In last week's feature, we discussed the concepts of horror and terror, and the way they help define a horror story. We continue this week with a look at atmosphere, and its profound impact on horror fiction. Atmosphere, in the context of fiction, is the look and feel of a scene, defined by its visual aesthetic, environmental conditions, mood, ambient noise, and a host of other background details.
Let's start with an example:
The fog came from nowhere, blanketing the park, thick enough to dim the streetlights. You quicken your pace, struggling to find your way through the fog. Someone laughs, not far behind you, sounding somehow unnatural. You turn, only to see a vague silhouette in the mist, not ten feet away, reaching for you and raising a shapeless thing you can't quite see over its head. You trip on something hidden at your feet, falling on your hands and knees. The laughter stops, and you hear footsteps behind you, coming closer. Someone touches your shoulder.
The rain came out of nowhere, putting an end to your stroll in the park, just heavy enough to ruin a beautiful afternoon. You quicken your pace, hoping to make it home before you're soaked. Someone laughs, not far behind you, sounding somehow familiar. You turn to see your next-door neighbour a few paces behind you, waving cheerfully and holding his jacket over his head. You slip on a patch of mud, falling on your hands and knees. The laughter stops, and you hear footsteps behind you, coming closer. Someone touches your shoulder.Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Horror, The New Fear
The finalists have been announced for 2012's National Book Awards. Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize given to writers by writers and administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Past winners have included Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, John Updike, and Alice Walker.
The nominees for the Fiction category are...
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
The nominees for the Non-Fiction category are...
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe by Anne Applebaum
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume Four by Robert A. Caro
The Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid
The night before the awards, each Finalist will receive a prize of $1,000, a medal, and a citation from the panel at a private medal ceremony. Immediately following the Medal Ceremony, all twenty Finalists will read from their nominated books at the Finalists Reading. The four Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature will be announced the following evening at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, where each Winner will receive $10,000 and a bronze sculpture.Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg
The 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Mo Yan. Mo, the author of Red Sorghum, The Garlic Ballads, Big Breasts and Wide Hips, and eight other novels, has been described by TIME magazine as "one of the most famous, oft-banned and widely pirated of all Chinese writers". The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the prestigious award, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism" saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary."
Congratulations to Mo Yan for achiving this prestigious award. As is often the case with Nobel winners, it's going to take a bit of time to bring his books into the store, but they are on their way, and will grace our Literature shelves soon.Categories: Awards, Saskatoon, Winnipeg
Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation; inducted not once but twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Neil Young is also an outspoken advocate on environmental and social issues. In Waging Heavy Peace, Young, who cut his musical chops in Winnipeg in the mid-sixties with his band The Squires, offers a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical career. From his time in bands like Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Crazy Horse, to the LSD-laden boulevards of 1966 Los Angeles to the contemplative paradise of Hawaii today, Young's passion for life shines through in Waging Heavy Peace as powerfully as it does in his music.
Before his daily talk program Q on CBC Radio One and CBC TV hit the airwaves in 2007, Jian Ghomeshi had a whole other life as a member of the multi-platinum-selling Canadian folk-rock group Moxy Früvous. As he writes of himself in his new book 1982, "I blossomed from a naïve 14 year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids to something much more: A naïve, eyeliner-wearing 15 year-old trying to fit in with the cool kids." Ghomeshi's bittersweet memoir is told across ten intertwined stories of the songs and musical moments that are jumping-off places for discussions of young love, conformity, the nature of cool, and the fascinating era of glam and glitter in which he came of age. Jian Ghomeshi will be visiting our Winnipeg store to read and sign his book on Saturday October 13th at 7:00 pm. More information is here.
Transgender indie electronica singer-songwriter Rae Spoon has six albums to their credit, including 2012's I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets. Rae's first book, First Spring Grass Fire is a candid story about a young person growing up queer in a strict Pentecostal family in Alberta. Using "they" as a pronoun throughout, Rae finds solace and safety in the company of siblings, the nascent feelings for a girl at school, and in the growing awareness that Rae is not the person their parents think they are. With a heart as big as the prairie sky, this is a quietly devastating, coming-of-age book about escaping dogma, surviving abuse, finding love, and risking everything for acceptance. Rae Spoon will be stopping by our Winnipeg store to read from their book with musical accompaniment on Saturday October 20. You can find more information online here.Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Newsletter
Neil Young & Crazy Horse have released a video for Ramada Inn, the second single off of their upcoming album .
comes out on Oct. 30. Watch the video for Ramada Inn below.
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