Hey! Want to know what’s going down in the world of weird, speculative and period fiction? Then you probably need to find a proper website. But if you want our usual collection of oddities, here’s all the news that we can remember while trying to stop the dog eating the computer mouse. As we call yourselves a signpost site, check the signs and see if any of them intrigue…
Book Enjoyed by Local Man
Gwendolyn Kiste’s new collection And Her Smile will Untether the Universe is out now. We’ve read it, and were impressed. It’s an almost mythical ride through the Weird, blending and deconstructing different themes to create some powerful tales and lasting images.
Many of those images reflect aspects of female needs and identity. Gwendolyn, already noted for her strange and eerie short stories, writes so fluidly, without polemic, that you can choose to seek out deeper meanings – or simply be drawn into the tales for pure enjoyment.
“A murdered movie star reaches out to an unlikely fan. An orchard is bewitched with poison apples and would-be princesses. A pair of outcasts fail a questionnaire that measures who in their neighborhood will vanish next. Two sisters keep a grotesque secret hidden in a Victorian bathtub. A dearly departed best friend carries a grudge from beyond the grave.”
Very worth a look. We’re going to try and have Gwendolyn on here soon to talk about it. Follow the links below to find it:
Alien Shoots Detective: Barbarian Questioned
Broadswords and Blasters is a new quarterly magazine edited by Matthew X. Gomez and Cameron Mount. The first issue has just come out, and it lives up to its title, with speculative stories which range from grimdark-y fantasy to pure science fiction – with a pulp touch.
“ ‘A pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.’ What does that even mean? It means we want characters who act, who go on adventures, who push boundaries. We want new takes on old ideas… adventurers who discard the old stigmas on gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.
“We want readers from diverse backgrounds to be able to pick up an issue and see themselves in these characters. It means we wanted writers to look at the old tropes of pulp fiction and update them for a modern audience. We wanted writers to actively look at the problems inherent to the old pulp stories and subvert, invert, and otherwise turn them on their head.”
We haven’t finished reading it yet, so won’t say much more, but here’s the run-down of what you’ll find inside:
Table of Contents
- Skin Deep by Nicholas Ozment
- Dead Men Tell Tales by Dave D’Alessio
- The Executioner’s Daughter by R.A. Goli
- Pension Plan by Dusty Wallace
- Saturday Night Science by Michael M. Jones
- Island of Skulls by Matt Spencer
- The Waters So Dark by Josh Reynolds
- Thicker than Water by Rob Francis
Broadwords and Blasters #1 is available in eformat from Amazon at: http://a.co/30xMbPG
Man Bites Wolf
Whilst reading for Occult Detective Quarterly last year we encountered an interesting period tale by a certain Rafe McGregor. As it happened, that tale, ‘The Wolf Month’ became part of a themed collection that he was putting together at the same time, and so we wanted to see what came of the venture. The result was The Adventures of Roderick Langham, recently released.
As Rafe is both an academic, a prolific short story writer, and received praise for his late-Victorian novel The Architect of Murder, it’s no surprise that the collection has a strong evocation of period. This is another one on our to-read pile, but looks promising, and we’ll try to report back.
“Roderick Langham is a retired soldier, disgraced police inspector, and reluctant occult detective. He inhabits the world of Sherlock Holmes, investigates cases with John Watson and Sebastian Moran, and is able to perceive the reality concealed by the illusion of everyday appearances. These nine stories follow Langham from his first encounter with the inexplicable in the Himalayan hills to his investigation of the wreck of the Demeter and his growing realisation that the dales, moors, and wolds which surround his Yorkshire refuge are home to an evil far older than the honeycomb of medieval monasteries and Roman ruins suggests.”
You can check out The Adventures of Roderick Langham at http://amzn.eu/31Fq2hi
The Tarot on the Road
Matias Zanetti‘s new project is on-line and readable either in Spanish or English. Camino Royal, or the Royal Road, is a comic linked loosely to the Tarot and readings.
The first issue offers a speculative, dystopian tale, set in a world where an infection has spread throughout humanity, and the survivors struggle to stop themselves degenerating. There’s something wrong with the water – or is there?
We said a little more about it here http://greydogtales.com/blog/le-fanu-fire-royal-road-ash/.
Issue 2, from Holograma Comics, is available to download now:
Back soon with writing and project news to delight and astound everyone, except the lurcher fans, probably. They’ll have to hang in there, because Django needs to go out and pee on the last of the daffodils…