Welcome back to Spooktastic Bite-size Reads, where my 2022 challenge to read (some of) the amazing anthologies on my shelves embraces the darker side of fantasy. This week I’m completing my journey around This Dreaming Isle with uncanny tales inspired by British cities and coastline.
They have always walked among us. Some shift shape. Some drink blood. Some step freely between worlds to marvel at the kaleidoscope of lives lived differently. Now, some have chosen to show themselves to us. Others will stop at nothing to keep their secrets. But is humanity ready to live with monsters?
Welcome to Spooktastic Reads! I’m kicking off 13 days of celebrating the darker side of fantasy with a return to Bite-size Reads, my 2022 challenge to read (some of) the amazing anthologies on my shelves. Having trotted the globe with Chinese SF and African horror, for Spooktastic Reads I’m staying on home shores with some uncanny British tales.
Nearly 400 years ago, Roundheads fled a skirmish for the dubious sanctuary of Moresby Forest, long steeped in terrifying legend. Only two survived, spinning wild tales of the devil in the wood. Now, a well-equipped team of scientists are going to trace the squad’s footsteps in search of the truth. But what will they find?
I’ve been making steady progress on my Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards shortlists, thanks in part to traveling a lot this past month. There’s nothing quite like the enforced downtime of flying to motivate me to inhale books I’ve been looking forward to or bull through ones I haven’t. Today I’m looking back at the fantasy novellas in a Wyrd and Wonder cross-over.
What? Oh! No, not – not you. You’re lovely. But one of my (admittedly intermittent) Spooktastic traditions is to divert from the strictly fictional into the fantastic realms of myth, (urban) legend and superstition. In past years I’ve talked about weird phenomena and haunts; this year I want to talk about curses.
Britain is in the grip of a global pandemic, but an older – and equally dire – threat is awakening up on the Wiltshire chalk. With only uncertain allies and limited resources at his disposal, Dan must unravel secrets from a time even the dryads can’t remember…
Juliet McKenna is an author I’d been meaning to read forever. When good bookfriends expressed quiet but fervent enthusiasm for The Green Man’s Heir, I decided it was time to take the plunge. Today I’m here to be your good bookfriend and express my own quiet but fervent enthusiasm for this contemporary folkloric fantasy series. You should take the plunge, the water is fine if full of terrifying naiads and nixes.
Joan and Victor were two souls united against the world until the night Victor stormed out after a fight and never came home. When Joan finds him leading a prayer meeting a year later, he’s a stranger with her husband’s face, who claims not to remember her. What happened to Victor out in the dark?
Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. We’re celebrating all things spooky for Hallowe’en, so I’m diverting from books to consider the stories that haunt us outside their pages.
Dan Mackmain has a new home, steady work and a fragile happiness… until he’s asked to go manage the renovation of a Cotswold estate. When the Green Man makes it clear Dan must go south, he packs his bags – but why is he needed at Brightwell?
Daniel Mackmain’s life gains a new complication when an evening walk in the woods puts him near a murder scene without much of an alibi. Dan has his reasons for keeping to himself – but his closely-kept secrets make him look awfully suspicious…
Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. As it’s nearly Hallowe’en, we’re celebrating all things spooky and I’m diverting from books this week to recall other sorts of scary, unexplained or just downright weird tales…