Saturday, October 11, 2014

Episode 15: Halloween Special - A Radio Gothic Experience



Halloween is not unlike death itself, I suppose. We know it's only a matter of time before it arrives, whether we want it to or not. It's more predictable than death, of course, arriving like clockwork every thirty-first of October. But it carries with it the same kind of fascination and dread with which we contemplate our own demise.

So to celebrate Halloween is to celebrate ... not death, exactly, but the idea of death. The possibilities that death presents us with. There is hope in death. Hope that there is more in store for us than worms and rot and failed legacies. There is also fear in death. Fear that we have erred so egregiously in life that what awaits us on the other side is horror upon horror upon horror.

To the potential of the Reaper's scythe, then, we raise our goblets high and offer this toast: may our shortcomings be judged lightly; may our wrongdoings be accounted for in fairness; and may our gestures of compassion and goodwill, however small, outweigh them both in the end.

In that spirit, we invite you to partake of The Bare Knuckle Podcast's Halloween Special. In addition to a carefully selected assortment of atmospheric music—the lion's share of it composed by your host, Pete Mesling—you will be treated to a reading of one of Charles Dickens's most terrifying tales, "A Madman's Manuscript." You will also hear your host read two of his own short stories, one of them an ode of sorts to Dickens, the other a piece of fan fiction, essentially, set in the world of Clive Barker's novella Cabal and the film version, Nightbreed.

A word or two about that last item before we cut you loose to enjoy the show. Mesling wrote "Face to Face" specifically in the hopes that it would find a home in the forthcoming Joseph Nassise- and Del Howison-edited Midian Unmade anthology from TOR. Unfortunately, it did not make the cut, but he maintains that it is one of his best pieces of short fiction. Though he eagerly awaits the release of Midian Unmade so he can enjoy what is sure to be a feast of short tales set in Clive Barker's universe of beautiful monsters, he also doesn't wish to see his own effort go completely unnoticed by the world, and so we have happily agreed to let him read it for the enthusiastic listeners of The Bare Knuckle. We sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Now you are free to wallow in our Halloween episode, preferably with the lights out and in a state of utter solitude—shadows and ghosts notwithstanding. A deliciously dreadful Halloween to you all!

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