Thomas S. Roche's Blog
December 24, 2016
I am about to tell you the only thing you need to know to ensure a Merry Christmas: Watch Rare Exports. It is a twisted perversion of everything the season finds holy. It’s also quite possibly the greatest Finnish horror film of all time.
Actually, Rare Exports is really more of a dark fantasy, because while it’s genuinely scary at points, what makes it so brilliant are its inventive ideas, which it sells to the hilt. Its weirdly straight-faced disputation of Christmas mythology comes across as alternately hilarious and demented.
Rare Exports does not appear to be available for Netflix streaming, although it was for a while. But it can be rented or purchased as a download at Amazon.
Whether Xmas is working your last nerve or you just need the bejeezus scared out of you, Rare Exports will amuse and delight you and your loved ones in these trying times.
Amazon download: http://amzn.to/2isnknA
Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Exports:_A_Christmas_Tale
Official English-language site: http://www.rareexportsmovie.com/en
December 23, 2016
Nackles by Donald E. Westlake
Did God create Man, or does Man create gods? I don’t know, and if it hadn’t been for my rotten brother-in-law the questions would never have come up. My late brother-in-law? Nackles knows.
It all depends, you see, like the chicken and the egg, on which came first. Did God exist before Man first thought of Him, or didn’t He? If not, if Man creates his gods, then it follows that Man must create the devils, too.
Nearly every god, you know, has his corresponding devil. Good and Evil. The polytheistic ancients, prolific in the creation (?) of gods and goddesses, always worked up nearly enough Evil ones to cancel out the Good, but not quite. The Greeks, those incredible supermen, combined Good and Evil in each of their gods. In Zoroaster, Ahura Mazda, being Good is ranged forever against the Evil one, Ahriman. And we ourselves know God and Satan.
But of course it’s entirely possible I have nothing to worry about.
(read the rest at http://www.donaldwestlake.com/nackles/ )
November 4, 2016
This is from early October, but still interesting: For National Coming Out Day, singer Sade’s 20-year-old son Mickailia “Ila” Adu came out as a trans man. Congrats to him! May he never get one of his mom’s songs stuck in his head the way I sometimes do.
Far be it from me to cast aspersions on any property touched by Benjamin Clusterfudge. But let us never forget the first time Doctor Strange was adapted for the screen — on this occasion, the small one. The 1978 TV pilot featured future Bluth matriarch Jessica Walters as “Morgan Le Fay, an evil sorceress from the ‘fourth dimension’.” Marvel has pumped considerable mojo into this new version, but no quantity of Inception-style BONNNNNNGGGGs can erase the LOLZ of history.
November 2, 2016
CORRECTED: Turns out I was wrong about Google giving incorrect polling places. There are two tabs: “Vote Early” and “Vote on Election Day.” I have never voted early in my life and would never even consider it, so it never occurred to me. But that’s what it is. The “Vote Early” tab shows a location 5 miles away; the “Vote on Election Day” tab is correct. I’m still fairly pissed at Google; this information needs to be clearer. But whatever. I’m still switching to Bing, so I’m the one who really suffers.
Today, Google is offering to tell me where I vote, then giving me a polling place that is completely wrong. In fact, it’s about 5 miles away from my apartment, when the real polling place is ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM ME. If I were a more credulous voter, and a less dedicated one, and less generally invested in our dumb-ass political process, I might drive there on Election Day and be so fed up after waiting in line that I ended up not voting after all. On the Google results, there is no button that says “THIS IS WRONG” and allows me to correct it.
To compound things, it also tells me the polling place closes at 5pm. The real polling place, walking distance from me, closes at 8pm.
I am about as pissed as I have ever been at a tech company, and that’s saying something. If I were a conspiracy-minded weirdo, I would be convinced that Google is working for “Them.”
In general, Google, if you’re going to completely screw up a service, don’t offer it. Doing so is bad enough. But in this case, in an election, by giving me an incorrect voting location you are actually undermining our democracy. Obviously, I assume it’s unintentional; I just don’t care. Google, I cannot think of anything that could possibly disgust me more. I’m so serious about this, I’m actually considering switching to Bing.
