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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

     Sci-Fi & Fantasy fans may recognise the title as a quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune.  Everybody else may simply appreciate the opportunity to explore new places from the comfort – and safety – of their favourite armchair or free wi-fi zone.

    This holiday season we are boldly going to Westeros (yes, really) to face the terrors of flight delays, lost luggage and untimely beheading so you don’t have to.

     We recommend that you keep an eye on Matt Copeman’s blog, “It Wasn’t My Fault…”, instead.  Matt is a journalism graduate based in Hull, UK City of Culture 2017.  He’s going places.  Literally.  He’s planning his next travel adventure right now and you could be there too – from the safety of your armchair of course 🙂  Just click the link below to subscribe…

http://mattcopeman.tumblr.com/

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Lily Wight

     Updated 08/07/2015

     Lily Wight is always available to be the sanguinous stuffing in an Anne Rice and Clive Barker sandwich – so please tuck in 😉

     The Grande Dame of Grand Guignol and The Master of The Macabre (via official administrator, Alex) were kind enough to recommend and share features from the blog at www.lilywight.com with their huge online communities.

     Just click the links below for these unmissable posts ~

“The Wolf Gift” scored this generous review by Lily Wight and I’m grateful.  Also note the cool use of Ran Valerhon’s art in this review.  Love it.

Anne Rice, 19th February 2013.

https://lilywight.com/2013/02/13/a-present-from-anne-rice-the-wolf-gift-matt-bomer-christian-grey/

Here’s a new blog post on Nightbreed by Lily Wight.

~ Clive Barker (administrated by Alex Ghastbrow) 21st February 2013.

https://lilywight.com/2013/02/21/clive-barker-cabal-nightbreed-directors-cut/

     Thank you, fellow imagineers x

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Lily Wight

     Updated 22/04/2015

     It is nearly forty years since Anne Rice refined and defined our contemporary Romantic Vampire archetype with her seminal and controversial novel Interview With The Vampire.

     Rice may have returned to The Universal Studio Monster Vault (vampires, mummies and now wolfmen) but her latest foray into the supernatural is distinctly light on familiar Gothic tropes and offers something entirely current via the imagination of an author steeped in history and mythology.

     The Wolf Gift is a superhero origin story with the werewolf or “Morphenkind”, Reuben Golding, glorified and elevated into a shape-shifting biological missing-link: a creature designed to track and destroy the very essence of evil.

     The bright, breezy world of modern San Francisco offers architectural and natural majesty a world away from the grim, historical Grand Guignol of Rice’s Vampire…

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Lily Wight

Updated 27/11/2014

     Recommended reading because Graphic Novels are about more than Superheroes…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 09/10/2014

     Another full-length prose novel from (the admittedly deceased) J.R.R. Tolkien is too good to be true and infinitely more satisfying than all those collected fragments with endless footnotes.

     It’s business as usual with The Children Of Húrin as ancient oral-storytelling traditions pervade Tolkien’s reliably rich and evocative prose.

     Húrin has much in common with Norse dragon slayer Myths and is almost unbearably tragic.  It’s a great place to start with pre-Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings’ history and the maps and glossaries are essential – although why Tolkien is the only author who can get away with such things remains a mystery.

     It is a book to make you homesick for Middle-earth all over again.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 30/09/2014

     The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies arrives in UK cinemas on December 12th!  If you can’t wait that long Lily Wight ~ The Arcade of Arts & Arcana can satisfy your Middle-earth cravings with a variety of Tolkien related posts (just click the category in the sidebar).

     Let’s get started with a flash review of a book that definitely deserves a trilogy of movies… are you listening Peter Jackson!

     

     The Silmarillion

     Genius is not a term to be attributed lightly but if any author deserves such an accolade it is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
     Traditional Mythologies contain a vast body of evolving materials collected over time by countless storytellers and authors.  So, for one man to invent arguably the finest and most emotive…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 21/08/2014 

     Kim Newman’s Glastonbury set tale of a year 2000 millenium apocalypse may have passed its sell by date (without incident) yet still offers a gorily fun interpretation of The Book of Revelations for horror fans who enjoy the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Herbert and Brian Lumley.

     There is a comfortable soap-opera quality to the slow-burn character-building of colourful locals and visitors but, in the final act, as chaos descends, the diversity of their living nightmares causes a loss of focus.

     Some of the sexual-horror is just plain nasty and there is a missed opportunity to explore the dynamics of cult religions with more intelligent depth.

     As an entry into the sub-genre of supernaturals versus psychic spies it makes a sufficiently fun but hardly a life-changing…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 12/08/2014

     A short sharp review of Once…

     James Herbert does little to shift his low-brow Stephen King associations with this perfunctory foray into the world of faerie.

     A spooky house and a missing testament provide Scooby Doo plotting while flat characters and shallow research create a strangely uninvolving tale of mixed-up folklores.

     Frequent sexiness will keep you reading but Herbert’s work remains dogged by seventies style misogyny.

     If you’re a Herbert fan you’ll love it regardless, but this is lazy work.

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Lily Wight

   

     Updated 22/07/2014

     Billy Majestic’s arresting Graphic Novel, Humpty Dumpty is a Science Fiction/Horror yarn and definitely not recommended for children.

     Vivid colours and smooth digital blending achieve a film-like look; entirely appropriate for a snappy origin tale which plays like a movie storyboard and makes no qualms about its B-Movie intentions.

     Redneck grotesques, small-town cops and ethereal aliens provide familiarity whilst the titular Humpty is an atrocity to remind you of the heyday of direct-to-video prosthetic horrors.  Humpty’s conception and birth stray into uncomfortable exploitation territory but once the monster madness is underway sequels seem both likely and gory good fun.

     For more unique images follow the link to The Gallery.

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Lily Wight

     Audrey Niffenegger, best known as the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, spins a macabre yet enchanting novel in pictures.

     The Adventuress, an ethereal yet tenacious heroine, is created by an alchemist, has a love affair with Napoleon and gives birth to a cat in a quest of Fairy Tale subversions and surreal post-feminism.

     The text may tell us of wedding revelry and honeymoons but the fragile images betray subjugation and abuse as The Adventuress is repeatedly betrayed by the promises of love and motherhood.  This is a story in which transformation can lead to madness and happy-ever-afters may only be attained through cleansing fire or the release of death.

     Niffenegger’s images combine the uncanny distortions of German Expressionist cinema with  a sketchiness which invites universal interpretations.

     A truly beautiful, unique and inspiring work.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 17/06/2014

     Here at The Arcade of Arts & Arcana we are not ashamed to trawl kids’ books for fascinating factoids.  Here are few of our findings…

 

*Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital opened in 1852.  If you scroll down the sidebar you will find a link to Children With Cancer UK, this site’s nominated charity 🙂 

*Edward Jenner helped to wipe out smallpox in just 40 years when free vaccinations became available in 1840.

*The bell residing in the Houses of Parliament clock tower was cast in 1858 and named for building supervisor Sir Benjamin Hall.  Big Ben of course.

*Building ships from steel instead of heavy iron was a very good idea.

*Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies (1863) influenced Parliament to pass the Chimney Sweeps Act.  The use of children as sweeps was finally stamped out in 1875.

*Today southeast…

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Lily Wight

     

     Updated 14/06/2014

     It takes a writer as bold as Game of Throne’s George R.R. Martin to pen a Southern Gothic vampire novel just three years after the publication of Anne Rice’s genre-bending Interview With The Vampire.

     Martin’s Fevre Dream includes plenty of Rice’s familiar tropes – such as setting, era and two bickering immortal dandies – but Fevre Dream has less romance and more grit, as though two writers used the same remit to inspire very different tales.

     Martin pens marvellous prose in any genre, he is descriptive but never dull and poetic without being florid.  He has a knack for authentic, character-crafting speech and an ability to make even the driest detail fascinating so readers will come away with a new love and comprehensive understanding of life as a Mississippi steamboat captain even if…

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Lily Wight

Updated 09/06/2014

     All these amazing facts have been borrowed from the Snapping-Turtle Guide, Victorian Life by John Guy.

