Cultural Gutter: Archaeologists in Space

Author Jack McDevitt takes the guesswork, extrapolation, interpretation, and occasional total bullshit of assessing the meaning of ancient detritus and ruins and places them in the future, in a time when humanity has begun uncovering the ruins of long-vanished alien civilizations

We Are Still Here

If horror films have taught us anything, it’s that you should always be suspicious of a really good real estate deal. is that house a gorgeous vision of Victorian craftsmanship on the market for peanuts? Don’t buy it, unless you plan to use it as a place to which you invite a group of apparent strangers with the promise that if they can survive spending one night in it, you’ll give them a million dollars.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Although lord knows the world doesn’t need another origin story — modern films are positively obsessed with explaining every single detail of every single character in film history, leaving nothing to assumption or mystery and never accepting that sometimes we simply don’t need to know — The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an origin story.

Cultural Gutter: Children of the Stones

Over on The Cultural Gutter, In This Green and Pleasant Land examines Children of the Stones, regarded to this day as one of the smartest, weirdest, scariest slices of children’s television programming ever produced.

Alcohol Professor: Whisky Live Dublin 2015

This past October, I happened to be in Dublin at the same time the city was hosting Whisky Live Dublin (as well as the Bram Stoker Festival, which included packs of roving vampires handing out penny dreadfuls). Over on Alcohol Professor, I write about Whisky Live Dublin but not Bram Stoker Fest, and about all the Irish whiskey that never makes it to American shores.

Alcohol Professor: Whiskey Gift Guide 2015

Gift guides clog every aspect of media once we hit December, and while I can’t claim that my Whiskey Gift Guide on Alcohol Professor isn’t part of the crowd complaining about how crowded it is, at least it’s a list I stand behind, composed of stuff I actually like and that you can actually find and possibly afford.

Cultural Gutter: An Alternate Galaxy Far, Far Away

A long time ago, George Lucas hired Alan Dean Foster to write a sequel to Star Wars, operating under the assumption that Star Wars might not make much money, that the sequel would need to be really low budget, and that Harrison Ford would refuse to reprise his role as Han Solo. On the Cultural…

Alcohol Professor: Bride of Booooozy Tales

This year marks a special edition of Boooo-zy Tales on Alcohol Professor, because we’re bringing it to you live – or are we – from Dublin, Ireland. Like every big town in Europe, Dublin is one of the most haunted. And like many pubs in that part of the world, many of Dublin’s pubs are haunted…

Cultural Gutter: Now Cthulhu is Blofeld

Over on the Cultural Gutter, I’m taking a look at Brian Lumley’s first three Titus Crow novels, in which he turns Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos on its ear. Now Cthulhu is Blofeld examines Lumley’s preference for men of action, eschewing Lovecraft’s terrified academics in favor of two-fisted psychics flying around in magic clocks, shooting lasers at…

Cultural Gutter: The Challenge from Beyond

In 1935, Fantasy magazine contracted five of the most popular pulp magazine authors to write a round-robin style story, with each contributing a page or two before passing it on to the next author. On The Cultural Gutter, The Challenge of the Challenge from Beyond looks at how these five accomplished professionals created something about as good…

Alcohol Professor: School for Scoundrels

In an admission that will surprise no one, I’m a big fan of the website Atlas Obscura. And not too long ago, worlds collided when my job working for vice beat for Alcohol Professor led me to the streets of Chinatown after dark to cover Atlas Obscura’s Cheater’s Party: A School for Scoundrels. What follows is…

Alcohol Professor: How Dry I Am

September is Bourbon Heritage Month, and while the idea of limiting my celebration of bourbon to a single month is hilarious, I have never the less chose to honor the month on Alcohol Professor by writing about my old home, Oldham. How Dry I Am is a look at how a dry county came to…