Author of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ (1819) and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ (1820), Washington Irving (1783–1859) holds a great place in the canon of American short story writers. A leading author of early American gothic horror alongside Poe and Hawthorne, he was also a witty commentator and prominent literary figure in the New York public eye. Writing during a period when literary communities and publications were beginning to sprout up all over, Irving incorporated his keen knowledge of human society and relationships into his work. The dialogues between and within art forms that were happening at this time helped fuel various literary movements into existence, where writers would communicate openly, shaping each other’s works and accelerating the development of their ideas and careers. In this post we’ll be taking a look at the emergence and impact of these literary communities, and Irving’s place in this larger process. We’ll also explore some of Irving’s inspired marketing techniques and see how we have him to thank for bringing the words ‘Gotham’ and ‘Knickerbocker’ into common usage!
Fantasy & Gothic Blog
One of the classic works that we just couldn't not feature in our Science Fiction Short Stories was Flatland, a novella by Edwin A. Abbott. This very well-known work of science fiction is a must read if you love SF and haven't yet delved into the dimensions created by Abbott.
Science Fiction is a wonderful genre. Though powerful fiction can always transplant us into new worlds, SF really amps it up – whizzing us off to alien locations and hauling the future right to our feet.
A word from our Publisher, Nick Wells:
Our otherwise delightful printer seems to have suffered a series of setbacks, culminating in the entire workforce going on holiday at the same time. Or so it seems. They've had the PDFs to make the books for 6 weeks and should have delivered two weeks ago, but various calamities seem to have befallen them and they are currently set to despatch from their factory outside Venice at the end of August.
William Wilkie Collins (1824–89), who was born in London, is the author of the widely acclaimed ‘sensation’ text ‘The Woman in White’ (1859–60). Recently, his detective novel ‘The Moonstone’ (1868) made it to Number 19 in Robert McCrum’s Guardian list of the 100 best novels written in English, where McCrum describes the book as a ‘marriage of the sensational and the realistic’. A close friend of Dickens, Collins is lauded as one of the great forerunners of detective fiction – T.S. Eliot considered Collins and 'The Moonstone' to have invented the genre. His contribution to the genres of sensational and supernatural fiction was considerable, and, famous for his unorthodox, even scandalous, lifestyle during the Victorian era, his own life was not short of inspiration for his work.
Dragons don't exist.
That's a shame, of course. Instead we have to rely on the brilliant work of artists to render these fantastic worlds for us. One hugely important figure in the fantasy art world is the artist John Howe. With a much-loved body of work and perhaps best known for his concept art work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series, Howe's career is marked with an array of interesting experiences that have resulted in some truly astonishing fantasy art pieces.
With a history in seamanship, photography and bodybuilding on top of his successful writing career, William Hope Hodgson (1877–1918) makes for an interesting subject for today’s blog. Perhaps best known for his novels ‘The House on the Borderland’ (1908) and ‘The Night Land’ (1912), Hodgson’s fiction has been a great influence on a number of horror writers, especially celebrated for his authentic narratives on the horrors of the sea and his creation of the enduring supernatural investigator Thomas Carnacki.
You know Cthulhu. Monster. Scary. Gigantic. Yep, that's the one. If you know who this fearsome god is, you probably know why so many people think he's cool. But as the mythic monstrosity's popularity grows, you may find him wandering out of the ocean into pastures new. Perhaps even, into space.
Our forthcoming Gothic Fantasy anthologies feature an explosive mix of new and classic writers. We've released the list of new authors, and their stories, now here are the biographies of Science Fiction Short Stories. Some are first time writers, others have had stories printed in magazines and story collections before.
‘A series of images, thoughts, and emotions, often with a story-like quality, generated by mental activity during sleep’: this is the definition of a dream given by the Oxford English Dictionary. We’ve all experienced it, that bizarre state between wakefulness and sleep (or between lengthy snooze alarms), when REM sleep has had just enough time to set in and pelt you with the strangest sequence of ideas – images sometimes mundane, sometimes fantastical, but always disconcertingly removed from reality. Frightening and exhilarating, that delightfully ambiguous state when the mind is not fully itself is when logic is distorted, traditional paths of thought are muddled and the mind is open to everything. There, there be monsters. The unrestrained creative world of dreams offers endless possibilities for the imagination, and such realms provide the most intriguing, thrilling and in many ways the most beautiful material for art.