Nov 08

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/8/17: Fairground Rides


So many of them sound like video games, don’t they? Probably because both are designed to take their users to a strange, disoriented world full of action and violent motion. With a dozen lists and a randomizer, here’s what I came up with, to create your own travelling carnival or Midway.

Nausea-inducing fairground rides



Rocket Loop


Techno Drive

Sky Demon

Air Chief

Devil Twirl

Sky Panic

Planet Force


Nitro Twirl

Devil Chief

Lunar Jam


Sky Attack





Predator Holocaust




Voodoo Run

California Revolution

UFO Strike

Ultra Thrust

Techno Spin

Fly Master



Sky Destroyer


Jet Jammer

Hyper Dragon

Crazy Twirl

Jet Spin




Rebel Force


Kinetic Drop


Polar Shot

Star Abyss


Voodoo Riptide

Ninja Twist

Double Slalom

Polar Expedition

Devil’s Empire



Nov 06


A little known creature from Chinese mythology, the Tigerpillar combined the ravenous appetite of both creatures.

Nov 01

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/1/17: Quaint English Towns

Are those Hobbits in the foreground?


You’re driving along in the English countryside on your way to the next bed-and-breakfast. Villages and towns appear as you turn a bend or crest the hill, then disappear as the road steers you away. Or you’re reading some cozy mystery book set in the British Isles, or a tale of Eldritch horror where innocent characters gather at the pub or on the green. Or you’re a country lad or lass on a fantasy quest, or a Medieval village witch.

Here’s a list of names for those very towns and sleepy villages, whose modern names are distortions of Celtic, Roman, Gaelic, or Saxon forebearers. All randomly generated, but you knew that…

Quaint English Towns




















































































Oct 31

Meeting with Medusa

Medusa Illustration by Simon Eckert

Illustration by Simon Eckert

Meeting with Medusa

An erotic short story for Halloween. Note that it’s comparatively mild, but still NSFW.


I knew I shouldn’t have tangled with a Gorgon.

It could have Medusa. She’d been reported working in Vegas by the other Hunters I’d been in contact with. Or it might have been Stheno or Euryale, her lesser-known sisters. But it didn’t matter, really. I’d been hunting her, saw her, and been seduced against my better judgement. When I saw her hair — snakes, rather — that had been it. After a most delicious girl-on-girl orgasm, I was now a block of stone up for auction by Sotheby’s.

I still held hope my colleagues would rescue me, knowing who I had been pursuing and the probable outcomes of my defeat. I wondered if they were logical enough to look for me at an art auction. Being unable to move or speak, of course, was a hindrance to my rescue, not to mention a frustration for someone as athletic as I was. I also knew there wasn’t much point in stewing in the feeling.

In the meantime, I watched the crowds file into the hotel ballroom beyond the velvet rope where I was displayed with all the other fine sculptures and exquisite furniture. The buyers were well dressed, wealthy, a mix of old money and new. They gaped at me, consulted their auction catalog, snickered, and gaped again, longer this time, for I had been petrified at the height of my passion and was stark bonkers naked to boot. A more humiliating scenario couldn’t be imagined.

A good thing marble doesn’t flush. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 30

The Queen of Vampires

Sleek, stylish, discrete. All hail the Queen of Vampires, Catherine Deneuve,
from the 1980 horror movie The Hunger.


Oct 29

A Haunting Strain of Music, Part 2

Some “lively” music always makes work go more
quickly, don’t you agree?


Rockabilly fun with The Creature from the Black Lagoon, who also moonlights as a record juggler. The title is a pun on “instrumentals.”


Swedish lady sings some early rock and roll. The picture is cool and shows she’s not afraid to have some fun with the idea.


Dracula gets into the act. I can guess this was a popular instrumental because there are even foreign versions of the song. The picture is from a British Hammer horror film, but Christopher Lee’s handsome face has been scrubbed out and replaced with this pointy-eared, goofy looking creature.


Spike Jones was a musician and bandleader who satirized popular music of the day with comedic singers and goofy sound effects, much like Weird Al Yankovik did in the 1980s. Teenage Brain Surgeon makes fun of rock and roll and then-current movies like “I Was a Teenage Werewolf.”


This illustration looks like one of the older ones, but it is actually fairly recent, from the 1990s punk band The Misfits. Here’s their cover of Monster Mash.

Bang dem bones! The skeleton certainly looks complacent being the medium for this cheesy cocktail lounge jazz music from Vic Geldman.

The Mummies, by their LP cover, look like they’re from 1965, but the music actually dates from 1992. Their blistering sound is pure, raw punk.


Calling all monsters! Clockwise from bottom left, we’ve got Toho Studios creations Anguirus, Godzilla, Ghidorah, Minilla the Son of Godzilla, Mothra in its larval stage, Varan, and Gorosaurus. The pic seems haphazardly slapped on to sell some Japanese  surf-punk music, including this gem,  Nati Bati Yi, by The Spiders.


Yokai Monsters: One Hundred Monsters was a late 1960s Japanese tongue-in-cheek horror movie that serves as a backdrop for these guys, why may be comedians (not sure, because I don’t know Japanese.) I couldn’t find the music music, but you can see the movie trailer here.





Oct 28

A Haunting Strain of Music, Part 1

Don’t you know how I hate being disturbed when
I’m categorizing my record collection?


