Monday, May 23, 2016

D K Broster - Mike Barrett

D K Broster is most known in the field of supernatural fiction for her excellent story of an ageing Decadent and an animated feather boa, ‘Couching At the Door’. But, as Mike Barrett shows in his survey of her short stories in Wormwood 26, she contributed other ghostly tales to periodicals and these are often quietly accomplished. A frequent theme is supernatural vengeance across the ages, but there are also stories of obsession and of uncanny qualities locked into ancient objects.

Though they may start venerably enough, for example in an old house with a suspiciously low rent, she develops her plots with a remorseless assurance, sometimes spiced with touches of black humour. As Mike writes, “her admittedly few genre contributions were consistently interesting, and some of them were excellent. They represent a very different, darker side of an author who attained renown for her fast-paced historical adventure novels, and such diversification in style stands as a testament to her capabilities.”

Mike Barrett's articles appear regularly in the New York Review of Science Fiction, The British Fantasy Society Journal and Wormwood. His first book, a collection of essays on fantastic literature entitled Doors to Elsewhere, was published by The Alchemy Press in 2013 and was nominated for the British Fantasy Award for best non-fiction title of the year.

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