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

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”

The Haunted Generation – “Felt Trips”

Bob Fischer's The Haunted Generation - both his blog and monthly article for Fortean Times - is required reading for anyone interested in the whole arena of hauntology & creepily "wrong" nostalgia. One of his current strands is "Felt Trips", unearthing artworks created by kids in the 70s and 80s. Some of these are homages … Continue reading The Haunted Generation – “Felt Trips”