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I like the spookiness, the masquerade element, and the rich trove of vintage memorabilia generated over the years… like these LP and 45 covers. For fun, I looked up the music as well.

The rich baritone voice of Boris Karloff, best known for narrating the Christmas special “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” makes for some deliciously frightening Halloween listening. Includes some early electronic music  effects.

Surfing and monsters! I am so there. The green girl in front could be Annette “Funeral”-cello herself. Note the pun on the Whiskey-a-Go-Go club in Los Angeles at the top. Exuberant mid-60s dance pop.

Nothing subtle about this one. “Surf Monsters” seems more fun though. But I could dance to either.


You don’t tell say! If so, why are these two — who must be portraying preachers of a sort — so freakin’ happy? And why does Satan look like he walked off a South Park cartoon that was yet 40 years into the future? Questions, questions.

The music looks like it’s jukin’ jumpin’ Rockabilly from the picture, but the title song is more gentle, a country ballad with vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Everly Brothers. In fact, I’d say this song, or songs like it, inspired many nostalgic 1960s imitations, such as The Rolling Stones’ “The Girl with the Far Away Eyes” and the Beatles’ “Rocky Racoon.” Recommended.

And… do I hear Sir Paul McCartney’s “Mull of Kintyre” in the tune as well…?

Of course Satan is real. Here’s Mr. Bad News himself! I would so listen to the whole of this album too. After all rock n’ roll was once known as the devil’s music. I also like the album cover where Satan’s face has two different expressions on his left and right sides: evil, and evilest!


People smoked, drank, and went to clubs a lot in the 1950s and 1960s (or threw parties at home where they hoped to replicate a club atmosphere, with smoking and drinking) and artists like this provided background music when there wasn’t conversation going on, or someone wanted to dance. The most common themes were those of “exotic” places around the world, like Polynesia or Turkey, presented in a tongue-in-cheek martini-swilling style. Horror and science fiction themes were also popular. This album combines them both, with an “African” mask. 


More horror/exotica  from a bandleader with a similar-sounding name. The cover depiction here, however, is more grotesque and less fun.








Oct 25

Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/25/17: Bogies

They are the things that make children wake screaming, blind with fear, in the middle of the night. They are the things that slip through the cracks under bedroom windows, the things that turn the knobs of bedroom closets and push them open with agonizing slowness, while the children cower under their blankets and pray that the old stories about monsters not being able to touch them through their sheets are true.

They aren’t.

Innocents on Night Terrors


Here’s a list of randomly generated bogies to frighten your own characters.

Things that go bump in the night

Krakhuan: An evil spirit in the shape of a rhinoceros. It walks on two human legs with oversized feet and has a long tail with a poisoned sting.

Mabafoon: An evil fairy that steals the lips from sleeping human children and replaces them with weasel skin.

Chroscrum: A demon in the form of a huge albino hyena. He has a loud, commanding voice and sends hordes of bats to punish his enemies.

Threehatch: An evil spirit in the form of a decaying, skeletal fox covered with carrion beetles.

Kilplacine: An evil, sorrowful spirit that has the upper part of a gaunt corpse with wrinkled white skin and the lower part of a crocodile.

Vlangthrut: A demon that looks like a handsome youth, but his flesh is covered with brown spikes. He has the wings of a pterodactyl and a hideous cackle.

Yathtrice: A demon in the shape of a black elephant with four human arms, two tails, and an aura of impending doom.

Mzabella: A horrible old crone who turns men into rats with her touch. She has two enormous pincers instead of hands and wears the flayed hide of a giant salamander.

Alrathy: A female demon who has the upper part of an elf-maiden and the lower part of a small, fluffy dog. She has hypnotizing eyes and speaks in a harsh tone.

Scorpadrox: A terrible goddess with two inhuman heads, those of a jackel and a hyena. She has oozing carbuncles on her back and lures men to doom with her singing.

Lephuan: An infernal spirit that, when summoned, appears as a sea cucumber with a human head. It speaks in a girl’s voice.

Oniprang: A demon with the body of a musk ox and the head of a cobra on a long, flexible neck. It mocks believers of the One True God and attempts to lure them to hell with gifts of treasure.

Oct 23

Out of Death

Out of Death, something beautiful.

(18th century carved horse skull)

Oct 18

Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/18/17: Geisterbahn

Do you enter? I dare you.


Geisterbahn is German for ghost train, the popular amusement park ride that carries thrill-seekers into dark, eerie tableaus designed to thrill and shock them. The most elaborate of these are found at Munich’s Oktoberfest. In the US, these rides are known as Spookhouses, or Haunted Houses. Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is an example of the best of the best of them.

Around Halloween, another type of Geisterbahn crops up — the live action haunted house, usually presented by charities, but often featured as part of a regular park’s seasonal offerings. These can be quite elaborate and some are definitely not for kids.

Here’s a list of randomly-generated names for your own haunted house attraction.

Haunted House attractions


Ghost Forest

Killer Plunge

Mutant Raceway


Vampire Rebellion

Ghost Ninja

Satan’s Circus

Medusa Mania

The Gorgon’s Nest

Psycho Prison

The Joker’s Scream

Haunted Shadows

Defcon Planet

Voodoo Hospital

Satan’s Holocaust

Demon Carnival

Killer Train

Zombie Warning

Mutant War

Midnight Journey

Murder Planet

Mummy Madness


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