Wednesday, 29 March 2023
Thursday, 23 March 2023
THE FACES AT YOUR SHOULDER by Steve Duffy (Sarob Press 2023)
|Excellent cover illustration by Paul Lowe|
Sunday, 12 March 2023
Codex Antarctica by Cardinal Cox
Codex Antarctica, you say? If there's one region I like, it's the polar region. Something about the vast wastes of ice and snow (with the odd penguin here and there) strikes deep into my Anglo-Saxon soul. Perhaps it's because Antarctica so anomalous in so many ways. A continent that once flourished, rich with life, but is now locked within mile-deep layers of compacted snow. I am not alone of course, and some of the big names in horror and sci-fi are referenced in this, the poet's nineteenth (sort of) in the Codex sequence.
If you don't know the Cardinal's work, it's well worth seeking out just for the arcane knowledge on offer. Here we have a pamphlet of nine poems (most of them sonnets, interestingly) that cover some of the weirdest fictions and strangest facts or factoids about the great southern continent.
Thursday, 2 March 2023
NOW IT'S DARK by Lynda E. Rucker (Swan River Press 2023)
Sunday, 26 February 2023
One for the Discerning Reader
Lynda E. Rucker's third collection of short stories, Now It's Dark, is available from Swan River Press. I'm in the middle of it, and a review will be posted here shortly. It contains two stories from ST, proving that I sometimes have good taste. Just not in socks. Seriously, this is brilliant stuff and should scoop the awards.
Sunday, 12 February 2023
'The Wynd' by Helen Grant
Wednesday, 18 January 2023
Patterns of Orbit - Stories by Chloe N. Clark
All of which leads me to a remarkable new collection by frequent ST contributor Chloe N. Clark, whose new book is rather wonderful. I'm proud to say that I accepted two stories here, 'Even the Veins of Leaves' and 'Who Walks Beside You'. They both stand up well, I'm glad to say, and are a good fit. This book is also concerned with inner space while not neglecting the outer kind. The themes and ideas range from interstellar voyages to lost loves. Some are 'true' short stories of several pages, many are vignettes (a thankfully revived art thanks to flash fiction) just a few paragraphs long. All are worth reading and then re-reading.
Monday, 16 January 2023
Evil of Dracula (Michio Yamamoto, 1974)
Saturday, 14 January 2023
Issue 51 is here!
Click here to get the POD copy if having a physical magazine floats your boat. Next week I'll be uploading the ezines to both Lulu and Amazon. Meanwhile, bask in the contents:
'W is for Whispers' by Steve Rasnic Tem
'Shod' by Sam Dawson
'Emir' by Tim Foley
'All the Devils Are Here' by Michael Chislett
'The Secrecy of the Heart' by Tim Jeffreys
'Crying the Neck' by William Curnow
'Half-Formed in February' by Charles Wilkinson
Friday, 13 January 2023
Sunday, 8 January 2023
The Wicker Poet
Cardinal Cox, occult poet and all-round expert on the occult and arcane, has produced a special poetry pamphlet to mark as special event. The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival takes place on 13th and 14th of January. The poet writes:
"Years ago I worked with the man (Brian Kell) who restarted the Straw Bear Festival. It was banned by the police in the early part of the twentieth century due to the general drunkenness and the cadging of beggars. Since Brian restarted the festival in 1980 it has been an important event in the calendar of folk dance and folk music."
With that impeccable pedigree, it's entirely understandable that the pamphlet commemorating this innocent folk festival is all about The Wicker Man. Entitled 'The Folk Show 3: Fan Mail For A Film', the small collection looks at the real and the fantastical aspects of traditional festivals, many of which do not involve human sacrifice.
The first poem, a sonnet entitled 'Horse Fair', sets the tone with its slightly Larkinesque description of a gathering where farriers, dealers, farmers, police, travellers and tourists mingle. Peterborough Horse Fair sounds like fun, but there's the inevitable shadow cast by 'handbills about a missing kid', contrasted with the 'girl in a paper crown' on Queen Katern's Day. The Cardinal always provides intriguing footnotes. I'd never heard of Queen Katern, but I'll remember her from now on. The same goes for 'Sap-Engro', with its cunning-man 'catching adders in summer'. The footnote concerns George Borrow, one of those Victorian writers who have fallen from favour but is surely ripe for rediscovery. 'Toadman', a prose-poem, concerns a local variant of the cunning-man in the Ely and Peterborough area. The toadman in this story is part of an interesting plot that, again, involves travelling people.
Wednesday, 4 January 2023
Exorcism At 60,000 Feet (2020)
The picture above is from a book of photographs of a British army training area in Germany. Red Land, Blue Land refers to the standard NAT...