October has finally arrived, and with it shorter days, brightly colored trees and a whole lot of spookiness. As a devoted fan of horror, the lead up to Halloween is easily my favorite time of year. Rest assured, you’ll see a lot more attention devoted to all things scary on Unwinnable in the coming weeks.
Last year, I immersed myself in horror movies, books and games in order to write about them daily. I’ve been collected those essays, and a dozen more besides, under the title This Horrific Life for backers of the Unwinnable Weekly Kickstarter. It is almost done and will soon be available for sale for those who missed out on the eBook bundle back in April.
I have a whole lot more on my plate these days, so I don’t know if I can be able to write quite so prolific this year, but that isn’t going to stop me from trying. I have quite the strange assortment of things to share with you, including a series of articles examining John Carpenter’s horror movies, a bizarre mail art conspiracy theory centered on a New Jersey ghost town, seances, ghost hunting and more than a few great horror videogames. Some of your favorite Unwinnable writers are also turning their pens to the dark side of culture, too.
Finally, I’d like to invite you to tell me a story. Specifically, the story of the scariest thing that has ever happened to you. Seen a ghost? Got locked in an abandoned asylum? I want to know.
The teller of my favorite story will receive a free copy of This Horrific Life, a signed photo print of your choice from my portfolio and a creepy severed doll head. I’ll also run excerpts of other notable tales on the website closer to Halloween (be sure to note in your letter that it is OK to reprint). Send your stories to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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Matt Marrone kicks things off this week with a look at Stanley Kubrick’s use of the menacing paintings of Alex Colville in The Shining. He is only a little bit obsessed. I get burned by The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and explain why surprise endings in horror are almost always a bad idea (if you want to play Ethan Carter, do it before you read this essay, naturally). Mary Alexandra Agner lightens things up with some of her narrative rules for playing Minecraft and, finally, Gus Mastrapa delivers up the latest installment of Dungeon Crawler.
Kearny, New Jersey
October 1, 2014
This is a reprint of the letter from the editor in Unwinnable Weekly Issue Seventeen. You can buy Issue Seventeen individually now, or purchase a one-month subscription to make sure you never miss and issue!