Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Online Gothic Fairies Conference, April 2021

The Open Graves, Open Minds Project announce their online conference, ‘Ill met by moonlight’: Gothic encounters with enchantment and the Faerie realm in literature and culture. This conference is uniquely situated at the intersection between folklore, fairy tale, and the Gothic. It celebrates the darker aspects of fairies and their kin and marks the centenary of the publication by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of the infamous Cottingley Fairies photographs in the Strand Magazine (Dec 1920). 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Robert Eighteen-Bisang: A Tribute

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life more insular, and in my case I had to focus so much more on work and family that I lost touch with great people whose friendship I cherish immensely. One of those friends is Robert Eighteen-Bisang, noted vampire literature aficionado and Dracula scholar, whom I had the great fortune to have met in 1998--and who was responsible for not only getting me my first professional writing gig, but also encouraged me over the years to continue researching and writing about our shared areas of interest. Rob passed away in September, 2020, and sadly I only found out about it today. This is devastating news, especially considering I've been telling myself for months now that I should call him to see how he's been faring during the pandemic. Regretfully, that opportunity is now lost. But I'd like to tell you more about my friend Rob.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

CFP: Monsters and the Monstrous, April 2021

"I'm hated, execrated, those I meet are repelled by me. They want me crucified, and maybe their feelings are all too justified," sang the American band The Bastard Fairies in their 2010 title track "Man-Made Monster." The lyrics of the song oscillate between cackling threats of murder and cannibalism, and the lament, "It didn't have to be this way, I'm a man-made monster led astray." Such is the paradox of the monster and its appeal: simultaneously a true threat, and the object of sympathy.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

CFP: Supernatural Connections, March 2021

Due to the postponement of this event in light of the Covid pandemic, we are delighted to be able to unexpectedly reopen the Call for Submissions for the newly rescheduled dates. As a constant and chilling presence in individual lives and the popular imagination, the supernatural, as a cultural phenomenon, is prone to repeated revivals and resurrections. Like some uncanny revenant, the supernatural re-emerges at crucial historical moments, often transforming to reflect the concerns of its epoch.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

CFP: Global Horror: Local Perspectives, March 2021

Due to the postponement of this event in relation to Covid, we are delighted to be able to unexpectedly reopen the Call for Submission for the newly rescheduled dates. 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. 

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.