Daily Archives: October 14, 2014

Looking for Something to Read, Revisited

Hey, folks, another little PSA on behalf of one of my friends:

My old college buddy Jaren Rencher just announced (with no small measure of well-deserved pride) that his short story “Hunger” has been accepted by the Utah Horror Writers for inclusion in their anthology Old Scratch and Owl Hoots: A Collection of Utah Horror. I read the story a couple weeks back and thought it was a wonderfully creepy piece that utilized familiar Old West story tropes for good effect, as well as playing very nicely off the reputation of one of Utah’s more notorious historical figures, Porter Rockwell, a.k.a. Brigham Young’s “Destroying Angel.”

If this sounds like it might be up your alley, the anthology is currently available for pre-order until October 31st at the suitably Halloween-ish price of $6.66 — half off the suggested retail price — with publication set for January 2015. I’ve already ordered my copy!

Incidentally, if anyone reading this is not from Utah and thus doesn’t know Porter Rockwell from porter beer, you ought to read up on him; he was a fascinating guy. One of my favorite anecdotes involving him is the time the Victorian explorer Richard Burton — another fascinating guy, no relation to the film actor who married Elizabeth Taylor multiple times — was camping in the Salt Lake Valley not far from where I grew up, and encountered Rockwell. These two supreme badasses knew each other by reputation, and spent the evening passing a jug of whiskey around the campfire and trading war stories. (In my imagination, they also compared scars, talked of women they’d had, and generally tried to out-macho each other.) This is all recounted in Burton’s book The City of the Saints, which is a thorough travelogue and ethnography of what was at that time — 1865 — an exotic and mysterious people, i.e., the Mormons.

 

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