Showing posts from September, 2012

Delphine Dodd

S.P. Miskowski, who's story 'A.G.A.' appeared in ST#21, has published a new novella. It's one of three linked to her debut novel Knock Knock , but can be read as a stand-alone tale. I think it's rather good and my Amazon review (and of course the book itself) is here .

A non-fan writes...

So, J.K. Rowling has a new book out. As someone who hasn't read a single page of Harry Potter's long and - to millions of people - inspiring adventures, I'm not wildly excited and probably won't read it. But I can grasp that a popular writer changing direction and producing a book that's definitely not for younger children (but which teens will probably read) is news. Rowling is left-liberal in her politics, which explains why the right-wing press - almost a tautology, nowadays - has gone after her. Much of the negative coverage about her manner at interviews seems sexist. All I heard in a BBC radio interview this week was an intelligent woman talking in a way that, in a male author, would have been described as forthright, trenchant, or confident. Regardless of how Rowling talks to hacks (many of whom are not especially likeable or trustworthy people, I feel) it's worth remembering that, unlike most rich authors, she has put her huge fortune to charitable

Roddy McDowall reads Lovecraft

Over at the YouTube car you can hear an old, reasonable-quality vinyl recording of 'The Hound' by Mr McDowall. He had a pretty impressive career in horror and science fiction, from appearances in The Twilight Zone to Planet of the Apes by way of The Legend of Hell House. Anyway, I think he does a very good job on one of HPL's more over-the-top stories.

Interactive M.R. James Map

Yes, there's a spiffing map of Monty's World . Using it as a Google Maps thingy, you can explore real places he refers to in his stories, places that helped inspire locations, and of course places that were simply significant in MRJ's life. Jolly good show. Well done to all concerned.

ST#22 update

Contributors' copies of the latest issue are on their way - indeed, some have already arrived, which is a wonder. Overseas subscription mail-out comes next, followed - in about a week's time - by UK subscribers' copies. Any minute now, a page will go up listing the contents. Honest.

Shirty Horror

Anyone want to buy a tee-shirt with a horror story on it? You're in luck, then, because Tyneside's very own Stone Franks has written just such a story and it's here . And well done to her for coming up with the idea.

'Tell my why?' I don't like zombies...

So, I received this review copy of Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback from Robinson (the publisher, not the Crusoe). The book is a 'mosaic novel', with a narrative arc adorned by the work of many talented hands.  It's a sequel to Zombie Apocalypse!  and, like the first book, edited by Stephen Jones, which is why I've got it. Robinson sends me the  Best New Horror anthology every year, while I send Stephen Jones copies of ST. So far so good. The problem is, I can't be doing with zombie stuff. I find it about as compelling as sparky vampires, i.e. not at all. I can't get into it, and while I'm impressed by the array of good writers marshalled for this book (among them Reggie Oliver, Simon Strantzas, Paul Finch, and John L. Probert) my jaundiced view of the walking dead ain't gonna change. I may not know much about reanimated corpses that chew people's faces off, but I know what I don't like. And it's a pity, because skimming through ZA!F

Update on issue 22

Hello, folks. Sorry I've been away for a bit. The news is that I'll soon be sending out contributors' copies and review copies of the latest issue. By the end of next week I should have despatched all the overseas subscribers' copies. And by the week after that - well ahead of Hallowe'en - UK readers' copies will be on their merry way. In other news, check out the YouTube bar if you want to hear Vincent Price reading Edgar Allan Poe.

Wailing Well


Jack's Return Home...

Well, my return home, to be specific. I have been away to a. Cambridge, staying at St John's College courtesy of the wonderful Dr Mark Nicholls, who is Head Librarian there, and then b. Dorchester, staying at a hotel with dodgy plumbing. The Cambridge Expedition was Black Pilgrimage for A Ghostly Company , which is basically a group of people who go to pubs and restaurants on the vague pretext of discussing ghost stories. And Cambridge 2012 was, of course, the pilgrimage in honour of M.R. James (born 1862). Here is a picture of the Companions at a quaint rural hostelry, having had a nice Sunday lunch. The picture includes several ST writers, including: far left, Peter Bell; back row, sixth from right, Mark Nicholls; third from right, Kate Haynes; centre in check shirt, Antonio Monteiro; centre front, Bill Read (for whom many thanks for the picture, which was taken with Bill's camera by a helpful passerby). Also pictured at front left is Loretta Nikolic , an artist who

'How Love Came to Professor Guildea'


'There's a smile on my face' - as my head rotates