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Showing posts from May, 2019

Not to Be Taken at Bed-Time & Other Strange Stories - Review

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This fairly new volume from the Swan River Press is a very beautiful book. I need to make that clear from the outset - I have never seen a better-looking small press volume (and I've seen a few in my time, missus). The dustcover design by Megan Kehrli, from artwork by Brian Coldrick, is superb, and perfectly suited to the contents. A ghostly apparition is at the centre, surrounded a rather attractive design of roses and a small bird. The art on the inside cover is equally fine, with its ladder placed at an open window and more beautiful foliage around it. I mention this because Rosa Mulholland's stories are fine examples of Victorian Romantic fiction in both senses of the term. The original meaning of Romantic was dangerous, Gothic, weird, not quite respectable. By the time Mulholland (1841-1921) started writing for Dickens' famous magazine All the Year Round the sharper edges of Romanticism had been dulled a little, but despite her Victorian sensibility the author stil

The Devil Commands (1941)

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William F. Sloane's second and last novel, The Edge of Running Water , is a neglected classic that could arguably be classed as a Wellsian scientific romance. It has none of the feel of pulp magazine sci-fi/horror, instead offering a fairly sedate narrative with well-rounded characters and a striking central premise. Like Sloane's first book, To Walk the Night , it's a slow-burner with a lot of style, and key scenes stick in the memory.

'The Detective' by Cardinal Cox

I'm trying to get my reviewing mojo back, and it's not easy. However, one item I'm always pleased to see is a slim, intriguing poetry pamphlet from Cardinal Cox, formerly Poet Laureate of Peterborough. His latest pamphlet is the twelfth in his retro-futurist series, which intersects with the Gothic, along with sci-fi and general weirdness. As usual, the poems are short, pithy, interesting, and the footnotes are a veritable cornucopia of interesting ideas. So, what's it about?

Reader Poll for Issue 40

Best story in ST #40? 'Chambers of the Heart' by Steve Duffy 'Mortimer: The Husband's Story' by Jane Jakeman 'Sargasso' by Laura Lucas 'Inside Out' by Tracy Fahey 'Legends of Claudia' by S.P. Miskowski 'Atmospheric Disturbances' by Helen Grant 'Red Lion Rising' by Mark Valentine Created with Survey Maker