Monday, 6 July 2015

The Anniversary of Never

The Swan River Press is publishing a new volume of stories by the late Joel Lane. While I never met Joel, he was very encouraging in the early years of ST, and submitted stories to me that he could just as easily have placed in popular (and cash paying) markets. He cared for the genre and wanted horror fiction to be intelligent, enjoyable, and above- all well-written. This new collection is a landmark and a tribute to a superb writer and critic who was lost to us far too soon.

 I think that the cover art, by Polly Rose Morris, is brilliant.

"Introduction" by Nicholas Royle
"Sight Unseen"
"Crow's Nest"
"All the Shadows"
"Midnight Flight"
"Ashes in the Water" with Mat Joiner
"For Their Own Ends"
"Bitter Angel"
"After the Fire"
"The Annniversary of Never"
"The Messenger"
"For Crying Out Loud"
"All Dead Years"
"Some of the Fell"

Saturday, 4 July 2015

United States of the Supernatural

On the 4th July is a good day to celebrate just a few of the Americans who've contributed works of enduring merit to this crazy old genre. We begin, of course, with the man in black...

I suppose it's only appropriate, given Poe's predilections, that he didn't stay buried in the same place for long. Poe didn't write conventional ghost stories and much of his work doesn't qualify as horror fiction at all. But a minority of his works have an enduring power that lesser writers can only envy. 'The Masque of the Red Death', 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar', 'The Fall of the House of Usher', 'The Black Cat', 'MS Found in a Bottle' - those are my personal favourites, along with his Dupin stories, but I'm sure fans could name half a dozen more. Without Poe things would be very different in supernatural fiction, detective fiction, science fiction...

Good show, Edgar, you madcap fellow.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Girls Wielding Steel

I should have included this in the last post, to show you what the actual dance is like. Silly me. 

Rappers Delight

The third film in the series that started with The Wicker Man has just been launched as a crowd-funded project. There's already a Brit Ekland-ish ingredient, it seems...
The film has already cast Halla Williams, an Icelandic model who also hosted her country’s version of The X Factor.
Well, good luck with that. You never know. But I wonder if there'll be rappers in this new movie?

The original film is replete with images (and songs) taken from British folklore, though it has to be said that Summerisle, while off the coast of Scotland, seems awfully English in many ways. This is especially true of the sword or rapper dancers who feature in a number of scenes.

I happen to come from a part of England where sword dancing of the rapper (possibly a corruption of 'rapier') kind has been practised for many years. It seems to have been common among miners but is now a subculture of Morris dancing, which is obviously resembles. Anyway, historical pictures of rapper teams are rather interesting, and make an interesting contrast with the May Day folk pictured in an earlier post.

'Who's the tosser in the titfer?'