*The average life expectancy for a Victorian city-dweller was a measly 40 years!

*At the beginning of Victoria’s reign (1837) 20% of the population lived in towns.  By the end of her reign (1901) this figure had risen to 75%.

*Beer was less than a penny a pint causing problems with drunkenness… especially amongst children.

*This was probably because both boys and girls wore dresses until they reached about five years old.

*Thomas Edison didn’t just invent the phonograph (1877) he suggested talking-books for the blind.

*The Railway Age created affordable travel for all and inspired that Great British pursuit: a day-trip to the seaside!

*Victorian Artists and Poets reacted against The Industrial Age by incorporating romanticised Myths, Legends and The Natural World into their work.  (Click the…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 05/06/2014

     Pat Brien’s Denied is a refreshingly old-school vampire yarn that owes more to Hammer era Dracula than Twilight style teen romance (cheer or boo here as you prefer).

     
     Brien does an admirable job of honing and reinvigorating gothic folklore by finding ingenious and refreshing ways to reconnect disparate vampire archetypes.
   
      Monstrous Nosferatu and brooding immortals share an intriguing new evolution and the inclusion of werewolves takes the tale to new levels of adventure, mystery and page-turning excitement.
   
     The novel has two distinct parts, the first  – which acts as an extended prologue – is quite different in tone and location to the latter.  It’s a bold structural move, as readers may prefer one part of the book over the other, but Brien’s commitment, combined…

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Lily Wight

Updated 06/05/2014

 Pure trash of course but also a fascinating insight into celebrity culture’s evolution throughout the noughties.

     As the founding editor of Heat magazine Frith makes for a flawed and fabulous narrator, jealous of the success of fellow publications, often derogatory about the stars he refers to as “playthings” and covetous of fame.   Frith is also fiercely loyal to his team and dedicated to a refreshing and  worthy ethos to de-bunk celebrity myth.
     Ironically and unfortunately, normalising celebrities created a space for ordinary folk from reality shows to seize the spotlight.  The subsequent rise of savvy PRs has enabled celebs to play the once revelatory magazines at their own game.
   
     It’s a fascinating insight into a unique period of modern history by a smart, flawed guy who was actually there.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 07/04/2014

     Too many new faces and places sap momentum in this now sprawling Fantasy series.

     Erikson’s prose has a captivating quality which will win patience from his readership but many sub-plots seem circular and unnecessary.  Characters are absent for several chapters so, by the time they return, you are likely to have forgotten who they are and what they are doing whilst the unceremonious dumping of a hugely important plot revelation is unforgivably clumsy.

     Erikson’s system of magic use seems over-complicated and only partially formed, suggesting a world and a plot which is dangerously close to escaping the clutches of its author.

     Erikson is at his best when describing martial combat and strategy.  His central plot thread, the imperiled exodus of refugees, is strong enough without extraneous sub-stories.  Erikson’s promise is unmistakable but he…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 06/03/2014

     Here is an early Easter Egg for you, crack it open and you will find a golden and glowing review of John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things…

   

      It is hard to beat Angela Carter’s potent re-imaginings of traditional Fairy Tales but John Connolly may boast a valiant and successful attempt.

     Young hero, David’s struggle to adjust to his step-family under the shadow of The Blitz is realistic and heartfelt but unfortunately the tone alters and the pace flounders during a flabby middle section inspired by tired and predictable medieval quest romances.

     Connolly’s work suffers a little under too many influences; Narnia, Oz, Wonderland, Labyrinth and even The Box of Delights are all thrown into the mix.  Focus is restored most triumphantly however in a dramatic ending which…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 04/03/2014

     Margo Lanagan has an innate understanding of the dark and sensual undercurrents of Faerie; something seldom seen since the heyday of Fantasy pioneer Angela Carter.

     In Tender Morsels Lanagan delivers a sublime insight into the diverse, contradictory, complex and myriad aspects of femininity, without ever straying into reactionary feminist territory.

