Get your Freak On!
The Gothic eZine is dedicated to exploring alternative culture, fashion, fantasy/horror, existentialism, alternative religion (ie. paganism and wicca), sexuality, and all things gothic! Enjoy your stay!
Neo-Gothic Art Manifesto
The History of Gothic Art
Jonathon Earl Bowser
Stefanie Lynn Evans
Candice Raquel Lee
Victoria Van Dyke
The Mirage Freak Show Series
Nightmares in the Morning
Neo-Gothic Sculpture or the Lack Thereof
Hell Bound - Is your Soul Bound to Hell?
The Lilith Bloodstone Series
How to Dance Gothic I
How to Dance Gothic II
The Gothic Fashion Directory
Gothic Bikinis and Swimwear
Goths on the Job
Chastity Belts & Corsets
The Corset: Is it Feminist?
Emily the Strange Fashion
Gothic Hair and Makeup
Handy Guide to Making Yourself Look Dead Sexy
Advanced Corset Design
Corset Wearing and Care
Gothic Culture, Myth & News
Zombie Reanimation Theory
Killer Goth in Montreal
The Lilith Library
Art, Cannibalism & Vampirism
Biography of Victoria Van Dyke
Gothic Culture & Post-Modernism
Thats Soooo Chinky!
Witches & Pagan Religious Practices
Stephen King, the King of Horror
Gothic Movies and Music
Cradle Of Filth
Sisters Of Mercy
Siouxsie & The Banshees
Type O Negative
Rise: Blood Hunter
Zombie Movies from Hell
List of Gothic Bands
The Lilith Bloodstone Series takes
necromancy to a new level
You may have noticed the ads on the side broadcasting the release of the first 3 books of "The Lilith Bloodstone Series" on Amazon Kindle. Why are we broadcasting it? Because the books are freaking zombie-rific awesome.
If you love zombies, vampires, ghosts, basically anything to do with undead, the afterlife, necromancy or the occult then you will probably love the world created by Canadian fantasy author Charles Moffat. The kingdom of Korovia that Lilith Bloodstone lives in is richly detailed with background bits that are slowly revealed to the reader, like the Three Demon Wars and hints at a Fourth Demon War in Lilith Bloodstone's future, as well as historical and geopolitical information about feuding warlords to create a backdrop. But ignoring the warlords and the demons, there is always the undead, evil necromancers, murderers, creatures from other planes of existence... and Lilith Bloodstone, although young, is quick to prove that necromancy can be a source of power to destroy undead instead of creating them.
To make it easier on us Moffat has bypassed the usual routine of authors publishing novels. Each book in The Lilith Bloodstone Series is an anthology of 3 short stories with a continuing storyline which is a bit like a soap opera, but in truth it follows in the footsteps of the old pulp fiction magazines of the 1920s and 1930s... from which Conan the Barbarian got his chops. However The Lilith Bloodstone Series is only available on Amazon Kindle right now, which means you need to either buy a Kindle, download the app on your smartphone, or download the Kindle program to your laptop, tablet or desktop. (Update - As of 2013 the Lilith Bloodstone series is also available on Kobo.)
But if you do you will get to enjoy every zombie-rific, vampire-slaying, undead bashing, demon banishing story that Lilith Bloodstone has to offer.
Gothic bites in land of Dracula
Transylvania - Bram Stoker's over-active imagination has twisted Transylvania into the equivalent of a Dracula theme park. But this former principality of the Austro-Hungarian Empire overflows with history, architecture and culture.
So much so, that one of Transylvania's main cities, Sibiu, has been anointed this year's cultural capital of Europe, along with Luxembourg.
Acclaimed by travel books as Romania's friendliest city, and resembling a mini-Prague, Sibiu is a great starting point for Transylvanian journeys.
This still-inhabited medieval Germanic citadel, almost 1000 years old, sits near the feet of the spectacular Carpathian mountain range.
The old town is full of cobblestoned streets and gothic and baroque stone structures that provide beautiful sights for those strolling on one of the many warm evenings in summer.
