Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Special Holiday Post: Christmas List, Krampus List and Links

A jack o' lantern wearing a Santa Claus hat.
Happy Hallow-Days/Scary Nightmare Before Christmas!
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

I apologise for posting so late again, but I wanted to make this a special Holiday edition. And after spinning the gears to the point of going brain dead over what to include in this post, I overloaded the stocking with so many ideas that I couldn’t even put them all here due to lack of time. So I’ve included both a Christmas list and a Krampus list of chain-jingling links. What’s a Krampus you say? You’ll soon find out, and better here than in your room at night during this Holiday Season. But first I want to update you a little on The Hidden.

Amazon's Preview Tool and  The Hidden

I had said a while back that I’ll be releasing The Hidden for beta readers but I may release an excerpt of it for previewing first. Just this weekend I found out about Amazon’s Create Space’s Preview tool which allows authors to post excerpts of their books before publication so people at large can read the excerpts over and provide feedback. This helps us authors get an idea whether the general direction of our books are working or not. As a previewer, I tried the tool out and it wasn’t bad. It classifies the book excerpts into several categories similar to how Amazon's  store does with its books. However, the “fiction and literature” category isn’t subdivided like it is on the store. There is a separate science fiction/fantasy category but it includes both fiction and non-fiction about the genre, and, like “fiction and literature” it is not sub-categorized.

Krampus’s List

Now to answer that question from earlier: What’s a Krampus? Actually, it’s more a who than a what. Krampus has been called an anti-Santa Claus, more like a “Santa Claws” if you will because that’s exactly what he has: claws instead of hands. He is a nightmare before Christmas for bad little kids who do not receive presents from Santa. In Germanic folklore he rides with Santa in his sleigh on the eve of St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated December the 5th in many Germanic countries. While St. Nick delivers gifts to the good children, Krampus kidnaps the bad ones and scares them with nightmares. This creature is coming into American pop culture more, and stories about him can be likened to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. You’ve probably already heard of or maybe even seen the Universal horror film that came out at the beginning of the month, Krampus. I wouldn’t be surprised that there will be more of that kind of holiday big screen film next year and the years to come.

Parents in Europe have been known to tell their kids horror stories about Krampus to scare them into being good. Maybe that’s what we need more of in our own country of overly commercialised holiday events that take the focus off of the true meaning of the season--which is love, peace and goodwill to all humanity--and spoils our kids because of. Well anyway, because Krampus is relatively new to pop culture in our own country, I thought I’d provide you a list of links to more information about this fierce but fascinating creature.

My friend, David Watson, writes up a great explanation of Krampus here. He also provides links to further reading and some neat images of the half goat, half man monster.

This and the next article at the link below talk about the festivity of Krampus. Yes, people give this demon his own celebration like they do with St. Nicholas. It’s kind of like a Halloween of the Christmas season and so kind of does for St. Nicholas day what Halloween does for All Saints Day, purges people of their tensions to prepare them for the following festival of light.

“13 Terrifying Christmas Traditions” 

This is fellow Examiner.com writer Mary Parker’s article on both Krampus and other like-frightening legends of the yuletide season from around the world.

“A Krampus Carol” 

And here’s a short animated film about Krampus by an Anthony Bourdain. This is not your Rankin-Bass or even your Nightmare Before Christmas holiday animated tale so I would suggest watching it by yourself before showing it to your younger kids (11 and younger?). Unless, of course, your kids need some scaring so they will behave themselves this holiday season. To do otherwise would defeat the purpose of the Krampus legend, wouldn’t it?

A vintage holiday card depicting the busts of St. Nicholas the bishop and Krampus grinning at each other.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Christmas Viewing/Reading List

Speaking about frightening Christmas creatures, I wanted to give you a Special Hallow-Day list of links to strange viewing and reading:

Yours truly’s list (within a list) that I wrote several Christmases ago for the sci fi column at Examiner.com.

There are so many similar elements in the 1960s B-rated kids’ flick, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. I wouldn’t be surprised if the former inspired the latter. In Santa Claus, St. Nick gets abducted by Martians so the Martians can bring Christmas to Mars.  Nightmare also involves Santa getting abducted, only not by Martians but by ghouls so they can bring Christmas to Halloween Town. Even though Santa was played by live actors, it was cheaply made even by its own time’s standards yet, like Nightmare, it’s become a cult classic as with many B-rated flicks (though I wouldn't call Nightmare B-rated).

So a couple seasons ago, I wondered and speculated about what Santa would look like today, especially in the toy battle scene “ripped off” from Disney’s Babes in Toyland, and then drew a parody of it. If you haven’t seen Santa then you probably won’t get the humour in the drawing. If you’re not the kind of person who can take sitting through a B-rated movie from a time before you were born, then you can catch an episode of horror hosted movie show Cinema Insomnia that features it, and skip over to the scene at about 1:43:29 where the bad Martians break into the toy factory on Mars and then watch it up through the toy battle scene. Then view the cartoon drawing at the above mentioned link and you’ll probably get the humour.

“A Cosmic Christmas” 

This half hour Canadian-made animated film came out about the time the very first Star Wars movie released, 1977, only during Christmas (Star Wars released May of that year). No, I haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet, but regardless of what I said about it about four posts back , I’m willing to give Abrams’ direction of it a chance and so will try seeing it around New Year’s. Anyway, this half-hour holiday feature is basically a sci fi version of the story of the Magi (a.k.a. the Three Kings). It’s not bad. I enjoyed it when I saw it as a kid and still enjoy it as an adult.

Free Fiction

Finally, I know I’ve featured this before in past Christmas posts but want to give it to you in as much as one place as possible. It’s a free version of The Fool’s Illusion, my special gift to you. Okay, not quite; it’s actually an excerpt of my short story collection because I’m only presenting the links to one story here. But if you read it and like it then you will probably like the other stories in the collection and you might consider buying it as a holiday gift for that special fellow sci fi fan in the family, or for yourself, or, better yet, both. Right now, you can get the Kindle version for only 99 cents. (It will not remain at this price for long so don't delay too much. You don't need a Kindle device to read it.) Why did I include this story in a Holiday post? If you go to the first link of this three part story, and read my intro to it, you’ll find out.

I’m going to take a week or two off from the Fantastic Site to celebrate the Hallow-days with family. But these lists of links should give you plenty to occupy yourselves with until then. I’ll talk about my plans for the new year when I come back and will have more updates on the progress of The Hidden.

But I thought I’d conclude with telling you one of the things I’m asking Santa or the Three Kings to bring me for Christmas. And that is the graphic novel adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s original script of Star Trek’s “City On the Edge ofForever” episode. So, what are you asking for Santa or the Three Kings (or even Krampus?) to bring you? Feel free to drop your answers in the box below.

Happy Hallow-Days to you all, and until next time . . .


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to make such an insightful comment. I miss David not posting as much. Do you? Happiest of New Years!

  2. No problem. David has posted some really interesting articles. Hopefully he'll post more frequently again.

  3. Oh, btw, thanks for visiting my blog too! :) Again, I hope you'll have a Happy New Year!