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Cover Reveal: Frank Delaney Thrillers by Michael Rose


The snow in a Montreal winter covers a multitude of sins … In the icy depths of a Quebec winter, a harmless old Polish man dies in mysterious circumstances. His suspicious niece draws in Montreal investigative journalist, Frank Delaney, to help her find the truth behind the death, a story the authorities seem to want covered up. The search for answers sweeps them into a dangerous web involving Canadian, Polish and Vatican agents who will use any means, even murder, …


Once Upon a Time – Fairy tales for the modern world


I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s Promethea series of graphic novels, and there’s a line in one of them that struck me as quite brilliant: ‘All myths are true, Sophie. Given that they last longer, they’re even truer than the so-called “real world”.’ In an earlier post on the Norse gods, I’d spoken about how old stories tend to linger on in the imagination, just finding newer versions of themselves spun out to fit the current scenario. The same goes for …


6 Fun Facts About Sinkholes That Will Leave you Terrified of Sinkholes


As everyone knows Earth is the only planet we can survive on – looking at you Titan, get your shit together – and while we enjoy the lovely beaches or the unsurpassed beauty of the wild tundra sometimes, the earth likes to indulge in a little Tarantino style revenge by just opening up underneath you and devouring your car, house or even small dog. The following are some fun facts about sinkholes that should in no way reassure you regarding …


6 Things People Do When They Find Out You’re a Writer


1. Get you to write something for them, on the spot. I was having a haircut today, and it came up that I was a writer. Within minutes I was handed a pen and notepad, pulling together a press release/ human interest piece about the salon (with a sly mention of two-for-one blow-drys thrown in). For this use of my talents, did I get paid my hourly? Did I get a discount off my haircut? I did not, but the …


Silence is Golden: The Particular Loveliness of Wordless Books


I am fascinated with unconventional books and original storytelling. My new favourite thing is books without words. Wordless books challenge the reader, just as all great visual art does, to interpret, think and imagine.  The examples below are all what we in the library service call red star books.  A red star sticker in the corner distinguishes them from the picture books for very small children; they are more mature, thoughtful and deep. If you haven’t read The Arrival you …


The True Story of How I Met a Prince


This week we’re celebrating the release of The Prince by S. A. Gordon, so it seemed the ideal moment to tell you what it’s like meeting an actual Prince. It was in Chelsea, London (England). I was eighteen and in a club far fancier than I had any right to be in, wearing a brown hand-me-down dress from my sister. It was the sort of place where the drinks were free, but you had to tip the lady in the …


Up All Night to Get Loki


 Thanks to Marvel’s Thor movies and the resounding success of The Avengers, the Norse gods, or some pop culture variant of them, have become pretty familiar. We know some of them at least: top-dog Odin, the beautiful Frejya, Thor the thunder-wielder and Loki, the trickster. There’s a huge expanded pantheon of course, including Balder the Beautiful, his wife Nanna, Vali, the god of revenge and Yggdrasil, the goddess of life. It’s not uncommon for the immortals to have messed up …


The Spell of Winter: Magic in Russia


Feature image by Des Hanley The frozen wastes of the north and the deep dark woods have been a permanent fixture in the Western imagination, and filtered through fairy tales, folk legends and finally into the modern equivalent: the fantasy novel. Some writers go even further and bring in the frozen wastes of the south (notably Lev Grossman in his The Magicians). They are usually far away, alluded to time and again as unsafe harbours for humanity. Rarely, if ever, …


Cover Reveal! Greig Beck’s Book of the Dead


When a massive sinkhole opens up and swallows a retired couple from Iowa it seems like a freak occurrence. But it’s not the only one. Similar sinkholes are opening all over the world, even on the sea floor. And they’re getting bigger. People living near the pits begin reporting strange phenomena—vibrations, sulfurous odors, and odd sounds in the stygian depths. Then the pets begin to go missing.  When people start disappearing as well, the government is forced to act. Professor …


A Clockwork Everything: Has Steampunk Gone Mainstream?


  Indulge me for a moment, my dear fellows, for of late I have been editing steampunk fiction. This is an undeniable pleasure as I revel in Dickensian English expression, and I have a penchant for flying machines and sky pirates. Steampunk came to be in the glorious decade of the 1980s with an esoteric community of Victoriana-inspired science and fantasy fanaticists. It is oft characterised by a blending of Victorian styles and methods of invention with modern or fantastical …


A stranger in a strange land: guest post by Louise Cusack


I’ve been watching the wildly popular new television series Outlander, adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s 1991 novel of the same name. It’s about WW2 army nurse Claire Randall who is visiting Scotland when she’s sent back in time 200 years, leaving her husband behind and needing to marry young and handsome highlander Jamie Fraser for protection. Outlander (the novel) is currently Goodreads #2 top romance of all-time, so this is a popular story that’s still selling strongly 23 years after its …


Wolves and Oliphaunts – diversity in fantasy worlds


Earlier this year, a friend and I were discussing the possibility of going to Comic Con in Delhi, India. I wanted to go in costume, of course, so I told him he would have to play the Drogo to my Danerys Targaryen. He seemed amused, but then asked me, quite seriously, where I was going to find the blonde wing to pull off Dany. For some reason, this irritated me. It irritated me further when I tried to think of …



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