Sublime Horror

Celebrating the best in horror

Month: May 2019 (page 1 of 2)

Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay review – a truly unsettling brand of horror

Growing Things is a short story collection by Paul Tremblay, the 2018 recipient of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a Novel for his Cabin at the End of the World. Each of the nineteen stories within this collection provides the reader with a gripping picture of terror, each unique and separate from the other pieces within its horrifying menagerie. That being said, one story, “Notes from the Dog Walkers” works well to tether each of the stories together through its construction of the Tremblay Universe.

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Upstairs’ downfall: The decline, death and afterlife of the English country house in five ghost stories

The stately homes of England, how beautiful they stand, To prove the upper classes have still the upper hand. – Noël Coward, “The Stately Homes of England”, 1938

From the grand halls of the aristocracy to the homely manors of the gentry, the country house has been an enduring feature of the English landscape for centuries. Its inhabitants have likewise long been conspicuous on the English social scene and this is reflected in fiction. Despite urbanisation and the major social changes that have taken place in Britain since the Second World War a fascination with this class of people, their way of life and their houses has remained. One only has to think of the most popular British period dramas for confirmation.

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The universe is a haunted house – the Gothic roots of science fiction

“There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future, not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas of being close up to something that you know to be artificial but which thinks like you. If a machine seems like a human or you can’t tell the difference, then you’d jolly well better start thinking about whether it has responsibilities and rights and all the rest.” – “Ian McEwan: ‘Who’s going to write the algorithm for the little white lie?’

With this dismissive opinion of science fiction – writing that’s full of fun and gadgets, perhaps, but ultimately vapid and ignorant of more important concerns – Ian McEwan not only set the genre internet alight but also added himself to a list of hoary old authors and critics who’ve blithely dismissed genre fiction as little more than children playing with toys while the adults look on indulgently.

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Podcast episode #4, Jessica Gildersleeve on Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now

Peter speaks to professor Jessica Gildersleeve about Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 classic horror film Don’t Look Now.

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Sefira and Other Betrayals by John Langan review – a masterful collection of the weird and eerie

We readers of what’s broadly labelled horror fiction have seen it all. We know a creak on the stair means trouble, that a glint of metal in a darkened doorway isn’t going to end well. To keep us on our toes, to have us constantly guessing at what’s about to happen, whether we are even being told the truth, is a skill, and one John Langan has in spades. Sefira and Other Betrayals is a masterful collection of the weird and eerie; seven visions of personal hells, peppered with some perfectly crafted killer lines. 

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Her Kind by Niamh Boyce review – a powerful reimagining of the Kilkenny Witch Trial

In 1324 in Kilkenny, Petronilla de Meath was the first person to be burned at the stake for sorcery and heresy. She was the maidservant of moneylender Dame Alice Kytler, one of the earliest recorded women accused of witchcraft. This pivotal yet neglected witch trial is reimagined in Niamh Boyce’s second novel Her Kind, following her 2013 debut The Herbalist.

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The winners of the 2018 Bram Stoker Awards announced

The winners of the 2018 Bram Stoker Awards, run by the Horror Writers Association, were announced on Saturday May 11th at the 4th annual StokerCon™ in Michigan, honouring the year’s best horror across a range of categories. Below you can find all of the winners, including those shortlisted for each award category.

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The Library Window by Margaret Oliphant (Broadview Anthology of British Literature Editions)

It is hard not to begin an article about Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) without referring to her famous prolificacy, as she produced over 120 works of fiction and non-fiction in her lifetime, making even Anthony Trollope look like a layabout. Oliphant was amongst those early British women writers who managed to make a living from their writing, although in Oliphant’s case, following the death of her husband in 1859, it was more a matter of survival for her and her children. There was a revival of interest in Oliphant’s work, which had fallen into obscurity, towards the end of the 20th century, seeing the republication of a number of her books – OUP’s Oxford World Classics edition of her 1883 novel, Hester, describes Oliphant as “one of the great Victorian novelists.”

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All My Colors by David Quantick review – a whirlwind of hilarity and horror

All My Colors follows Todd Milstead, a wannabe writer who loves nothing more than to use his eidetic memory to quote from literature in vain showings-off to anyone willing to listen (and listen they will, as he throws parties with a lot of free booze). During one such gathering, he obnoxiously begins to quote from a book entitled All My Colors, written by Jake Turner, only no one has heard of it. Confused, as he knows every line cover-to-cover, Todd goes to his local bookstore and turns his own personal library inside-out to find this book. But he can’t. Because it doesn’t exist.

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Ghost Stories (script) by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman review – all just a trick of the mind?

Parapsychology professor Philip Goodman doesn’t believe in the paranormal – do you? From the very beginning, Ghost Stories tells you the supernatural is a trick of the mind but then presents a three-part fable that pushes rationality to its limits.

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