A source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas
STATUS: We are currently OPEN to submissions.
Vastarien. The forbidden tome. The impossible otherworld. A textual entryway into
a place where everything was transfixed in the order of the unreal. . . . Each passage he entered in the book both enchanted and appalled him with images and incidents so freakish and chaotic that his usual sense of these terms disintegrated along with everything else. Rampant oddity seemed to be the rule of the realm; imperfection became the source of the miraculous — wonders of deformity and marvels of miscreation. There was horror, undoubtedly. But it was a horror uncompromised by any feeling of lost joy or thwarted redemption; rather, it was a deliverance by damnation. And if Vastarien was a nightmare, it was a nightmare transformed in spirit by the utter absence of refuge: nightmare made normal.
Our name is drawn from Thomas Ligotti’s classic story of the same title (quoted above), which S. T. Joshi has characterized as “Ligotti’s most searching exploration of the forbidden book theme.”
Our interests include but are not limited to the following subjects:
- Supernatural horror (both fiction and film)
- Philosophical pessimism
- Decadent and fin de siècle literature
- Pessimistic and morbid poetry (Trakl, Thomson, Brennan, Leopardi, Larkin, Wiloch, Barnitz, etc.)
- Aberrant psychology (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, anhedonia, depressive realism, etc.)
- Euthanasia/Right to Die
- Horror in the visual arts
- L’école belge de l’étrange
- Corporate degradation
- The architecture and topography of Detroit and its suburbs
- Horror and pessimism as it relates to most any field (geography, psychology, astronomy, music, film, etc.—kind of a catchall category)
- Any crossovers or hybrids of these categories/writers
See our Submission Guidelines for more specific information.
Read about our Editorial Board for a look at who’s behind this project.