Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fabulism: The New Wave in Fiction

What is this new “fabulist fiction” everybody is talking about? There is a wave of fabulist fiction going on.  As a reader you might think it’s a blend of magical realism/fantasy/supernatural stories. Fabulist fiction seems to blur these boundaries with fantastic events in realistic settings, flavored with exotic themes and blends of folklore or mythology.

In the milieu of fabulism, anything can happen–the unreal, the surreal, the unexplained. Some readers call it slipstream or the new weird, or what is most popular “the modern fable.”


[Image by Arthur Rackham, public domain]

Examples? Traditionally, we could think  Alice in Wonderland— yeah, that would fit fabulism. Kafka’s Metamorphosis where the narrator is transformed into a beetle.  Author Italo Calvino was known as the contemporary “fabulist” for his dazzling allegorical stories. Calvino’s Invisible Cities is a mix of history, fable, and fantasy.

I’ve dabbled in this genre with my newly released  short story Magic of the Loons. This story is set in modern day with real people pursuing their passions, taking risks, when powerful elements beyond the ordinary take command. The story was originally published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine last year. You can find it on for 99 cents. A quick 30-minute read, perfect for a solitary lunchtime read or with that leisurely cup of morning coffee.

Please note that I am looking for reviews. If you read Magic of the Loons and like it, I hope you’ll post a short review on Amazon and/or on Goodreads.

Here’s what the Bram Stoker award-winning author Lucy Taylor has to say about Magic of the Loons.

“Magic of the Loons” by Paula Cappa is a lyrical gem of a story, a love triangle set against the haunting atmosphere of a lake that is home to a raft of loons.  With lush prose and an evocative setting, Cappa interweaves temptress Kai’s seductive and sensuous nature and the fate of the two men who have fallen under her mysterious spell.”

Readers here know Lucy Taylor from one of her short stories (link) posted at Tales of Terror Blog Feb 18 2014 Women In Horror Month. The short story is  Walled, published at Nightmare Magazine.

Do you have any thoughts on this genre of fabulism? Have you been reading any fabulism? Any titles you’d like to add here for the readers? Please feel free to comment!

What mysteries lie in loon magic?



99 cents on

Book Cover Design by GinaCaseyDesign





Filed under fabulism, fiction, horror blogs, literature, magical realism, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror

Mysteries of the Invisible

The Horla  by Guy de Maupassant  (1887)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   August 25, 2015



“I began to see myself through a mist in the depths of the looking-glass,

in a mist as it were through a sheet of water …”


The mysterious invisible. Unfathomable powers. Phantoms from the void. This short story may be a psychological horror story—de Maupassant’s most famous story—but it is also a masterpiece of suspense and a finely constructed narrative by a writer who was institutionalized shortly after the publication. The Horla in French means “the outsider there.”

Sanity vs. doubts of sanity, vs. insanity vs. a real phantom. Our protagonist has an irritation of the nerves. He lives alone, unmarried, and begins to have recurring nightmares of a creature crushing and choking him in his bed night after night. Rest and relaxation make no improvement. Soon enough we find that an invisible being is feeding on milk and water inside the bedroom and slowly but surely taking possession of our sad and tormented young man.

There’s a line in this story that struck me:  “When we are alone for a long time we people the void with phantoms.”   I especially like how de Maupassant makes the reader feel that everything happening is false and at the same time makes you feel that everything is real. What a writer!






de Maupassant published over 300 short stories and 6 novels.  H.P. Lovecraft found inspiration  from The Horla for his The Call of the Cthulhu.






“I entered literary life as a meteor, and I shall leave it like a thunderbolt.” –Guy de Maupassant


Read the short story at (Scroll down to The Horla)


Listen to the audio at Librivox on


Watch the 1963 film (a loose adaptation), starring Vincent Price, “Diary of a Madman” on YouTube.



Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace        Sirens Call Publications

Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

Rob Around Books     Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.


Filed under fiction, haunted mind, horror, horror blogs, phantoms, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror

If Whales Could Be Ghosts

If whales could be ghosts.  

What would be their song?





We normally don’t think of whales as ghosts. But, why not?  Science theorizes that ghosts  might be remnants of the naturally occurring electromagnetic fields of the physical body. If there are parallel dimensions, and science cannot prove there isn’t, maybe whale ghosts can exist, and not just in fiction. This photo by Aftab Uzzaman caught my eye and inspired me to rethink the idea of whale ghosts./“One humpback blows mist. Another dips deeper. A lone gull hovers. I was there in this remote corner of Alaska to watch the drama unfold. It was a privilege. Life has been a privilege. People. Precious moments.” –Aftab Uzzaman.

Photo courtesy of Flicker, Creative Commons, by photographer Aftab Uzzaman “The Moment.”


Would you like to meet a beluga whale in the White Sea in Russia?  Click here:   (22 seconds)


Many of you here know of my research going on the past few years: beluga whales, Russia, poems,  folklore,  history, a  bit of mythology, and classical music.  If  we mix  these elements with the mysterious supernatural, what kind of a story do you think would evolve? More posts to come on whales, music, and the supernatural. Meantime …


What do you think of whale ghosts?


