Clive Barker: “Candyman”, “The Forbidden”, Place, Race & Time

Bernard Rose's 1992 film horror Candyman was adapted by him from Clive Barker's 1985 short story "The Forbidden", published in volume 5 of the groundbreaking Books of Blood. Candyman transports the action from Barker's Liverpool to Chicago, specifically to the "projects" (US term for "housing scheme") of Cabrini-Green. In addition to the source material's look … Continue reading Clive Barker: “Candyman”, “The Forbidden”, Place, Race & Time

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Review: “Tales from the Shadow Booth: Volume 3”

Oh, this is good. First, declarations of interest: I supported the initial Shadow Booth anthology on Kickstarter. There were some superb stories (Malcolm Devlin's 'Moths' in particular) but I wasn't impressed enough to buy volume 2 when it came out last year. If it's as good as volume 3 I'll be rectifying that shortly. Additionally, … Continue reading Review: “Tales from the Shadow Booth: Volume 3”

Review: “Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories” (ed. Audrey Niffenegger)

Ghost stories are back! Of course they've never been away, but the interest in Folk Horror since the turn of the decade has helped their profile to slowly rise. In addition, each Christmas the BBC now either produces a new adaptation of a classic ghost story; an original (viz. Mark Gatiss's highly enjoyable The Dead … Continue reading Review: “Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories” (ed. Audrey Niffenegger)

Fragile Remnants Buried Deep: “This Dreaming Isle” anthology

Or, Weird Fiction Against Brexit. That's too reductive a description but the timing of this publication - and editor Dan Coxon's impassioned introduction - mean it's not entirely flippant and not entirely inappropriate. Coxon was angered by Paul Kingsnorth's right-wing reading of Paul Wright's stunning 'Arcadia', a reading which "moves away from the weird, unsettling … Continue reading Fragile Remnants Buried Deep: “This Dreaming Isle” anthology

1990: summer of cinema

This piece was an unsuccessful competition entry. The brief was "memories of cinema-going". Not for us the spurious joys of cider by the fountain, or Tennent’s behind the hut in the top park. The summer my friends and I turned sixteen we marked this coming-of-age by getting into the cinema to watch 18-rated films. With … Continue reading 1990: summer of cinema

In praise of brevity: Clive Barker’s “Cabal” and the anti-epic

Clive Barker’s 1988 novel Cabal is short: at 253 pages, padded out by chapter breaks and illustrations, it’s practically a novella. After the effort of writing the 700-odd pages of Weaveworld, this was a refreshing length for the author: "One of the interesting things about going to Cabal after [Weaveworld] was that I found a … Continue reading In praise of brevity: Clive Barker’s “Cabal” and the anti-epic

Relocated in translation: “HEX” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

"This is a low-flying panic attack" - Radiohead, Burn the Witch Moving the action of a European or Asian film to America when Hollywood remakes it is not unusual. Moving the location of a European novel to America when translated into English, however, is. Published in English in 2016, HEX is the story of the … Continue reading Relocated in translation: “HEX” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt