China Miéville’s “UnLunDun”: dismantling the cliché of Prophecy

UnLunDun cover

A quick post this, and one which the title pretty much explains. I've been reading UnLunDun to my son, because he really enjoyed Miéville's other YA novel Railsea when I read that to him. Railsea is aimed at slightly older readers, is more linguistically and thematically complex and probably the better book, but UnLunDun is … Continue reading China Miéville’s “UnLunDun”: dismantling the cliché of Prophecy

Landscape, politics and sport: the Ronde van Vlaanderen

Regular readers will know that I like both professional and recreational cycling. Many professional races (such as the Tour de France) hold events called sportives which allow recreational cyclists the chance to ride the same route as the pros. One of the longest-established of these is the sportive attached to my favourite bike race, the … Continue reading Landscape, politics and sport: the Ronde van Vlaanderen

#AmWriting – Opening Up while Locked Down

Hello! Anyone else finding it difficult to write during lockdown? I've sketched out a few scenes for ongoing projects, but haven't sat down and churned out a page for weeks and weeks. One silver lining is that I'm storing up lots of different ideas for stories. Jotting them down eases the (metaphorical) pressure in my … Continue reading #AmWriting – Opening Up while Locked Down

Review: “Green Fingers” by Dan Coxon

This short, sharp "micro-collection" is a wee gem. Author Dan Coxon is a name familiar to regular visitors to the Gyre, as the editor of the ever-reliable Tales From the Shadow Booth collections (volumes 3 and 4 reviewed), and the excellent This Dreaming Isle anthology of weird landscape fiction. The horticulturally-themed Green Fingers is number … Continue reading Review: “Green Fingers” by Dan Coxon

Slip Inside This House – cover versions in the age of sampling

The rapid spread of sampling in pop music in the late 80s made the idea of a cover version passé. A cover, after all, was generally a form of tribute to pop's rich history. Sampling as an artform ripped snatches of that history from its original context, juxtaposed it next to other slices, and created … Continue reading Slip Inside This House – cover versions in the age of sampling

Review: “Dark Entries” by Richard Cabut

Dark Entries by Richard Cabut - cover

Not one for your Granny. Or your mother-in-law. Richard Cabut's short novel is a gleefully explicit story of a young man addicted to hardcore internet porn. Ray is in a spiral of vicarious debauchery. Impotent with his girlfriend (who, significantly, is never named and who lives in blissful ignorance of his habit) he can only … Continue reading Review: “Dark Entries” by Richard Cabut

Children’s TV – The Stuff of Nightmares

I wrote this a month or so ago, before we all entered the current COVID-19 nightmare. I can't help but worry about the lingering effect this will have on today's kids, long after the immediate emergency is over. Anyway, I wrote this in response to a Twitter CfP from @horrifyingbook who are looking to compile … Continue reading Children’s TV – The Stuff of Nightmares

Review: Adam Scovell – “How Pale The Winter Has Made Us”

Adam Scovell takes his long-standing fascination with the idea of Place a step further in this, his coldly enveloping second novel. Isabelle is in Strasbourg. Her increasingly-distanced partner has left for a trip to South America, and she's alone when she receives word of her father's suicide. So begins her slow sinking into the fabric … Continue reading Review: Adam Scovell – “How Pale The Winter Has Made Us”