A monster can be many things. It can be predatory, tireless and hungry. It can be alien and unfathomable. It can be kind and misunderstood. Many see themselves in the monsters on the screen, love the monstrous as a symbol of comfort and solidarity between outsiders. But even then, we understand what it means when we hear someone whisper in a quavering voice “that person is a monster.”
Welcome to Recondite Hill
Welcome to the town of Recondite Hill. This small town is home to the bizarre and monstrous things that lurk at the edge of the darkness. The weird and strange that creep into local legend and folklore, warping a location into a mysterious hot spot of ‘what ifs’ and camp fire stories.
GenderTerror had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Recondite Hill and asking them about their project to try and capture the strange happenstance that occur here.
Monsters Out of the Closet: An Interview with the Producers Shriya and Nicole
Monsters Out of the Closet is a horror podcast that focuses on fiction by LGBTQ+ creators. Songs, poems, stories, Monsters covers it all. A wide variety of voice actors and some creative effects add that atmosphere and tension that written word alone may not be able to add.
Executive producers Nicole Calande (who’s over audio production) and Shriya Venkatesh, (who’s over content production) talked to GenderTerror about their trials, tribulations, inspirations, and overall goals with the podcast during its first year.
GenderTerror: How did the team all get to know each other?
Shriya: Nicole and I met as first-year counselors at a summer science and tech camp in the San Francisco Bay Area. We became really good friends that first year, and we clicked even more once we both figured out the other was not-straight the year after.
Nicole: After getting to know each other at camp, our friendship deepened by sharing and exchanging books, movies, and even fanfiction. In one of our first ever collaborations a few years back, Shriya actually beta-read some of my fanfic.
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Monsters Of Our Own: Monster Symbolism in the Trans Community
For some in the trans community, monsters represent a deep personal connection with the other and inhuman.
“Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared
Scary monsters, super creeps
Keep me running, running scared” –David Bowie, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
Grotesque. Violent. Terrifying. Misunderstood. Sympathetic. These are some words people use to describe monsters, depending on who you are asking and what the monster is. People’s perception of monsters and their existence is ever changing. Monsters often take the shape of the times, evolving to show the current fears and terrors of the world they come to life in. Frankenstein’s monster is much different than the slashers of modern age. The werewolf from an American Werewolf in London may share similarities with the teenagers of Ginger Snaps, but their raison d’être is quite different.
Stephen T. Asma, in his book On Monsters, describes monsters as “extraordinary beings”. Monsters encompass everything from phobias, to societal woes. They are both unimaginable and plausible. They encompass both the inhuman and human. Monsters are both literal and symbolic. The idea of a monster goes from one pole to the other, captivating and horrifying us. Society holds a very love-hate relationship with monsters and their attractive natures.
This duality of monsters, their appeal on a physical, psychological, cultural, and emotional level speaks to people. Monsters are seen across ages, across time, across the globe. However, the meaning of monsters for people are as varied as the monsters themselves. Even the same monster can mean different things to different people, all based on cultural and personal factors. For some people, monsters hold a deep connection to their very identity and how they see themselves and the world.
Continue reading “Monsters Of Our Own: Monster Symbolism in the Trans Community”
SOMA: The WAU, the Monsters, and You.
I recently finished SOMA and have a lot to say about the sound design and even more to say about the evolution of the monsters throughout the story and the WAU’s involvement in it. This piece will be loaded with SOMA spoilers so if you have no finished the game or at least watched a playthrough, I urge you to do that before even going past the spoiler line. There are story spoilers abound, you’ve been warned.
—–SOMA STORY SPOILERS BELOW—–