Showing posts from February, 2014

Supernatural Radio 4

Not sure why, but there's a feast of supernatural fiction on Radio 4 (the BBC's premier speech network, if you didn't know.) At the moment there's a dramatisation of The Exorcist, Peter William Blatty's novel that was controversially filmed in a fashion that didn't do Mike Oldfield's accountant any harm. You can hear it on the BBC iPlayer here . And next week, by way of contrast, you can hear a reading of a new novel by Lynne 'Eats, Shoots, and  Leaves' Truss. Cat Out of Hell is described as a 'comic and chilling gothic tale about a grieving widower and a supernatural cat'. It's serialised as the Book at Bedtime . If you don't know Lynne Truss' work, she has a sterling track record when it comes to ghost stories and related weirdness. Check out her site .

Thale (2012)

Nordic noir is the new black in crime fiction and drama. Nordic supernatural horror has been less conspicuous, but the impressive Let the Right One In certainly put Sweden on the horror movie map; less well-known is Thale, a Norwegian tale of the supernatural that is arguably just as good. Thale begins in territory familiar to fans of The Killing, The Bridge, Wallender etcetera - dead bodies. More specifically, bodies that have been dead so long that they are difficult to detach from the floor. Yes, it's gruesome. But it's also original in that its heroes - sort of - are two ordinary blokes who go around cleaning up human remains. Sometimes these are murder victims, sometimes they are suicide, and sometimes they are just people who died and nobody noticed. The film begins with a sinister cassette recording, then cuts to Leo and his new colleague Elvis doing things with buckets. Leo is a decent, Stoical type, and has clearly given Elvis a job (replacing someone on sick leave

Helen Grant on Marcilly-le-Hayer

M.R. James experts/nerds will be well aware of his 'Stories I Have Tried to Write'. Over at A Podcast to the Curious , the lads have recruited author and traveller Helen Grant to chat about the obscure French place mentioned by Monty in a plot concerning an old novel, a woman with a moustache, and a mysterious disappearance.

Ghosts and Gargoyles - Review

Ghosts and Gargoyles  is the second collection of weird tales by Elsa Wallace, the first being The Monkey Mirror , which I reviewed here . Like the first book, this one offers value for money - there are seventeen stories, all of them readable, and some are very good indeed. While The Monkey Mirror  had the unifying theme of breaking down the supposed moral and/or spiritual boundaries that traditionally separate us from other species, this collection offers more traditional fare. That said, there are still some shocks and a few tales that work by stealth, offering subtle pleasures. Ghosts there certainly are. 'Ralph's Up Aloft', for instance, is a tale that might have been penned by Elizabeth Bowen, if she'd been a bit less posh and had Wallace's African background. It's all very genteel and restrained, but the plotting is so well-handled that I honestly didn't see the payoff coming. To describe a tale as deceptively simple might sound like a backhand

Well Done Jane!

Good news! Jane Jakeman's Iraq invasion story from ST#24, 'Majorlena', will be appearing in Ellen Datlow's prestigious anthology of Best New Horror. List of stories at the link. And if you've no idea what I'm talking about, you can always buy the story and a few other good ones at the link to the right.

Summonings - a new Ron Weighell collection

In my occasional series Building a Spooky Library, I would have included Ron Weighell's superb 1996 collection The White Road . I would have, if this Ghost Story Press rarity didn't routinely sell for hundreds of pounds. There is no paperback, no cheaper edition, and Weighell's excellent stories are otherwise scattered hither and yon. Now comes news that Weighell has a new collection out, this time from Sarob . Here's the info you get if you click the link. Stories: “D’Arca*” “The World Entire” “The Counsels of Night” “Suburbs of the Black Lyre” “Now Feel that Pulse No More*” “The Mouth of the Medusa” “An Image of Truth” “The Four Strengths of Shadow*” “The Tears of the Gods (NOVELLA ~ newly expanded & fully revised)” “Into the Mysteries (an excerpt)” “Afterword” by the author. *newly written & previously unpublished.This collection is presented as a Limited, Numbered & “SIGNED” Edition Dust-Jacketed Hardcover.Bound in Wibalin (fine linen style), Foil Bl

A Friday Filmic Fright

LOT254 from Toby Meakins on Vimeo .

Let Nice Mr Robert Powell Tell You a Story

Freebies Galore!

If you click on the link to the right (single issues) you can download PDFs for nothing. It's a limited time offer, but for the next day or so you can have issues 17 to 25 for nothing. That's right. It's a serious case of... FREE STUFF! But not for much longer...

Dracula - Blackeyed Theatre

I first saw Dracula on stage back in the Seventies, at the Empire theatre in my home town of Sunderland. The play starred Peter Wyngarde as the sanguinary aristo, and the play itself was the familiar abridged adaptation that also features in the fine 1979 Langella/Olivier film. This cut-down Dracula dispenses with much of Stoker's palaver about Transylvania, beginning with the arrival of the Count in Whitby, which is the location not only of Lucy's seaside holiday but also of Seward's asylum and Carfax, the house Dracula moves into along with his boxes of earth. What I saw at Hexham's Queens Hall last night, however, was Dracula as Stoker told it, with only one major modification. Remarkably, a company of five managed to convey the entirety of the novel's complex plot in just under two hours. They also pulled off the feat of making the story seem fresh, while harking back to the Victorian stage melodrama that Stoker, as Sir Henry Irving's manager, knew so w