skinned alive issue #1

necrotorial : june 1990

Is this a dumb idea or what? I still have doubts as to whether this contraption is going to fly, but if it doesn't I'll try to steer it clear of all populated or important buildings (and hit a church instead), unlike that nut in James Herbert's marvelous The Fog (my nominee for the all-time pulp horror classic) who slams the airliner he's piloting into the building where his infidelic lover's lover works!

Yes, horror fiction doesn't nearly have the same effect as pulse-accelerating horror films such as Halloween, The Fly (you know which version) and Tenebrae. But like the movies, horror fiction does have its Evil Deads and Texas Chainsaw Massacres; David Cronenbergs and Lucio Fulcis, and not to mention miserable abortions like The Howling II and Elm Street II.

In Skinned Alive I'll try to target the best examples of modern horror (assuming I can get them!) – with a predilection for 'literate gore'. With that statement I'm not spitting in the face of the Hush-and-Spook recipe for writing horror. I acknowledge those author's talents. Devoid of any gushing wounds, flying skull fragments, sex or large-scale carnage their works are, after all, the equivalents of G-rated horror films!

For me the essential attraction of fantasy/sci-fi/horror is that you can see/imagine shit non-existent in reality. In fantasy it's mage, dragons and netherlandscapes. In sci-fi it's supertechnology, aliens and star travel. In horror it's the severed hand rolling a cat's head along the floor; the clobbering of the festered salt-dome of a cripple's shattered kneecap; the pickled head lolling within a glass jar inside a dark limo; two zombies eating each other; the dream girl hanging upside down outside a door: her crotch matted with gore, and trillions more. You won't find these shocking scenes either around the street corner, or between the covers of a 'less is more' so-called horror novel. So fiction that delivers will always receive high praise in Skinned Alive. There no such thing as 'going too far'...

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Skinned Alive is looking for contributors to join the current staff roster – of one person. Don't let my dribbling typo-prone messes discourage you! Please write to the zine address if you're interested. The next issue should be out by about September-October 1990.

As for the double-barrelled rating system you've no doubt seen in other publications: Prose incorporates readability, imagery and story (small percentage). Splatter is splatter! The more the better. For non-fiction only Content applies (style, info, pics if any, etc.) Sure it has flaws, but I think it works well enough. Okay, it's time I was outa here. Enjoy the flaying!

– Rod Williams

Skinned Alive Issue #1. Prices: Australia $2.00 post paid. Elsewhere $US 2.00 post paid. Or swap with your fanzine. No subscriptions are available yet but if ya want the next issue just use the prices listed above. All written stuff and original art by Rod Williams (I have no-one to blame but myself). Printed by: Imprint Copy Services, Brisbane. G'day and thanks to: Chris Doolan, Rahbin Panet, Kami, Mikael Bomark, Tonia Walden, Hank and Tony, Kate Prescott.