Daily Archives: May 7, 2011

Day 17 – Favorite Short Story

Cats can see the color out of space but are unimpressed by it

Ok so I’ve missed quite a few days of this. My excuse? Well Portal 2 came out. Then I dislocated my thumb. The first may have caused the second.

Anyway, my choice for this one has to be “The Color Out Of Space” by H. P. Lovecraft, the only genuinely scary story I’ve ever read. That link is to the full text. Go read it before you read any further. Or get the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company radio play version, its free in various places. A lot of the time you get the impression that Lovecraft isn’t describing his monsters because he can’t be bothered, isn’t being paid enough or can’t think of anything. All too often we get to the end of the book and end up with something like “never could I tell, try as I might, what it actually was that I saw”, and on those occasions that he does describe his monsters (for example the epically detailed description of Wilbur Whateley in The Dunwich Horror) they’re weird but they aren’t (in the age of cinema FX at least) actually very scary.

But the whole point of the “bad guys” in this story is that they don’t have a form to describe. They literally are just a colour (from space). A colour which can’t be described using human language as it doesn’t exist in our visible spectrum, rather like Terry Pratchett’s Octarine aka the colour of magic best described as a ‘fluorescent greenish-yellow-purple’. and how do you fight a colour? Or a vapour, or a wasting disease as it ultimately becomes? Well, you can’t, that’s the point.

The story ends with a proper sense of dread on the cliffhanger, much better than Lovecraft’s better know stories because the action takes place close to a populated area, rather than the polar icecaps or the Australian outback.

Even  Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 17 – Track That Opened You Up To A New Genre

I’m not a fan of hip hop but chap hop is so much more dignified 😀


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