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If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 73 comments

"...because they tell us dragons can be beaten."

Digital artist Laurie Fauvel knows about the terrors that haunt children's dreams. In her "Terreurs" series of digital manipulations, children fight against the monsters menacing them in their beds
posted by happyroach on Aug 11, 2014 - 13 comments

Draculas? Draculae? Draculii?

The gals at Anglo-Filles have an entertaining (and epicly long) talk about the history of Dracula and vampires as characters and symbols throughout the ages and throughout fiction - topics discussed include Varney The Vampire, The Vienna Vampire Scare, Where Does Sunlight Killing Vampires Come From, The Secret Spanish Dracula, and Jonathan Harker As An Abuse Survivor.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 24, 2014 - 30 comments

Where there are no people

Animal Land where there are no people was a children's book released in 1897, written by Sybil Corbet, who was four years old, and illustrated by her mother, Katharine Corbet. "Animal Land where there are no People is quite near, only you can't see it... They live by the North Pole and in the leafy places near. It is always light there, always day, they climb the poles and always play." [more inside]
posted by dng on Jul 18, 2014 - 6 comments

Is it a dark and stormy night?

How to tell if you're reading a gothic novel, in pictures. A guide to terrible weather, castles, scary eyes, and swooning virgins from The Guardian.
posted by betweenthebars on May 10, 2014 - 26 comments

Just for a second, honestly

Japanese folklore and horror stories are known for their psychologically terrifying ghosts and monsters that prey on the minds and bodies of humans. But there’s also a lighter side to Japanese folklore, where bumbling spirits cause only mild annoyance, actually enhance your daily life, and otherwise generally botch the whole job of haunting mankind and teaching vague moral lessons about treating your parents with respect and such. 8 Hilariously Nonthreatening Monsters from Japanese Folklore
posted by timshel on Jan 28, 2014 - 44 comments

The Moan for Bigfoot

Do you like porn? Do you like monsters? How about some monster porn! NSFW, SLDailyBeast
posted by angrycat on Jan 16, 2014 - 18 comments

Here Be Duck Trees

An interactive version of Olaus Magnus’ 1539 Carta Marina, a map of the sea filled with the usual ( and unusual) monsters and creatures. (Slate)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 29, 2013 - 3 comments

Lake Monsters of North America

American myths and mystery allisonmeier "You'll see a good share of serpent-like animals of the Loch Ness Monsters variety, such as Isabella of Bear Lake in Idaho who was spotted by a Mormon pioneer in the 19th century and even had Brigham Young himself send a hunting party after the possible plesiosaur. There's also the famed Champ of Lake Champlain, possibly the most famous of American lake monsters, and the Lake Dillon monster in Wyoming that some think is being suppressed by a secret society."
posted by naight on Dec 26, 2013 - 28 comments

"Frankenstein speak zombie..."

Tips For Surviving, Monsters! A puppet based guide for monsters who are tired of being hunted. [slyt | via]
posted by quin on Oct 21, 2013 - 8 comments

i want my mommy

Deadly Asian giant hornets - aka Vespa mandarinia - kill at least 41 people in China. Hundreds more have been hospitalized by these 2+ inch beasts with a sting that packs a human-tissue dissolving neurotoxin. Survivor stories are terrifying. Think you are safe in the U.S. or Britain? Nope and nope. (via @BitterOldPunk)
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 3, 2013 - 130 comments

The Real Monsters

Artist Toby Allen has created fantastic faces for monsters which many are all too familiar with: Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, Paranoia, Dissociative Identity Disorder, And Social Anxiety. [via]
posted by quin on Sep 20, 2013 - 18 comments

Beasts of the Past

“One day, we looked around and realized that almost no one is making tokusatsu anymore,” said Shinji Higuchi, one of a handful of Japanese directors who still have experience in the genre, having directed three movies in the 1990s featuring the giant fire-breathing turtle Gamera. “We don’t want this technique to just quietly disappear without at least recognizing how indebted we are to it.” - The last days of the rubber-suit monsters.
posted by Artw on Sep 2, 2013 - 41 comments

STFU, Howard.

Monstergeddon is an annual, one-night tournament of monsters competing in various categories -- Best Kill, Most Unnecessary Collateral Damage, Sexiest Victim -- with the top prize being the coveted Killer Cup. The objective of the tournament is killing humans.
posted by Faint of Butt on Aug 21, 2013 - 23 comments

The real Necronomicon?

