Witnessing Cthulhu

Today has been spent reviewing a draft contract, so haven’t had time to craft engaging thoughts. As compensation, here’s an amusing little film that’s tangentially related to my day:


Angel Descended by Matthew S. Cox

ARC: No cover available at time of review. Cox seamlessly fuses nuanced cyberpunk with magic-in-all-but-name to produce a novel that is both a character-driven thriller and a dramatic spectacular.

This novel concludes Cox’s The Awakened series. Risk of spoilers ahead.

The Unfilmable

Vestron’s recent release of HP Lovecraft’s Dagon and Beyond Re-Animator on Blu-ray stimulated the ongoing debate over whether the Lovecraft community would ever see a big-budget direct adaptation of his work to film. I (appropriately for the topic perhaps) fear not; ironically, not because of his relative obscurity but because of his relative popularity.

Black and Incoherent Allies

In “The Call of Cthulhu”, Lovecraft paints the cultists captured in the swamps beyond New Orléans as crazed degenerates, people who have abandoned reason. So, it’s possible to write off their claims that supernatural beings committed the murders of which they’re accused as either shared delusion or self-aggrandising lie. However, if otherworldly entities did perform the ritual killings, what might they be? The answer is: tentacles!*

Or, less humorously, something else.

Dead Man’s Number by Matthew S. Cox

ARC: No cover available at time of review. Cox combines the tropes of post-apocalyptic action stories with the fundamentals of human character and the realities of engineering to create a tale that will satisfy both those who love Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome and those who were constantly niggled by who was processing all the crude oil into petrol to keep that society running.

This novel is the third volume in the Roadhouse Chronicles. Travelling beyond this point risks uncovering spoilers of The Time Before.

Dark Corner Newsstand Open for Business

I like short stories. I like reading them and I like writing them. And, whether you’re here for my reviews or to find out more about the stories I write, I suspect many of you like a good short story too.

So, I wanted to share this new project from the talented Misha Burnett: a repository of magazines and anthologies featuring short fiction.

That shared, I’m off to read something weird and abrupt.

Dark Corner Newsstand

This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. If you got here from my other blog, you know that I feel passionately about the need for a healthy market for short fiction. To this end I have been actively seeking indie magazines and anthologies that publish short genre fiction.

The market is growing fast now, and I’ve gotten to the point where I need a way to organize all the links I have into one place.

This is the place. Please pardon my dust, this is a work in progress.

View original post

Free Verse Revolution: The Collection (2010-2017) by Nicholas Gagnier

Free Verse Revolution: The Collection (2010-2017) by Nicholas GagnierDriven by a mix of fear his life will have so little impact that his obituary will contain unnoticed spelling errors and a converse irony about the irrelevance of celebrity, Gagnier gathers poems that both showcase the arc of his life and gently mock the project as a naïve attempt to encapsulate something both complex and incomplete.

Anent the Prose of that Indescribable Scrivener

Discussion of Lovecraft’s work tends to focus on three things: racism, cosmic dread, and tentacles. However, as anyone who’s spoken to witnesses to an event knows, the same story becomes different depending on the author: so, while a tale of a Englishman who discovers a debased African tribe summoning a writhing horror and is traumatised by the realisation the universe isn’t designed for humans is immediately recognisable as Lovecraftian, what might distinguish Lovecraft’s version? While the exact combination of qualities might well require a theorem as long as his works put together, his core of his prose style isn’t that complex: Lovecraft’s sought to replicate a formal British style that was already considered archaic when he was writing and was more inclined to reportage than immersion.