In my hands there rests a thing of wonder, a thing of joy, a thing of imaginative splendour and chilling, spine-tingling, mind-bending weirdness… Actually, that’s a lie, it’s not in my hands, and it’s not an it, it’s a they… A they that currently in a pile on my bedside table waiting to find a home on the bookshelves of the read, the consumed and the restful that await a reading once more… The end of July was a time of tentacles that came in three parts, that wrapped themselves around my consciousness and made me smile, and laugh, and shudder… and all in equal measure. For such is the magic of books, they can be many things, and so often inspire so many more.
These then are a trio of tentacle infused wonder, that fed my insomniatic mind reasons to keep my eyes open in the long dark hours between twilight and dawn (which are fairly short in July I admit, but trust the rotational excentricities of the world to ruin a good image…) A trio which are linked by tenuous, sinuous, mysterious groping tentacles of artistic endeavour… One way or another…
(okay in actuality the creators of this fine trio are all friends of each other and share a commonality of temperament both artistic and literary… Its pure coincidence I read all three in the space of a few days of each other, I just like talking about tentacles, so sure me…)
Victims: Hopeless Maine 3
This, the third and latest volume in the annuals of Hopeless Maine, is at once both beautiful, and chilling, whimsical and dark, a joy for the eyes, and a feast for the mind. The much-venerated duo of Tom and Nimue Brown bring us back once more to the isolated fragment of the world of their collective imagination.
There is something in the fog, a presence, a mind, a fragment of some ancient evil that lay claim to this cursed isle, and that something has become more restless of late. People are going missing, more than usual, which is worrying as people tend to go missing all the time, and Salamandra has boy troubles, in that she isn’t really talking properly with one of them and the other has… issues… not least with his sense of possession (I don’t like his smile, which is a tribute to Toms art, because I really get the creeps from that smile yet I could not tell you exactly why…) If you have yet to discover the isle of Hopeless, just what have you been doing with your evenings?
Tales of Tantamount
If Hopeless Maine as a place is a tad weird, which is something of an understatement, then the Town of Tantamount, nestled as it is on the banks of the river seven, occasionally in the river seven, or on holiday for a week at the coast and sending out postcards about the virgin relationship between the towns elder thing and the Kraken it met on the beach… Or back on the banks of the Seven, but not necessarily in exactly the same place it was before… is a tad weirder still.
From the fevered imagination of the delightful idiosyncratic Meredith Debonnaire, comes a glimpse into the goings-on, the day-to-day, the wild and elusive, if not downright dangerous history of this town that could be described as idyllic, but only if the person describing it as such had no understanding of the meaning of the word and had drunk enough cider to drown southwest England… This is not a novel, indeed its hard to say what it is, except to say it is wonderful, inspired, and something you need in your life, and if it drives you slightly insane the magpies will probably save you… probably…
Not Before Bedtime
I love a short story, who doesn’t?… Well if you say ‘I don’t’ then I have no idea why you’re reading this… Not Before Bedtime is a short story collection from a master of the art. A delightfully chilling collection of tales of horror that covers many bases and yet feels complete within itself. Be it a tale of the noises from upstairs, or zombies from a zombies point of view. To that problem with the time of the month for the young professional when the time of the month gets a little hairy and has more to do with the month than usual. To tales that creep under the door and hide in the shadows of your room, and whisper to you in the night… Craig Hallam’s collection of nightmares is a joy, the kind of joy that gets told around the campfire, out in the woods, when everyone is pretending not to be scared, but the inner lizard is telling them to run… Who doesn’t like fiction that makes the pulse run a little quicker and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just a little as you turn out the light and hear a sound beyond the bedroom door that must be the cat, definitely the cat, yes I know she is asleep at the end of the bed but that was definitely the cat ….
If you click on the pictures you will find links to these fine feast for the mind… or you can find out more about all four of these writers and artists in the Indie’Omacrom links…
Collectively, or indeed individually, these all receive the highest award I can possibly give, for the joys there brought to my life in July… the award of many tentacles,, indeed