Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Good Omens

I haven't read all of the late Sir Terry Pratchett's books, but I've read quite a few of 'em. One of the best, for me, is Good Omens, his collaboration with Neil Gaiman. So it's good news that the BBC and Amazon have joined forces to produce a TV adaptation. What's more, it stars two of my favourite actor persons as a mismatched apocalypse-fighting team.

David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a rather odd couple...
'Confirmed to be joining Sheen and Tennant in the cast are Adria Arjona (Anathema Device), Nina Sosanya (Sister Mary Loquacious), Jack Whitehall (Newt), Michael McKean (Shadwell), Miranda Richardson (Madame Tracy), Ned Dennehy (Hastur) and Ariyon Bakare (Ligur).'
It looks good. Note that Hastur is in there, in a big shout-out to the deeply weird. If you don't know the book, now might be a good time to read it. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

I have a new book out! Or at least, it's available for pre-order in paperback and for Kindle.

"What's this one about, then, you sad old git?"

Glad you asked me, imaginary person! It's about a cathedral tower that by rights should have fallen down years ago, but which seems to be held up by necromantic means. Oh yes. This bit of ungodly folderol leads to all sorts of problems. Behind the curse stands (or hovers) a supernatural being with a Plan, which I will reveal in due course etc. Opposing the forces of evil are the usual motley band of Scooby-esque characters. Includes violent death, ghosts, scrying, psychometry, and all that sort of thing.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Ghosts & Scholars Bumper Bundlette!

I keep forgetting to mention the excellent Ghosts & Scholars M.R. James Newsletter (and website), perhaps because I assume that everyone who's into supernatural fiction must know about it already. But I may be wrong! So I will mention editor Ro Pardoe's excellent journal now. Not only is G&S #32 full of interesting stuff, as always, but it comes with a special booklet. Look, this me holding them up.

Yes, that pervy looking individual behind the booklets is me. Sorry. Yes, the cover on the left is quite something. Daniel McGahey illustrated his own story rather brilliantly.

The point is that 'Ting-a-Ling-a-Ling' is a splendid long story about automata that owes something to 'The Haunted Dolls' House' and 'The Diary of Mr. Poynter'. Now would be a rather good time to subscribe to G&S on the 'buy one, get one free' principle.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

As They Grow Older - Running Review 3.

Moving on with Stephen Cashmore's collection of children's ghost stories we come to 'The House at the End of Witch Street'. This is one of a series of tales about strange doing in the eponymous thoroughfare, which is 'the longest street in town'. Lots of haunting potential, then. In this story a boy called Jonathon glimpses something in the window of the house and decides to investigate. The result is an encounter that gives the lad a bit of a fright, and leads to the house becoming vacant. There's a Ray Bradbury feel about this one, with a boy inhabiting a world of perilous imaginings he can't really share with the grown-up world.

The next story is 'Sunset'. Jenny and Bill stay at a beach house with their aunt and uncle. Jenny has a vision of an old woman with a dog who 'isn't really there'. Jenny investigates (this book is full of intrepid children who probe mysteries) and has a disturbing experience, but does not resolve the apparent haunting. However, the truth is revealed many years later in a clever twist ending.

'The Scariest Moment' was inspired, the author explains. by Hodgson's Carnacki story 'The Horse of the Invisible'. It also introduces the Spook, a teacher who tells seasonal ghostly tales. This one has a touch of Robert Westall about it, as a series of strange messages appear on a blackboard. Suspicion falls on a prankster called Billy. But when the teacher stays behind in his classroom at night something far more disturbing is revealed.

More if this review soon. And just a reminder that, if you buy a copy of As They Grow Older you'll be making a donation to a very worthy cause. See link above for details.