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Showing posts from August, 2015

Price Performs Poe

An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe by MargaliMorwentari

Jordskott (2015)

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Imagine a TV show that combines the format of the Nordic crime serial with The X-Files. Well, you'd end up with something very like Jordskott, a co-production between Sweden's STV and ITV (a British commercial broadcaster and long-time rival to the BBC). Jordskott was shown in Britain this summer. At the time of writing it's not clear if a second serial will be commissioned, but on the strength of the first one it should be. Into the Woods... The story has all the ingredients fans of the Danish/Swedish crime genre go for - secrets, conspiracies, detectives of conflicting dispositions, a cast of civilians ranging from the stiffly orthodox to the total misfit, and a fair amount of violence, much of it committed in the shadows. What creator Henrik Björn has added to the mix is the paranormal, and I think he got the proportions more or less right - no mean feat over ten hour-long episodes. The story begins with detective Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel) facing down a man wh

A Short, Whispered History of Quiet Horror

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I use the term 'quiet horror' to suggest, hint, or otherwise gesture at the general kind of story I like to publish in ST. But what does it mean? A quick Google reveals references to Shirley Jackson, Charles L. Grant, Susan Hill, Phil Rickman, and quite a few others. Also, vegetarianism is mentioned, meaning that quiet horror offers no raw, bleeding flesh. This is fair enough, but is quiet horror something relatively new, or does it in fact have its roots firmly in the same Gothic tradition as the noisy/garish stuff? Nathaniel Hawthorne I think so. I recently re-read Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1836 story 'The Minister's Black Veil'. It is of course a moralising fable (you could only stop Hawthorne moralising by stuffing socks down his throat), but the driving motor of the tale is horror. It is well worth a  read . The story is simple, A kindly but ineffectual New England preacher one day adopts a black veil, consisting of a simple fold of crepe that covers his

Short Horror Films

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Here is a list of ten short horror films (all under 5 minutes). And here's one of them with a spooky, very simple premise. If you know of any horror short-shorts that aren't listed, let me know in the comments.

Vote, Vote, Vote for (Insert Name Here)!

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Someone just voted Adam Golaski's story 'Wild Dogs' as the best in (sort of) epoch-making  issue 30 . In writing this fact down I rendered the title 'Wild Gods'. I suspect I may have hit upon a fundamental truth, there. There's still time to vote for your favourite story in ST#29, btw - I'll be announcing the winner in the Winter issue, due out in November. Please at least think about voting, or sending feedback about ST's content. It really does help and I can pass on fulsome praise to the authors. Writers so often work in isolation, poverty, paranoia, and their underwear. Let's send them a little ray of sunshine, shall we? This had better be brilliant,...

Partners in Fun

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This is just an anecdote culled from the internet - somebody put it on Facebook. I can't find an original link, but I'd like to believe it. "In the early 90s I worked for Hammer Films and was asked to organise a voiceover recording for a Hammer Films documentary. Both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee had agreed to work together one last time. Christopher Lee had asked me to organise one thing: a television and a VHS player in a private room and to have some alone time with Peter.  "After the recording, I cleared the studio and left Peter and Christopher alone with the TV. They hadn't noticed that I was still at the mixing desk so I waited to see what they were going to be watching. I saw Count Dooku and Grand Moff Tarkin sat watching Looney Tunes cartoons - each doing perfect impersonations of Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Pie – all line perfect!  "I can't remember exactly - but I think Christopher Lee was Tweety Pie and Peter Cushing was Sylvester.

A Positive Review of Supernatural Tales 30

Over at Goodreads, S.P. Miskowski has some well-chosen words of praise  for the latest issue. There are no bad issues of Supernatural Tales, edited by David Longhorn. But some issues are a special treat, and #30 is one of them. I first discovered the magazine in the publication listings for The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror edited by Stephen Jones. ST is still one of the three or four magazines you must read if you like strange fiction. And if you write or aspire to write strange or weird fiction or horror, you ought to read the magazine and submit work to it. You’ll know you’re onto something good if your work is accepted. Because ST only publishes exceptional writing.

Big News from Sarob!

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Sarob Press is publishing the first ever collection of stories by Michael Chislett. In the City of Ghosts will contain thirteen stories. Here is the list: “Not Stopping at Mabbs End”  “The Changelings”  “The Middle Park”  “Off the Map”  “Deceased Effects”  “The Friends of Faustina”  “The Waif”  “The True Bride”  “A Name in the Dark”  “Infernal Combustion”  “You’ll Never Walk Alone”  “Held in Common”  “The Old Geezers” As always, there's a splendid Paul Lowe cover illustration. I suspect pre-orders for this one will mount up very quickly, so if you're interested I'd move quickly to bag a copy.

New Genre - Issue Seven

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As an author, Adam Golaski treads the blurred frontier between sourly-witty social realism and the weirdly surreal (or surreally weird). An an editor, he has taken New Genre magazine on a voyage through strange seas of fantasy, horror, and science-fiction, mapping out improbable shores along the way. Well, that sort of thing, anyway. The latest issue contains five stories, ranging from a space war mini-epic to a haunted house tale. If there's a common idea here it's the way that ideas long rooted not merely in genre fiction but in popular culture can be reworked, evolved, or otherwise mutated into something new and interesting. Thus in 'Parents of the Apocalypse' Geordie Williams Flantz uses the Dos Passos montage approach to recount the end of the world as we know it. Enright, 'a serious amateur astronomer', spots mysterious glowing flakes falling to the Earth from space. Other characters survive and endure the onslaught by chance, by cunning, and