Guillermo del Toro's Sketchbook
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Aug 14, 2013 - 26 comments

Being in Solidarity with Monsters

China Miéville talks about Marxism and Halloween in a 39 minute audio recording from the Socialism 2013 conference organized by the International Socialist Organization. Miéville, Marxism, and the Fantastic previously (and many more)
posted by GenjiandProust on Jul 21, 2013 - 29 comments

(cover version)

Belgian designer Kristof Luyckx recently made six short videos as interstitials between lectures at the Beyonderground graphic festival. They are covers of famous songs, as sung by a cast of bizarre, colorful and very calm monsters. You can see all six at his site, or on Vimeo: [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jun 20, 2013 - 4 comments

Aspiring Animators & Game Designers, Study Your Calculus & Combinatorics

Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2013 - 40 comments

"Today we are cancelling the Apocalypse!"

The long awaited robots vs. monsters epic from Guillermo del Toro sees the release of its first trailer: Pacific Rim. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh on Dec 12, 2012 - 194 comments

Still nothing nearly as awful as eyeball leeches.

11 Legendary Monsters of Asia. 10 Legendary Monsters of Europe. 7 Legendary Monsters of South America. 10 Legendary Monsters of Australasia and Antarctica. 11 Legendary Monsters of Africa. 10 Legendary Monsters of North America Part 1, Part 2.
posted by davidjmcgee on Nov 1, 2012 - 18 comments

monsters are people too!

12-year-old uses Dungeons & Dragons to help scientist dad with his research: Cognitive scientist Alan Kingstone wanted to test whether people look at each others' eyes or simply to the center of faces. Some had suggested an answer would be impossible to discern because humans' eyes are in the center of their faces. But Alan’s son, Julian, a fan of D&D, told his father about D&D monster characters that have eyes in unusual places, such as on their hands or tail. “[Julian suggested] if you just showed them these images, you could find out whether they are looking for the eyes or not. I thought, actually, that’s a very good idea,” Kingstone said (summarized from Cosmos). The paper describing the results - "Monsters are people too" - was published in the British Royal Society journal Biology Letters this month, with 14-year-old Julian named as the lead author.
posted by flex on Nov 1, 2012 - 42 comments

Monsterdrawings+

Don Kenn is a Danish artist that draws monsters. 4chan adds the dialog.
posted by Long Way To Go on Oct 20, 2012 - 35 comments

Monster's University Website

Monsters University now has a website spoofing a real university. [more inside]
posted by busillis on Oct 10, 2012 - 53 comments

Monster Brains

Monster Brains is a blog about paintings and drawings of monsters. My favourite post on the site showcased Masters Of The Universe Paintings By Earl Norem, William George and Esteban Maroto.
posted by chunking express on Jul 17, 2012 - 7 comments

Theodor Kittelsen

Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) was a Norwegian artist, famous for his (frequently astonishing) pictures of trolls, as well as his illustrations of dragons, fairies, folk stories and the occasional absolute horror. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jun 6, 2012 - 24 comments

the unspeakable, in ink on post-its

What if Edward Gorey illustrated Lovecraft? It'd look like John Kenn Mortensen's work, that's what. Except Mortensen makes his art in his spare time, on post-it notes. He has an art book.
posted by Lou Stuells on May 4, 2012 - 39 comments

I like the one on velvet.

Let's add some monsters to thrift store paintings! Artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal decided to inject a little fun into these discarded works and give them a second life by adding monsters to the scenic landscapes.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Apr 15, 2012 - 40 comments

Unpacking the "Boo"

(Monsters) do so best when they believe in themselves. Author and academic China Miéville discusses prose style, weird fiction and the pratfalls of imbuing monsters with "meaning." [more inside]
posted by joechip on Mar 20, 2012 - 64 comments

How will the world end?

How will the world end? Encased in ice? Crumbling apart due to over mining? Or maybe beset by amphibious monsters and loathsome animals of huge size creeping their way towards us? An article by Herbert C. Fyfe from 1900, illustrated by Warwick Goble. [more inside]
posted by dng on Mar 10, 2012 - 31 comments

Asterisk-Eating Ball is cute!

