The Folk Horror Chain in Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood”

The Folk Horror Chain is a framework devised by writer and film-maker Adam Scovell in his essential study of the genre, Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange. For Scovell, Folk Horror can - among other things - be categorised as "a work that uses folklore…to imbue itself with a sense of the arcane for … Continue reading The Folk Horror Chain in Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood”

Horror Rewind #1 – Mark Morris’s “Toady” (1989)

Welcome to the first in an occasional series of retrospective looks at 80s & early 90s horror. There are, I know, loads of excellent websites covering this area. Will Errickson's Too Much Horror Fiction is the Daddy, and of course Grady Hendrix's essential Paperbacks from Hell is your print companion. Elsewhere in the Gyre I've … Continue reading Horror Rewind #1 – Mark Morris’s “Toady” (1989)

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

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

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”

The work of John Higgs

There are some writers whose treatment of a particular subject you can almost predict. That's not necessarily a bad thing. John Higgs, though, is not one of those writers. This warm, witty and endlessly interesting writer is described (accurately, for my money) on his website as someone who "specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden … Continue reading The work of John Higgs

The Sandman – The Dreaming, Volume 1: Pathways and Emanations

Awkward. I try to be positive on this blog because goodness knows there's enough negativity around. But equally, I have to be honest. If you take it at face value this is a gripping, well-written comic with excellent artwork. Those of you who know The Sandman will delight in the return of characters such as … Continue reading The Sandman – The Dreaming, Volume 1: Pathways and Emanations