     Intensely lyrical, joyous and heartbreaking by turn, Tender Morsels explores illusion and reality’s interdependence by seamlessly crafting an enchanting patchwork quilt of tales within tales.

     With its vibrant characters, dialogue ripe with colloquialisms and images which will haunt your imagination Lanagan’s novel is a rare treat; gritty yet poetic and constantly enlightening.

More Books

More Fairy Tales

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Lily Wight

     Updated 28/02/2014

     Would you believe that Lily Wight ~ The Arcade of Arts & Arcana is two years old today or 2,344 comments, 411 posts and over 10,500 subscribers old today!

If you are already a blog author or reader, or you are thinking about becoming one, a glance below – at this site’s very first technophobic and mildly apologetic post – will prove that award-winning, international blogs can evolve from humble origins and perseverance to recommendations by best-selling authors.

     Would you like to re-share the moment you lost your blog virginity?  Lily Wight will show you hers if you show her yours 😉

Virgin Blogger8-of-cups8.jpg

     Dear Blogsprites,

     I always thought that keyboards were for making music and that hard-drives were arduous road-trips.

     As soon as I…

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     WordPress bloggers can head over to Facebook and join the following groups to share their posts with a wider audience.  Just click the pics to start…

Share Your Blog Group

WordPress Co-Bloggers Group

Share Your Articles Group

     Happy sharing 🙂

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Lily Wight

     Updated 11/02/2014

     A recent quest to the local library led to this booty; Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding.  Space Piracy is a darned tricky genre to master.  Get it right and you have Han Solo and the Falcon, get it wrong and it’s Disney’s Treasure Planet all over again.

     Wooding succeeds in delivering an entertaining, if simple and linear romp with some excellent characters.  Captain Frey owes much to Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow and his ship and crew will be familiar to fans of Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

     The Science Fiction and Steampunk elements are sketchy and rather ill-conceived.  Airships and the odd cyber-limb do not make a fully realised Secondary World.

     The Fantasy elements are better integrated and more intriguing with Wooding doing a fine job of…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 06/02/2014

     Kate Mosse’s début novel, Labyrinth was much-loved and promoted by Richard and Judy’s TV book club allowing Mosse to swiftly and decisively establish herself as the female answer to blockbusting airport favourite Dan Brown.

     Sepulchre, Mosse’s second standalone novel, combines folklore and history to weave a simple yet compelling treasure-hunt mystery with Tarot magic and the lush French countryside thrown in for good measure.

     As with Labyrinth the past and present intertwine around the comparable adventures of two female protagonists but the Nineteenth Century heroine easily trumps her modern-day counterpart whilst secondary characters are frustratingly underwritten for a novel with such a hefty word count.

     It is Mosse’s descriptive and lyrical prose which prevents accusations of peddling pulp and Sepulchre stays the right side of sentiment; emerging as the thinking woman’s…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 25/01/2014

     We’re three books – and three reviews in – yet The Twilight Saga refuses staunchly to improve or evolve as its little flashes of brilliance are swamped with so much melodramatic waffle.

     Stephenie Meyer obviously missed the writer’s workshop on “show, don’t tell” because those pages of circular dialogue do not equal plot momentum.

     An inspired chapter on Quileute folklore provides too brief a respite and elevation by delivering a tantalising glimpse into a better book that never was.  More of this and less of Bella might have given the saga more depth to match its breadth.

     Meyer has an unfortunate habit of disappointing readers with ideas and plot-strands which fail to flourish.  She denies Bella the opportunity to embrace the fate of The Third Wife thus denying Eclipse…

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     The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

     Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 50,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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     The year’s best blog posts were selected by the readers of Lily Wight ~ The Arcade of Arts & Arcana.

Lily Wight

     It’s cold and dark outside, Blogsprites – but you’ll find a warm welcome in The Arcade Of Arts & Arcana!

     We’re opening the year with books, books and more books – a few reviews, art, movies, tarot and even the odd cute animal gif or Lego curio might sneak their way in too 😉

     Now, where shall we do our reading?

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