spawned many sequels, and lead the way for Silent Hill and Resident: Evil. It definitely creeped me out back in the day!

Alone in the Dark Video Game, at Wikipedia

Alone in the Dark Series, at Wikipedia

7. American McGee's Alice

My goth friends and I were so excited to play this computer game designed by someone who might not have been a goth himself, but definitely had a dark, morbid sense of style. I wasn't very good at the game, but loved the imagery so played it often. I remember a lot of fansites springing up, and girls going dressed as the macabre Alice on Halloween, clutching bloody knives.

Supposedly there was to be a movie based on the game, due out in 2010, but it doesn't seem it will happen.

American McGee's Alice, at Wikipedia

8. Clive Barker's Undying

I never played this game, but there were certainly a lot of online fans at the time.

Clive Barker's Undying, at Wikipedia

9. Oogie's Revenge

This was actually one of the stupidest video games I've ever played, and I regret the $26 I spent on it at the time. Horrible graphics, too. But it still made me happy that another NMBC game had been created. Avoid at all costs, though.

Oogie's Revenge, at Disney

Oogie's Revenge, at Wikipedia

10. Resident Evil

The center of the survival horror universe. Spawning many comics, graphic novels, and of course the movies.


Resident Evil Movies, at LiveJournal

Resident Evil, at Wikipedia

11. Silent Hill

This game scared the crap out of me. I made the mistake of spending 3 nights in a row playing it by myself in my darkened apartment back when I lived across the street from Microsoft. I blasted the sounds on my speakers and jumped out of my skin every time something shuffled towards me on the screen. It's of course been made into popular movies, creepy comic books, and has many video game sequels and offshoots.

Silent Hill Heaven

The Silent Hill Wikia

Silent Hill, at Wikipedia

12. Dark World RPG

Here's a great example of a PBEM (play-by-email) dark fantasy horror game. I'm glad to see there's still something like this out there.


13. Arkham Horror

Aah, my misspent youth. How many evenings did my dorky friends and my dorky self spend gathered around this Lovecraftian board game? Many.. Many.

Arkham Horror, at Wikipedia