And when it rains, there are always the centuries-old cellar bars, where solace from the wet and cold can be found surrounded by beautiful stone walls, with a cup of coffee or a glass of tuica (pronounced tsu-eeka) the colourless spirit Romanian peasants distil from plums and other fruit.
One such establishment is among my favourite bars in the world: Sibiu's beloved Crama (meaning traditional restaurant) National.
Tucked in a stone cellar, furnished with wooden tables and dimly lit, this place serves the best hot tuica and mulled wine in Sibiu. Its home-made sandwiches, including bread spread with dripping, onions and paprika, are an ideal accompaniment to such beverages.
Crama National is usually filled with university students and professors, and is friendly, cheerful and cheap very few dollars will get you fed and merry.
But there are also plenty of upmarket clubs, pubs and cafes, where you can sip cognac in lush surrounds, with a little jazz or piano music, or groove to the latest hits into the early hours.
For those craving culture and history, the area in which Sibiu lies has had archaeological finds dating from the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages. A tribe called the Dacians lived there hundreds of years before the birth of Christ.
The Romans established a settlement called Cibinium (hence the name Sibiu), which was abandoned by their retreating legions about 270AD.
Saxons arrived at the site about 1150AD sent to Transylvania with Hungarians by Hungarian King Geysa II to clear the heavily forested land, in order to protect the borders of his empire. Trans in Latin means "the other side" and silva means forest.
The territory joined Romania in 1918, after it was annexed from the Austro-Hungarian Empire hence the Germanic or Hungarian character of its cities.
The Saxons called Sibiu Hermannstadt Herman's city a name its mainly Romanian residents still proudly use in recognition of its long heritage.
More recent history is also preserved, with some beautiful old homes still scarred by bullet holes from the revolution that overthrew communism in 1989.
Walking on the stone paths of the old town area, surrounded by the brightly painted Saxon houses and grand administration buildings (Prince Charles has had a role in renovating some of these) you breathe in fresh air from the surrounding mountains.
It's this air that I blame for my inability to resist the numerous street stands, which serve the likes of covrigi, a skinny version of the German pretzel. Gogosi Romanian doughnuts filled with vanilla cream, or chocolate or jam are great for something sweet and stodgy.
Sibiu's central meeting point is the Piata (pronounced "piazza") Mare, which means literally "big square". It hosts summer festivals and concerts, against a backdrop of historic towers.
For reasonably priced, yet authentic, Romanian food, visit a crama, because, apart from buildings and archaeological relics in the famous National Brukenthal Museum, most things German have gone.
Most of the Germans fled to Germany during the 1970s, and particularly after communism fell. Munich is full of Transylvanian Saxon families who are still reconciling themselves with a motherland that hasn't really been theirs for 900-odd years.
Back to the Romanian food, at a crama you'll find great portions of typical Romanian dishes such as cabbage rolls filled with pork.
There's also what Westerners might consider more exotic fare, such as ciorba de burta tripe soup. This is mild-flavoured and really tasty with sour cream an essential accompaniment to many Transylvanian soups.
Sibiu is full of well-stocked supermarkets that are open late, but for fresh produce, including incredibly delicious cheese, meat and sausages, displayed by the peasants who produce them, visit one of the markets on the fringes of the old town.
There, you'll also find plenty of small, organic fruit and vegetables, just as nature intended them, that will delight any gourmet.
For those curious about the Dracula story, Vlad the Dracul (meaning the dragon or devil), was a Wallachian (southern Romanian) prince who was most likely born in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara.
Stoker based his character on Vlad because of the prince's fondness for impaling his enemies, such as invading Turks, on stakes.
Among Romanian peasants, Vlad is remembered as a prince who defended his people from foreign aggression.
In fact, vampires play no role in the local mythology.
Sibiu is also surrounded by beautiful (and often almost deserted) old Saxon villages.
Classical neighbouring cities, such as Cluj and Brasov, are also easy to access with trains and buses.