“Ocular,” by Nidheesh Samant watches for its chance in The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

Horror and Weird Fiction: coming October 1, 2021.

Today’s story for our upcoming debut anthology, The Lost Librarian’s Grave, is “Ocular” by Nidheesh Samant, who spins a tale where the walls have eyes, but as it often turns out in both life and fiction, not everything is even remotely as it appears….

The intrepid Suraj Thakur finds himself in the middle of a mystery when his friend, Alan Humes, doesn’t come back from a trip to a rural village. At the behest of Mrs. Humes, Thakur traces his friend’s footsteps, which lead to the sinister Kamath Lodge. From there, our protagonist is thrown into an unlikely and increasingly grotesque adventure where it seems as if everyone knows far more than he is saying….

Nidheesh is a marketing professional, a writer, and a collector of trivia, who believes the best thing in life is a good bowl of soup. He lives in Mumbai, India with his family, and you can find him online at @darthnid on Instagram or via his website.

Canals on Mars

Harikalar Diyarında of Hatter Tea Party posted a fun post about the Martian canals, which served as inspiration for a lot of things, most near and dear to my heart–science fiction from the Golden Age and beyond!

Check out the original post: besides being interesting, it also has some pretty pictures!

Hatter Tea Party

Excerpted from Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan:

In August of 1877, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli turned his telescope towards Mars. The director of the Brera Observatory in Milan had installed an eight-inch Merz refractor on the roof of the Brera Palace, initially to observe double stars. Pleased with its performance on that task, he wanted to see if it ‘possessed the necessary qualities to allow also for the studies of the surfaces of the planets’. With Mars due to be in opposition with Earth in early September, Schiaparelli decided to seize the opportunity.

The observations he made over the next two months transformed our image of the Red Planet. In addition to previously noted brighter and darker areas, referred to as terrae (lands) and maria (seas), he could now distinguish, at first ‘in a very vague and indeterminate manner’, dark lines…

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Writing Prompt #6: Book in a Tree

Today’s writing prompt comes from a hike we recently did where I found a book stuck up in a tree, which I thought was a little unusual—especially since it sat there for three weeks. The talented painter, Dave Stone, gave me the idea for this writing prompt with a comment he made on my personal blog about the Book in a Tree. Thanks, Dave!

Produce a piece of writing or art that is inspired by this picture of a book in a tree.

For bonus points, choose any book, place it in a tree and mediate for a minute or two, clearing your mind. Then randomly pick 2D6 different words from the text and work those words into your story.*

If you come up with a piece of writing using this prompt, let me know about it in the comments: I’d like to read it. You can also use this prompt for visual arts, music, pretty much anything creative that you’d like.


* You don’t have to put the book on a tree. You can put it under a potted plant instead or if you aren’t a plant person then build a little stonehenge thingie out of spice bottles and place the book inside the spice circle!