How I Spent September 2017

DorisSep17I find m6yself typing this post on a dodgy library co6mputer that keeps adding fi5ves,= sixes and equals signs to 6my words,= and instead of going through the hassle of fixing it=, I’m6 going to leav5e it as it is. BEHOLD THE TESTAMENT TO DODGY KEYBOARDS. (I notice that typing in all caps seem6s to sort it out. Huh.)

Anyway,= Septem6ber was another m6ellow m6onth for 6me. I spent it in m6y usual routine of reading=, writing, and going on weekly trips to the cinem6a (Detroit,= The Lim6ehosue Golem6,= Kingsm6an 2 and Lucky Logan). My 6main endeav5our has been getting started on preparing som6e horror-them6ed articles for October. I’5ve got a bu6mper crop co6ming along and no m6istake…

Articles published elsewhere this m6onth:

Article topics for October and beyond:


Space Opera Archeology: Edmond Hamilton and the Interstellar Patrol

“I, Zan Zanat, resolved to do what none ever had done, to explore the cosmic cloud’s interior.”

—Zan Zanat, “The Cosmic Cloud”

weird_tales_192902Lately I’ve been doing a deep-dive into the history of the space opera genre. The term “space opera” was coined in 1941 (as a pejorative) but an earlier, more significant date in the genre’s history was August 1928, the magazine cover-date of three significant works: Edmond Hamilton’s “Crashing Suns” (in Weird Tales), the first instalment of E. E. Smith’s The Skylark of Space (in Amazing Stories) and Philip Francis Nowlan’s “Armageddon 2419 A.D”, starring an early incarnation of Buck Rogers (also Amazing).

I’ll start by looking at “Crashing Suns”. This was the first of Hamilton’s eight Interstellar Patrol stories, which were published in Weird Tales between 1928 and 1934; aside form the novel-length Outside the Universe, all were short stories. Five of the stories were collected in a 1965 paperback, also called Crashing Suns. I’m basing the post on this book, and off the top of my head I can’t confirm if there are any differences between the stories as republished in 1965 and the original Weird Tales editions.

Continue reading “Space Opera Archeology: Edmond Hamilton and the Interstellar Patrol”

On Amazing Stories Issue 10


My issue-by-issue overview of Amazing Stories has reached 1927! Journey ninety years into the past and discover such long-forgotten stories as “The Man with the Strange Head”. Plus: the first instalment of Amazing‘s regular letter column, where you will encounter people getting grumpy about scientific inaccuracies and somebody who thinks the main character in one of the stories is a real person.


September 2017 Belladonna Issue Now Available!

BelladonnaSep17Do you smell something? Could it be the smell of some fresh, new Belladonna…?

Yes, there’s a new Belladonna issue out. This time around your humble Honeys discuss their favourite Final Girls and high school horror flicks; Monster Honey Sarah reviews Tragedy Girls; Guest Honey Nicole offers her take on the novels of Jeff Menapace; celebrates the recent Musical Horror Honey Brittany charts the curious history of Reefer Madness; Gamer Honey Jess plays Shadow Warrior; Head Honey LinnieSarah says goodbye to HBO’s The Leftovers and educates us on Kevin Costner’s erotic thrillers; (other) Head Honey Kat compares The Fifth Element to Luc Besson’s latest, Valerian; and multi-talented cover star Nowal “Goldie Goodnight” Massari submits to a Q&A session. And, of course, we celebrate the recent resurgence of creepy clowns with Classics Honey Samantha’s look at the Lon Chaney classic He Who Gets Slapped and Supernatural Honey Kim’s take on Clowntergeist. There’s still more besides!


Seriously, if there’s nothing here that appeals to you, you must be the illegitimate offspring of Fredric Wertham and Mary Whitehouse.

As always, my personal fiefdom is Belladonna‘s comics section. This month I’ve reviewed Natasha Alterici’s Heathen and the first title from the new Hammer line, The Mummy: Palimpsest.

Also on offer is the latest instalment of my comic Midnight Widows. This is actually a sad moment for me, as it marks the last instalment to be pencilled by the talented Rosie Wing, who is off for pastures new. Visit her on Patreon, Twitter or Facebook and wish her the best of luck for her future endeavours!


Spot the Easter egg reference to a famous silent horror film.

Inker-colourist Marcela Hauptvogelova is still on board, and starting next month I’ll be jamming with her to create more adventures for Edith, Kateryna and Gabriela.

So, if you want to check out the latest bloody bounty of Belladonna, head on over to the official website or to MagCloud to pick up your copy.

Nineties Kid Nostalgia: Sega Pirate TV


I was looking around YouTube and found this compilation of early-90s British TV ads for the Sega Mega Drive (that’s the Genesis, for readers in the US). Boy, what a time capsule they are. And not only because they hype a bunch of 16-bit platformers as cutting edge entertainment technology.

Originally, the ads starred a barber played by Bottom‘s Steven O’Donnell, who turned his customers into cyborgs via a process called the “cyber razor cut”. This was intercut with footage from Mega Drive games because… cybernetic organisms spend their time playing Sonic the Hedgehog, or something.

Continue reading “Nineties Kid Nostalgia: Sega Pirate TV”