Monday, August 27, 2012


Penpal, the novel by Dathan Auerbach was originally written in a series of posts to reddit ( you can read the stories here but I would suggest you purchase a copy of the book. It became increasingly popular due to it's realism and eery, yet familiar imagery that was all too relate-able to almost anyone. It began as a series of posts that detailed creepy events from the "authors childhood". As the stories progress you learn that these spooky incidents are not at all unrelated. After reading the first three stories in one night I found something happen that hadn't happened to me in years: I couldn't sleep. It was too scary. As someone that relishes fear through literature and movies, this was a blast.

     Though not as scary the second time through (partially because I read the entire series only at nights the first time through) the novel is one of the finest examples of horror I've ever read. It isn't supernatural, it isn't overly gory or explicitly violent, however it is too familiar. The story centers around a boy as he grows up. The descriptions, the locations and the events are very familiar to anyone that grew up in North America. The author relates things that we've taken for granted such as hearing the pulse in our ears or the noises one might hear when exploring the woods. He takes these things and gives them a completely rational explanation that is more horrifying than you might expect.
     After encouragement from the online community, Auerback posted a proposal on Kickstarter to turn his series of terrifying short stories into a novel. His goal was met and surpassed almost immediately. The stories change very little, mostly in formatting from the web to the novel version. However there are some juicy alterations and extra tidbits in the book that were later additions. Self publishing has come a long way, and this book is a prime example of how someone's hard work can certainly pay off. This is a story that people love and voiced their desire to see it turn into something that they could support. If this sounds like something that interests you I highly recommend reading the original reddit thread (linked at the top of the post) and then buying it off amazon by clicking here. It is available as both a paperback and a kindle version.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sea Otter Vs River Otters

It has been almost no contest in my mind that River Otters outweigh Sea Otters on the cuteness scale. That is until today. Nellie the Sea Otter has upped the ante with her cup stacking ability.

Just because this little guy (gal) is capable of putting a few cups together doesn't mean it's a landslide; all it means is that the playing field is evened out. Sea Otters won this battle, but if I keep seeing stuff like River Otters playing piano duets, we're in for one long war that I'm eager to cheer on.