Review: “Mandrake Petals and Scattered Feathers” by David Greygoose

Mandrake Petals and Scattered Feathers cover

Any author who comes with recommendations from Donovan, Alan Moore, and Ben Graham (author of Amorphous Albion, an Illuminatus! Trilogy for the 21st Century) must be worth checking out. And so it proves. Mandrake Petals and Scattered Feathers is unlike anything I've read for some time. The closest comparisons I can think of are the … Continue reading Review: “Mandrake Petals and Scattered Feathers” by David Greygoose

“Where We Live” by Tim Cooke

"This land is laden with phantoms." This line from "The Dunes", one of the haunting and elusive stories from this intriguing collection, is the theme that underpins Tim Cooke's fiction. These interconnected stories - about an unnamed narrator and his mates as they grow through childhood, adolescence and to young manhood - are set in … Continue reading “Where We Live” by Tim Cooke

“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

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

Max Porter’s “Lanny” & Melissa Harrison’s “All Among the Barley”

First, let's agree on what these two stunning books are not. They are not Folk Horror, but they did grow in a neighbouring field. All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison and Lanny by Max Porter are two of the finest novels I've read so far this year. They're part of a growing number of … Continue reading Max Porter’s “Lanny” & Melissa Harrison’s “All Among the Barley”

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

Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers

Benjamin Myers is a writer whose time has come. Recent winner of the Walter Scott Prize for his stunning The Gallows Pole, Myers has been a prolific voice of the English North for several years, and his wider renown is thoroughly deserved. It also comes at a fertile time for writing from the North of … Continue reading Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers

Cornwall: ancient stones

"The stones, like the natural granite cast up from the earth by nature, defy the centuries. To stand beside them...on the heights of West Penwith...is to become...an astronaut in time. The present vanishes, centuries dissolve...here in the lichened stone is the essence of memory itself. Belief in immortality...Man's answer, from the beginning, to the challenge … Continue reading Cornwall: ancient stones