The Possession: supernatural stirrings

This is a 21st century ghost story, speculative fiction which muddies the waters in the semi-permeable membrane between worlds. Author Michael Rutger cleverly blends the deliciously creepy aspects of a golden-era gothic ghost story with the hard-nosed realities of modern lives lived online, the quiet personal tragedies of broken families, and the delicate balancing act…

The Man Upstairs: second time around…

We first mentioned Mark L Fowler’s quirky and distinctive homage to the golden age detective almost a year ago, and are delighted to hear that The Man Upstairs is getting greater exposure now to introduce it to a wider audience. Mark has written several standalone novels which explore the darker side of life, as well as…

Mr Shivers: high-brow mythic horror

This debut novel ambitiously aims to blend American gothic, historical grit and the sinister, surreal otherworldliness of a menacing modern-day myth. The sparse text veers towards the literary end of the spectrum, where the author establishes the narrative dynamic and the emotional context for the increasingly unsettling scenes, but lets the reader’s imagination run wild…

The Fractured Man: spirals of the mind

In 1920s London, the population was still reeling from the twin shocks of the Great War and the flu epidemic. An entire generation of young men have been shattered in mind and body. Against this backdrop, an ambitious young psychoanalyst explores the emerging field of graphology: peering into his patients’ broken minds by way of…

Annihilation: disconcerting but intriguing initial episode

Unsettling and atmospheric, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer sets a mysterious scene for the rest of the Southern Reach trilogy. It’s a sparse, short but self-contained story set in the near future, about an expedition into a quarantined zone of abandoned coastline where something ‘other’ has established itself. All previous investigations have ended badly. The teams…