How I Spent April 2018

DorisApril18For me, April was the month of technical difficulties.

Well, no, that’s not all. I recently had a pretty awesome project fall into my lap, something I’ll be able to talk about later on. But that, too, forced me to put some of my current projects aside for now. So basically April was the month of delays, some for awesome reasons, others for rubbish reasons.

Articles published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for May and beyond:


March-April 2018 Belladonna Issue Now Available!

BelladonnaMarchApril18Okay, we may be a little late with the second Belladonna issue of 2018, but you can hardly accuse us of scrimping on the goodies.

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the treats you can expect. Slasher Honey Chass sheds light on Midnighters, Guest Honey Laurel gives a call to Mother!, Classics Honey Samantha looks back at Peeping Tom and examines the long shadow of Nosferatu, Monster Honey Sarah gazes up at Shin Godzilla and Pacific Rim: Uprising, and Supernatural Honey Kim strokes Hell’s Kitty, meets The Midnight Man and educates us on the history of female serial killers.

Interviewees this time around are painter Megz Majewski (who provided the lovely cover illustration) and director/writer/designer Gigi Saul Guerro.


This is what ya get.

As the resident Comics Honey, I’m looking at Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Fire Punch, Charles Forsman’s Slasher, Victor LaValle’s Destroyer, and the indie publisher Sex & Monsters.

Also included in the issue is the second chapter of my zombie apocalypse saga Pale Horse Polly.


So, if you want to check out the issue and all it has to offer, you can get it at the official website or at MagCloud.

Space Opera Archaeology: Jack Williamson and The Legion of Space

“We’re pirates now. We shall take what we need.”

Jay Kalam, The Legion of Space

LegionOfSpaceOkay.  I’ve looked at Edmond Hamilton, E. E. “Doc” Smith, Philip Francis Nowlan, Ray Cummings, various short stories and John W. Campbell. The next name on my tour of pre-1950s space opera is Jack Williamson.

Williamson, who lived to be 98, had an impressive career as an author and was still having work published into the twenty-first century. But what I’m interested in here is his early work: namely, The Legion of Space, which was serialised in Astounding Stories in 1934 before being collected as a novel in 1947. I’m basing this post on the 1947 version, which Williamson had clearly revised as evidenced by a reference to Pearl Harbour near the start.

The novel opens with a prologue set in 1945, where a character named John Delmar describes his premonitions of the far-flung future – a framing device recalling Olaf Stapledon’s work. Delmar’s visions include his son becoming the pilot of the first manned atomic reocket in 1956, and subsequent descendants taking part in the colonisation of the Moon, atomic wars in the 1990s, battles with Martians, and the eventual conquest of the entire solar system. During the course of all this, the family’s name changed from Delmar to Ulnar. Closer to the present, however, John Delmar also foresaw his own death later in 1945 – and duly perished of influenza, leaving his written account of the future in the hands of Williamson’s narrator.

Continue reading “Space Opera Archaeology: Jack Williamson and The Legion of Space

The Good Friday Skeletons of Cairo

I’ve been researching for a  project involving mummies in horror fiction. While reading up on the topic of the living dead in Egyptian legend, I came across an interesting tidbit…

The seventeenth-century traveller Jean de Thévenot wrote about a piece of folklore attached to a large cemetery on the bank of the Nile, near Cairo. According to Thévenot, the Christians and Muslims of Cairo all believed that, for a period of three days around Good Friday each year, a macabre miracle would occur (I’ve taken Google Translate as a basis):

[T]he dead are resurrected – that is not to say that the dead walk, but rather that their bones rise from the earth during these three days, and return to the earth when the days have passed. I went to this cemetery on the Good Friday of the Greeks and other Christians who follow the old calendar, to see what the basis was, and I was astonished to find it as heavily populated as a fair… the Turks go there in procession with all their banners, because there is a Sheik buried there whose bones, they say, rise every year like the others, and so they arrive to pray with great devotion.

When I arrived, I saw some skulls and a few bones, and everyone told me that these had just come from the ground. They are so firm in this belief that it is impossible to get them to abandon it.

“I dared not state what I believed, for fear of making myself ill-treated,” remarks the sceptical Thévenot. (He compares the alleged phenomenon to apparitions of the Virgin Mary at an unspecified Greek monastery.)