I want to turn everyone on to my latest crush: a fiction podcast called Old Gods of Appalachia. This is such an incredibly entertaining podcast that it has changed my life forever. Okay, I don’t know about my entire life, but my fiction-enjoying life, anyway.The most surprising thing is that this story is, technically, “horror.” I never thought I’d be listening avidly to horror, but life is crazy.
We’re not talking about Texas Chainsaw Massacre-type horror.
We’re talking about what is essentially a supernatural thriller.
The narrator pulls no punches when it comes to describing how someone was murdered by having their soul sucked out their eyeballs and then their guts got eaten by ravenous haints that emerged from a coal mine only to return to the cavernous depths and regurgitate their victims’ entrails to feed their satanic lord and master. So, that’s where the horror comes in. Which is honestly very entertaining because it’s beautifully written and narrated. That’s the power of good writing. You can write about the most messed-up stuff and if you do it right, you can seduce any kind of reader.
But listen, it’s not just ravenous haints
The thing I find most interesting about Old Gods of Appalachia is that the reason it’s horror, deep down, is that it deals with real historical events that are truly horrible. So there is an element of teaching about historical injustice. Appalachia truly has been, historically, the victim of a lot of very evil people who absolutely used the people there to mine coal and exploited them. People have been killed in mine disasters, unsafe mines have been rampant, and entire communities have been owned by coal companies who exploited the inhabitants to the point of enslaving them. There has been a lot of real horror that has taken place in this area, and this fictional story brings that to light. So, yeah, it’s horror, but it’s earned.
The narration is just fantastic and the acting by various actors is great. Sound effects. You name it. Nobody is paying me to write this. I just love this podcast because it is just plain well written. I don’t mean it has a good plot with suspense. That, too. But I mean each and every paragraph is crafted. Words are chosen carefully, and they’re descriptive enough to paint entire elaborate pictures in the listener’s mind. And they’re unique pictures that introduce you to the mind of a writer who has got a goddamned imagination, people, I mean an imagination, and isn’t scared to show it. Anyway, give Old Gods of Appalachia a listen, but not with little kids around.