#AmWriting – No, really, I am

It's a while since I posted anything here in the Gyre. There's a book review I've been working on (more off than on) which should see the light of day in the next week or so, but the real progress is in my fiction. I finished the first draft of a short story: the second … Continue reading #AmWriting – No, really, I am

“Studio of Screams” review @HorrifiedMag

My review of the highly enjoyable portmanteau horror collection "Studio of Screams" by the formidable line-up of Stephen R. Bissette, Mark Morris, Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon & Stephen Volk, is now at Horrified Magazine, your new home for everything to do with British Horror.

Horror Rewind #5 – “The Pet” by Charles L. Grant (1986)

Here's a book I misjudged by its cover. I bought it in the expectation of something enjoyably trashy: maybe a family pet gone psycho, like Cujo? Or at least animals on the rampage like The Rats, Crabs, Slugs, etc.? Not quite. It's the story of Don Boyd, seventeen and trapped in a house with parents … Continue reading Horror Rewind #5 – “The Pet” by Charles L. Grant (1986)

Horror Rewind #4 – “Prime Evil” (ed. Douglas E. Winter) (1988)

Or should that be "Anti-Horror Rewind"? American lawyer Douglas E. Winter made his literary name with one of the first book-length studies of Stephen King's work (The Art of Darkness), and in 2001 wrote the authorised biography of Clive Barker (The Dark Fantastic). In between, he edited (although curated may be a more appropriate term) … Continue reading Horror Rewind #4 – “Prime Evil” (ed. Douglas E. Winter) (1988)

#AmWriting – An awkward fit

It's been a while, but since I last posted about my own writing I've written loads (by my standards). Firstly, I made a few pages' progress on a folk horror novella that I really should have finished by now. Then, in a flash of inspiration, a potential recurring character came to me and I wrote … Continue reading #AmWriting – An awkward fit

Horror Rewind #3 – Robert Aickman’s “Cold Hand In Mine” (1975)

I'm cheating on two counts here. I'd intended 'Horror Rewind' to be a look back at works of fiction from the Horror Boom of the late 70s to early 90s, and in their original (or at least a contemporary) edition. Cold Hand In Mine is a 2014 reissue from Faber (a lovely thing, as all … Continue reading Horror Rewind #3 – Robert Aickman’s “Cold Hand In Mine” (1975)

“Hollow Places” by Christopher Hadley

This book wasn't what I expected it to be. But that's fine, because it sets out to do one thing while it - deliberately, cunningly - does the opposite. In St. Mary's Church, Brent Pelham, in eastern Hertfordshire is the tomb of Piers Shonks, dragon slayer. Yep, dragon slayer. In Hollow Places, writer Christopher Hadley … Continue reading “Hollow Places” by Christopher Hadley

August Derleth: Cthulhu re-myth

Earlier this year I looked at how Detroit electro outfit Drexciya (perhaps inadvertently) reconfigured the poisonous racism of H.P. Lovecraft's legacy. That legacy is a complex and problematic one, but one that we're unlikely to have at all were it not for the heroic efforts of August Derleth. Derleth (with Donald Wandrei) founded Arkham House … Continue reading August Derleth: Cthulhu re-myth

Horror Rewind #2 – Wyrms, Fire Worms & Spectres

Welcome to the second in my occasional trip back to the 80s Horror Boom. Having looked at Mark Morris's excellent Toady, we're now going a little further back in time - and a little further north - to look at three books from 1986-7, all of them set around Tyneside and Northumberland: Stephen Laws's The … Continue reading Horror Rewind #2 – Wyrms, Fire Worms & Spectres