Friday, February 28, 2020

"The House Invisible" (1913) by Alan Sullivan (1868-1947)

Poet and author Alan Sullivan, who also published work under the pseudonym Sinclair Murray, was born in Montreal and spent some of his formative years in Scotland. An engineer by trade, he spent several years in the Lake of the Woods district near Kenora, Ontario. His most famous work is perhaps The Great Divide (1935), a historical adventure novel about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. However he was also published extensively in Canadian and American periodicals, while a handful of his novels, such as A Little Way Ahead (1929), had elements of the paranormal.

While researching Sullivan for inclusion in The Great Fright North, I discovered his short story "The House Invisible," published in The Passing of Oul-i-but and Other Stories (1913). In this tale, which hints of the supernatural, a man wistfully reflects on his past accomplishments while out walking one day along the shoreline of his seaside mansion. To his surprise, he comes across a deep crevasse that seemingly appeared out of nowhere; there he discovers a mansion that mirrors his own, except it appears to have weathered a century of neglect.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

"Exorcism" (1972) by Eth Natas...or was it Stephen King?

Exorcism (1972), Lexington House
I decided that 2020 would finally be the year that I make a concerted effort to reduce the 'unread' pile of vintage horror paperbacks that I've collected over the years. Granted, I have been reading a book here and there, but I add more to the pile than I take away. These are primarily thrift store finds that I couldn't pass up, based on cover art or back cover blurbs, and it's only after I get them home that I research the book and author--many of whom are new to me. Case in point: Eth Natas. This is a pseudonym--an anagram for "The Satan," no less--and as it turns out, some circles believe this book was in fact written by Stephen King.

Note: there are many spoilers ahead for Exorcism, but since few will likely get the chance to read it--the book is pretty scarce, and online copies range anywhere from $20 to $100 (making my $2 find a bargain!)--you may as well read on.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

New Book Alert: Drafts of Dracula

Here's a new book for fans of Dracula that has just been released digitally on Kindle, and will be published in both paperback and hardcover in time for Christmas. Drafts of Dracula, edited and annotated by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller, builds upon their groundbreaking work in Bram Stoker's Notes for Dracula (McFarland, 2008). This new book updates their previous work while adding new insights and research.

Eighteen-Bisang is an authority on vampires and Dracula, and owns the world's largest collection of vampire literature. Miller, too, is a renowned Dracula scholar, and both have contributed several works to this field of study.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Global Horror: Local Perspectives Conference, Apr 2020

Horror pervades human experience. It affects us both as individuals and as members of social communities, it is recurrent in pop culture and arguably present in all fields of human knowledge and realms of storytelling, from Cronus eating his own children, to Freddy Krueger’s sadistic murders in A Nightmare on Elm Street to media coverage of war. As a fundamentally paradoxical concept, horror simultaneously repels and fascinates us: we naturally dread it, yet we are drawn to it. We are taught to avoid that which is horrifying, but the appeal of horror, whether in the form of fiction or sensational news, is irresistible.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CFP - Vampires: Consuming Monsters and Monstrous Consumption

REVENANT: CRITICAL AND CREATIVE STUDIES OF THE SUPERNATURAL is a peer-reviewed, online journal looking at the supernatural, the uncanny, and the weird. Revenant is now accepting articles, creative writing pieces and book, film, game, event, or art reviews for a themed issue on ‘Vampires: Consuming Monsters and Monstrous Consumption’ (due 18 January 2020), guest edited by Dr Brooke Cameron and Suyin Olguin.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

CFP: "Women’s Writing" Special Issue on Ghost Stories

Ghosts and the supernatural continue to attract the attention of feminist scholars, though the relationship between gender, genre and haunting has not been fully explored.

In the evolution of the ghost story, women writers of the long nineteenth century have sometimes been overshadowed, their contributions to the genre undervalued or their stories seen as inferior to their novels and poetry.