Emma and the Weeping Spirit by Matthew S. Cox

Cox reframes the classic haunted house trope for middle grade readers without sacrificing the complexities and uncertainties of spectral visitations. This is the fifth book in Cox’s Tales of Widowswood series. Potential spoilers for previous volumes lurk past this point. When a harpy attack drives ten-year-old Emma deep into unknown forest, her experiences help her … Continue reading Emma and the Weeping Spirit by Matthew S. Cox

Edge Cases

I came across this video earlier today—ironically, not while doing research for the Legend of the Five Rings game I've just started. There's a pleasing combination of athleticism and humour from both combatants. However, one thing did seem very wrong; wrong enough for what appeared otherwise to be a great short film that I spent … Continue reading Edge Cases

Janna of Castle Ambrose by Jordan Elizabeth

Elizabeth riffs on the classic image of the monster in the lake to create an accessible fantasy tale about the difference between the clarity of stories and the reality of life. As the daughter of the Earl’s butler, Janna had a happy life at Castle Ambrose playing with the Earl’s children—until a conquering army sacked … Continue reading Janna of Castle Ambrose by Jordan Elizabeth

Casey Douglass: Dark Ambient Review: Hastur

Those of you who've read Bloody Red Nose will already be familiar with Casey Douglass. However, what you might not have gathered from his deliciously distilled tale is that he shares my taste for Yog-Sothothery. So, it seemed a public service to ease you into the new arbitrary time division by mentioning his review of … Continue reading Casey Douglass: Dark Ambient Review: Hastur

First Stone by Gary Ballard

Ballard fuses the viscerality of serial killer investigation with the mentality of Lovecraftian cosmology to create a gestalt that captures the shattering of mind and body without becoming tedious rubbery spatterpunk or abstract statements of indescribability. Forensic psychologist Jack Carter awakens in a mental hospital suffering from amnesia and prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance. … Continue reading First Stone by Gary Ballard

Of Myth and Shadow by Matthew S. Cox

Cox combines accessible characters and sweeping plots to create epic fantasy that has breadth and depth without feeling dense. The Kingdom of Aegaan has been at peace for decades. However, a growing number of towns and villages along one border report attacks by small bands of elves. For Anrael, a half-elf, this is just one … Continue reading Of Myth and Shadow by Matthew S. Cox

Twelve Rules for Life in an Uncaring Cosmos

Like many others in the United Kingdom, I hope our new overlords’ actions do bring great benefits to the entire nation. However, as I have mentioned previously, we cannot sit back and expect others to do everything for us. Thus, I thought I would reshare a relevant article on how we might each better prepare ourselves for the future:

Davetopia

All who bear the burden of unholy knowledge know that Yog-Sothoth, the gate and the key, is perceived in congruence, and that the reasoned half of the mind is our protection from horrific truths. Thus, when I encountered a headline about a forthcoming Lovecraftian project and read the producer not as Jordan Peele but as Jordan Peterson, I both quailed at the blasphemous congruence and felt compelled to explore this intersection. I was ill-prepared for the underlying truths revealed in Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life!

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back: Many unspeakable abominations are hunched, lack shoulders, or even bilateral symmetry. An upright posture that highlights your arms will therefore signal to others that you are likely to be human. Also, focusing on your posture will distract you from your surroundings, reducing the risk of perceiving the incomprehensible.

  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping:

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The Gryphon and the Mountain Bear by Stephanie Flint

Flint redresses a classic confidence trick in fantastical raiments to create a short story that is likely to appeal to fans of both cunning ploys and mystical worlds. After a card player cheats Nuaka, she uses her shapeshifting magic to steal a treasure map from his room and heads straight for the ruins. Her expedition … Continue reading The Gryphon and the Mountain Bear by Stephanie Flint

Green Shoots of Knowledge

With only a few days to go until the General Election, representatives of some parties are doubling down on the message that they are speaking for the nation. They might genuinely believe they are, but Parliament, the organisation they seek to be part of, isn't one person speaking for everyone, it's many representatives discussing perspectives … Continue reading Green Shoots of Knowledge