Fri, 21 July 2017 Fire Walk With Me on sale

The Midnight Movie Monograph I’ve written on David Lynch’s iconic film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, for Electric Dreamhouse Press, an imprint of PS Publishing, has arrived from the printers and pre-ordered copies of the book should be shipping immediately.

And now is the perfect time to order it if you haven’t already.

ABOUT THIS BOOK (from my introduction)
“The temptation when examining TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (FWWM thereafter) is to become bogged down in the minutiae of its originating TV series, and lost in the labyrinthine theories which have sprung up across multiple online forums and discussion groups. TWIN PEAKS is one of the first true Cult TV shows that thrived upon fan interest in the nascent Internet era, and colonised space on the World Wide Web from an early stage. Despite comprising only 30 episodes, the world of TWIN PEAKS has endured and fascinated its adherents long after the show was cancelled.

While FWWM is hugely indebted to the TV series TWIN PEAKS, the film exists as a separate artefact and possesses its own unique identity. It functions as a prequel to the series, but ultimately it is a hymn to Laura Palmer, the fetishised mystery girl of the original series, who was only glimpsed in death through a kaleidoscope of epistolary details: diaries, video tapes, and second-hand recollections.

In this book I will indicate the themes that thread through some of David Lynch’s films prior to FWWM, and also touch upon the original TV series to offer context, but my primary interest is to explore and open up TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME as a powerful account of trauma and a nuanced portrait of a complex young woman trying to hold together her shattered personality for the cosy community which wishes her to conform to their ideals and never speak of her torment, or their complicity in it.”

Thu, 20 July 2017 Worldcon 75

I’ll be attending the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland from 9-13 August 2017, which is the first time a WorldCon has taken place in a Nordic country.

It looks like it’s going to be a terrific event with a huge array of programming items. It will be my first time visiting Finland, and in a bonus coincidence, a new Moomin Museum has opened in Tampere.

Here is my schedule for the event:

Thursday Aug 10, 2017
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM in Messukeskus, 206
‘Cape Not Included’
Not all superheros wear capes and not all great graphic novels have superheros. The panel discusses their favorite non-genre comics.
Maura McHugh | Edward Fortune | César Santivañez | Julie McGalliard

Saturday Aug 12, 2017
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM in Messukeskus, 101a&b
‘Crafting a Fantasy Novel from Mythology’
Myths, legends, and folklore are often excessively complex and varied. How do you create a coherent fantasy novel for today’s audience from this tangled web?
Maura McHugh | Juliet Marillier | Mark Tompkins | Ellen Kushner | Helena Waris

WorldCon 2017 is also when the site selection vote will take place for WorldCon 2019 – and the lone contender is for Dublin WorldCon!

I’m very excited at the prospect of a WorldCon being hosted in Ireland for the first time (15-19 August 2019). I’ll be casting my vote with pride at WorldCon in Helsinki, and looking forward to celebrating when it becomes official!

Plus, it’s already been announced that the EuroCon in 2019 will be hosted by TitanCon in Belfast, for the following weekend – 22-24 August, 2019.

It’s going to be a fun, geeky fortnight on the island of Ireland in August 2019!

Tue, 27 June 2017 Animate Europe Awards ceremony and exhibition

I’ll be attending, and speaking, at the Animate Europe International Comics Competition 2017 Award Ceremony on 11 July at the Belgium Comic Strip Centre in Brussels, where the overall winner of the competition will be announced.

It’s been a pleasure to serve on this jury and read a wide variety of ideas on how to ‘Re-Animate Europe’. It was a tough job to whittle it down to the seven finalists, but here they are:

The programme for the evening events is:

18.30 Registration

19.00 Award ceremony

Welcome
Willem De Graeve
Director, Belgian Comic Strip Center

Remarks
Dr. Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort
Member of the Board of Directors, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Gesine Meissner MEP,
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

Maura McHugh & Gert Jan Pos
Comic Book Writer / Teacher, editor, photographer
Re-Animate Europe Jury Members

Awards
Hans H. Stein
Director European and Transatlantic Dialogue, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

20.00 Reception
Atmospheric music by Sofie la Digue & the Blue Skies

You’ll be able to meet the artists and see their work too. Pass along the invite along to anyone who might be interested. It’s free to attend, but they ask that you register in advance.

Mon, 19 June 2017 Talking vegetarianism

I don’t talk about it terribly much, but I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty years at this point. Recently, I was invited onto The Culinary Muse radio show on Kinvara FM, hosted by Anna O’Donnell, to chat about vegetarianism, as well as playing some themed music on the subject.

You can listen to it online now.

It was a fun show, but I always enjoy doing radio.

Sat, 17 June 2017 Walk on the Weird Side

My short story ‘Impossible to Feign’ will appear in the Walk on the Weird Side anthology, edited by Joe Pulver.

Cover art by Nick Gucker.

This is an unthemed, charity anthology of weird fiction and verse, with all proceeds to benefit NecronomiCon-Providence where it will be launched.

Mon, 22 May 2017 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me midnight movie monograph

I’m happy to reveal that I’ve written a Midnight Movie Monograph for Electric Dreamhouse Press, an imprint of PS Publishing, a series curated by editor Neil Snowdon with a focus on critical reactions to cult films.

I’ll be looking at the iconic film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With me, written by David Lynch and Robert Engels, and directed by David Lynch. The book is now available to pre-order and will be published in June. The cover art is also by Neil Snowdon.

The release of the book is well timed since the first four episodes of the new season of the TV series Twin Peaks – written by David Lynch and Mark Frost, directed by David Lynch, and released on Showtime – hit the screens on Sunday night, and responses are ranging from rapt attention to outraged dismissal.

