(Close Window)
Topic: Good atypical reads for bizarrists - COSMOS
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 3, 2006 08:19AM)
Hi all,

I just reread COSMOS by Carl Sagan... the book, not the TV series. At least for me, when you go through the pages... I start to get a glimmer of what real magic is - i.e. bizarre magic - I was toying with the idea of Quantum magic for a while - this has reinspired me. As much as I love reading the occult, mystical works etc. for ideas for presentation texture... this book does that too and boy, does it make one want to be creative!

Just sharing.

I guess I started this thread so anyone who has an atypical read that inspires them for bizarre magick can share i.e. not the typical works....

Dr S
Message: Posted by: thecardtrick (Nov 3, 2006 09:48AM)
Sometimes I check out the Journal of Parapsychology. You'll pick up some new ideas, and learn some vocab that might be useful to incorporate into a show.

Search libraries - college and university libraries, too.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Nov 3, 2006 11:47AM)
I do love to read Sagan Dr. S.

I really have enjoyed his "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.
I was a big COSMOS fan back in the day.

You know his son Nick is quite the writer as well... http://nicksagan.blogs.com/
Message: Posted by: wonderbott (Nov 3, 2006 12:13PM)
Cosmos is indeed a great resource! I find that anything other than magic often proves to be a useful resource for inspiring other magic effects. As many have said, a trip to the office supply store is more than enough!
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Nov 3, 2006 01:55PM)
I've read The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" and keep a copy in the bathroom. One never knows when one will run out of TP.

As for reading to find material, Internet newsgroups are a great source of weird things.

I try to read a few pages from the Portable Curmudgeon each day as it gets me in the correct frame of mind. I reread the Masks of God series each year as well as Frasier's, the unabridged edition. During my youth, Time-Life books put out a series called Man, Myth, and Magic. I skim through those a few times a year.

I have a love for Korean, Chinese, and Japanese myths, and have a collection of books that I bought while living in those countries. I reread those occasionally.

These are sources outside the standard poetry, novels, and occult/religious books.

Oh, yeah, this forum as well!

Message: Posted by: reese (Nov 3, 2006 02:34PM)
Samuel Beckett (for how humour and strangeness can intersect), different translations of "Books of the Dead" ('Awakening Osiris' for egyptian, Robert Thurman's translation of the Tibetan, etc.)

Things like "the Italian Boy" (about the culture of body-snatching in 1830's London), the new 'non-fiction' book "the Hollow Earth", fairy tales like the Brothers Grimm and fantasy works like 'Little Big' and 'the Stolen Child'....
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Nov 3, 2006 11:59PM)
On 2006-11-03 14:55, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
I've read The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" and keep a copy in the bathroom. One never knows when one will run out of TP.

Does this save you billions and billions in TP bills?
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Nov 4, 2006 12:05AM)

Yes, billions and billions.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 4, 2006 07:50PM)
TP made out of star stuff....
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Nov 5, 2006 01:18AM)
In order to make TP from scratch, you must first create the universe.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Nov 5, 2006 01:20AM)
"TP made out of star stuff...."

So are Klingons.
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Nov 5, 2006 12:41PM)
I find reading folklore from various countries to be very inspiring. And reading the labels of beer bottles, for some reason, has a mysterious effect on my mind....
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Nov 7, 2006 10:32AM)
Nice how Sagan started capitalising "cosmos" part way into the book...even the Grand Exalted Poobah of Materialists couldn't resist personifying (dare I say, "deifying?") the great and mysterious Cosmos.

The Twilight Zone continues to be a source of Bizarre material, not for its paranormalism (which is admittedly hokey at times), but for its humanity and wry observations on human nature. "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" is a classic example of paranoia, fear -- both real and justified -- and prejudice. "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit" mines the rich dramatic vein of the question, "Why am I here?" And my favourite, "A Stop In Willoughby," explores the human longing for "something more."

