"Anyone who wants to spend time with the uncanny and horrific will find this volume contains gems"
Pauline Morgan has reviewed RADIX OMNIUM MALUM & OTHER INCURSIONS for both the SFCrowsnest website and the Birmingham SF Group's newsletter. With Pauline's permission, I happily repost the review.
Anyone who has heard of Mike Chinn will probably be familiar with either his steampunk versions of Sherlock Holmes or his Damian Paladin stories. Since the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are now out of copyright, there have been a number of stories and novels (of varying degrees of competence) using this character. Mike Chinn’s rank in the higher echelons of the sub-genre but there is a danger of them being lost. Damian Paladin has, so far, two collections devoted to his exploits which are well worth hunting down. Mike, though, has written and had published a wide range of other stories, some of which are included in this new volume. From a man who keeps guinea pigs they a…


British Fantasy Award winning The Alchemy Press have announced the ToC for their forthcoming anthology (publication date TBA): The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors. It's an impressive lineup. Details can be found on their website.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Barrel

I’ve always been a ridiculously big fan of the 1960s Irwin Allen TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (this will come as no surprise to those who know me). Submarines, sea monsters, aliens – what’s not to like? And for years I’ve wanted to write a kind of tribute story, without actually delving into fan fiction. 
My first attempt, “Welcome to the Hotel Marianas”, appeared in The Bitter End: Tales of Nautical Terror (Pill Hill Press, 2009), and later republished in my first collection, Give Me These Moments Back (The Alchemy Press, 2015). I say attempt, since at some point it drifted away from a VttBotS tribute into slightly more Lovecraftian territory. Still, the clues were all there: character names, sub with a glass nose. More recently I submitted another underwater tale for The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors, and again, although that was set in an underwater habitation there was nothing about it to suggest an old, cheesy TV series.
Then, while watching Blue Planet II on BBC TV…
Courtesy of Pablo Cheesecake at The Eleoquent Page: a great review of Walkers in Shadow.

That Was The Year That Was

A new year, and inevitably thoughts turn to what’s going to happen over the forthcoming months, as well as back at what was achieved in 2017.

I had two books out – treading on each others’ heels, it felt like – quite early on. Radix Omnium Malum & Other Incursionswas a collection of horror tales from Parallel Universe Publications, while Damian Paladin – my 1930s, New York based occult detective and monster hunter – reappeared on the scene in the collection (or portmanteau novel, if you prefer), Walkers in Shadow, courtesy of Pro Se Productions. Paladin also made his presence felt in issue two of Occult Detective Quarterly in “The Black Tarot”; which was a backdoor way of introducing a new masked character to my fictional universe: the eponymous Black Tarot. Expect to see more of him in the future.

On the short story scene I had a Sherlock Holmes tale, “The Adventure of the Haunted Room”, published in the The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Part VII: Eliminate the Impossible

Thoughts on 1968 movie HANG 'EM HIGH

Watched the Clint Eastwood Western Hang ’Em High (1968) last night – only the second time I’ve seen it. The first time, some decades back, I was sorely disappointed; I think I was expecting something more like the Dollar films, or High Plains Drifter, while this offering is more traditional (although I’ve seen it described as revisionist, which I’d dispute). I thought I’d be fair and give it another go.

It’s not as bad as I remember it – but it’s a long way from good. With an almost 2 hour (sometimes too leisurely) running time it could benefit with at least half an hour snipped off. The mass hanging scene, especially, feels interminable. I appreciate the director wanting to convey some of the inappropriate carnival atmosphere such an event would have generated, but it could have been conveyed just as well – or maybe better – with the judicious application of scissors. The story line meanders too, and feels unfocused.

There’s a parade of familiar and famous faces – such as Dennis Hop…


Somehow, I find myself on three panels in this year's convention. And all on Saturday. What did I - and you, dear attendee - do to deserve that?
OCCULT DETECTIVES Saturday 12 Noon (Panel Room 1) With Dave Brzeski (mod), Mike Chinn, John Linwood Grant, Chico Kidd, Autumn Barlow, A. K. Benedict, Ben Aaronovitch. Arthur Conan Doyle popularised the concept of the series character in detective fiction with Sherlock Holmes. It wasn’t long before authors of supernatural fiction swiped the idea and invented their own investigators, who didn’t share the Great Detective’s disdain for all things paranormal. There are now as many variant types of these ghost-breakers and monster hunters as there are ab-natural threats (as Hodgson’s Carnacki would have put it) for them to protect humanity from. Our panel discusses these variations and their experiences. Join us for an enlightening conversation.
PLAYING WITH THE REAL Saturday 1.30pm (Panel Room 3) With ​Peter Coleborn (mod), Andrew Hook, Tej Turne…