Here are a variety of strange creatures, realized by the surreal Swiss mime troupe Mummenschanz: 1 2 3 4 5 Previously, and Muppetly. MLYT
posted by JHarris on Dec 30, 2011 - 16 comments

Monsters of Grok

Monsters of Grok. Fake band t-shirts for history's greatest minds.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 31, 2011 - 127 comments

Mini-Monsters

"The Japanese call critters like Godzilla "daikaiju", which means something like 'sacred giant monster'. I like this name, because it reflects the awe felt by mere humans in the presence of these creatures. These aren't just large animals, to be trapped for zoos or shot and mounted as trophies (sites like this notwithstanding). These are beings that, by their very presence, shake humanity's conceptions of self-importance and place in the universe." Chris Jarocha-Ernst makes miniature pixel monsters in the style of MicroHeroes. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 5, 2011 - 14 comments

The Ray Harryhausen Creature List.

The Ray Harryhausen Creature List A video compilation of all Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animated creatures.
posted by marxchivist on Jun 30, 2011 - 22 comments

SAN loss

Yog-Blogsoth This blog will be an attempt to draw all the creatures Lovecraft ever wrote about or mentioned. (Poss NSFW - drawn nudity, Def NSFSanity)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 1, 2011 - 53 comments

"I Make Monster Porn"

Show The Monster : "Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen." Video: Monsters in the Making. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jan 31, 2011 - 42 comments

Dungeons & Drawings

"Dungeons and Drawings," in which two artists reinterpret the D&D Bestiary.
posted by brundlefly on Dec 21, 2010 - 27 comments

Tymar lives!

Speak With Monsters -- A comic about the most interesting parts of D&D. [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Nov 29, 2010 - 35 comments

"I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless."

"The Science of Godzilla," by Tetrapod Zoology [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 9, 2010 - 16 comments

HP Lovecraft Creature Lab

In September, Jon Schindehette [previously] and Lars Grant-West [wiki] issued a challenge to students at the Rhode Island School of Design: "Create a creature based upon a non-humanoid critter from H.P. Lovecraft's literature. The creature should have a fully resolved form, convey motion where appropriate, and be believable. Creature can be shown as either 3/4 view or 'turn-arounds'." Here are the entries and here are the judges' comments. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 8, 2010 - 58 comments

Cat Rackham, I choose you!

PORTRAIT-DEX! Cartoonists create Pokémon self-portraits, with all three evolved forms. Featuring, among other fine artists, Scott Kurtz (PVP), Box Brown (Everything Dies, Bellen!), Anthony Clark (Nedroid), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), and Steve Wolfhard (Cat Rackham), who also runs the project.
posted by Gator on Oct 27, 2010 - 13 comments

Monster Commute

Monster Commute: A webcomic about the hell that is driving to work in the cute Orwellian steampunk monster-infested mirror universe of Monstru. [more inside]
posted by Gator on Aug 14, 2010 - 2 comments

Candygram!

Monstrous Wildlife, an educational film about Graboids [via]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 8, 2010 - 22 comments

Tenjō-sagari is watching you

Weirdly wonderful illustrations from 70s Japanese children's books by Gōjin Ishihara, including much nightmare fuel from the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 30, 2010 - 24 comments

A little Ed Gorey, a little Theodore Kittelson

"Born in Denmark 1978. I write and direct television shows for kids. I have a set of twins and not much time for anything. But when i have time i draw monsterdrawings on post-it notes... it is a little window into a different world, made on office supplies." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jun 20, 2010 - 22 comments

The Mocking Bird Song

Her name is Shawnee Jenkins... A brief fairy tale about a little girl and her parents. Who live in the basement... [more inside]
posted by Samizdata on Jun 17, 2010 - 9 comments

OH NO THERE GOES TOKYO

Pachimon (knock-off monsters) at landmarks; postcards.
posted by klangklangston on Jun 16, 2010 - 8 comments

Oceansize

Oceansize is a short monster movie created by four animation students. Here's a version with English subtitles (although it's hardly necessary). [via]
posted by brundlefly on Dec 10, 2009 - 11 comments

Famous Monsters of Filmland

Famous Monsters of Filmland, the legendary genre magazine edited by the late Forrest J Ackerman (previously), will be resurrected by comic publisher IDW.
posted by brundlefly on Dec 9, 2009 - 19 comments

Anatomy of Japanese folk monsters

Yōkai Daizukai is an illustrated guide to yōkai authored by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Oct 25, 2009 - 15 comments

"That would not kill Dracula!"

Vampires are over, argues Neil Gaiman. (Via the Guardian, who rather oddly suggest the similarly over-exposed zombies as a replacement)
posted by Artw on Aug 5, 2009 - 275 comments

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