Monday, November 2, 2015

Kings and Basilisks

Wormwood 25 carries our authoritative review columns devoted to contemporary publications. In ‘Under Review’, Reggie Oliver considers new editions of Irish fantasist Mervyn Wall’s Fursey books (Swan River Press):

“The Fursey books are essentially freewheeling fantasy with satirical undertones. While ill, Wall had been given to read a book about medieval superstitions and demonology. He found it very diverting, and the two Fursey books are the product of that fascination. They are set in our Anglo-Saxon period when Ireland, like Britain, was divided into petty warring kingdoms, but they do not strive for accuracy in any sense. What Wall does with great success is create a world populated by monks and demons, witches and warlocks, kings and basilisks. It is a world in which, as one of the characters says, 'anything may happen to anyone anywhere and at any time and…usually does.'"

He also reviews Raven by Robert Scoble (Strange Attractor Press), a new biography of Baron Corvo from the perspective of his associates, and asks to what extent Corvo was a decadent writer.

John Howard’s Camera Obscura column, covering recent small press publications, offers notices of, variously, “a major event in Lovecraft studies”, “a book-length rap”, “an unsettling short story”, “a black comedy of manners” and “an intense portrayal of an entire nation”. To find out more, head for Wormwood 25.

1 comment:

  1. Reggie Oliver is one of the two or three greatest writers of strange stories currently extant. Love his column, always insightful and not content to simply repeat received opinions. Keen to hear what he says about Scoble (which I've bought) and the Fursey books (which I haven't).