Sketchy Recs: What to Do This Weekend: 9-11 October 2009

First, allow me to apologize for my delinquency these past two days. Aside from having more work due on a single day than on any other day in my entire college career, I have been getting sick. I've known this for at least three weeks. I've staved off any catastrophic health failings thus far, but succumbed to a very nasty cold on one of my worst allergy days in memory. I'm not abandoning the blog, just too sick to face the computer screen for anything but academic or paying work. I'm lucid now, so let's continue.

Read: The Magicians by Lev Grossman: I'll be hunting down a copy of this book this weekend. The samples I've seen are very well written. It's a more adult coming of age fantasy novel. I resent the assertion in some reviews that it's The Chronicles of Narnia meets Harry Potter for grownups, considering the deft prose and intelligence captured by CS Lewis in his classic series, but the description seems apt. I've been itching for some good fantasy of the not-dragon slaying variety and this appears to be the fix.

Hunt Down: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 20: This is by far my favorite anthology of short horror fiction each year. Stephen Jones does an incredible job filtering through the best in horror/weird fiction for this annual collection. This year features new Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon, and Brian Lumley.

Browse in the Store: Dark Delicacies III: Haunted: Del Howison owns the Dark Delicacies store and Jeff Gelb is his editing partner. Together they have once again put together a compendium of horror literature most likely considered too deviant for more mainstream anthologies. The collection has, in the past, brought us horror stories on eunuchs, sexual deviants, cannibals, and psychosis. I'm sure III will be just as good, but the audience is certainly smaller than the safer Best New Horror series.

See: Zombieland: Allow me to apologize for this oversight last week. I had no desire to see Zombieland. I really didn't. I thought it looked stupid and gimmicky. And I was right: for the first twenty minutes of the film. Then the tone shifts in an unexpected but welcome way and it turns into a compelling horror comedy. It's certainly not even the best horror comedy I've seen this year (obvious: Drag Me To Hell, dark and cruel: The Orphan), but until Paranormal Activity roles out further next week, I suggest you get in the holiday spirit with what turns into a really funny and sometimes scary horror comedy.

Rent: Shaun of the Dead: That way you won't possibly disappointed with a rom-com-zom.

Rent: Dawn of the Dead (original): That way you won't possibly be disappointed with a zombie film.