Tue, 09 August 2016 The Madness of Dr. Caligari

It somehow slipped my mind to mention that my short story ‘A Rebellious House’ will be in The Madness of Dr. Caligari anthology, edited by Joe S. Pulver, and published by Fedogan and Bremer (the cover is by Harry O. Morris).

Here’s the impressive Table of Contents:

  • Ramsey Campbell – The Words Between
  • Damien Angelica Walters – Take a Walk in the Night, My Love
  • Rhys Hughes – Confessions of a Medicated Lurker
  • Robert Levy – Conversion
  • Maura McHugh – A Rebellious House
  • David Nickle – The Long Dream
  • Janice Lee – Eyes Looking
  • Richard Gavin – Breathing Black Angles
  • S.P. Miskowski – Somnambule
  • Nathan Carson – The Projection Booth
  • Jeffrey Thomas – The Mayor of Elementa
  • Nadia Bulkin – Et Spiritus Sancti
  • Orrin Grey – Blackstone: A Hollywood Gothic
  • Reggie Oliver – The Ballet of Dr. Caligari
  • Cody Goodfellow – Bellmer’s Bride, or The Game of the Doll
  • Michael Griffin – The Insomniac Who Slept Forever
  • Paul Tremblay – Further Questions for the Somnambulist
  • Michael Cisco – The Righteousness of Conical Men
  • Molly Tanzer – That Nature Which Peers Out in Sleep
  • Daniel Mills – A Sleeping Life
  • John Langan – To See, To Be Seen
  • Gemma Files – Caligarism

The anthology should be available to purchase this autumn.

Tue, 02 August 2016 Working the Blue Rose Case

Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

I’m pleased to announce that I’m part of the autumn season of lectures organised by the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies in London.

MIHS is a ‘community-based organisation that offers university-level history, theory and production-based workshops for people of all ages. The Miskatonic is a non-profit endeavour through which established horror writers, directors, scholars and programmers/curators celebrate horror history and culture with a unique blend of enthusiasm and critical perspective.’

Here’s the blurb for the autumn schedule:

Mark Pilkington (Owner of Strange Attractor Press, writer/director of MIRAGE MEN) launches the season in September with his lecture “Rituals in the Dark: Evoking Magic on Film”. From the grit of medieval grimoires and spellcraft to the spiritual liberation of mid twentieth century witchcraft, this lecture will look at a number of representations of magic on film, from the silent era, through Expressionism, B-movies, the avant garde and into the mainstream. He will be followed in October by visiting instructor Daniel Bird, whose studies in Poland led to his becoming the pre-eminent biographer of both Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Zulawski. In “Vulgar Structures; or Andrzej Zulawski’s Love Triangles”, he will use his intimate knowledge of the late Zulawski’s work to look at the love triangle fundamental to all of Zulawski’s films, and to square it with this remarkable director’s life and loves. In November, Warwick University scholar Catherine Lester will present“Little Terrors: Children’s Horror on Film and Television”. This class will explore in detail the area of horror films and television programmes created specifically for children in the UK and the US, with an emphasis on programming from the 70s and 80s. And to close the season, the Horse Hospital turns into The Black Lodge when acclaimed horror author Maura McHugh visits from Ireland to bring us “Working the Blue Rose Case: Signs, Codes, and Mysteries in David Lynch’s FIRE WALK WITH ME”

My talk will take place from 7pm – 10pm on 8 December 2016, in the Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD.

Tickets cost £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concs / £35 full fall semester ticket.

It will be a good time to re-familiarise yourself with the weird occupants and sinister goings-on in the Twin Peaks world in advance to the next series of the show, which will be broadcast in 2017.

Mon, 25 July 2016 American Horror Mixtape

American Horror Mixtape

After the success of his Brit Horror Mixtape, writer Mark West decided to give the American continent the same treatment, and asked me to contribute a suggestion for the American Horror Mixtape.

Considering I had American and Canadian writers to select from I decided to pick a memorable writer in the field who is a bit more recent, and who hails from north of the United States.

So I selected ‘Dead Bodies Possessed by Furious Motion’, by Gemma Files.

It’s the last story in her debut collection, Kissing Carrion (2003), and one that lingers in my mind to this day. Thankfully, ChiZine Publications has re-printed that terrific collection, and you can purchase it from their web site, or elsewhere. I highly recommend it.

Gemma just won the prestigious Shirley Jackson Award for her novel, Experimental Film, so it’s wonderful to see her talent getting the recognition she deserves.

Mon, 11 July 2016 World Fantasy Award Nomination for Cassilda’s Song

Cassildas Song

I’m pleased to hear that Cassilda’s Song: Tales Inspired by Robert W. Chambers King in Yellow Mythos, edited by Joe S. Pulver, has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award in the Anthology category. Congratulations to Joe for assembling such a super line-up of writers, and I’m so glad to be part of the project.

The book is published by Chaosium Inc. and the artwork is by Steve G Santiago. It contains my story, ‘Family’.

And congratulations to Selena Chambers, whose story in the anthology, ‘The Neurastheniac’, has also been nominated for a WFA, in the Short Fiction category.