Anyone attempting to engage with the work should always remember that Lynch is an avant garde artist at heart, and he is not necessarily concerned with making sense. Rather he wishes to bring you on a journey that probes at our foolish notions that we inhabit a shared concrete reality agreed upon by everyone. Forces are always acting upon us, pulling us apart, or invading our world outright, and this is what it’s like to watch a show in which Lynch has his hand firmly on the visual tiller.

I’m enjoying it so far, and I’m impressed at how wide Lynch and Frost have pulled the canvas of the original series, a smart move by them to evolve the show but likely to irritate those who only want to catch up with the familiar town denizens.

Lynch and Frost have an incredible opportunity to use their increased resources and complete artistic control to deliver a project exactly the way they intend. I expect they will do as they wish, and be happy with the results, no matter what the critics or fans make of it.

Fri, 19 May 2017 We Are The Martians – The Legacy of Nigel Kneale

After a change of publishers I’m delighted to say that the We Are The Martians – The Legacy of Nigel Kneale, edited by Neil Snowdon, is now available for pre-order from PS Publishing. It is due to be published next month.

This is a collection of essays and observations about the film and TV work by the incredibly influential and ground-breaking British screenwriter, Nigel Kneale.

Here’s the Table of Contents for this terrific anthology, which will be a must for anyone who was a fan of Kneale’s work.

CONTENTS

  • Foreword – Mark Gatiss
  • Introduction – Neil Snowdon
  • King Of Hauntology – Mark Chadbourn
  • The Literary Kneale – Tim Lucas
  • The Quatermass Conception – Stephen Bissette
  • A Conversation With Judith Kerr – Neil Snowdon
  • On Nigel Kneale – Ramsey Campbell
  • The Quatermass Legacy: A Personal Reflection On Kneale And His Influence – David Pirie

Creeping Unknown Pt1:

  • Wuthering Heights, The Crunch, Nineteen Eighty Four – Kim Newman
  • Phenomena Badly Observed, And Wrongly Explained: Quatermass, The Pit, And Me – John Llewellyn Probert
  • Under The Influence – Maura McHugh
  • A Conversation With Joe Dante – Neil Snowdon
  • Brief Encounter – Stephen Laws
  • Adaptation And Anger, Or The Nigel Kneale-John Osbourne Synthesis – Richard Harland Smith
  • ‘The Promised End’ Nigel Kneale’s Lost Masterpiece from 1963: The Road – Jonathan Rigby
  • A Conversation With Mark Gatiss – Neil Snowdon
  • Cool The Audience, Cool The World: Media, Mind Control & The Modern Family – Kier-La Janisse
  • Pushing The Door He Unlocked: Ghostwatch And The Stone Tape – Stephen Volk
  • Beasts: An Overview – Mark Morris
  • It Would Have Been Suckled, You Know’: Beasts And ‘Baby’ An Appreciation – Jeremy Dyson
  • Quatermass: Rebirth & Ressurection – Jez Winship
  • The Quatermass Conclusion: An Interview With Nigel Kneale – David Sutton.

Creeping Unknown Pt2:

  • Kinvig – Kim Newman
  • In Pursuit Of Unhappy Endings: Chris Burt & Herbert Wise on The Woman In Black – Tony Earnshaw
  • Where’s Kneale When You Need Him- Thana Niveau
  • Creeping Unknown Pt3:
  • Sharpe’s Gold & Kavanagh QC – Kim Newman
  • On Wishing For A Nigel Kneale Childhood – Lynda E. Rucker

Chapbook [deluxe edition]

  • The Big, Big Giggle with introduction by Nigel Kneale.

The cover art is by David Chatton Barker.

Sat, 06 May 2017 Shirley Jackson nomination for Dr. Caligari

I was super pleased to hear that the anthology, The Madness of Dr. Caligari, has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award for Best Edited Anthology, which is a huge acknowledgement of the work by editor Joe Pulver and the publisher Fedogan and Bremer.

My short story ‘ A Rebellious House’ appeared in the book. It’s wonderful to be part of such a fascinating project.

Here’s the 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
  • Reginald Oliver – The Ballet of Dr. Caligari
  • Cody Goodfellow – Bellmer’s Bride, or The Game of the Doll
  • Mike 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

Fri, 05 May 2017 Outside anthology

I’m delighted to be part of the Outside comic book anthology, published by Ash Pure Press, which launched today in Topics Berlin in Berlin.

My short story is called ‘Colours’ and is drawn and coloured by British artist John Riordan. Here’s a shot of the first page.

And here’s an image of the Table of Contents page, you can see see all the contributors:

It’s a beautiful book with a fantastic array of interesting and different comic book styles, so it’s a huge pleasure to be among their number.

Thanks to editors Amir Naaman and Doron Hamburger for including me, and for producing such a fantastic anthology.

Tue, 02 May 2017 The Power of Superheroes

I’ll be part of a panel discussing ‘The Power of Superheroes‘ at the Galway International Arts Festival, at 4pm on 22 July in the O’Donoghue Theatre in NUIG.

My fellow panellists are Barry W Fitzgerald, Author of Secrets of Superhero Science and Comic Artists and Declan Shalvey, an acclaimed comic book artist for Marvel comics (and other publishers). Our moderator is Theatre Producer Jen Coppinger.

We’re part of the First Thoughts track of talks at the GIAF, which also includes the fantastic cartooning legend Tom Tomorrow. His talk, Cartoon Power, is on earlier on the same day, so it’s a terrific twofer for anyone interested in sequential art.

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