Continuing My Amazing Stories Retrospective

figure-3-amazing-stories-vol-1-no-2-center-2The second instalment of my Amazing Histories series has gone live. Here, I look at issue 2 of Amazing Stories magazine, published all the way back in May 1926.

Here, the familiar names of H. G. Wells, Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe are joined by other, less well-remembered talents. Whether your favoured form of transport is a comet, a pair of insectoid Martian wings or entry into the fifth dimension of size, come on over and see for yourself…

Fanzine Vault: Pernicious Anaemia #2

pernamb1In my previous post I celebrated the first issue of Pernicious Anaemia, a vampire fanzine published circa 1990. It’s not especially groundbreaking, as fanzines go, but it’s a nice slice of nostalgia and I find it hard not to feel a bit warm and fuzzy when I think about it.

So, I thought I may as well cover the second instalment as well, for the benefit of anybody who feels curiosity about this Tividale-based goth publication…


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Fanzine Vault: Pernicious Anaemia #1

pernam3I sometimes buy vintage fanzines on eBay or, occasionally, at a local second-hand shop. I have no memory of picking up the first two issues of the vampire zine Pernicious Anaemia, so I’m guessing that I must have got them as part of a bulk purchase at the latter outlet.

Bound in black tape at the English village of Tividale, Pernicious Anaemia was published circa 1990. Neither instalment contains a specific date, but the second issue identifies Susy McKee Charnas’ 1980 novel The Vampire Tapestry as having come out ten years previously, giving a pretty good clue as to the zine’s vintage.

Not only is this before Twilight, Buffy and True Blood, it is before Gary Oldman swooped across our screens in his much-ridiculed bouffant. Aside from the immortal works of Bram Stoker and Sheridan le Fanu, the dominant texts for a young vampire enthusiast of this period would have been Salem’s Lot, Near Dark, The Lost Boys, Anne Rice’s first three Vampire Chronicles books and television repeats of old Hammer films. A quite different scene to today.

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Peter Haining’s The Ghouls: The Stories Behind the Films

The Ghouls

Of all the books edited by the one-man anthology factory Peter Haining, The Ghouls from 1971 has one of the nicest ideas. Haining’s aim with this collection (published in both a one- and two-volume edition; I own the latter) was to collect the stories that inspired the classics of horror cinema, along with a foreword by Vincent Price, an afterword by Christopher Lee and short introductions by Haining himself which, together, form a potted history of horror films.

How does it work in practice? Well…

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How I Spent January 2017

janusSpeaking strictly in terms of my personal life, January 2017 was a considerable improvement over January 2016. That month was positively rotten to me and I still haven’t quite forgiven it. But this month?

Well, my creative projects have been coming along. It’s looking increasingly likely that my comic will be heading to the Kickstarter stage this year, which is something I can thank my lovely artists for. Them, and the group of wonderful friends who are interested in publishing it through their small press. I’m currently in talks, fingers crossed we can work something out…

Meanwhile, I’m also working my way through a stack of books on science fiction – from biographies to critical analyses – as research for a couple of nonfiction projects, including my new article series on Amazing Stories magazine.

(As for the international political situation circa January 2017, well, that’s something that has given me far, far less to feel optimistic about. But that would be a topic for another time…)

“You Will Have Seen Girls About Fifteen you Thought Were Hot”: The Forbidden Thoughts of Milo Yiannopoulos

Forbidden Thoughts

Around the start of this year, Superversive Press published an anthology of SF stories called Forbidden Thoughts. Many – if not all – of the contributors are from the Sad and/or Rabid Puppy campaigns, and the stories are meant to represent everything that SJWs hate.

The book’s foreword is by Milo Yiannopoulos, a man who has made a career out of expressing sundry politically incorrect opinions. In this post, I would like to examine one politically incorrect opinion of Milo’s which, to me, appears to have sparked surprisingly little controversy: his argument that it is sometimes morally acceptable, even beneficial, for an adult to have sex with a minor as young as twelve.

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Is There a Correlation Between the Decline of Religion and the Rise of Sparkly Vampires?


Over at the Castalia House blog, Jeffro Johnson recently made a post entitled “Why Post-Christian Fantasy is Inferior to the Real Thing”. Johnson argues that a process of secularisation has sapped the appeal from modern fantasy fiction:

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January 2017 Belladonna Issue Now Available!

belladonnajan17‘Tis that time of the month once again! The January issue of Belladonna is yours to Magzter and Magcloud, ringing in the new year with all the gruesome goodies that we of the Horror Honeys can offer.

The magazine features interviews with The Id star Amanda Wyss, Don’t Breathe writer Rodo Sayagues and Hurricane Bianca director Matt Kugelman. Slasher Honey Chass discusses this year’s upcoming releases, along with a list of things that she hopes not to see in horror films of 2017.

Between the Hurricane Bianca feature and LinnieSarah’s article on the cross-dressing antics of Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda, drag is a definite theme of this issue. So, too, are children: Katie has a feature on films about mad science children (The Unborn, Demon Seed et cetera), while Kim gives us a feature on child actors in horror and elsewhere champions Something Wicked This Way Comes as a film that won’t scare your own kids too much.

My contributions are a review of the manga release Holy Corpse Rising Volume 1 and an article on the online horrors of Rule 34.

All in all, I’d say we’ve given our readers another treat this month. Take a bite of some Belladonna!

My New Series on Amazing Stories 

Amazing_Stories_April_1926-e1484317561153.jpgI’ve just begun a new series of articles covering Amazing Stories, the first dedicated SF magazine, on an issue-by-issue basis. The first instalment covers the magazine’s debut issue, published back in April 1927.

I’d like to thank Steve Davidson, editor of Amazing‘s current incarnation, for agreeing to host the series on the magazine’s official website.

How long I can keep the series running, I cannot say; I fear it is only a matter of time before the ugly issue of availability will raise its head. But I fully intend to cover the first year’s worth of issues, at the very least.

Here’s to the exciting new genre of Scientifiction!

Vintage Paperbacks: Starring Toni Basil

Over my Head

I’m a sucker for vintage paperback covers. I’m a sucker for cheesy 1980s music videos. So, it should go without saying that I have a fondness for the video to Toni Basil’s “Over my Head”, where she pops in and out of the covers of various old-timey crime novels.

Out of curiosity, I decided to look up some of those books online…

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