Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50

I cannot remember when I first read Alan Garner’s The Owl Service (1967); like its inspiration, The Mabinogion, or the Stone of Gronw that sits at the centre of its mystery, it seems to have always been here.  It’s an unusual feeling because the novel is not particularly old by standards of literature – it turns fifty on the 21st of August – and yet it … Continue reading Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50

Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange

At the time of writing this, my book on Folk Horror is a few weeks away from being printed.  By the time you read this, however, it should be available to buy.  I’ve written about the detail of the book earlier when it was due to be published late last year.  However, I wanted to get a few words down again now that it is … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange

Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)

As recently announced, I have a book being released in January all about Folk Horror and its many related areas of interest.  The book has been in the works for the last year or so though many of the arguments within have been growing now for several years.  Though I’ll undoubtedly being doing the usual interview-esque things to coincide with the release in December and … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)

“Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)

This is an edited version of the paper given at Spirits Of Place in Calderstones Park, Liverpool 02/04/2016.  My thanks to John Reppion and Leah Moore for organising the event and for to the other excellent speakers (Gill Hoffs, David Southwell, Gary Budden, Kenneth Brophy, Richard Macdonald, Ian “Cat” Vincent and Ramsey Campbell).  Here’s to the next one. There is strange landmass on the opposite … Continue reading “Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)

Wanders: Alan Garner’s Edge And Cadellin’s Home.

“When I was not confined to the house, I would spend my days and my nights on the Edge.” – Alan Garner (1997, p.12). On a frosty but sunny January morning, I was making my way along the M56 towards Macclesfield.  The pilgrimage was not one of unique exploration but one of repetition; I was treading my own ghost steps to a place I had … Continue reading Wanders: Alan Garner’s Edge And Cadellin’s Home.

Uncanny Portals And Standing Stones (Children Of The Stones, The Owl Service and Barbara Hepworth)- Part 2.

Part 1. Portals, Dimensions and Time. For Barbara Hepworth the process actually began in Yorkshire, and Cornwall is the second and last English phase of a basic topographical emotion which is no longer a matter of geography but one of the mind and creation. Neither is it any longer a matter of feeling for landscape in the narrow sense but one of the relation of … Continue reading Uncanny Portals And Standing Stones (Children Of The Stones, The Owl Service and Barbara Hepworth)- Part 2.

The Ritual Of Craft In Folk Horror.

With the ideas of the Folk Horror Chain starting to seem incomplete as the sub-genre grows in popularity and is more analysed, it’s about time further facets, themes, ideas and traits were added to the conversation.  This will be the first in a number of pieces about other traits not accounted for or addressed in the initial idea of the chain (which itself was only … Continue reading The Ritual Of Craft In Folk Horror.

Short Film – Weirdstone (For Alan Garner).

“It is for this reason that we find that co-existence, which could neither be in time alone, for time has no contiguity, nor in space alone, for space has no before, after, or now, is established through matter.” (p.12, 1891) – Schopenhauer, The World As Will And Idea Volume 1. It seems fitting to open with this quote from Schopenhauer when discussing the themes behind … Continue reading Short Film – Weirdstone (For Alan Garner).

2014 Review and Top 10s.

Best New Releases. 2014 has been a year that I’ve genuinely struggled to keep up with in terms of new releases.  The sheer wealth of material out there and the incessant obsession of online reviewers to desperately be up-to-date has been an interesting but ultimately fruitless exercise to try and mimic.  Luckily, I’ve watched a good number of excellent films from all around the world … Continue reading 2014 Review and Top 10s.

Red Shift (Play For Today, 1978) – John Mackenzie (BFI).

A shifting sense of time, space, and place can bring huge advantages to fantastical works of fiction.  The feeling that time is a folded concept, repeating and resetting in a quasi-ritualistic ceremony of life adds a sheen of the monumental to even the smallest and most intimate of dramas.  This sheen is the absolute embodiment of the work of writer, Alan Garner, and is never … Continue reading Red Shift (Play For Today, 1978) – John Mackenzie (BFI).