JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England

Sometimes an individual should simply stick to doing what he or she does best. In the case of the British author J.K. Rowling her “best” is continuing her spectacularly successful career of writing fantasy books for children; and not becoming an online agent provocateur for Greater England: a veritable troll-baiting champion of its hegemony over the island of… Read More JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England

No, Ireland Did Not Inspire Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings

I love Ireland. I love the Lord of the Rings and most of the other associated works in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth canon. However just because I admire both it does not mean that I can claim a creative relationship between them based upon the most tangential of proofs. Yet that is one of the modern and largely… Read More No, Ireland Did Not Inspire Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings

2000 AD and Judge Dredd Quality Comics’ Collection

The problem with being a hopeless Teicógach (or Irish Geek) is the habit of collecting one’s interests – or obsessions – with a near fanatical devotion. So down through the years I’ve managed to assemble a massive, if pleasingly eclectic, collection of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror related materials. Of these the most problematic in terms of storage have… Read More 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Quality Comics’ Collection

Hugogate Or The Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies And Rabid Puppies

When I was growing up in Ireland during the 1980s and ’90s possessing a passion for Science-Fiction almost inevitably led one to holding Left or Centre-left beliefs. Before I became interested in politics proper (and I’ll admit to having been reared in a “political household”) the progressive ideas that permeated Sci-Fi strongly influenced my view of the world. Because of Isaac… Read More Hugogate Or The Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies And Rabid Puppies

Risking The Ire Of Outlander Fans

Scottish blogger Tocasaid has cast a cold eye over the Anglo-American television adaptation of the genre-defying Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon, and drawn the wrath of fans everywhere. Personally I like time-travelling tropes (Julian’s May quadrilogy, Saga of the Exiles, remains one of my favourite SF series) however what little I know of Outlander – the novel and TV show –… Read More Risking The Ire Of Outlander Fans

Saltire: Ionnsaigh, The First Scottish Language Graphic Novel

A quick break away from politics with news of the release of Saltire: Ionnsaigh, the first graphic novel in the Scottish (Gaelic) language, which is due to be launched at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August. From a report by the Stornoway Gazette: “The first in a series centring round Scotland’s first comic book superhero, the dark… Read More Saltire: Ionnsaigh, The First Scottish Language Graphic Novel

The Forge In The Forest, Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a British artist whose distinctive, sometimes surreal style will be familiar to many readers of Fantasy and fantasy-tinged Science-fiction even if his name is not so much. Since the late 1970s his exquisite illustrations, executed most frequently in pen and ink, have graced the covers of countless publications, notably the Fighting Fantasy and… Read More The Forge In The Forest, Ian Miller

Cultus Obscuram – Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

The old cliché “…so bad it’s good” springs to mind when one watches the 1975 cinematic release “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze”. Based upon the eponymous 1930s’ pulp magazine character primarily written by Lester Dent the film was intended to be the first in a series of purposefully old-fashioned adventure movies by legendary Sci-Fi entertainment… Read More Cultus Obscuram – Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

From The New Sun To Dune, Bruce Pennington

Following the positive reaction to my brief post highlighting the career of the British illustrator Bruce Pennington (notably his artwork for the 1980 book cover of Gene Wolfe’s classic science-fantasy publication Shadow of the Torturer) I thought I’d feature a few more of his best regarded images. These include two more wraparound illustrations for the… Read More From The New Sun To Dune, Bruce Pennington

Publishing News From Scotland And Ireland

Congratulations to the author Tim Armstrong on his award from the Saltire Society, one of Scotland’s premier cultural organisations, for his Scottish language Sci-Fi novel Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach. From the Scotsman newspaper: “AN AMERICAN writer has landed one of Scotland’s flagship literary prizes – with the first ever Gaelic science fiction novel. Tim Armstrong, a former… Read More Publishing News From Scotland And Ireland

Raven, Swordmistress Of Chaos, Chris Achilléos

Chris Achilléos is a Cypriot-born British artist who came to prominence in the 1970s and ‘80s with illustrations for a large number of books and magazines in the Fantasy and Sword ‘n’ Sorcery genres. Instantly recognisable for his exquisitely rendered female figures, invariably beautiful, frequently belligerent, he became widely known amongst fans through several best-selling… Read More Raven, Swordmistress Of Chaos, Chris Achilléos