Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Marvellous Creations of Gladys Paulus

I just love these. They’re made by Gladys Paulus, a Somerset based artist, who describes feltmaking as a slow craft. I think her masks are more than art, Gladys Paulus Fox Maskthey’re theatre in themselves. Gladys Paulus Young Buck Mask

She’s so dedicated to what she does that she has her own dye allotment. On her blog she describes planting madder (Rubia tinctorum) seeds and waiting three years for the harvest.

Most of the photography on her Etsy shop is by Bella West. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever be able to buy a mask but I might just stretch to buying a print.

Gladys Paulus Hare Mask


British Fantasy Con 2015


VH Leslie, Robert Shearman and Nina Allan


Cate Gardner


Standing, L to R, Deborah Bailey, Isabel Yap, Georgina Kamsika, JY Yang, Helen Marshall, me!, Laura Mauro, Emma Cosh and Nina Allan Seated , L to R, Lynda Rucker, VH Leslie, Rosanne Rabinowitz, Carole Johnsone


L to R, Carole Johnstone, Cate Gardner, Simon Bestwick, VH LEslie, Laura Mauro, Helen Marshall Back row- Steve Shaw


Cate Gardner, Simon Bestwick and Tom Johnstone


Lynda Rucker and Rosanne Rabinowitz


L to R, Isabel Yap, JY YAng, Nina Allan


L to R, Carole Johnstone, Stephen Bacon and Nina Allan

Andrew Hook's beautiful chapbook

Andrew Hook’s beautiful chapbook


L to R, Roy Gray, Audrie Johnson, Simon Bestwick, Cate Gardner, Ray Cluley, Jess Jordan, Carole Johnstone and Laura Mauro

L to R, Sophie Essex, Andrew Hook, Roy Gray and Carole Johnstone

L to R, Sophie Essex, Andrew Hook, Roy Gray and Carole Johnstone


Adrian Faulkner and Neil Williamson


TTA Press stand

With Steve Shaw

With Steve Shaw

Thanks to everyone who made my first British Fantasy Con a real blast. You know who you are xxx

I wish I could attend this: launch of Skein and Bone by VH Leslie

Skein and BoneJoin me at Blackwell’s Bookshop on Friday 16th October to celebrate the release of my debut short story collection Skein and Bone. -VH Leslie

I’m sad not to be able to go to this but I reckon it’ll be a great night!

Blackwell’s Bookshop, Portsmouth

Friday, October 16th at 18:00 – 19:30

V. H. Leslie launches her short story collection Skein and Bone. The stunning debut collection of supernatural and ghost stories from V.H. Leslie. An assured and masterful collection of lush and evocative tales that will send frissons through you. “An absorbing and gorgeously unsettling collection.” — Alison Moore, Author of ‘The Lighthouse,’ (Short-Listed for the Man Booker Prize. V. H. Leslie’s stories have appeared in a range of speculative publications, including Black Static, Interzone, Shadows & Tall Trees, Weird Fiction Review and Strange Tales IV and have been reprinted in a range of “Year’s Best” anthologies. This is a Free Event. Come join us for refreshments, story reading and a discussion on the short story form.
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The Soul of Stones

The Soul of StonesThe man sat in the recess of the veranda, in the shadows where he was least likely to be seen. A man in rags, dead meteorites in his bag. Waiting for Beth. A man living in transit. One who won’t take his chances upon the stars. Eyes and feet fixed firmly on the ground. A scavenger. A hardy breed, self selected for qualities like endurance and the capacity for loneliness. Lincoln wandered, collecting stones. He returned with a full bag to the assay office, hoping there would be enough ore for him to eat and buy a clean bed for a while. Safer than going into space with a crew, but only marginally. Lincoln risked sandstorms and starvation, predators and other scavengers to survive. He didn’t have the option of resurrection.
He had never called Beth by her name. Never once stepped inside her door. The life she led inside was a mystery. As cool and contained as they were with one another.
Beth didn’t know how to present herself. She carried a jug and two glasses on a tray. She wished he could see her differently, afraid her hospitality made her seem servile in his eyes, or even worse, patronising and kind. Not stubborn or independent. Docile. Domesticated. Not wild. What use would such a man have for someone so tame?
She poured the lemonade, leaving her glass upon the tray. She allowed herself to watch him as he drained his share, the muscles moving in his throat. She needn’t have worried about impressions. He was just grateful for the drink.
Only when Beth had poured him a second glass, did she take up her own. They didn’t exchange words. They didn’t pass the time of day, only looked at one another when the other looked away. He looked as aged as the terrain. The sun, the wind, the sand, had added a decade to his face. His skin was creased but his eyes were still blue and young.
“I heard about your husband.” Lincoln cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. It’s a bad thing.”


