Only the awarding of a Blue Peter badge can normally get me as excited as I am right now. You see, the shortlist for the BFS Fantasy Awards 2011 was released a short while ago, and it’s a giddy time for our beloved genre. Whilst it’s great indeed to see strong books, authors and tales being deservedly nominated, it’s still more than compelling to see who will walk away a winner in the various categories. So, down to business.
The five nominations for best novel, for the August Derleth fantasy award, are: Adam Nevill’s Apartment 16, Sam Stone’s Demon Dance, Tom Fletcher’s The Leaping, Gary McMahon’s Pretty Little Dead Things and Graham Joyce’s The Silent Land. I’ve not yet read Demon Dance, so I can’t pass comment, but a review of Pretty Little Dead things will be forthcoming later this week. I am scared to say which I prefer to win for fear of jinxing it, but I wish all nominees the best of luck. Click here to read more.. »
On a list of the things I hate, from personal experience, camping trips and journeys into Scandinavian forests rank fairly high. Add a male bonding session, and you’ve pretty much got my concept of Hell. Throw in a heady ritualistic atmosphere however, and genuine, life-threatening menace to this mix, and there’s a good outline for a horror novel that I’d certainly green light, were I an editor.
Adam Nevill has chilled many a reader with his earlier two novels, supernatural outings Banquet for the Damned and Apartment 16, and cemented these with a spattering of well-crafted shorts. His ability to set a dreadful scene, lace it with menace and doubting, creeping insanity have been noted. In The Ritual though, he takes a less familiar setting, and sets a pace and tone that’s far more active and ‘in-your-face’. Click here to read more.. »
Banquet for the Damned is Adam Nevill’s debut novel (under his own name, that is – he’s penned a hefty other nine volumes in a different genre under pseudonym) and this work is a welcome addition to the supernatural literary canon. As with the book which followed it, Apartment 16, Nevill crafts a dark and moody world, dripping gothic fantastic and dreadful scenery, with an unkempt and uneasy atmosphere running in parallel which sets the reader comfortably ill-at-ease.
From the off he creates a world in which we, his readers, are often shaken and shocked, but in which our attention follows along on this ride, unbroken. Make no mistake, it’s an at times harrowing ride, but the rich language and skill with which Nevill writes means you’re getting more than your money’s worth out of the whole experience. Click here to read more.. »
I’ve always been fascinated with the London Underground, and other metro systems I’ve encountered worldwide, such as the Paris Métro or the Washington DC system. As a child I was drawn to Harry Beck’s famous map of the Underground: all of those coloured lines representing different passages beneath the sprawling metropolis, and numerous opportunities to travel across the fair city.
Yet as much as I love the Underground, there’s no denying a certain element of menace there too. Dark and dank corners where ominous shadows melt into even stranger shapes, clusters of drunken folks loitering threateningly near dilapidated elevators, isolated station platforms near to closing time, that is apart from that strange trench coat wearing chap up the end there…and is that a hook on his right hand? Click here to read more.. »