(Image Creative Commons)


Filed under fiction, Ghosts, short stories, short story blogs

A Devilish Trap

The Open Window  by Saki (1910)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  August 18, 2015


This is an ever so brief ghost tale with a dash of madness and a subtle underbelly of evil. Psychological, supernatural, and mysterious. Saki (H.H. Munro) writes this story, I think, to play with the reader’s imagination. Some readers find it humorous, others dig deeper for a more sinister force, wondering if a devilish trap is really going on. Others claim irony, in the Greek sense of “dissimulation,” a literary technique where the writer intends his meaning to be understood differently from what he overtly says. How would you interpret The Open Window?


Frampton Nuttel (love that name!) has just arrived for his stay at Sappleton House in the country for a rest because of his “nervous exhaustion.” Hopeful for a few quiet days, he meets the young Vera—a sweet and charming teen. The window, actually a door, is left open (I won’t tell you why) despite the coldness of the air, and the fireplace is burning.


In the short film below, Michael Sheen (currently on the Showtime hit Masters of Sex) gives a memorable performance.





Saki had a reputation as a master of the short story form, often compared to O.Henry and depicted as a minor satirist of the Edwardian period. He produced four volumes of short stories, most notable for their wit and surprise endings. You can read more of his works at, including The She-Wolf, Laura, and The Cobweb.




Read the short story here at

Listen to the audio by on YouTube.


Watch the film The Open Doors, starring Michael Sheen on














Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Rob Around Books     Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.




Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, quiet horror, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror

Poe Stories Read by Vincent Price



I couldn’t resist sharing this link with you. If you love to listen to supernatural stories, this collection from Open (via Spotify, free)  has five hours of Edgar Allan Poe stories read by Vincent Price.  The Raven, The Haunted Palace, the City in the Sea, and much more.  Enjoy this bonus from yours truly for August.







Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Rob Around Books     Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under classic horror stories, Edgar Allan Poe, fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, tales of terror

“Have You Found the Yellow Sign?

The Yellow Sign  by Robert Chambers

(The King In Yellow Collection, 1895 first published by F. Tennyson Neely.)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 11, 2015


[The King in Yellow (known for its legendary kingdom of Carcosa, an ancient, cursed city beyond time on the shores of Lake Hali), was a forbidden play, which was said to induce despair, strange visions, and madness in those who read it.]


Stories have great effects on our minds, our dreams, perhaps even our very lives. Do symbols  have real power or are they just harmless images?

In The Yellow Sign, artist Scott spies a figure in the churchyard below his studio window.

At the same moment he raised his head and looked at me. Instantly I thought of a coffin-worm. Whatever it was about the man that repelled me I did not know, but the impression of a plump white grave-worm was so intense and nauseating that I must have shown it in my expression, for he turned his puffy face away with a movement which made me think of a disturbed grub in a chestnut.”

His model, Tessie, sees the churchyard figure too. She recounts a dream she had about a hearse with a driver who looks much like the figure in the churchyard. Finding affection for Scott, Tessie gives him an amulet, the “yellow sign.” Did she know this symbol was said to represent disease and decay or worse, insanity?





Did Tessie  know that when she found a book on Scott’s shelf, The King in Yellow and read it, that she might be in danger?

“Song of my soul, my voice is dead;

Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed

Shall dry and die in

Lost Carcosa.”




This is probably one of the most disturbing stories yet on this blog. H.P. Lovecraft read this book in 1927 and used the motif in his Whisperers in the Dark story (Cthulhu Mythos). Countless authors (Raymond Chandler, Stephen King, Robert Heinlein to name a few) have been inspired by Chamber’s King in Yellow stories. And the highly successful True Detective HBO series ( 2014 ) had several references to The King in Yellow and Carcosa.

You can read The Yellow Sign here at




The King in Yellow is Robert Chamber’s masterpiece and most famous story.  He wrote over 70 novels and other collections of short stories.  Chambers took the name Carcosa from Ambrose Bierce’s story An Inhabitant of Carcosa (originally published in 1886).  Some say the term “Carcosa” is a magically charmed name.







Listen to the audio of Bierce’s An Inhabitant of  Carcosa

at Librivox audio at

Or read it at South San Francisco Library at





For those who wish to read short stories in The King in Yellow, go to .


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Rob Around Books    Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.


Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, tales of terror, weird tales

What’s a Music Phantom?

No short story this week. I’ve been finishing the editing on my supernatural novel Greylock, a  dark mystery with phantasms, murder, betrayal, and romance. And yep, you guessed it, this forthcoming novel is about the mysterious power of whale songs in the life of a Russian musician Alexei Georg. Do you believe in music phantoms?

Today, I  have something fascinating  about the  songs of whales.

Have you ever heard a whale sing? How about a whale duet? Biologist Katy Payne has been studying whale songs for years. When she saw spectograms of humpback whale calls, she began to notice their musical structure — what looked like melodies and rhythms. Want a listen?

Click  here:  “It Took A Musician’s Ear to Decode the Complex Song in Whale Calls,” posted on NPR web site.


In Greylock, Alexei seeks the songs of the beluga whales who live in the White Sea in Russia:



So, what is a music phantom?

Watch for more posts on the upcoming release of Greylock.

Bye for now!





Filed under fiction, horror blogs, mysteries, short story blogs, supernatural