Experimental Film

Experimental Film

3.76 (742 ratings by Goodreads)
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Lois's headlong quest to discover the truth about the disappearance of Mrs. Whitcomb almost immediately begins to send her much further than she ever wanted to go, revealing increasingly troubling links between her subject's life and her own. Slowly but surely, the malign influence of Mrs Whitcomb's muse creeps into every aspect of Lois's life, placing her son in danger.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 153 x 229 x 22.86mm | 355g
  • Toronto, Canada
  • English
  • 1771483490
  • 9781771483490
  • 355,921

Back cover copy

WINNER--2015 Shirley Jackson Award
WINNER--2016 Sunburst Award Fired at almost the same time as her son Clark's Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, former film critic turned teacher Lois Cairns is caught in a depressive downward spiral, convinced she's a failure who's spent half her adult life writing about other people's dreams without ever seeing any of her own come true. One night Lois attends a program of experimental film and emerges convinced she's seen something no one else has--a sampled piece of silver nitrate silent film footage whose existence might prove that an eccentric early 20th-century socialite who disappeared under mysterious circumstances was also one of Canada's first female movie-makers. Though it raises her spirits and revitalizes her creatively, Lois's headlong quest to discover the truth about Mrs. A. Macalla Whitcomb almost immediately begins to send her much further than she ever wanted to go, revealing increasingly troubling links between her subject's life and her own. Slowly but surely, the malign influence of Mrs Whitcomb's muse begins to creep into every aspect of Lois's life, even placing her son in danger. But how can one increasingly ill and unstable woman possibly hope to defeat a threat that's half long-lost folklore, half cinematically framed hallucination--an existential nightmare made physical, projected off the screen and into real life?
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Review quote

"Gemma Files has one of the great dark imaginations in fiction--visionary, transgressive, and totally original. With this new novel, Files explores the world of film and horror in a way that will leave you reeling. A smart, sharp page-turner with heart and depth." --Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy "Experimental Film is sensational. When we speak of the best in contemporary horror and weird fiction, we must speak of Gemma Files." --Laird Barron, Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and The Croning "Gemma Files's stories are always so smart and humane, and overwhelm the reader with a true sense of wonder, awe, and horror. She is, simply put, one of the most powerful and unique voices in weird fiction today." --Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts "Experimental Film represents the next, significant contribution to what is emerging as one of the most interesting and exciting bodies of work currently being produced in the horror field. Every film, Lois Cairns writes, is an experiment. The same might be said of every novel. This one succeeds, wildly." --Locus Online Reviews "Experimental Film lives in the flicker between light and darkness, shifting between glimpses of the grim nigrescence of a hostile universe punctuated by dazzling bursts of empathy and love. Traditionally, those horror protagonists who catch sight even briefly of the naked malevolence of the world tend to die, go mad, or forget what they have seen. But Files offers a fourth alternative: meaningful survival, accepting responsibility for those around you, getting on with your chosen work. From an author who has already established herself as one of the genre's most original and innovative voices, Experimental Film is a remarkable achievement." --LA Review of Books "When film reviewer Lois Cairns discovers a series of early silent films may have been by Canada's first female filmmaker, she thinks she's hit the motherlode. But as Lois digs deeper, she discovers there's something sinister about the films and what's in them -- and waiting to get out. You can't help but stick with Lois because, like her, you can't turn away from what she's uncovered. That, and she knows some things about storytelling. There's a transgressive quality to the way Lois claims her story and insists on telling it her own way. Chilling horror that will appeal to genre and literary readers alike." --The Globe and Mail
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About Gemma Files

Gemma Files was born in London, England and raised in Toronto. Her story "The Emperor's Old Bones" won the 1999 International Horror Guild Award for Best Short Fiction. She has published two collections of short work (Kissing Carrion and The Worm in Every Heart, both Prime Books, then re-released as eBooks by CZP) and two chapbooks of poetry (Bent Under Night, from Sinnersphere Productions, and Dust Radio, from Kelp Queen Press). A Book of Tongues, her first Hexslinger novel, won the 2010 DarkScribe Magazine Black Quill Award for Small Press Chill, in both the Editors' and Readers' Choice categories. The two final Hexslinger novels, A Rope of Thorns and A Tree of Bones were published by ChiZine Publications in 2011 and 2012. We Will All Go Down Together followed in 2014, and the Shirley Jackson and Sunburst Award-winning Experimental Film came out in 2015.
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Rating details

742 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 26% (196)
4 39% (288)
3 23% (172)
2 8% (63)
1 3% (23)
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