Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Dark City Ride of Terror

Xeus has now launched the long-awaited Dark City 2 - a sequel with a difference: she invited contributions from other writers and in so doing provided a very much needed local outlet for new work.

N. Shashi Kala said of the book in the Sun:

In this sequel to the twisty, terror ride that was the original Dark City, 17 disturbing new tales of murder and debauchery, some of which strike quite close to home, are revealed. ... Dark City 2 proves that there are good Malaysian short-story writers out there with an eye for detail and a love of the macabre.
Congrats to all those whose work was chosen and I am very much looking forward to picking up a copy of the collection from MPH later today.


Xeus said...

Thanks Sharon! Do invite some of the new writers for your Readings! It will be such a great experience for all :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, if I may, would like to recommend you to review the 3 books by local authors mentioned in The Star on the 23rd November. They're the winners of the Utusan Publication Young Adult Literature Contest.

1. Trumation Nation
2. The Curse
3. Nine Lives


Always here to support local authors! Malaysia Boleh!

The Boinq said...

Hi Sharona, it's me Sharina from the book reading earlier today :)

Oh, my blog is rather uhm.. vulgar at times so.. :p

Thanks for having me again!

bibliobibuli said...

anon - yes need to write something about these books ... i feel i'm running to keep up with things at the moment and had noted it on my blog to do list. probably won't have time to review them though as i have a stack of books i've promised to read and review and have not yet got round to.

there need to be a few more reviewers to make sure local books get coverage!

bibliobibuli said...

boing - will drop by and read and everything is self expression so ...

and it was a pleasure to meet you and do come again

bibliobibuli said...

oops missed xeus' comment. all the "dark city 2" writers are invited to do a reading as are the other utusan winners. just fix it up with me. have a list of folks already so there could be a bit of a wait but would be delighted to have anyone whose work is published.

Anonymous said...

Xeus will be appearing with Tunku Halim for Breakfast Club on Saturday, January 26, 2008. Good idea to organise the Readings at Seksan's with Xeus and her writers.

bibliobibuli said...

yes i mean to ask tunku halim for readings and thanks for reminding me. xeus and her writers are invited to read but i really don't want to have my readings as an echo of breakfast club and aim for variety in the afternoon. i have a whole list of writers to accomodate too! if folks contact me i can see how best to fit them in, but for some it will be a little later in the new year.

who is this anonymous anyway who doesn't declare a vested interest???

GUO SHAO-HUA said...

i love horror stories. they can be at their best - HP Lovecraft, EA Poe, Clark Ashton Smith, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Ray Bradbury, yes even Stephen King - or at their worst - Richard Laymon, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, etc.

i've read books by our Malaysian horror writers, and i find that most times they tend towards the lesser end of the spectrum. horror, as i think mostly misunderstood by these writers, doesn't necessarily have to be graphic, gory, or outright a scare.

read for instance, Joyce Carol Oates' horror stories (The Doll is a great example). they're not scary but have a deep psychological effect on the reader, being about the darker human condition first and foremost before they are about terror. even Stephen King, despite his monster stories, puts as his priority, a very effective sense of self in his characters and has the uncanny ability of creating a palpable sense of place too. if you scrutinise them closely, his stories are not about ghosts and monsters, but about people thrown into unnerving situations that often create conflicts not between the protagonist and the monster but between the people in the stories.

this is what i feel our horror writers lack. they're focused on delivering the scares than exploring the darker side of human nature. (to me, Xeus merely presents that darker side rather than explore)

good horror stories are much more than what they seem to be.

Xeus said...

Dear Guo, the Dark City series is NOT meant to be horror. It was never intended that way, just that some people categorise it so. They're a collection of stories with a twist and can encompass any genre - horror, sci fi, romance, agnst etc. Many of the stories in there are NOT horror. It says so very clearly in the submission guidelines during the call for submissions.

Sorry the title is misleading.

GUO SHAO-HUA said...

hi Xeus,

we're not here to dispute your submissions criteria, as, with all due respects, you are the conceptualiser of the series and therefore knows best what you want the book to be. however, what you have brought up inevitably leads us to examine what constitutes "horror."

as such, i think it's good to refer to Noell Carroll's The Philosophy Of Horror Or Paradoxes Of The Heart, in which Carroll very astutely observes that "horror", as it is so-called, always refers to what the protagonists of a story experience. but he also goes on to differentiate between "horror stories" and "tales of terror", supernatural and non-supernatural, but narrows it all down only for the sake of simplifying things for his book and maintaining a focus for his arguments.

in that sense, Dark City may be termed as mostly "tales of terror." whatever it is, it still doesn't deviate from my point. if it so applies to whichever stories in Dark City are relevant to this discussion, Malaysian stories of terror and horror are mostly more preoccupied with merely the primary purpose and not anything more, or in DC's case, shock at the twist. i have already explained what a good horror story is, above.

Anonymous said...

What kind of a perverse person WANTS to be afraid ? isn't life scary enough already ? or maybe you have so much money you can live for ten lifetimes ? yes maybe that's it... you have enough money.. if you suddenly need dialysis or a very expensive operation, you can afford it.

That's why you turn to horror stories, because somehow real life is too good to you. For most people, the possibility that tomorrow something might happen that might exhaust all their resources.. that trumps every horror story in existence.

Still though, there are many things money still can't buy. If you wake up tomorrow and find that you can't see.. is that a good enough horror story for you ? it's well within the realms of possibility.

If you can't move, can't speak, can't hear, can't see and can't feel, but are still alive.. that would be a horror story as well. And that, too, is not impossible.