Articles, Blog

Stories With Spine

Photo (c) Richard Büttner:

Everyone who loves scary stories has favourite elements they can’t get enough of. Some want to drench themselves in blood and gore, others get their kick out of creepy, enclosed spaces. And if you are like me, it is skulls and bones that send a thrill of delight down your spine.

So when I was researching monsters for the next Kalbrandt Institute Archives book, naturally there would be skeletons involved.

Expanding The Horizon

While dead bodies are the classic stuff of horror, our beloved genre of fear and death tends to limit the role of skeletons to atmospheric purposes. An old battlefield littered with bones for effect, that sort of thing. At best, a few grinning skulls in a corner get to warn the Hero (m/f) that the current locale is a Dangerous Place™, but otherwise a dead body is only interesting when it’s fresh. Or still moving.

But bones have so much more potential than that. A dead bag of flesh must have died recently, whereas bones, under the right circumstances, can be millennia old. That time span alone opens a world of possibilities. But it also changes the questions that the audience wants to know the answer to.

Articles, Blog

Resolving Unresolved Resolutions

Guest Post by Cael Kalbrandt


It’s January 8th, high time to assess the damage done to your New Year’s Resolutions. Come on, be honest: have any of them even made it this far?

Didn’t think so. And don’t bother denying you made any. Even the half-hearted ones count for the purpose of this little treatise.

new years resolutions

Changing Digits

It’s human nature to ride the current of a momentous change. When your whole world is upset, for good or for bad, the ensuing chaos makes it easier to introduce other changes. Or you dig in and hold on to what you know. Humanity is fickle…

For some unfathomable reason, changing a digit on a calendar is considered so momentous, it warrants making radical changes. Never mind that the digits on the calendar change all the time. Every. Single. Day. Yet for some people it’s impossible to quit smoking on October 3rd or start going to the gym on April 25th.

Fair enough, I say. If January 1st is genuinely the only opportunity you see to make changes in your life, take it. It would be a waste to sleep off your hangover, wake up on the 2nd and realise you’ll be stuck in this rut for another 364 days! 365, even, if it’s a leap year.