Darklore Volume 9 out now

darklore-volume-9

The latest volume of Darklore is out, featuring my collected Strange & Norrell inspired articles (amongst lots of other wonderful stuff).

Paperback

Limited Edition Hardcover

 

The latest release has themes of magic and mysticism running through it, with essays from regulars including Mike Jay and Robert Schoch, as well as a conspicuous newcomer to our pages: the great Alan Moore!

We have a theme of magic and mysticism running through Darklore 9: Blair MacKenzie Blake surveys and reinterprets the infamous grimoires of centuries past; Alan Moore asks if magic is in any way relevant to the modern world, advocating a scorched earth approach and new beginnings; John Reppion uses a fictional work to illustrate the origins and practice of various magical traditions; and Cat Vincent looks at the origins and practice of various magical traditions and shows how many of them come from fictional works.

No Darklore release focuses on just one topic though. And so, along with the magical core of Volume 9, we have a number of fascinating articles on other topics of interest: Mike Jay reviews the ‘hidden history’ of the 19th century Club des Hachischins; Adam Gorightly looks at the amazing, controversial life of Kerry Thornley, co-creator of Discordianism and one-time JFK assassination suspect; Robert Schoch takes us beyond the Hollywood version of the werewolf to better understand the origins of this archetypal monster; Paul Devereux introduces us to the shamanic plants of the Americas; and Greg Taylor finds that the history of research into meteorites offers a valuable lesson to science on the value of listening to eye-witness reports.

We’ll be publishing some sample articles at the Darklore website in the coming weeks.

Spirits of Place 2016

Spirits of Place logo by Andy BloorOn Saturday the 2nd of April 2016 the Spirits of Place symposium was held at Calderstones Mansion House here in the heart of South Liverpool.

The whole thing came about when I saw that the venue was for hire and I started thinking about what kind of event it would be great to see there. Something the likes of which people who live in London, or Brighton say, might be quite used to seeing advertised but which there never seem to be very many of up here in the North. Something which fused historical and archaeological topics with things like folklore and myth and literature. Something which spoke of the stories – public, personal, true and otherwise – embedded and encoded in the landscape. Tentatively I made some enquiries, things spiralled quickly, and within a month I found myself at the helm of an actual event that had speakers and tickets for sale and was definitely an actual real thing.

And then, on Saturday, it happened. And it was successful. Very successful.  And people have sent me lovely tweets, and emails, and even written lovely blogs about it (here and here).

Lots of people have asked me if there will be another one, and do you know what? I think there probably will be. If you’d like to stay informed about that please subscribe here.

Continue reading “Spirits of Place 2016”

Spirits of Place – one month to go!

Spirits of Place A4 Poster No Bleed

Spirits of Place is a one day, multidisciplinary symposium taking place on Saturday the 2nd of April, 2016 in Calderstones Mansion house, Calderstones Park, Liverpool.

It’s a kind of cross between a conference and a working – a day of talks, readings, interviews, and screenings taking their cue from the neolithic Calderstones and their surroundings and then spiralling out to include all manner of related stuff.

Archaeology, history, folklore, magick, psychogeography/landscape-punk, fiction, and all points between will be covered.

A full list of guests, talks, and (approximate) times is online at tiny.cc/spiritsofplace where tickets can be purchased for £15 (plus booking fee).

I hope you can join us there.

Daily Grail meet-up, London 2015

Let me start here by saying that blogging somehow seems like some kind of chore here at the arse-end of 2015. I don’t know exactly when this became the case but it’s not just me; I’ve spoken to a few other people who agree that where they once felt like monthly, weekly, or in some cases daily blogging was just normal, now they struggle to do it at all. No-one calls Twitter micro-blogging any more (if they ever actually did) but that is where I am currently expelling my thoughts, wishes, dreams, and unsolicited opinions 140 characters at a time, pretty much 16 hours a day. That’s almost certainly why I have little appetite for actual blogging these days which, instead of fitting in around (read: “distracting me from”) my proper writing, takes a bit more time and effort. It’s a shame because the nature of Twitter means that things tend to be a bit more throwaway – a blip of information as opposed to a big chunk of it. I should be blogging more, I wish I was, but then I rarely have anything to blog about these days. It’s not like a head off to London and have a big pub meet with loads of Forteans and Landscape Punks and… Oh wait, yes, I did that at the weekend. I’ll tell you about that. Continue reading “Daily Grail meet-up, London 2015”