Pagan Dawn is a quarterly magazine featuring articles, reviews and research on Polytheism, Pantheism, cultural history and nature-based spirituality, published by the Pagan Federation in the United Kingdom.
Please do not be fooled by the slimness of this volume, these are tales to charm, chill, intrigue and entertain.
The collection opens two differing ghost stories. Firstly the eponymous "A Persistence of Geraniums". A wonderfully humorous ghost story with a twist. Full of witty one line descriptions which capture the nature of the characters with a cutting perfection. Following this comes "His Heart Shall Speak No More" a darker, more serious tale in the vein of traditional ghost stories. Exploring the well loved theme that some things which are found would be much better not found at all and having all of the required shivers one would expect of a tale of this kind.
It then moves on to a series of stories concerning Edwin Dry, The Deptford Assassin. No ordinary assassin in any way, shape or form. By turns he shows a social conscience, a chilling coldness and lack of emotion and a humour entirely his own. From impersonating an asylum inmate, to shrugging off a demonic possession, nothing it seems can shake his steady nerve and calm demeanor. An extremely intriguing character that I would be more than happy to read more of.
The closing story is an alternative view of Thomas Carnacki, which I will say little about, other than it shows the great Occult Detective in a very different light. Definite food for thought.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, I would be hard pushed to chose a favourite from these entertaining tales. What stands out throughout is John Linwood Grant’s skill of description and humour. With a minimum of words he makes these characters alive. A passing mention of one item of clothing or a small but telling personality trait and somehow their essence is captured. Tales with dark edges and at times a dark humour to match.
I only have two complaints concerning this book,
1. There was a distinct lack of geraniums.
2. It really wasn’t long enough.
Reading it has left me with the desire to read more of the back catalogue of short stories available and to hope that more will be forthcoming!
To say a little about the author, John Linwood Grant frequently entertains the members of the Folk Horror Revival group with his excellently funny St Botolph’s Parish Newsletters. Those of us lucky enough to be on his Facebook friends list get extra snippets from St Botolphs which are often some of the funniest things I find in my newfeed. John is also part of the editorial team behind the Occult Detective Quarterly magazine and his short stories have appeared in numerous publications. More from John can be found on his Greydogtales blog. He also likes lurchers, a lot.
The Saints are on the march and on the look out for sinners to punish this month so tread carefully upon the Kalendar Heath.
This month’s mix features extracts from "All Saint’s Day" the tale for November from "Wyrd Kalendar" which was published at the end of October 2017 and can be bought here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/chris-lambert/wyrd-kalendar/paperback/product-23371751.html
As well as these extracts you will hear from the following musical artists exploring All Saint’s Day, Bonfire Night and the month of November; The Silent Comedy, Blonde on Blonde, The Monroe Brothers, David Bowie, Gorillaz, Voice of the Seven Woods, Magnet, Cobra Verde, Eire Apparent, Lamb, David Cain, Shirley Bassey, Matt Berry, Carter USM, Dizzy Gillespie, Gram Parsons, New Model Army, Julie London, Tom Waits, The Will-O-Bees, Sammy Davis Junior, Sandy Denny, Peter Fonda, Pavlov’s Dog, The Wilderness of Manitoba and Vashti Bunyan.
The turning of the year provides ‘Tales From The Black Meadow’ author Chris Lambert with the thematic basis for his new ‘Wyrd Kalendar’ compendium, a collaboration with illustrator and Folk Horror Revival creator Andy Paciorek. Each darkly spun tale matches with a chosen month of the year, providing a folkloric and portmanteau feel to the book, with Paciorek’s richly detailed and haunting artwork prefacing the individual chapters.
This work therefore takes us from the frostbitten and hungry underground denizen in January’s ‘The Resolution’ (a tale of Lovecraftian imagination with a conclusion that will stay with you long after you have closed the pages of the book) to the terrifying timeslips of ‘February 31st’, the ‘king for a day’ twists and turns of April’s chilling ‘Chasing The Gowk’ to the twisted and disturbed nursery rhyme of ‘May Pole’. As the wheel of the year spins increasingly faster the sense of the unsettling and macabre if anything increases, ‘June Bug’s hugely effective body horror is reminiscent of one of Nigel Kneale’s scripts from ‘Beasts’ whilst July’s ‘Grotto Day’ is a deeply unusual and disquieting take on the brownie or ‘little people’ legend. August’s ‘The Weeping Will Walk’ is distilled folk horror, both subtle and suggestive in what darkness lies within the village ritual; October’s ‘The Field’ continues this folkloric aspect to even bloodier and satisfyingly grimmer heights. There is a distinct filmic or theatrical quality inherent in these dread tales; one can easily imagine a number of these being either staged or filmed; never mind ‘A Ghost Story For Christmas’, how about ‘A Ghost Story For Each Season’? November’s pitch black poem ‘All Saint’s Day’ (where the blood almost drips from the page) and December’s festive yet foreboding ‘Santa Claus And The Witch’ bring the Kalendar to a fittingly horrific close; yet there is the distinct impression that the spectres and wraiths contained herein will undoubtedly start back at their practices as before, the cycle of the year bringing them once more to terrible and terrifying life.
For aficionados of folk horror, weird fiction (especially readers of Robert Aickman’s dark and unusual stories), of Lambert’s excellent previous outing ‘Tales From The Black Meadow’ and of Paciorek’s intricate and beautiful ink work this volume comes highly recommended. We all must keep and mark our time; why not do so with the Wyrd Kalendar?
A hung, drawn and quarter off Andy Paciorek books.
Perfect Halloween presents for all boos and ghouls.
To claim 25% Discount add code TBFAM25 at checkout at –
Offer valid through October 16, 2017 (11:59 p.m. local time).
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30% off All Wyrd Harvest Press Books
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Offer Ends October 12th at 23:59
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Classic Folk Horror Revival T-shirts*
Now available!! Ideal Halloween presents.
The first 10 people using code FHR01 will receive a 20% discount when spending £28 or more.
A further 50 people using code FHR02 will receive a 10% discount when spending £28 or more **
Only available from – Hare and Tabor
£14 + P+P (visit website for overseas price and shipping)
*white design on black shirts.
(Ladies fit may become available at a later date depending upon demand)
** Discount Code expires on 7th December 2017
25% OFF ALL FOLK HORROR REVIVAL DEVICE CASES
*Valid on all iPhone & Samsung Cases, iPhone Wallets, iPad & Laptop Skins, Laptop Sleeves
Use code GEAR25 at checkout at ~
Offer Expires 04 October 2017 at 11:59 pm.