“Does something amuse you?’ asked Uncle Montague.
‘I was merely reminding myself, Uncle, that I am getting too old to be so easily frightened by stories.’
‘Really?’ said Uncle Montague with a worrying degree of doubt in his voice. ‘You think there is an age at which you might become immune to fear?”
― Chris Priestley, Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror
Stories can make us look back over our shoulders and question every creak and groan on a dark, quiet night. Stories can cause our hearts to race with ever-increasing tension as we forgo sleep to rush towards a surprising conclusion. Stories can make us suspicious of every character as we challenge the protagonist to be the first to solve the crime. Stories can make us sleep with the lights on, make us pull the covers just a little bit tighter, and can make every shadow seem more menacing than they ever have before.
Be they our favorite cozy mysteries, exciting police procedurals, classic tales about things that go bump in the night or contemporary terrors that chill us to the bone, there is something delicious about the ability of the printed word to give us a fright. At no time of the year is this more of a delight than when Summer heat turns to Autumn chill as the days become ever darker.
Eight years ago I became aware of reading challenges and wanted to start one of my own, hoping to find others who shared my Autumnal predilection for the works of Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker and other authors contemporary and classic who captured the spirit of gothic literature. All these years later we are still going strong, welcoming September with a time of coming together to share our favorite mysteries, detective stories, horror stories, dark fantasies, and everything in between.
I welcome you to join us.
September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above. That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.
As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:
1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.
As I do each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.
R.I.P. VIII officially runs from September 1st through October 31st. But lets go ahead and break the rules. Lets start today!!!
Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.
Peril the First:
Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.
Peril the Second:
Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories.
Peril the Third or, the One Book Only option:
We all want you to participate. This Peril involves imbibing just one R.I.P.ping read.
Peril of the Short Story:
I am a big fan of short stories and my desire for them is perhaps no greater than in Autumn. I see Poe and Lovecraft in my future for sure, and some Angela Carter. You can read short stories any time during the challenge. When I can, I like to read short stories over the weekend and post about them around that time. Feel free to do this however you want, but if you review short stories on your site (not a requirement) please link to those reviews on the Review Site.
Peril on the Screen:
This is for those of us that like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows or Midsomer Murders, or your favorite film. If you are so inclined, please post links to any R.I.P.-related viewing you do on to the Review Site as well.
Peril of the Group Read:
This Peril was added a few years back and brought a really fun, interactive dimension to R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril. Last year fellow bloggers hosted one of our group reads and I am THRILLED that they are back to do so again this year. Andi and Heather, through The Estella Society, are hosting a read-a-long of Elizabeth Kostava’s debut novel, The Historian. I am especially thrilled because I’ve promised myself every year I would read this and have not done so. I’m appreciating the push to do so now.
They have created a great banner:
And all the details of the group read can be found HERE.
The read begins September 1st and runs through October 14th. I’m looking at my enormous hardcover copy of the book and am excited about delving into its pages. I’m considering a re-listen of the audio version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula as an accompanying piece to this read.
Please join us!
Traditionally we like to discuss what we may read for this event, in large part because we book lovers love to talk about what we are reading and what we want to read. And what is more fun than making lists of books? You do not have to do this to participate, all you need do is sign up below and join in the fun. However, if you do post about R.I.P. VIII and what you might be reading please link directly to that blog post below instead of to your main site.
Also, for anyone new to R.I.P. stumbling across this, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.
For those of you who do have a blog and want to review your readings and viewings for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VIII, there is a book review site located here.
And just before we hit the sign up portion, here are a few different sized banners for those who may want them. I want to thank Jennifer Gordon for allowing us the use of the collaborative artwork that she does with Roman Sirotin. Long timers will remember that Jennifer Gordon’s collage work was THE face of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril for several years. She took a break from that kind of art, through not from artistic pursuits, for a few years and is now back. I’m so happy she is as I’ve missed her. I will be doing an interview with Jennifer and Roman during R.I.P. VIII and will be giving you a chance to win some fun stuff.
Here in Missouri we had a preview of Autumn through much of the month of August, but now Summer has returned with a vengeance. Despite that fact, fall festivals are just around the corner and the coming months will bring the corresponding weather. Until then we will embrace the spirit of the coming season with some of our reading and viewing selections. I do hope you’ll join us, it is the community interaction that makes this fun to host and participate in each year.