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Archive for October, 2016

Darkfest Falls Across the Land

Happy Halloween everyone! Or Samhain, if you prefer. Or Dia de los Muertos. Whichever way you want, have a good one.

And if you want to carry on this Season of Spookiness, why not go to some of these events from Portsmouth Darkfest?

From talks, songs, spoken word and artwork there is something for everyone.

Don’t have nightmares…


Read Through History: October 2016

Halloween is almost upon us so, while you’re trick or treating, eating pumpkin pie and watching scary films, here’s what I’ve read this month while surviving the Great South Run.

1) Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg. This is one I found in a library by chance and is a guide for getting into writing and overcoming the stumbling blocks we can encounter. Always worth reading this kind of work regardless of what level you are at.

2) Heartstone by C. J. Sansom. The fifth book in the Shardlake series which sees the lawyer come on down to Portsmouth around the time the Mary Rose makes her last, ill-fated voyage.

3) The Fort by Bernard Cornwell. This story is set during the American War of Independence and looks at the Penobscot Expedition from both sides.

4) Eye Contact by Fergus McNeill. This is the beginning of a very interesting crime series where a man kills the first person he makes eye contact with that day.

4) I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. This is a very spooky ghost story set in the Westfjords of Iceland. Perfect for Halloween.

Stalking Leviathan: A Bestiary of Tales

Yes, my friends, there is a New Anthology in Town! The good people that are the Random Writers have written a rip-roaring round of tales (not tails) that go in search of mythical and legendary creatures from all over time and space. There are stories set during the Irish Civil War, Elizabethan England, Persia, France, the wide open sea, and many more.

The cover is also an amazing work of art, take a look here. It is available in print and electronic formats.

Featuring the brilliant authors Karen Ginnane, Martin J. Gilbert, Matthew Willis, Shell Bromley, M. E. Vaughan, J. A. Ironside, Gail Jack, L. Wilson and William Angelo this is not a book to be missed.

And I’ve got something in there too.

Also, be sure to check out the other two anthologies the Randoms have put together: A Seeming Glass and Something Rich and Strange too.


Read Through History September 2016

So, during festivals, day job and scribblings, here is what I’ve been reading during the thirty days that September had:

1) 1066 Turned Upside Down by Various Authors. This is a collection of stories that imagine if the events of 950 years ago took a different turn. We have several very interesting pathways that are taken here and I recommend you have a look.

2) Skein and Bone by V. H. Leslie. Here is a collection of some really good and chilling short stories from an up and coming author. This is perfect for Halloween and Christmas.

3) Dark Eden by Chris Beckett. A bit of science fiction now which imagines a lost colony of humans marooned generations ago on a distant planet.

4) Collaborator by Murray Davies. This is an alternative history that imagines a Nazi Occupation of Britain and follows a man who works as a translator for the occupiers but falls into the Resistance Movement. I liked this very much.

5) Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor. This is a historical crime novel set in Revolutionary America where a British lawyer investigates a murder.

6) Revelation by C. J. Sansom. The fourth installment in the Shardlake series where the lawyer investigates a series of religious themed murders.

7) Black Powder by Ally Sherrick. This is a novel set in 1605 that is aimed at younger people but it can be enjoyed by adults too.

And that’s September. Now Autumn is coming! (Doesn’t have the same ring as winter, really, does it?)