November 1, 2016
By Thomas S. Roche
Prolific erotica writer Thomas S. Roche is known for the dark intensity of his erotic stories. At once deliciously transgressive and shamelessly romantic, his tales occupy the shadowlands between eroticism and danger, hunger and self-destruction, sweet death and the torments of life. A finalist for the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers of America, he is a writer to watch in the fields of erotica, horror, and dark fantasy.
Now, editor N.T. Morley has collected Roche’s most savagely erotic vampire stories into one wicked volume. Herein, you’ll find a romantic author whose best-selling romantic epics of historical tragedy might be a little more autobiographical than they appear. You’ll meet a future music critic seduced by his greatest obsession… and targeted by her for an eternal haunting courtesy of a passionate kiss laced with high-tech psychotropic drugs. You’ll meet a painter whose evocative acrylics are laced with the blood of strangers, giving them properties that transcend death, and her sister, also a vampire — but one of a very different sort. You’ll stalk dark nightclubs with doomed romantics, and wander graveyards where killers’ graves have become haunted altars to self-indulgence.
In short, you’ll taste the irresistible lips of the dead, and their sharp teeth beyond…
This is an explicit collection of consensual erotic fantasy stories. It is intended only for an adult audience that wishes to read frank descriptions of sexual activity, which may include such topics as vampirism, blood fetishism, and elements of horror and fantasy, as well as domination, submission, exhibitionism, voyeurism, threesomes, group sex, sadism, masochism, erotic humiliation, infidelity and other forms of sexual variation. Do not sample, buy or read it if you might find such themes offensive.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Wait Until Dark, Montresor by Thomas S. Roche
The Privilege of the Dead by Thomas S. Roche
Gallery of Despair by Thomas S. Roche
The Lunar Eclipse by Thomas S. Roche
Orphans by Thomas S. Roche
Visitations Dawn Till Dusk by Thomas S. Roche
August 20, 2016
A ScienceAlert.com article that is the most widely shared news item on the topic does not make that claim. It does, however, make the even more bizarre error of giving the Kazakhstan pyramid a preliminary date of “3,000 years ago” (that is, about 1,000 BCE) and then, in the next paragraph, claiming that “the Pyramid of Djoser in Sakkara, Egypt, was built about 1,000 years earlier, between 2667 and 2648 BC.”
Somebody can’t do basic math. Obviously, that leaves a 650-year discrepancy within the article. A little more than 650 years ago, sessions of England’s Parliament were still conducted in French. Incidentally, 1,650 years ago, the Huns were invading Europe. The article’s unspoken implication that the gap is a relatively minor one is bizarre, and would be even if the author were capable of adding and subtracting.
Any source that unclear on timelines (and basic math) should be drop-kicked.
Also, the headline won’t tell you that the Kazakhstan pyramid is a little over 6 feet tall. If it was the world’s first pyramid, that would be archaeologically interesting, but hardly the proof of ancient aliens that I’m sure some sources will soon start claiming it is.
August 13, 2016
“These meals give you the nutrition and calories you need in an emergency situation as well as the hearty, delicious taste of home.”
There are no circumstances I can foresee in which purchasing “Dinner in a Bucket” via the internet would be something I would do. If I decide to actually prepare for the apocalypse rather than just anticipating it with a vague sense of impatience, I will surely be willing to save a few bucks and buy my dinners and buckets separately and pack them myself. On the other hand, if I get to the point where the apocalypse is nigh and I haven’t yet stashed my dinner in buckets, ordering it online is probably not going to help me.
August 10, 2016
Yeah, so, this is a thing. From 1948. It starred Dean Stockwell. You’re welcome.
George Pelecanos even uses it in The Big Blowdown to remind us that it’s 1948. Inexplicably, the protagonist doesn’t want to see this picture. WTF!?!?
August 8, 2016
This Mother Nature Network post is from 2014, but is there really a shelf life on something called 25 of the cutest bat species?
Photo: Lesser Short-nosed Fruit Bat. Photo by Anton Croos via Wikimedia Commons.