• Thoughts

    Old Weird, New Weird, or Just Plain Weird

    You can hear a recording of the ‘Old Weird, New Weird, or Just Plain Weird’ panel, which I participated on during the 2015 World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. It’s hosted on the Project Radio web site. The line-up was: moderator: Thomas F. Monteleone, and panellists: Ellen Datlow, Michael Kelly, me, Anya Martin, and Scott Nicolay. http://www.projectiradio.com/?powerpress_embed=88215-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio It was an interesting discussion, but not a surprise considering the range of talent on the table and our passion for the subject.

  • Conventions

    World Fantasy Convention 2015

    In a couple of days I’m flying to the USA with the main goal of attending the World Fantasy Convention 2015 in Saratoga Springs, NY. The lovely side-effect is getting to spend time with the amazingly talented Kate Laity before and during the convention. I haven’t attended many WFCs – two in the UK so far. As with most writers I have to judge which events to attend based on a variety of criteria, and once it’s taking place in America the costs balloon significantly. I’d heard good things about the last WFC in Saratoga Springs, and with it being located on the East Coast it makes it a more…

  • Writing

    The Green Book – issue 3

    Today I received my contributor’s copies of The Green Book: Writings on Irish Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic Literature, issue 3. The Green Book is a handsome anthology of essays and reviews published regularly by The Swan River Press, edited by Brian J. Showers. Issue 3 is devoted to examining the work of Ireland pre-eminent 19th century supernatural writer – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. It’s the 200th anniversary of Le Fanu’s birth this year, so it’s quite right the work of Dublin’s ‘Invisible Prince’ gets a proper celebration. This issue comes with a postcard as a lovely extra – it’s a rare image of Le Fanu’s death mask (© Anna &…

  • photographs

    very important clothes

    This is a weirdly cool window display from Stockholm in Sweden. Yes, the jacket is decorated with plastic skeletons (the buttons are made of little skulls). Perhaps it’s a mad dictator’s formal wear. The little ferret under the bear lady’s chair is wearing a hat. We are surrounded by the odd all the time. Hurray, I say!

  • Insubstantial


    A cold, dank mist smothered Galway today. There were none of the usual markers of morning, noon and twilight, just a constant grey tone that collapsed suddenly to darkness in the evening. It was the kind of day that offered no incentive to venture outside, but the dog needed her walk, so in the afternoon I braved the woods. It was still, muffled. The thick mist suggested much and illuminated nothing. A rook cawed intermittently throughout my walk, there were occasional bangs – fireworks, or a gun – but otherwise it was utterly silent. The woods were eerie and mysterious, and I thought how easy it would be to conjure…

  • Thoughts

    found skeleton

    I can’t lay claim to the above photograph, it’s an image from the Powerhouse Museum Collection on Flickr. It’s a glass plate negative from Sydney-based photographic studio from around 1890 through to 1920. It’s public domain, and I’ve added a bit of sepia toning and more contrast. Flickr has a magnificent section of its web site called The Commons. Museums and public institutions from around the world post images from their archives that are out of copyright (mostly). I could spend hours looking through their collections. I think about the people captured in the images, and the kind of lives they led. Maybe in a 100 years someone will examine…

  • Television

    seeing the strange

    I took this photo in the woods about a week ago. Of course it’s a desiccated thistle head, but it also looks like there’s a winged creature escaped from a fantasy world – such as The Dark Crystal – perched on top of it. Seeing the world at a slant can lend wonder to the most ordinary moment or scene. I’m away today to spend the holiday with my parents, and I’ll be back next week. I might blog, but I also might take a break. It depends on my humour. It was inevitable that after praising the Little Crackers series on Sky I should see two of them I…