Here’s the entire Table of Contents of the anthology:

  • Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic … Damien Angelica Walters
  • She Will Be Raised a Queen … E. Catherine Tobler
  • Yella … Nicole Cushing
  • Yellow Bird … Lynda E. Rucker
  • Exposure … Helen Marshall
  • Just Beyond Her Dreaming … Mercedes M. Yardley
  • In the Quad of Project 327 … Chesya Burke
  • Stones, Maybe … Ursula Pflug
  • Les Fleurs Du Mal … Allyson Bird
  • While The Black Stars Burn … Lucy A. Snyder
  • Old Tsah-Hov … Anya Martin
  • The Neurastheniac … Selena Chambers
  • Dancing The Mask … Ann K. Schwader
  • Family … Maura McHugh
  • Pro Patria! … Nadia Bulkin
  • Her Beginning is Her End is Her Beginning … E. Catherine Tobler & Damien Angelica Walters
  • Grave-Worms … Molly Tanzer
  • Strange is the Night … S.P. Miskowski

Wed, 06 July 2016 Horror Expo Ireland 2016

I’m pleased to announce I’ll be a guest at the inaugural Horror Expo Ireland event, which is taking place at The Freemasons Grand Lodge, Molesworth St, Dublin on Sunday, 30 October 2016.

There’s a terrific line-up of guests, and it should be a fun event in a splendid building.

Tickets go on sale at 6pm on Thursday, 7 July (and there’s a limit of 250 Tickets) via Eventbrite. Get them while you can!

Thu, 16 June 2016 Dublin Ghost Story Festival

I’ll be one of the guests at the Dublin Ghost Story Festival, which is taking place from 19 – 21 August 2016, at the Freemason Grand Lodge of Ireland, 17 Molesworth Street in Dublin.

The Guest of Honour is Adam Nevill and the Master of Ceremonies is John Connolly. Other guests include: A.K. Benedict, Paul Kane, David Mitchell, Marie O’Regan, Sarah Pinborough, John Reppion, Lynda E. Rucker, and Angela Slatter, and the event is organised by Brian J. Showers of Swan River Press.

It’s a terrific line-up of guests, and the venue should be conducive to our conversations about odd and uncanny stories.

Tickets are limited, and popular, so grab one while you can!

Tue, 31 May 2016 The Brit Horror Mixtape

Writer Mark West came up with the fun idea of curating a ‘Brit Horror Mixtape‘ by asking writers in the field to recommend a short story by a British horror writer that influenced their work.

It’s pretty hard to pick one favourite – as I have many – so I decided to select based on the spirit of the mixtape: which is to collate a distinctive range of interesting work from a variety of people. I was unaware of what writers other people were going to choose, but I decided not to pick a ghost story or one that featured a supernatural event. When the entire, massive field of British horror is available, it helps to impose limits to narrow down the work.

Pondering upon some great fiction I choose ‘The Birds’, by Daphne du Maurier, since it’s an outstanding example of ecological horror that has become enmeshed with our cultural memory. And when you examine Du Maurier’s catalogue of work it’s amazing to see how much of it has been adapted into other media – and some of them are outstanding versions on their own merits (such as Hitchcock’s film adaptation of ‘The Birds’).

Du Maurier was not only an excellent writer, but many of the core concepts and themes of her novels and stories contain a timeless human relevance that makes them popular to this day.

Tue, 24 May 2016 The Image at Hay Festival, Kells

In 2013 the prestigious Hay Festival opened a chapter in the picturesque town of Kells, and the town has been hosting the event annually since then.

This year the Hay Festival, Kells is taking place from 23 – 26 June, and with technology journalist Karlin Lillington I’ve co-curated a stream of programming within the Festival called ‘The Image’, which features an array of talent from the arenas of illustration, cartooning, comic books, and computer games.

Guests include video games and comic book writer Rhianna Pratchett, animation director and comic book artist Paul Bolger, comic book artist and stage production designer Maeve Clancy, comic book writer and YA novelist Michael Carroll, illustrator and Laureate na nÓg P J Lynch, games developer (Call of Duty, Diablo III, Skylanders) Damien Marshall, cartoonist and caricaturist Allan Cavanagh, children’s book illustrator and graphic designer Mags Kilcooley, and me.

The Image stream is concentrated mostly on Saturday and Sunday, and features talks, interviews, workshops, demonstrations, and screenings.

I’ll be doing a talk on The Illuminated Word: Writing for Visual Media on Saturday at 12.30pm in the Iona Hall on Carmel Naughton Stage, and at 5pm on the same day I’ll be interviewing Rhianna Pratchett in the Kells Theatre on the Eirgrid Stage.

Apart from this branch of programming there is a fantastic line-up of talks/events/conversations with a wonderful selection of writers, journalists, editors, and creators from the literary field.

Kells is a beautiful town which wholly embraces the festival, and all the events are within an easy walking distance. I attended the festival in 2013 and had a terrific time.

Kells book display

Thu, 12 May 2016 Tea and Jeopardy

Thanks to the fabulous Emma Newman who invited me recently to appear on an episode of her (and Peter Newman’s) utterly charming podcast, Tea and Jeopardy.

Where you have tea, cake, conversation, and some mild peril.

I started the the wide-ranging chat discussing my vigilant keyboard companion, a colourful statue of Ganesha who watches me write.

Here he is:

Ganesha - keyboard companion

His benevolent, but steely, gaze encourages me daily.

Wed, 27 April 2016 Wailing Heights is alive!

Wailing Heights, the game developed by Outsider Games, goes live on Steam today at 2pm.

The game is described as ‘A coffin-rocking, body-hopping, musical adventure game, set in a horrific hamlet of monsters.’

I wrote a small comic outlining the back story of one of the characters (the vampire Lola Vita), which was drawn by Ron Salas.

This appears in the game, and if you spring for the deluxe bundle of Wailing Heights, it includes the soundtrack and high-res comics/artbook. You can purchase the game on Steam at 2pm today.

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