Serling certainly didn't build the "Temple Of Human Experience As Expressed Through The Dramatic Arts," but he did a good turn there as one of its High Priests.

Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Nov 7, 2006 09:40PM)
Indeed, Leland! And let's mention the other writers who helped make that show what it was and whose works are a cornucopia of inspiration for anyone so inclined: Richard Matheson...George Clayton Johnson...Earl Hamner...and the great Charles Beaumont. Beaumont's stuff is hard to find, but so powerful. I should also mention Ray Bradbury -- a messiah! And Harlan Ellison. If you don't know who he is, find some of his books and read them. You will thank me. Find 'Shatterday' and read Jeffty is Five. You will have found a new author that you will love! I promise! Also Edogawa Rampo (apparently, this is a verbal translation of the Japanese pronunciation of the name Edgar Allan Poe).
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Nov 8, 2006 05:11AM)
You mean the Ray Bradbury who just, after 50 YEARS, wrote a sequal to Dandelion Wine? You mean the Ray Bradbury whose complete works bless my shelves? THAT Ray Bradbury? Freakin' GENIUS!


Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Nov 8, 2006 01:40PM)
Yes, Mark, THAT Ray Bradbury. The same Ray Bradbury that recently visited an art gallery in my hometown to talk to the crowd that gathered to see him. What a delight. He is still going strong. The best inspirational speaker I have ever seen, not to mention one of the greatest writers. I can't imagine a bizarrist not having a copy of The October Country on their shelf.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Nov 8, 2006 02:49PM)
Ah, you lucky man. He's been one of my heroes since I was very small.

Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Nov 8, 2006 05:34PM)
Bradbury's "Dark Carnival" (a.k.a. "Something Wicked This Way Comes") is a must-read for any bizarrist.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Nov 8, 2006 05:43PM)
And Richard Laymon's The Traveling Vampire show....good read for the darker bizarrist.
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Nov 8, 2006 08:02PM)
"Music of the Spheres," Guy Murchie.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 8, 2006 08:07PM)
Yep, Twilight Zone IS my magic... wait until I get around to finishing "5th Dimensional Magick"....(i.e. writing it)
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Nov 8, 2006 10:31PM)
Ah...I have to add another wonderful source of inspiration. Do any of you collect and/or read/devour the old pre-code horror comics, such as Tales from the Crypt, Haunt of Fear, ShockSuspense Stories, etc? I love these things...and talk about your dark stories and horror and bizarre....wow! These are the goodies that inspired Stephen King and a host of other horror writers and filmmakers. I'm talking mostly about the EC comics, the ones William Gaines created before MAD Magazine (another inspiration which, btw, I was a writer for: I don't like to brag much, but I am very proud of that achievement!).
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Nov 9, 2006 07:17PM)
I love the old EC stuff. Hey Prof., if you have any still, you're probably sitting on a small fortune: http://www.superworldcomics.com/frameSet.php

Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Nov 10, 2006 09:21PM)
I too loved that old EC mag...you should be very proud Prof. !!!!
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Nov 10, 2006 09:59PM)

Ah, Harlan Ellison! The adaptation of "Shatterday" made the 80's revival of Twilight Zone something quite memorable -- that, plus an astounding dramatic turn by Bruce Willis.

"October Country?" Thinking of it still sends me into chills beyond the reach of any warmth, tho' I've not read it since the 6th grade. The "bone doctor" with the very unusual therapy...the casket that automates the process of burial...

"By the pricking of my thumbs..." has there been a better turn at casting than that of Jonathan Pryce as Mr. Dark, in the otherwise hideous movie adaptation of "Something Wicked This Way Comes"?

Do you know, Magi, there's a library nearby which hosts Ray Bradbury in the late summer? He's also known to haunt the Mt. San Antonio College's Writers' Workshop, as well as the L.A. Times' "Festival of Books." Just another perk of living in SoCal.