How I Spent August 2018

DorisAug18For me, August has been a month of travelling. Not to anywhere far-flung; I’ve been making do with the traditional English seaside destinations and the like, checking out second-hand bookshops across the county for paperback horrors and at one point getting utterly lost in a rather nice wooded area that I somehow found hard to appreciate when enduring Blair Witch scenarios of walking past the same wooden bench for the sixth time.

I took a bit of a break from my writing along the way, but I’m ready to begin in earnest again next month. And boy, do I have stuff to begin in earnest with. I’ve got the draft for a book due by the end of September, and I’m determined to finish it. I’m also in early talks about a new, thoroughly awesome project that I can’t talk about just yet that I should be working on at the same time.

Best get cracking, then…

Articles published elsewhere this month:

Article topics for September and beyond:


Congratulations to the 2018 Splatterpunk Award Winners!

SplattyThe inaugural Splatterpunk Award winners were announced over the weekend at Killercon Austin, and here they are:

  • Best Novel: White Trash Gothic by Edward Lee
  • Best Novella: Header 3 by Edward Lee and Ryan Harding
  • Best Short Story: “The Tipping Point” by Jeff Strand
  • Best Collection: Gorilla in My Room by Jack Ketchum
  • Best Anthology: Splatterpunk Fighting Back edited by Jack Bantry and Kit Power
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: David J. Schow

My sincerest congratulations to all of the winners. You can read my reviews of each and every finalist here, here and here.

(Image taken from David J. Schow’s Twitter feed)

Space Opera Archaeology: Edmond Hamilton and “The World with a Thousand Moons”

“The young businessman’s finger was tense on the trigger of the atom-pistol. Resistance would be senseless.”

—Edmond Hamilton, “The World with a Thousand Moons”

amazing_stories_194212I’ve written about Edmond Hamilton quite a bit in this series on pre-1950s space opera. I covered his Interstellar Patrol stories in the first post, and came back to him later on. Now it’s time for another look at Hamilton’s work, this time a comparatively long story that was published in the December 1942 issue of Amazing Stories: “The World with a Thousand Moons”.

Earthman Lance Kenniston and his cohort, a “hulking green Jovian” named Holk Or, are desperate to find a ship they can take out of Mars. They finally do so by teaming up with radium heiress Gloria Loring and her young, thrill-seeking friends. Kenniston convinces her that they are looking for treasure in the wrecked ship of deceased space pirate John Dark – located on Vesta, a large asteroid dubbed the World with a Thousand Moons due to the vast amount of meteors that encircle it – and will share the loot with her should they find it.

Continue reading “Space Opera Archaeology: Edmond Hamilton and “The World with a Thousand Moons””

The Continuing Adventures of Edward Van Sloan

Edward Van Sloan in The Mask of DiijonIf you’re familiar with 1930s horror films, you’ll be well-acquainted with Edward Van Sloan. He played Van Helsing in Dracula, Frankenstein’s old teacher in Frankenstein, Van Helsing with a different accent in The Mummy, and Van Helsing with a different spelling in Dracula’s Daughter. So yeah: the horror genre typecast him as a genteel authority figure.

But what of his other, lesser-known roles? Well, I’ve taken it upon myself to sample some of Edward Van Sloan’s performances outside of horror films. Here are my findings…

Continue reading “The Continuing Adventures of Edward Van Sloan”

The House of Eddas: Journey Into Mystery #83

JourneyMystery83As a bit of a lark I’ve decided to do a series with a running comparison between Marvel’s Thor comics and the Norse mythology that inspired them, starting with the character’s first appearance in Journey Into Mystery #83 (1962).

Not that the story in this debut issue, “The Stone Men of Saturn” has much to do with mythology. It takes perhaps the most readily-recognisable image from the Eddas – that is, a hammer-wielding thunder god – and repackages him for what is otherwise a routine superhero story. It’s easy to imagine “The Stone Men of Saturn” rewritten as a first outing for Iron Man or Hulk, for example.

Continue reading “The House of Eddas: Journey Into Mystery #83″

How I Spent July 2018

DorisBelladonnaGraveWell, the big thing this month was the final issue of Belladonna magazine. The passing of my time as resident Comics Honey has left a hole in my schedule which, melancholy aside, I’m planning to put to good use.

For one thing, now’s the time to knuckle down on my book Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers. I’ve spent much of the year immersing myself in SF/F published between 2013 and 2016, the era I’m covering, and I’m prepared to make a serious dent in my writing about the controversies of the period.

The sweltering heat of late July hasn’t always been conductive to writing, but still I soldiered on!

Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:

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Article topics for August and beyond: