• comic books

    2% is not equality

    The comic book blogosphere has been obsessed by one topic of conversation lately: the reboot of the DC Comics Universe that’s coming in September. All the forthcoming 52 titles will be reset to number 1, which (theoretically) will leave the creative teams free to forge new identities for the characters. Information has been released to the fans about the forthcoming changes in a slow-drip fashion. It’s a cunning PR strategy to inflame interest and discussion about the direction DC is taking. They’ll also be offering digital downloads of the comics on the same day as the print release, which is a big indicator of where they think the market is…

  • Film,  News,  Thoughts

    women in horror: a summary of recent posts

    It’s time for a summary of the reaction across the Internet to my recent posts about the lack of representation of women in the SFX horror edition. As I mentioned last week David Barnett at the The Guardian blog brought up the issue immediately, and by the end of the week UK Feminist web site The F Word was running with the story. Once I posted editor Ian Berriman’s reply to my query, the response in the comments, on Internet articles and to me personally has been anger and frustration at the lack of knowledge displayed about women’s participation in the horror industry. As Cheryl Morgan put it, it was…

  • Film,  News,  Screenwriting,  Theatre,  Thoughts

    dear Alexandra

    This blog post began as a reply to a comment made by horror writer and screenwriter, Alexandra Sokoloff, on my last blog entry, but got too long. It’s probably best if you read that first before continuing with this entry. I’ll wait. Back? Great. Here’s what my couple of lines morphed into: Dear Alexandra, Thank you for your note, and I appreciate your kind comments. I’m currently reading your novel The Price, as I’m engaged in a drive to read as much horror by women as possible before World Horror Convention. That means getting books from a lot of different sources, especially since women’s horror isn’t easy to come by…

  • News,  Thoughts

    SFX responds: a long post

    After a prompt from a friend I wrote to SFX on Sunday regarding my concerns about its Horror edition. Here is my email: To whom it may concern, I purchased the horror edition of SFX magazine at the weekend since I’m a fan of horror literature and media, and also write in the genre. I was surprised at the lack of representation of women in the articles in the magazine. In particular I was stunned by the “Horror’s Hidden Treasures” piece. You found the time to query 34 men for their opinions, but neglected to ask even one woman to recommend an under-rated gem in the horror field. Can you…

  • Conventions,  News,  Thoughts

    p-con schedule

    The science fiction convention P-Con is being held in Dublin next week, and the programme of events has been released. Here are the panels I’ll be on: Saturday 10:00 Red RoomIs it time for “Return of the Werewolves”?Nick Harkaway; Brian J. Showers; Laura Anne Gilman; Maura McHugh; R.F.Long 15:00 Blue RoomSocial websites: Bane or boon in the genre fiction world?Cheryl Morgan; Colin Harvey; Colin Smythe; Maura McHugh; Laura Anne Gilman 17:00 Red RoomPictionary Sunday 12:00 Blue RoomKeyboard or pen – Room for both?R.F.Long; Oisín McGann; Maura McHugh 14:00 Blue RoomHas the Internet become indispensable?Cheryl Morgan; Bob Neilson; R.F. Long; Maura McHugh Also, I’ll be chatting on the “Arts Brew” programme…

  • Fiction,  News,  Reviews,  Thoughts

    SFX forgets women in horror

    It’s ironic that during Women in Horror Recognition Month I have to draw attention yet again to another major publication that has a blind spot when it comes to women in horror. Five months ago I was irked when the British Fantasy Society published a collection of interviews of horror writers that omitted women. A minor Internet outrage ensued, which died down with the society’s quick and honest apology. Naïvely, I thought maybe a lesson had been learned. This month the British magazine SFX published a special edition devoted to Horror that overlooks women almost entirely. In his opening words editor Ian Berriman says: “You see, some people think horror…

  • Conventions,  Fiction,  News,  Thoughts

    BFS apologises for forgetting women

    It’s worth mentioning that Guy Adams, Chair and Special Publications Editor for the British Fantasy Society (BFS), has issued an unreserved apology over omitting women from its latest collection. I’m sure he will not chastise me for replicating it in full here: Our new book, In Conversation: A Writer’s Perspective, Volume 1: Horror, edited by James Cooper, has come under justifiable flak for its all-male line up of interviewees. When James brought the manuscript to me with a view to our publishing it I know he intended no sexism in his selection of the authors but I feel deeply sorry that I didn’t flag the omission at the time. It…

  • Conventions,  Fiction,  Thoughts

    Horror wants women to scream, but not talk

    This weekend the British Fantasy Society (BFS) is hosting its annual convention, Fantasy Con. Last night while on Facebook I noticed a news item, which constitutes an electronic “flyer”, about the convention. I immediately noticed the cover of a new book the BFS is launching at the convention: a collection of interviews with writers (the first in a trilogy) in which they discuss their genre. It’s called In Conversation: A Writer’s Perspective. Volume One: Horror. It’s edited by James Cooper, and is composed of 16 interviews with horror authors Ramsey Campbell, Tom Piccirilli, Greg F. Gifune, Conrad Williams, Joe R. Lansdale, Gary McMahon, Brian Keene, Stephen Gallagher, Jeffrey Thomas, Peter…