“The Soul of Stones” is now available from Sean Demory’s Pine Float Press.

This story originally appeared in Issue 41 of Not One of Us in 2009.

The lovely cover illustration is by Bernie Gonzalez.

eBook (less £2.40t0 ) at Lulu,, 

Paperback ( at Lulu for £2.40.

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Reviews of Interzone 260 stories by Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford, passionate advocate for short sci fi and fantasy fiction, has chosen two stories from issue 260 of Interzone to review on 862_large[1]his blog as “story of the week”.

Jason is a writer himself and his accolades include being a Nebula Best Novella finalist, a multiple Interzone Readers’ Poll winner and a BSFA nominee. He cofounded literary journal, southStory. His essays and reviews have been published in SF Signal, The New York Review of Science Fiction and The Pedestal Magazine.

Jason says of  “No Rez” by Jeff Noon

The rez in the title refers to resolution, as in the number of pixels available for seeing in this futuristic world. Thanks to artificially enhanced eyes humanity can access not only our own limited field of vision but also the countless cameras and devices recording everything in life. This creates an overwhelming range of what you can see, a high-rez view of the world which both overwhelms and subsumes what it means to be human….This is what science fiction short stories should be. The closest I can come to describing this story is to say it combines the narrative urgency of Samuel R. Delany’s “Aye, and Gomorrah…” with the all-encompassing world creation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer. But “No Rez” is also totally different than these examples, a story like no other. “No Rez” is a primal scream of a story swallowing the reasoned insanity of today’s ever connected world.

Full review here.

Of my story, “Blonde”-

“Blonde” is a gripping, eerie, well-written tale with the most compelling Rapunzel I’ve ever read. And unlike any Disney reworking of the fairy tale, this story retains its razor-slice edge as it presents a thought-provoking examination of the stereotypes and beliefs which influence the world around us.

I’ve long loved Sharma’s stories — for my money she’s one of the most underappreciated short fiction writers in the SF/F genre. She’s also one of the few writers who could convince me to take a chance on a fairy tale retelling. In this case I’m glad I did.

Full review here.

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Beyond the Woods edited by Paula Guran


BEYOND THE WOODS: Fairy Tales Retold is a collection edited by Paula Guran which will be available from Night Shade Books in July 2016.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Throwing In – Paula Guran
Tanith Lee – “Red as Blood”
Gene Wolfe – “In the House of Gingerbread”
Angela Slatter – “The Bone Mother”
Elizabeth Bear – “Follow Me Light”
Yoon Ha Lee – “Coin of Hearts Desire”
Nalo Hopkinson – “The Glass Bottle Trick”
Catherynne M. Valente – “The Maiden Tree”
Holly Black – “Coat of Stars”
Caitlín R. Kiernan – “Road of Needles”
Kelly Link – “Travels with the Snow Queen”
Karen Joy Fowler – “Halfway People”
Margo Lanagan – “Catastrophic Disruption of the Head”
Shveta Thakrar – “Lavanya and Deepika”
Theodora Goss – “Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon”
Gardner Dozois – “Fairy Tale”
Peter S. Beagle – “The Queen Who Could Not Walk”
Priya Sharma – “Lebkuchen”
Neil Gaiman – “Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”
Richard Bowes – “The Queen and the Cambion”
Octavia Cade – “The Mussel Eater”
Jane Yolen – “Memoirs of a Bottle Djinn”
Steve Duffy – “Bears: A Fairy Tale of 1958”
Charles de Lint –“The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep”
Veronica Schanoes – “Rats”
Rachel Swirsky – “Beyond the Naked Eye”
Ken Liu – “Good Hunting”
Kirstyn McDermott – “The Moon’s Good Grace”
Peter Straub – “The Juniper Tree”
Jeff VanderMeer – “Greensleeves”
Tanith Lee – “Beauty”


Thanks to Paula Guran for reprinting “Lebkuchen” and to Sean Wallace who originally accepted it for Fantasy magazine, where it originally appeared in 2011.

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