Gothic Council Starts Gothic Book Club

Your friendly neighborhood goth is going on a little vacation next week to a magical place where deadlines don't exist, bands answer their emails promptly, and where hopefully I'll stop having that dream where Clippy beats me with a comma. Yes, I know I'm the guy they pay to play video games and judge steampunk dildos. Doesn't mean a bloke can't get burnt out a bit.

Seeing as I write about 2,500 words a day, I haven't really had time to read much lately. Books used to be my biggest personal expense in terms of both cash and time, but it's much easier to fit in 45 minutes of Doctor Who than eight hours of quiet reading. So I think I'll spend my vacation with my nose in a book and a drink at my elbow.

I decided to summon the Gothic Council for reading suggestions. Joining me this week is stylist Carol Simmons, fashion designer Batty, artist Ugly Shyla, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, webmistress at Morticia's Morgue Becky Plexco, and living historian Morrighanne Burns.


Carol Simmons: I don't really know that I read many "gothic" books. Of course I tend to lean to obscure, out of print novelists, so I guess that's pretty goth. The Gods are Thirsty is a pretty good read from Tanith Lee. Very dark portrayal of Robespierre, as if there were any other way to portray him.

I've always enjoyed Tanith Lee's sci-fi (Silver Metal Lover is tres gothique!) and fantasy books but they are all fairly quick reads, a little like cupcake frosting. This foray into historical fiction was a little slow at the beginning but so was the French Revolution.

I bought a really cheesy leather-bound edition of the complete Edgar Alan Poe. It's deliciously goth with black, red and silver lettering and artwork. The best part is when I got it home and opened it I found that it had been bound upside down and backwards!

Batty: Okay, I am going to mention the Silver Metal Lover, too. It's got rich characters, it's both romantic and sad (a goth favorite right?), and has a dark sci-fi mixed with bohemian romance sort of feel to it.

The story follows a young lady that falls in love with an Android used for pleasure, who has silver skin and happens to have a real soul trapped inside him, and is also a great musician. One of those books that asks if something synthetic can indeed host a soul and how society would react to that.

Ugly Shyla: I read constantly. It keeps me from hurting people. Not exactly a goth book, but something that is absolutely horrifying is Will There Really Be a Morning, the true story of Frances Farmer. It recounts what she went through in the mental institutions. It will stick with you for the rest of your life!

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner