Brief Lines: Big Names

One of the benefits of the recent upsurge in novellas being published is the opportunity for big names to play in smaller sandboxes. Works that are perhaps too experimental or too insubstantial for full novel-length projects can get play now, providing readers with more of their favorite authors. Meanwhile, the authors themselves get a chance . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Big Names

Brief Lines: Darker Images

A dark man, a dark house, and a place that is just plain dark – this week’s column dives into some graphic literature that sits a bit more on the shadowy side. Horror comics may have gotten a bum rap as unworthy during the EC comics days (not to mention all the horrorsploitation stuff Marvel . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Darker Images

Wellman Well Done: The Complete John Thunstone

Where Nightshade’s epic five-volume set gathered together all of Manly Wade Wellman’s extant short fiction, The Complete John Thunstone instead focuses on all of the appearances of that singular character. While not as well known as Wellman’s signature character John the Balladeer, Thunstone actually predates him; his appearance in “The Third Cry to Legba” dates . . . → Read More: Wellman Well Done: The Complete John Thunstone

Brief Lines: Semi-Familiar Terrain

There’s nothing quite so unsettling as semi-familiar terrain. The landscape that we think we might know constantly throws up false positives in recognition, things that we react to in exactly the wrong way because we think they’re something they aren’t. The further in you go, the less you trust yourself, and the more fraught every . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Semi-Familiar Terrain

Brief Lines: Not So Long Ago, In A Place Far Away

To venture into the fantastic is to step onto unfamiliar ground. Some works do this figuratively, populating familiar locations with vampires, werewolves and other critters. Others prefer to be more literal, moving plot and characters at one feel swoop off to a distant landscape that often bears as much resemblance to the real location it’s . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Not So Long Ago, In A Place Far Away

Brief Lines: Vampires, Factory Monsters, and Old Ghosts

Recent years have seen a veritable explosion of shorter works in the horror field, with some of the most reputable names in the genre contributing entries and numerous others following in their footsteps. It’s been argued that the novella is the preferred length for horror fiction; long enough to build up suspense and a decent . . . → Read More: Brief Lines: Vampires, Factory Monsters, and Old Ghosts

In Good Company: Nell Gywnne’s On Land and At Sea

“Posthumous collaborations” tend to have a somewhat uneven track record. For every Poodle Springs, you’ve got a handful of “Lurker at the Threshold”s, whereby the fit in prose, storytelling, and vision between the original, deceased author and the one stepping in to finish the tale isn’t quite perfect. Even when it’s one elite author picking . . . → Read More: In Good Company: Nell Gywnne’s On Land and At Sea

A Pair From Graham Joyce

With Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce sets up camp in the literary real estate generally occupied by Charles De Lint. But where De Lint’s approach is artfully bohemian, Joyce’s is much more workaday. He takes on the intersection of Faerie and the everyday world with muscular, gritty prose and an eye for how . . . → Read More: A Pair From Graham Joyce

Robert Holdstock’s Ryhope Wood series

Trying to write an omnibus conderation of Robert Holdstock’s Ryhope Wood cycle is a damnably difficult task. On a strictly practical note, two portions of the cycle (‘The Bone Forest’ and Merlin’s Wood) are fiendishly hard to find. ‘The Bone Forest’, which can be found in the collection of the same name, describes the original . . . → Read More: Robert Holdstock’s Ryhope Wood series