Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Another Fine Book

As I've written here before (and I won't bore on about it any more) I've been tired and stressed out for a long while now, and not in any condition to give thoughtful, considerate opinions on other people's writing. So I'm not able to posts proper book reviews. At the same time, I was sent some new books after things went pear-shaped, and I should at least draw attention to them. So...


Bending to Earth is a Swan River Press collection of old but little-known 'Strange Stories by Irish women'. I have read most of the stories and can testify that there are well chosen by editors Brian Showers and Maria Giakaniki. Here you will find fairy tales, ghost stories, horror, and much else that is Gothic and, yes, strange. If you go to the link at the start of this para you will see an extract from the introduction,
The present volume is subtitled “Strange Stories by Irish Women”, and its authors populate the better part of the nineteenth century. One might rightfully wonder if such a joined-up tradition can be delineated, and if the tales in this anthology constitute part of a literary continuum. In his essay on Irish literature for Supernatural Literature of the World (2005), Peter Tremayne makes the helpful observation that “Practically every Irish writer has, at some time, explored the genre for the supernatural is part of Irish culture.” Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find an Irish author who did not, at some point, include elements of the fantastic in their work — be it supernatural, folkloric, surrealist, or something else. Naturally, this makes broad declarations a particularly challenging endeavour.
I think that Showers and Giakaniki have done a splendid job of collecting such a wide range of tales, and anyone who likes weird fiction will find a lot to entertain them here.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

This Looks Good...

Dust-Jacket art by Paul Lowe

Sarob Press is publishing Their Dark & Secret Alchemy, an anthology of three novellas/novelettes by Richard Gavin, Colin Insole, and Damian Murphy.
RICHARD GAVIN ~ TEN OF SWORDS: RUIN
... Secret things, furtive silent rituals, and the revealing of darker truths.
COLIN INSOLE ~ THE DEAD OF MARIDUNUM
... A strange inheritance, a terrible tragedy, and the return of a sinister and ancient terror.
DAMIAN MURPHY ~ THE AXIS OF THE LODESTONE
... Arcane ceremonies, the search for esoteric knowledge, and a sacramental descent into the depths.
 I expect it will sell out very quickly - all Sarob titles do.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ghost on Lake Como


Castle of Vezio ghost Varenna Lake Como

This is a wonderful wooden sculpture of a ghost at the Castle of Vezio. Check it out here. Nice to see spooks getting out in the fresh air, enjoying the sunshine. All s/he needs now is a nice bowl of pasta and some decent wine.